After some time what is the field report of EF100-400 Mk II?

Jul 10, 2015
100
2
#1
I had the 100-400 Mk I for a few years before getting the new one. Does anyone other than me miss the balance that the old 100-400 had at 400mm? You held the front of the lens to focus and that I have found gave better balance than the new one which you have to hold closer, and effectively your left hand acts as a pivot rather than a stabiliser.
 
Aug 16, 2012
4,587
982
#2
Absolutely not me. The 100-400mm II is one of the really great lenses, sharp across the frame, responsive and with really effective IS. The Mk I was a crapshoot with some good but many bad copies and generally inferior. The Mk II is a pleasure to use.
 

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
964
55
#3
I"m not sure about your point on balance. The 100-400 II is hefty enough at 1.64KG but I find it quite well balanced to hand hold.
It's a very hand focal length and its short focusing distance is very helpful for sport.
I often use it with a 7DII and that's a fine combination for sport.
It's all relative - the images with a 300 2.8 II are much sharper but its a far less flexible lens.
I find it good for bigger objects (e.g. sports people or bigger animals). For small birds that are not close enough to fill aa significant part of the frame can be difficult to get clear.
Sometimes 400mm at 5.6 is not enough light for nature and sport but that's the compromise Canon had to make it relatively handhold able.
I don't regret buying it. It wasn't a cheap lens (and still isn't - although I see in some countries it has a cash back offer).
I've made great use out of it and its been robust
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
227
204
#4
That's one lens I'm absolutely and unconditionally in love with.
I love it's balance, sharpness, macro ability.
In fact, my favourite "lightweight" basic equipment consists of:
- 100/400 II
- 16/35 f.4
- 60mm Leica macro or 50mm Zeiss macro Planar
- 1,4 X ext III
- EOS FF camera ( 5 D 3 or EOS R)

That's all folks!
 
Aug 1, 2017
211
120
#5
I miss the push-pull mechanism of the original. It was way faster from 100 to 400 and I had a more stable grip without the awkward wrist twist. I agree that the V1 lens is easier to hold steady with your left hand since you don't need to be ready to twist the zoom ring.
However, everything else about the new lens is so much better that I would never go back to using the old one as a primary. I have a pretty good copy of the V1 so I kept it when resale values dropped. Mostly I loan it out with my 7D2 to friends which never fails to impress anyone who's new to sports cameras.
 
Likes: YuengLinger
Dec 9, 2013
84
2
#6
I also owned the 100-400 mk I, and have replaced it with the mk II. I did like the push-pull design of the mk I, but any balance differences between the mk I and II are pretty subtle to me (currently shooting mostly with a 5Ds R). I think I had an excellent copy of the mk I as image quality was great at high shutter speeds, but I can definitely hand hold the mk II and get great results at much slower shutter speeds than the mk I which I assume is due to the much improved IS on the mk II. For my copies, the mk I was also almost unusable (due to slow/poor focusing even with a body that should have AF at F8) with the 1.4X mk III extender while the mk II works great with it.
 
Jun 12, 2012
221
15
England
#7
The Canon 100-400 has always been my most used lens, accounting for nearly half of all the shots I take.
A couple of years ago I sold my mk1 lens and replaced it with the mk2. My reasons for doing so were:
1) the more conventional zoom mechanism
2) improved minimum focus distance
3) improved IS

I was lucky enough to own a good copy of the mk1 lens and I have not been able to notice any significant improvements in image quality with the new lens.
However, with hindsight given the opportunity I don't think I would upgrade the lens again.
The push pull zoom mechanism that was my main reason for upgrading the lens was actually quicker and easier to use than the conventional zoom ring on the mk 2 lens. Also, as suggested in the question, holding the lens at the end when zooming was easier and more comfortable than using the zoom ring. Although the IS is definitely better on the Mk2 lens this is not really significant as I use the lens mostly for sport which requires a shutter speed of 1/1000 or faster to capture the action, so camera shake is not an issue.
Therefore the only feature that has given me any real benefits is the improved minimum focus distance, which is useful but does not justify the additional £1,000 it cost me to upgrade.
 
