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Author Topic: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]  (Read 24106 times)

Renato

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2012, 03:12:39 PM »
I own the 100-400 for two years, mostly used for bird photography with 7D.  I have had both dust and moisture problems and finally died a couple of months ago.  Now it is back from canon repair after some $300 refurbishing. It is a very versatile lens and you can even do some great macro shots by adding a Hoya +4 macro lens in the front.  But... my prime 300mm f/4 IS L has better image quality and is sharper, so now it has become my preferred birding lens specially after adding a Keno 2X TC.

Here is a link to some tests:
http://10000birds.com/bird-photography-equipment-canon-ef-300-f4-l-is-macro.htm

I will probably not upgrade to the new 100-400.  I would be more interested in an improved version of the EF 300 f/4.

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2012, 03:12:39 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #76 on: June 30, 2012, 07:31:08 PM »
I own the 100-400 for two years, mostly used for bird photography with 7D.  I have had both dust and moisture problems and finally died a couple of months ago.  Now it is back from canon repair after some $300 refurbishing. It is a very versatile lens and you can even do some great macro shots by adding a Hoya +4 macro lens in the front.  But... my prime 300mm f/4 IS L has better image quality and is sharper, so now it has become my preferred birding lens specially after adding a Keno 2X TC.

Here is a link to some tests:
http://10000birds.com/bird-photography-equipment-canon-ef-300-f4-l-is-macro.htm

I will probably not upgrade to the new 100-400.  I would be more interested in an improved version of the EF 300 f/4.

I was shooting hawks (not literally, I was photographing them) today with my 1D Mark IV and 100-400L lens.  It was fantastic.  What other lens would I have used?  I was able to zoom from 100 to 400mm whenever I needed to and on a 1.3x factor, even more.  Try zooming out on birds in the sky and as they "swoop" down, you need to bring the focal length in, which can be difficult of course, but not if you practice.  Overall I think the lens is pretty good.  I'm not sure if it would be easier to rotate vs. push/pull in my situation today or not.  Maybe.
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Renato

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2012, 08:49:05 AM »
I'm not sure if it would be easier to rotate vs. push/pull in my situation today or not.  Maybe.

I have experienced the push-pull ease of zooming in many situations where the birds are very close.  I especially like the push-pull because I can assist focusing manually if needed.  If the lens cannot focus accurately I prefer to do a manual assist and then let the camera AF do the rest, in this manner I avoid the focus hutting that could prevent you from taking the critical photo.  A perfect use for this lens would be taking photos in a zoo; in this case the fixed 300mm lens would not have enough flexibility.  The 100-400 is the clear winner when flexibility is necessary but the prime lens such as the 300 f/4 produces better image quality. 

If I need flexibility I use te 100-400, if I need extra reach and image quality I use the 300mm f/4 with a 2X Kenko teleconverter.

leecheeyee

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #78 on: July 06, 2012, 07:41:09 AM »
I am waiting for this new verson with my patience. 2000USD is my budget.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #79 on: July 06, 2012, 07:54:16 AM »
I am waiting for this new verson with my patience. 2000USD is my budget.

Fortunately, it likely won't come out soon - which may be good, in that it'll give you time to save for it, as I think it will likely be in the ~$2500 range...
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bkorcel

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #80 on: July 06, 2012, 02:34:35 PM »
I worked with both the 100-400 as well as the 70-200 2.8L II with 1.4 and 2xIII TC.  I did not have a 1D version body so found the 100-400 AF to hunt a lot due to f5.6 at 400mm and excessive coma wide open.  Still, with the 70-200 and 2xIII TC, the AF hunting was less and faster likely due to the increased contrast at f2.8(5.6) having better optics and more contrast for the AF to work with.  The TC does soften ever so slightly the image from the 70-200 but it's far better than the 100-400 wide open.

I returned the 100-400 and later picked up a used 300mm f2.8L prime which is my main wildlife lens right now w/1.4 and 2x III TC's.  I still use the 70-200 but less so now with the TC's.

So for the money, the 100-400 is pretty good and you can sharpen it up but stopping it down a click or two but wont help the AF system as it has to work with the lens wide open.  If your budget supports it trade up to a 70-200 2.8L II with the 2XIII.  Your next stop is a big investment into the world of fast primes.


FarQinell

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #81 on: July 06, 2012, 02:56:26 PM »
I worked with both the 100-400 as well as the 70-200 2.8L II with 1.4 and 2xIII TC.  I did not have a 1D version body so found the 100-400 AF to hunt a lot due to f5.6 at 400mm and excessive coma wide open.  Still, with the 70-200 and 2xIII TC, the AF hunting was less and faster likely due to the increased contrast at f2.8(5.6) having better optics and more contrast for the AF to work with.  The TC does soften ever so slightly the image from the 70-200 but it's far better than the 100-400 wide open.


I've just had a look at the digital picture ISO 12233 100% crops and have to disagree with you.

On axis the 100-400L wide open @400 is sharper than the 70-200/2.8 II @200 wide open with either the 2XTC II or the III version!

Never a good idea to put a 2xTC on any zoom and expect brilliant results!

By the way an new version of the 100-400L is due sometime - should be a great lens.



