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

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

"I've heard this lens referred to as an "air-pump" before, due to internal volume of air moved while zooming."

 

All zoom lenses "zoom".  It doesn't matter if you twist it or you push/pull it.  Air has to go in and go out.  The 'air pump' nickname was probably put on by a keyboard jockey more than a guy that really uses the lens and actually takes pictures.

 

I don't know, but I doubt there ar different versions of the lens but it is certainly true you can get better copies and not so 'better' copies.  But this is true of all lenses as they have manufacturing tolerance just like most items.

 

You know the new Sigma 150-600mm Sport, everybody is raving about, is push/pull or twist on the same lens. Hmmmmm....?

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,148
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

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

A friend demonstrated the new 100-400 using push pull too. Didn't seem to take much effort but until I get to play with one (someone elses) I'm still very happy with what I have. ANY lens which changes length to zoom or focus has to move air in & out. They aren't vacuum sealed.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎08-01-2014

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

I too have seen tests on the new Sigma, and I think there is more in the aftermarket that may have just come out.  There is a lot of positive talk about them, sadly I'm sort of always committed (justified or not) to brand name. 

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

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

The sigma has my interest but it's 50% heavier than the 28-300 L IS & that's a mighty heavy lens after 6 hours on the flight line. I have to be able to hand hold PLUS survive the day.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-30-2017

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

Brand new member tonight, hello everybody.

Just bought a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens (not a II) from 42nd St Photo (yeah, NOW I know, big mistake buying from them). I have been incredibly dissapointed with the lens' inability to produce sharp images thru my SL1.  I am an amateur photographer who was looking for a lens to handle high school outdoor sports and wildlife.

 

At first, I shot all in RAW for greater editing ability, but read some posts (other forums) that explained why RAW might look softer. (I hate the word "soft!"  Nothing soft about it...it's just not the sharp, crisp image I expected for $1250.)

 

Now I shoot in jpg.  Yes, a little better comparing the two, unedited formats, but my kit zoom produces far sharper images.  My subjective test jpg to jpg was to hit just the first level of zoom with Windows built-in photo editor (200%?).  I expected an enlargement of superb quality with the 100-400.

 

I've gone into the camera and upped sharpness from 0 to 7 (max).  I have no idea if that should have done anything or not.

 

I've read some users raving over this lens.  I wish I could.  That was a huge chunk of change out of my budget.  I'd sell it back for half of what I paid.

 

Any ideas on what I might be doing to not get great IQ?

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

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

Too many variables to just pick one that will cure your problems. 200% for 1 is wrong & will pretty much always look soft or fuzzy. Long lenses have a learning curve because everything is magnified that much more. What shutter speeds are you using? Until you get your technique mastered you need higher shutter speeds & you want to avoid shooting wide open too. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-30-2017

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

Thanks for the reply.

200% was a guess. It's the first level of enlargement when clicking "zoom" in the Windows software. Now that I think about it, being the first level with a slider that'll go a lot farther to the right, it's probably more like 25%.

For many shots, I used the SL1's sport setting. It fired the shutter at 1/1000 or faster. No shots were taken full out zoom; most 100-200. f stops 5.0 and 5.6.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,148
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

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

Those F stops are the wide open f stop for that zoom length. That means you have a very shallow depth of field (area front to rear that's in focus) The closer you are to the target the shallower that zone becomes. I've shot tens of thousands of action photos with ver 1 of the 100-400 and at lower than desirable shutter speeds but as I have said there is a learning curve.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎08-01-2014

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

Very strange, either your interpretation of the lenses performance is off due to conditions or there is something wrong with the lens.  I absolutely love my example of the lens, and sometimes I swear it is able to take sharper images than my 24-105 f4L.  Approaching 300mm and up it gets really hard to hand hold due to obvious reasons, maybe you've got some shake going on.  I also find the tripod ring almost useless IMO, it seems to bounce around a lot with my 5d3.

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

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

A couple of things. Raw does not save the sharpness setting. Does not use it at all. So setting it to 7 or whatever has no effect. The reason some folks mistakenly say jpg are sharper is they are processed so the 7 setting will effect them. Raw must be processed in post editing.

 

Next the biggest issue with soft pictures with a tele is mis-focus.  The lens focused on something you didn't intend.

 

Also, not being able to hold the tele motionless while shooting.  Even IS has its limit to how much it can help. A SS of 1/500 should probably be the minimum for this lens. And, 1/1000 and up is even better.

 

Lastly almost no lens made is at its best wide open, low f-number.  Try keeping the big zoom in the f8 range.

 

If you would post a few samples of what you are concerned about it might help diagnose just what the issue is.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
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