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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-11-2017

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

Coming late to this party, but just wanted to say my experience is similar to ebiggs' with the 100-400mm f4.505.6L IS USM. I bought a used copy about three months ago and use it with my 80d, primarily for wildlife and outdoor high school sports. IT is a GREAT lens. The push pull zoom takes some getting used to, but now I actually find it just as fast if not faster than a twist zoom. With the 80d, this lens is tack sharp at f8 at all focal lengths, it's reasonably sharp wide open but gets a little soft at the long end of the zoom range.  The real trick with this lens is learning how to hold it to minimize shake - when you're zoomed in to 350-400mm, even a small tremor is magnified in your image results. Using a high shutter speed helps a lot (for sports I typically shoot at 1/2000 or 1/2500), but have to watch to make sure ISO doesnt get too high or your image will be noisy. In sunny settings, stopped down to f8 or so, I've found this to be a spectacularly sharp lens, and a bargain, as I got a barely used copy for about a third of what the Mark II version goes for.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,188
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

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

I just used mine on Sunday (I took all 3 of my push / pull lenses) after being asked to photograph drone racing which was a new venue for me. After some testing I determined AF was of no use so I decided to focus on a zone, turn the AF off AND lock the lens to a fixed focal length with the friction ring. Worked perfectly. No worries about lens creep causing OOF shots.  

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-30-2017

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

I really appreciate all the comments. What I’ve learned — I’m new at this game of longer lenses — is how critical it is to keep the equipment rock steady. A mosquito landing on the lens as the shutter is released will cause you to hit delete. I need to buy a monopod.

Another point you guys have helped me with is aperture. I was shooting wide open, which gave me no dof breathing room. My problem, now, is what to do? I need fast shutter speeds (trying to freeze a baseball), and low enough ISO to produce decent enlargements: 8x10, 11x14.

I probably need a $10,000 lens...
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,607
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

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

One trick to hand holding a long lens, which works well with primes, is to have your right hand on the camera body, and your left hand near the far end of the lens, instead of near the camera mount.

 

You can get a steadier grip by increasing the distance between your hands.  One hand on the body, and one on or near the lens hood.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-11-2017

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

That lens should do great at freezing the action at a baseball game (unless it's a night game or you're shooting in dark shadow areas). Did you say earlier you're using the 'sport' setting on the camera? I've gotten very good results with that lens on an 80d shooting manual, with AI Servo autofocus, center focus point selected, shutter speeds in the 1/2000 - 1/4000 range (depending on the action I'm trying to freeze and the available light), aperture at f8 (and sometimes wide open if it's cloudy or the athletes are in shadow), ISO on auto. I'll adjust the shutter speed if I notice ISO creeping up above 1600 - images above that are noticeably noisier, which often can be corrected in post but still aren't as sharp as images taken with lower ISO.  

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,607
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

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


JA_199 wrote:

That lens should do great at freezing the action at a baseball game (unless it's a night game or you're shooting in dark shadow areas). Did you say earlier you're using the 'sport' setting on the camera? I've gotten very good results with that lens on an 80d shooting manual, with AI Servo autofocus, center focus point selected, shutter speeds in the 1/2000 - 1/4000 range (depending on the action I'm trying to freeze and the available light), aperture at f8 (and sometimes wide open if it's cloudy or the athletes are in shadow), ISO on auto. I'll adjust the shutter speed if I notice ISO creeping up above 1600 - images above that are noticeably noisier, which often can be corrected in post but still aren't as sharp as images taken with lower ISO.  


The AF system in the 80D is quite capable of action photography, most especially when you enable AF assist points.   You want all of the AF points enabled, or just a group of points.  But, you can let camera select the initial AF point, or you can direct the camera to always begin tracking with your selected AF point, like the center AF point.  If it is set right, you can see multiple AF points light up as a subject moves through the angle of view.

 

I frequently shoot in Manual with Auto ISO, too.  The 80D has very good noise performance, when compared to other APS-C sensor camera bodies.  Of course, how much is acceptable noise is a matter of personal opinion.  If you are pixel peeping, you can begin to see noise creeping in above ISO 1600.  I would still shoot at 3200, though.  The tighter the shot, the more noticeable the noise.  So, when ISO starts to hit 3200 and 6400, I do not shoot very tight closeups.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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