Canon 100-400mm

S

stepheno

Guest
#1
Ok, here's the crack. I shoot a wide variety of subjects but I do photograph a lot of soccer for my sons team and put them on a website. Originally I used my Tamron 18-200 which just didn't cut the mustard so I bought the Canon 70-300 IS USM. Now this is a cracking lens, sharp and fast AF but there are many occasions when an extra 100mm would really save the day (when I'm behind the wrong goal :puke:)

For my sins, I seem to have acquired a bit of spare cash and have been looking at the Canon 100-400 L IS. I've read all the reviews on FM and it looks like a definite option with the only drawback, it seems to me, is the push/pull action sucks in dust. I know people will say, why not a prime? Well, I am not a sherpa and they are too much mullah. I need hand held.

Before I indulge I though I'd ask members opinions on my thoughts and reasoning and even more helpful if anyone has this lens - what do they think. Many thanks in anticipation.

regards
 

digitalfailure

Staff Bog Cleaner 2015
Staff member
Messages
14,778
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
I think you should take a look at SDK's images from oulten park, he used the lens your after and the bike images are class!!

This is a lens i'm thinking of too, but i'd really like to have the f2.8 70-200 and a 1.4 convertor. best of of both worlds then....range and a wide aperture when needed.
 

IanC_UK

TPer Emeritus
Messages
14,116
Name
Ian Cook
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
digitalfailure said:
I think you should take a look at SDK's images from oulten park, he used the lens your after and the bike images are class!!

This is a lens i'm thinking of too, but i'd really like to have the f2.8 70-200 and a 1.4 convertor. best of of both worlds then....range and a wide aperture when needed.
Problem with that option is, he has already said 300mm isnt long enough ! :) and 70-200 plus 1.4 is only 280mm (remembering will be on same camera so crop factor is irrelevent)

Nearly all my shots are on the 100-400L my only complaint is its not as fast as i would like in the aperture dept, on occasion. The push pull only seems to pump dust if you arent careful when you change lenses ! it has to get in somehow ! ;) and the only times i have had dust ingestion is when i have changed lenses in a field and not been careful enough when doing it !

I would love a big prime, but as you say they arent cheap ! lol and for sports, sometimes a zoom can give you more options, specially if you are chasing people on a pitch, if they are really close to you, you may not get the shot with a prime, whereas with the zoom you probably would !

Im probably wrong, it wouldnt be the first time ! lol
 

MattEg

TPer Emeritus
Messages
3,116
Name
Matthew Egan
Edit My Images
No
#4
It is a cracking lens, that gives exellent results all of the time.
Everybody sings its praises, but not many will tell you about its fault.

They are prone to the IS failing.
The cost of the part is £80 approx, plus labour charges.

If you can take out extra warranty cover, think about it seriously.
Mine failed bang on 13 months, but was still repaired under warranty.
 

digitalfailure

Staff Bog Cleaner 2015
Staff member
Messages
14,778
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Ian, sorry m8..i was reffering to the 1.4 to get back the range I use, should have made that a little clearer.

Matt, how common is the failure of the IS, do you know if it also affects the 70-200?
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#6
Appreciate your comments, guys. One other thing that concerns me is using it hand-held. With my 70-300 I just sling it over my shoulder, no problem, but....is the camera/lens mount strong enough to support the lens or would I have to continually hold the lens - even when just carrying it? If you know what I mean.

regards
 

CT

TPer Emeritus
Messages
28,411
Edit My Images
Yes
#7
Another vote here for the 100-400L I love mine - pretty well all my bird/aninmal shots are taken with it. I actually prefer the push/pull action, as I find it very quick and positive. The camera has a friction collar with which you can lock the lens at any focal length, or adjust so that the zoom action is loose or fairly firm.

For every person who talks about dust being sucked in you'll find another who doesn't have the problem - put me in the latter category.:) I've never cleaned the sensor on either of my cameras - when I do find the odd dust spot I just touch it out in processing.

The convenience of the zoom range coupled with the image stabilisation, make this a great lens for the wildlife/ sports photographer. Mine spends a LOT of time on the camera.
 

MattEg

TPer Emeritus
Messages
3,116
Name
Matthew Egan
Edit My Images
No
#8
When the IS failed on my lens, I couldn't find much info about it.
It wasn't until after I'd posted on forums (not just this one), that quite a few
owners of this lens had suffered the same problem.