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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #81 on: July 06, 2012, 02:56:26 PM »

bkorcel

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #82 on: July 06, 2012, 04:13:31 PM »
I cant speak for digital picture but I can tell you the 70-200 with the 2x was sharper than the 100-400 wide open and that was with two different copies I tried before returning it.  The AF speed and ability to lock on birds in flight was not up to it as well.

I worked with both the 100-400 as well as the 70-200 2.8L II with 1.4 and 2xIII TC.  I did not have a 1D version body so found the 100-400 AF to hunt a lot due to f5.6 at 400mm and excessive coma wide open.  Still, with the 70-200 and 2xIII TC, the AF hunting was less and faster likely due to the increased contrast at f2.8(5.6) having better optics and more contrast for the AF to work with.  The TC does soften ever so slightly the image from the 70-200 but it's far better than the 100-400 wide open.


I've just had a look at the digital picture ISO 12233 100% crops and have to disagree with you.

On axis the 100-400L wide open @400 is sharper than the 70-200/2.8 II @200 wide open with either the 2XTC II or the III version!

Never a good idea to put a 2xTC on any zoom and expect brilliant results!

By the way an new version of the 100-400L is due sometime - should be a great lens.

heptagon

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #83 on: July 06, 2012, 05:44:40 PM »
It seems as though there are different qualities for the 100-400, some clearly better and some clearly worse than the 70-200 L IS II + 2x extender. Haven't yet found a review that really nails it down. Speaking for myself with the 70-200 you need to stop down to at least F8 to get decent results with the 2x. That said, there should be some essential improvements coming for the new 100-400.

bkorcel

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #84 on: July 06, 2012, 05:57:37 PM »
Yes there are different  qualities and even some bodies are affected differently.  They both sharpen up good at f8. However the AF hunting was a no go for me.  I had maybe 25% success rate on BIF with the 100-400 and my rate went up to about 85% with the 70-200 combo.

I've got a shot I took wide open with the 100-400.  Let me see if I can find it and post it here to explain why the AF has to work so hard.

It seems as though there are different qualities for the 100-400, some clearly better and some clearly worse than the 70-200 L IS II + 2x extender. Haven't yet found a review that really nails it down. Speaking for myself with the 70-200 you need to stop down to at least F8 to get decent results with the 2x. That said, there should be some essential improvements coming for the new 100-400.

Kernuak

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #85 on: July 06, 2012, 06:11:10 PM »
The biggest hurdle for me with the 100-400 was the slow maximum aperture, so I ended up getting the 300 f/3.8 and I use it with the 1.4x extender, faster AF, more light and equivalent IQ. If I'm shooting at dusk, I also have the option of taking the extender off and if I need more reach, then I can use the 2x at a push. While I found the AF on the 100-400 to be quite slow, I did manage ok with birds in flight, including one of the fastest birds (and not that big either), the Eurasian hobby. Sometimes, the 300 can be a bit too fast on the 7D, as it can sometimes be a bit twitchy, depending on the background and focus mode.
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bkorcel

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #86 on: July 06, 2012, 06:39:41 PM »
So here is an example of the coma issue I experienced on two new copies of the 100-400 before returning them.  This is an osprey taken wide open.  I've cropped it a little here but you can definitely see the coma on the highlights.  I tried manually focusing, using live view focus and regular TTL AF and the results were all similar.

AF systems on these cameras utilize contrast to determine focus.  Clear lines between light and dark allow the AF system to work more efficiently.  As you can see the light and dark transition lines are soft which causes the AF to hunt for the best focus...that and that it's also F5.6.  The coma clears up with a click or two down and images come out fantastic. But the AF system works with the lens wide open therefore the coma has an impact.

This issue is not apparent in my images using the 70-200 2.8L II with the 2xIII and the AF system works more efficiently acquiring BIF shots more consistently.  Maybe I just got two bad copies but in comparison to what I already owned it was not worth the money for me to keep.

As always, you have to buy what you can afford and always buy from a reputable dealer with a good return policy.  Most people don't understand why they have so many failures with Birds In Flight and this is why.


neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2012, 08:01:47 PM »
I cant speak for digital picture but I can tell you the 70-200 with the 2x was sharper than the 100-400 wide open and that was with two different copies I tried before returning it.  The AF speed and ability to lock on birds in flight was not up to it as well.

I can tell you from personal experience that while my 70-200 II + 2x II does quite well, my 100-400 is slightly better at 400/5.6.  The AF on the 100-400 can hunt more with a complex subject (bird in a thicket), but with a simpler subject (BIF) the 100-400 focuses faster.
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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2012, 08:01:47 PM »

bkorcel

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #88 on: July 06, 2012, 08:21:13 PM »
As always, your results may vary so evaluate from a reputable dealer.  I now use a 300 2.8L so it's all a moot point to me.  Just my experience with two copies of the lens.

I cant speak for digital picture but I can tell you the 70-200 with the 2x was sharper than the 100-400 wide open and that was with two different copies I tried before returning it.  The AF speed and ability to lock on birds in flight was not up to it as well.

I can tell you from personal experience that while my 70-200 II + 2x II does quite well, my 100-400 is slightly better at 400/5.6.  The AF on the 100-400 can hunt more with a complex subject (bird in a thicket), but with a simpler subject (BIF) the 100-400 focuses faster.

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Re: Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS [CR2]
« Reply #88 on: July 06, 2012, 08:21:13 PM »