Likes: gwooding

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
964
55
#8
I’m surprised people miss the push pull . For me it was like a dust collector. You were sucking the air in. The newer one has the ability to be as loose or tight as you want
 
Likes: YuengLinger

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,047
413
#9
The New lens has much faster AF, and is more familiar to handle compared to my version one. I never had a dust issue with any of my lenses, even if they get a little in them, thats not a factor in IQ.

It works very well with TC's, I forgot and left my 1.4X TC on the lens when I first got it, and used it 2 weeks that way never noticing any IQ issues.

For sharpness, its about the same, but, the build is better which likely means less copy to copy variation.

I really do not notice the improved IS, probably because I'm used to using the highest possible shutter speed.

With refurbs going on sale occasionally at Canon, it becomes a bargain. I can't personally compare it to the Sigma or Tamron 600mm models, there are lots of reviews though.
 
Likes: YuengLinger

JohnGerlach

I'm New Here
Aug 28, 2018
11
5
#10
The new lens is far better than the old version. I really like it and use it often. I did have to AF microadjust it with my Canon 5D Mark IV to a minus 9, and then I got the sharpness I was hoping for!
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,315
174
Germany
#11
I had both. I loved the mark 1 but I never again missed it after getting the mark 2. So much better in all aspects.
I never thought about a difference or disadvantage in balance at the mark 2.
I never had problems dust issues with the push-pull zoom. And a telescope design also needs air to get in when it extends. Maybe it is easier to seal, but only non extending lenses can really be sealed from dust.
The short MFD of less than a meter is absolutely fantastic, esp. when shooting dragonflies.
It is always in my bag or mounted to the body when I shoot outdoors.
 
Likes: YuengLinger
Apr 3, 2013
4,035
67
51
Isle of Wight
#13
Hi Folks.
I love my MKII, I cannot really compare it to a MKI version as I only had a quick play with a MKI belonging to a friend.
What I can say is they both move air in large quantities, put your hand by the battery cover and move both lenses from full extension to shortest extension and feel the draught coming out of the door, at least I can on my 7DII. Hmm :unsure::unsure: I wonder if the dust in the lens is from the body or is the dust on the sensor from the lens!! :LOL:

Cheers, Graham.

I’m surprised people miss the push pull . For me it was like a dust collector. You were sucking the air in. The newer one has the ability to be as loose or tight as you want
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,047
413
#15
One more thing... With my EOS R, focus is crisp, fast, and accurate. Even with TC's. It works fine with 1.4 and 2X, and will even focus with them stacked as long as the focus is in the same general distance to start. A distant 2 mile away object will snap to focus if I first focus on a object a few hundred feet away. Focus is slower for sure.

I would not recommend the R for tracking birds in flight, but for near stills, it works great with the 100-400L II.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
367
108
#16
I also owned the 100-400 mk I, and have replaced it with the mk II. I did like the push-pull design of the mk I, but any balance differences between the mk I and II are pretty subtle to me (currently shooting mostly with a 5Ds R). I think I had an excellent copy of the mk I as image quality was great at high shutter speeds, but I can definitely hand hold the mk II and get great results at much slower shutter speeds than the mk I which I assume is due to the much improved IS on the mk II. For my copies, the mk I was also almost unusable (due to slow/poor focusing even with a body that should have AF at F8) with the 1.4X mk III extender while the mk II works great with it.

Why do people apply "Mark" or "mk" to Canon lens names? No Canon EF lens ever made has had the word "Mark" included in the model name. Not a single one. The word "Mark" is used on the second and subsequent versions of the model names of Canon bodies.

There's also never been a Roman numeral "I" in any Canon lens or body name. Only "II", "III", and "IV".
 
Aug 16, 2012
4,587
982
#17
Why do people apply "Mark" or "mk" to Canon lens names? No Canon EF lens ever made has had the word "Mark" included in the model name. Not a single one. The word "Mark" is used on the second and subsequent versions of the model names of Canon bodies.

There's also never been a Roman numeral "I" in any Canon lens or body name. Only "II", "III", and "IV".
“100-400mm” becomes a generic description once there is more than one model of a lens with that zoom range so people like to invent a descriptor for the original version to avoid confusion, hence the retro terminology “I” or Mk I. Though, we don’t do that with 7D and 5D series. Interestingly, we tend not to use “Mk” with the bodies but abbreviate those to 5DIII, 5DIV etc.