I think it might have something to do with the push-pull part of the lens.
If you forget to add a bit of tension on the locking ring (used to hold it at your choice of zoom), then slope the camera body so the lens faces down.
The lens outer tube shoots forward and stops with quite a heavy bang.
The vibration from this probably causes damage to the IS units mounting, which eventually fails the IS unit.

I always make sure I have a small amount of tension on the locking ring now, so
if I forget, the lens tube will only slide forward gently.
 

CT

TPer Emeritus
Messages
28,411
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
stepheno said:
Appreciate your comments, guys. One other thing that concerns me is using it hand-held. With my 70-300 I just sling it over my shoulder, no problem, but....is the camera/lens mount strong enough to support the lens or would I have to continually hold the lens - even when just carrying it? If you know what I mean.

regards
I think you'd be wise to do that anyway - I do. The actual camera lens mount will vary in the strength of reinforcement around the lens opening, depending on model, with pro spec cameras being able to take more abuse, but there's a limit, so with heavier/longer lenses, I always err on the side of caution.
 

CT

TPer Emeritus
Messages
28,411
Edit My Images
Yes
#10
Matt said:
I think it might have something to do with the push-pull part of the lens.
If you forget to add a bit of tension on the locking ring (used to hold it at your choice of zoom), then slope the camera body so the lens faces down.
The lens outer tube shoots forward and stops with quite a heavy bang.
The vibration from this probably causes damage to the IS units mounting, which eventually fails the IS unit.

I always make sure I have a small amount of tension on the locking ring now, so
if I forget, the lens tube will only slide forward gently.
Now that makes a lot of sense. :)
 
Messages
805
Edit My Images
No
#12
I've been using the 100-400L IS for 2 years now, here are some of my comments.

The lens is superb optically, it is even sharp at 400mm F5.6 and improving a bit more when stopping down to F8 - F11.
Before I bought the lens I had reservations about the push/pull zoom design but it works very well, sure saves the wrists having to twist all day :)

I haven't had any problems with dust, the end chamber is sealed just like any other lens so it will only 'pump' dust that is already in the mirror/sensor area. Take the usual precautions when changing lenses and you will be fine.


stepheno said:
One other thing that concerns me is using it hand-held. With my 70-300 I just sling it over my shoulder, no problem, but....is the camera/lens mount strong enough to support the lens or would I have to continually hold the lens - even when just carrying it?
I carry the camera and lens in exactly the same way and haven't had any problems with the lens or the mount. I've even ran a couple of times with it slung over my shoulder and it's survived.


Matt said:
will tell you about its fault.
They are prone to the IS failing.
The cost of the part is £80 approx, plus labour charges.
If you can take out extra warranty cover, think about it seriously.
Mine failed bang on 13 months, but was still repaired under warranty.
My IS system also failed after 13 months but was repaired under warranty with a cost of £180. The problem also affects the 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens so it seems to me as though it's an IS problem rather than len related.

It failed last May and I've taken some 3000 images with it since so fingers crossed it won't fail again.

Overall though it's a lens I would definitely recommend and if I was in the market now for a super telephoto then I would buy it again.


digitalfailure said:
I think you should take a look at SDK's images from Oulton Park, he used the lens your after and the bike images are class!
Thanks for the mention :)
If anyone missed the link and would like to check the photo then visit my Website
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#13
Much appreciated SDK^ - it's good to here first hand from people who own them.

regards
 

RobertP

TPer Emeritus
Messages
14,453
Name
Robert
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
SDK^ said:
I haven't had any problems with dust, the end chamber is sealed just like any other lens so it will only 'pump' dust that is already in the mirror/sensor area. Take the usual precautions when changing lenses and you will be fine.
Just for balance - I am in the dust pump camp and have to disagree about the sealed back.

If you hold the back of the lens near your eye and operate the push pull zoom you can feel the air gushing out the back - which would be the inside of the camera body.

I always get fresh dust on the sensor after using the 100-400. That does not bother me in the least as it will mostly come off on its own or be invisible at normal f stops. I don't worry over sensor cleaning as it is quick and easy anyway.

And I too would buy it again if I didn't already have it :)
 
Messages
805
Edit My Images
No
#15
RobertP said:
Just for balance - I am in the dust pump camp and have to disagree about the sealed back.

