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Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-11-2015
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EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Just acquired an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens.  Is there anyone in this Canon community that can offer any dos or don'ts about this lens.  Any information would be helpful.  Thanks.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,148
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

I'll assume you mean the push pull version but in general this applies to both it & the new one. Use mode 1 IS for stationary subjects & mode 2 for panning. Use the limiter switch to speed up AF response on things that are further away & REMEMBER to re set when shooting things inside the far setting's range limit the switch controls. If you haven't used a long lens before keep shutter speeds high until you develop good technique. 

If it is the push pull version don't overtighten the ring that locks / applies the tension to the zoom barrel.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-11-2015

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Yes, it's the push/pull version. All good points that you mention. Thank you.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,148
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

I've been shooting that one for about 8 years. Took a while to get used to push pull but now that I have I'm happy to say it helps with my technique because my left hand is further out than it would be with a twist zoom. One thing to warn you about is that lens DOES NOT seem to like having a protective filter on it. Most feel that using one softens the images. Rely on the lens hood for protection.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,910
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

[ Edited ]

I have not had my EF 100-400mm for eight years but I have had it for a long time.  I traded a EF 400mm f5.6 prime for mine. There is no doubt the 400mm prime is sharper but it lacks IS.  For me this makes the 100-400mm much better in my hands.  This lens is softer than the prime and it is one of the few I don't put a protect filter on either.

 

My main most use is in a dark auditorium shooting stage shows from the sound both. Of course in this case the prime can't zoom.  I use a heavy Manfrotto tripod with a gimbal head,  The lens does a fantastic job.

 

Lastely don't read or pay any attention about the push-pull design being anything but good.  Thoes folks simply don't know of what they speak.  All zoom lenses "zoom".  Whether by twisting or pushing, they all zoom!

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,500
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


ebiggs1 wrote:

Lastely don't read or pay any attention about the push-pull design being anything but good.  Thoes folks simply don't know of what they speak.  All zoom lenses "zoom".  Whether by twisting or pushing, they all zoom!


I think it's fair to say that some people can get used to a push-pull lens and others can't. I probably couldn't, but that's just me. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,910
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

The new Sigma 150-600mm Sport is either or.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎01-04-2013

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Regarding the warnings about not using a protective filter on the 100-400 zoom, I do not understand this.  Unless the filter is of poor optical quality, there should be no optical imaging effect.  And why should such a filter make more of a difference on this zoom?

 

I use my 100-400 zoom regularly, and the biggest variable in getting sharp images, for me, seems to be technique plus some limitations of my 60D (perhaps).

 

Ed

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,910
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Ed.

A couple things, I got my 100-400mm way, way back so I have used it a lot.  It has marginal  IQ which is really OK until you actually compare it to other similar lenses.  This means by itself it is good but any addition can have undesirable results.

 

Don't get me wrong as I have some pretty darn good bird pictures with mine.  However any time you add anything to the light path you degrade it. True for any lens not just the 100-400mm.

 

The most common problem is ghosting or flare caused by light bouncing off the filter. 75% of the time the filter will do no harm and I use them on almost all of my glass.  I do use B+W or lens brand filters.  Only high quality and less prone to cause problem.

 

Folks seem to have a problem removing the filter when conditiions arise that warrant it's removal.  It does come off as easily as it went on!  I don't have a filter on my 1000-400mm and I don't recommend you do either. But in the grand scheme of things it will not cause the end of the world if you do.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎08-01-2014

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

[ Edited ]

I think it possible that there may be different batches of lenses in these old generation products.  Had my 100-400 for over 4 years and find it to be sharper than my 24-105L.  Hate the push/pull barrel though, I find it very cumbersome and lacks fine control.  Sure, if you're lucky to get the perfect tension adjustment it's better, but then the adjustment has to be moved to avoid creep if hiking through the forest.  Mine has some German filter on it that I can't remember the name of right now, super thin and doesn't appear to have any real effect on the IQ - and I've cropped my shots hard core for birds and such.  Aforementioned suggestions all good, not much more to say on this lens - very simple.  One last noteable, I've heard this lens referred to as an "air-pump" before, due to internal volume of air moved while zooming.  This air-pump effect is presumed to be harsh for dust on the sensor.  No special solutions I'd imagine, just be active about keeping dust out of the inside of the lens/body.  The lens is "Sealed", however the air has to move in and out of somewhere - or else the lens wouldn't move.  Enjoy the lens and don't be scared to crop, it may be crude by construction but the optics are fantastic in mine.

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