Canon EF 100-400mm L question

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Colin
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I have read many post about the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM vs. the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM. After careful consideration I decided that the zoom lens would be more versatile for what I was hoping to shoot (wildlife & sports in good light). Recently I have read a few posts from people who have bought the 100 – 400mm and feel that they have got a soft copy, i.e. soft at 400mm wide open. This concerns me as I was going to buy the lens on holiday in America and while I will use the lens when on holiday I will not have my laptop with me so it will be difficult to tell if I have a good copy or not.

So to sum up I guess my questions are,

1. Should I be worried about buying a “soft” copy of the 100 – 400 L
2. If on returning home to the UK if I think it is soft what can I do? i.e., repair by Canon UK
3. Would I be better buying the 400mm f5.6 prime

Any advice would be great,
 

RobertP

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Robert
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Assuming you are either honest or get caught how much will you be paying for the lens in USA with VAT? (someone correct me if you don't pay VAT when returning with such a purchase)

1. My copy is fine but I've never posted before to say there is nothing wrong with it ;) .

2. Lens warranties are international.

3. Only you know that one.
 
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Primes will almost always be sharper than a zoom - because its optimized for that precise range and doesnt have to adjust for others. The fixed focal length however brings it into direct conflict with the main pro of a zoom, its flexibility in covering usually a pretty wide range.

Dont buy a lens expecting to pay for repairs to bring it up to scratch - thats a false economy that would probably blow your saving in the first place.

As for being worried about buying a soft copy its the same risk as when you buy any lens, although any half decent store should allow you to take a few test pics on one of their bodies and will probably have a PC to hand that you can ues to preview your shots.
 

dod

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Ebenezer McScrooge III
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1. Possibly, there do sem to be some reports of the 100-400 being soft at 400, can't say I've ever found that though
2. Yes
3. The 100-400 is a lot more versatile than the 400 prime. I've never used the prime but would suspect it's a bit sharper.

whitewash said:
theres a second hand version of this lens in the FS section if thats of any use to you
Shhhhhhhhhhhh :nono: ;)
 
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It's possible to get a soft verison of any lens but Canon seem to be in the lower percentage comapred to other lens makers.

I got mine form HK and it was perfect.

If you're still worried buy a second hand copy that has been tried and tested :)
 
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the overwhelming evidence suggests that you'd been frightening unlucky to receive a 'soft' lens but given warranty is international you should be ok, mine is 2nd hand and pretty sharp. as for whether the 400mm is better over the 100-400...can't really say but personally I have found shooting sport it helps to have the ability to draw back occasionally as well as having the close zoom 400 gives you.
as mentioned, only you can decide whether a fixed focal length is right for you over a zoom though.
 
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weeman said:
I have read many post about the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM vs. the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM. After careful consideration I decided that the zoom lens would be more versatile for what I was hoping to shoot (wildlife & sports in good light). Recently I have read a few posts from people who have bought the 100 – 400mm and feel that they have got a soft copy, i.e. soft at 400mm wide open. This concerns me as I was going to buy the lens on holiday in America and while I will use the lens when on holiday I will not have my laptop with me so it will be difficult to tell if I have a good copy or not.

So to sum up I guess my questions are,

1. Should I be worried about buying a “soft” copy of the 100 – 400 L
2. If on returning home to the UK if I think it is soft what can I do? i.e., repair by Canon UK
3. Would I be better buying the 400mm f5.6 prime

Any advice would be great,
Rent both for a week from Calumet then decide (y)
 
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walk in, say 'i'd like to hire a lens from you', pay some money to hire the lens, walk out with the lens...I'd imagine its simple as that.
 
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i fancy a go at this. saw there was a bristol branch and their prices aren't massive so might have to have a go :)
 

Arkady

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Nikon are pretty good like that as well. Ring them up and say "I need to borrow a......please" and they say: "Yes" - you go and collect it, use it then bring it back afterwards.
Never had to pay yet.

You have to be a registered Pro User though... easy enough to do - just own a pro-spec camera and register it with Nikon.
 

CT

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Arkady said:
Nikon are pretty good like that as well. Ring them up and say "I need to borrow a......please" and they say: "Yes" - you go and collect it, use it then bring it back afterwards.
Never had to pay yet.

You have to be a registered Pro User though... easy enough to do - just own a pro-spec camera and register it with Nikon.
That's pretty good then, I think Canon want you to own 2 pro spec bodies and a set number of 'L' lenses before you can register.
 
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CT said:
That's pretty good then, I think Canon want you to own 2 pro spec bodies and a set number of 'L' lenses before you can register.
That's correct!

Only reason I now keep my 20D instead of selling it, to keep in with Canon Pro Services.

Carl.
 
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weeman
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Colin
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Just to let you know I have bought a Canon EF 100-400mm L from Kerso.
Not had much time to play with it yet but I am pleased with the results so far. ;)
 

CT

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Congrats. I don't think you'll have cause for any regrets at all. (y)
 
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