If you hold the back of the lens near your eye and operate the push pull zoom you can feel the air gushing out the back - which would be the inside of the camera body.
Yup you will feel the air but like you said, it's only going to push air around that is already inside the camera. It's not like it's sucking air from the outside and sending it straight to the sensor.

Also, there are loads of other lenses where the rear element moves back and forth just like the 100-400 L.
i.e. The Canon 17-40L is just the same - Twist the zoom and the rear element 'pumps' air out.
 

dod

Droopy
Staff member
Messages
26,041
Name
Ebenezer McScrooge III
Edit My Images
Yes
#17
no dust here either
 

dod

Droopy
Staff member
Messages
26,041
Name
Ebenezer McScrooge III
Edit My Images
Yes
#19
stepheno said:
Well you're not much help....I'm need reasons not to spend 900 odd smackeroonies :puke: but it's not working(y)

regards
LOL, OK, don't get it, it takes 77mm filters :LOL:

















But you can get them cheap ;)
 
Messages
4,136
Name
Tim
Edit My Images
No
#20
stepheno said:
I'm need reasons not to spend 900 odd smackeroonies :puke:

regards

Here is a reason stepheno...:nuts:

Get yourself a prime..:LOL:

No dust sucking with these beauties..:D


 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#21
I thought we'd had April 1st.....but seriously, BB, I do need up to 400mm and I can't afford a prime, never mind a wheelbarrow as well :puke:

regards
 
Messages
4,136
Name
Tim
Edit My Images
No
#22
stepheno said:
I thought we'd had April 1st.....but seriously, BB, I do need up to 400mm and I can't afford a prime, never mind a wheelbarrow as well :puke:

regards

:LOL:

Can't I either offer you a cheaper 400mm prime than the zoom you are interested in..:eek:
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#23
Yes - I can be interested but....the 400 prime is only 5.6. I know one stop is not much but also I don't want to miss shots by not neing able to zoom back. For example, I shoot a lot of soccer and the 400 prime would be great if the play was always in the same spot, but it isn't. Know what I mean?

I'm willing to consider all options though.

regards
 
Messages
805
Edit My Images
No
#24
The 400mm F5.6 also doesn't have IS :(
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#25
At the moment I'm getting excellent shots from my 70-300 IS, just need that extra 100mm. As you say SDK^ the IS makes it a no-brainer to me.

regards
 
Messages
212
Edit My Images
Yes
#26
stepheno said:
At the moment I'm getting excellent shots from my 70-300 IS, just need that extra 100mm. As you say SDK^ the IS makes it a no-brainer to me.

regards
Sorry, slightly OT but what do you think about the 70-300mm IS? I'm seriously considering buying one, and was wondering if it was worth the extra £200 over the new sigma 70-300 APO Macro.
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#27
Hi Kate - I did a mini-review for it a while back, you can find it here. But, in a nutshell, it's a superb lens and excellent value. It's AF is very good in low light if you up the ISO and the IS is awesome. They're as rare as hens teeth at the moment and I have since added a lens hood (should come bundled :shake: ). I'm not knocking the Sigma but you'll have lens shake problems if you don't use a tripod and £200 more is well worth it. Recommended.

PS - what camera would you use it on?

regards
 
Messages
1,282
Edit My Images
Yes
#28
Just to throw a small spanner in the works. Have you looked at the Sigma 80-400mm OS, DG, EX? I've got one of these and I'm happy with it although it's a bit heavy and it's big downfull against the Canon 100-400 is that it has no HSM/USM, so the old AF is a tad noisey to say the least, I've also found that when the OS is switched on it's also a little noisey. Having said all that I can live with the noise as the results that I've had so far with it are more than ok in fact they're very good, plus it's a little kinder on the spending power :LOL:

Here's a couple of test shots taken from my garden




I hope this is of some help to you.
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#29
Many thanks Davey, I'll look into that. As said I'll consider every/anything as long as I choose right in the end (y)

regards
 
Messages
451
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
Yes
#30
I'd love a 100-400 too, I have the 70-300 IS USM at the moment, if i got the 100-400 should i get rid of the 70-300? (the other lenses i have are in my sig)

Also is there anything that goes up to 600mm? :)
 
Messages
805
Edit My Images
No
#31
AquilaEagle said:
Also is there anything that goes up to 600mm? :)
Canon make a 600mm Prime but it's really expensive and very heavy.
Sigma make a 300-800mm F5.6 but again it's quite expensive, very big and very, very heavy.

Any zoom over 400mm requires a strong Monopod or Tripod
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#32
Hi again, if I buy the 100-400 I will sell my 70-300, but I also have a Tamron 18-200 and 50mm 1.8 which covers all my other options. In your case you would have a short gap between 85 and 100 but I don't think it's a problem.

regards
 
Messages
659
Edit My Images
Yes
#34
Have you considered the EF300mm f4.0 L IS prime and Canons 1.4TC ?

Since buying the above I use my 100-400L about 25% of the time and the prime 75%.

The prime plus TC gives me 420mm @f/5.6 and noticeably sharper and more contrasty than the zoom.
It's also lighter than the zoom.
If you absolutely need the flexibility of the zoom then go for it, you won't be disappointed.
It's a fine performer.
 
OP
OP
S

stepheno

Guest
#35
Garnock said:
If you absolutely need the flexibility of the zoom then go for it, you won't be disappointed. It's a fine performer.
Thanks Cameron, I do need that flexibility.

regards
 
Messages
450
Edit My Images
No
#36
...And another 100-400L IS owner here.

I picked up mine 2-3 months ago second-hand and have been extreamly happy with it.

My experiences echo much that has allready been written but I'll go through them anyway...

* Can get a bit heavy on a long day's shooting, you will notice it if your used to the 70-300, it will feel a bit more awkward at first aswell.

* I was quite comfortable using the push-pull design straight away, it now feels like second nature to use... I menton this as many say they don't like using the push-pull at first, if your like this don't worry, you'll come around. ;)

* I have not had any more dust than I have had before this lens, yes I do get the odd bit of dust on the sensor, but no more than when I was using the Tamron on it's own, or with the Sigma (see sig, if it shows up).

* You do need to have pretty good light to start to get the best from it. If your son plays many games at night look at getting something else, the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 mentioned (and a x1.4 teleconverter) would be a good choice IMO.

* Very good quality optics, you should notice a nice difference moving up from the 70-300.

Lastly, here's a pic taken at the weekend at a small horse show at 400mm. (PM me and I'll email you the original if you would like to see it in more detail).

 
Messages
212
Edit My Images
Yes
#37
stepheno said:
Hi Kate - I did a mini-review for it a while back, you can find it here. But, in a nutshell, it's a superb lens and excellent value. It's AF is very good in low light if you up the ISO and the IS is awesome. They're as rare as hens teeth at the moment and I have since added a lens hood (should come bundled :shake: ). I'm not knocking the Sigma but you'll have lens shake problems if you don't use a tripod and £200 more is well worth it. Recommended.

PS - what camera would you use it on?

regards
Great, thanks for that and thanks for the link. I'd be using it on a Canon EOS 300D with the possibility of upgrading to a 20/30D if I ever lay my hands on the cash :)
 
Messages
451
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
Yes
#38
Sonsey how much did you pick up second hand for? and is there anything specific to look for when buying this second hand? :)
 
Messages
450
Edit My Images
No
#39
I got extreamly lucky and found a guy (on another forum :cautious: ) who didn't like using fleabay and was wanting to sell a mint copy not long after Christmas, nobody was interested so he lowered the price to £750 to shift it, I offered £730 inc. p&p (all I could afford at the time) and he took it!!... I still can't believe I got one for that price :woot:

Unfortunately for hopeful buyers they do seem to hold their value very well, expect to pay over £800 on ebay 2nd hand, over £900 imported new and around £1100 buying new here at home.

It's no different buying one 2nd hand than any other lens, find and read as many "Owner's views" as you can, I found that the IS motor can go on this model, and that the same motor is also prone to getting slightly noisey (weather the noise is the start of the motor letting go is not known, some have been noisy for at least a year and still not breaking). I also ask for a couple of shot's taken with the actual lens including one wide open at the limit of the zoom (some say their 100-400L is slightly soft at 400mm, mine seemed fine). That's about it I believe (along with general age and condition of course).

Hope this helps a bit...
 
Messages
99
Edit My Images
No
#40
I have a 100-400 and after some time using the Zoom I like it. Its a little heavy and when I use 2x extender on it, you lose the Auto focas and a couple of F stops. But i love this lens for sports wildlife etc. Its expensive, but well worth it. Good look in Your Decision
 
Top