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Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
 There have been discussions lately about lens choices for Canon cameras.  Here are a few shots I took with my new 100-400 f4.5-5.6, to give you an idea of the quality of the lens.  First real trial of the lens.  Keep in mind, these are taken by a new photography enthusiast, but by no means a great photographer.  

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post #2 of 11
god times :)
post #3 of 11
Nice shots! Where were they taken?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
 Thanks Fox.  I took a quick jaunt over to Africa to give the new lens a thorough testing.  Not really ,,, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo here in Colorado Springs.  Really nice zoo for photographs.  The lion shot was taken through plexiglass, that's why it's a bit hazy.  I was surprised to discover I actually like the effect.  

What a fun lens.  When I loaded the pics and displayed them on my 30 inch Apple monitor, I was blown away by the sharpness, color and bokeh.  As I'm sure you photography buffs know, Internet formating doesn't do them justice.  
post #5 of 11
Rick:

Those images look great! What was your focal length and f-stop on photo no. 2? Also, in photo no. 4, is that at f/5.6 at 400mm? One more thing, I forgot, are you on a x1.6, x1.3 or a full-frame Canon body? I still haven't bought my 300mm f/4.0 yet. Your shots may have just convinced me to go with the Nikon 80mm-400mm f/4.5-f/5.6 VR instead.
post #6 of 11
 Great pics!

I like my canon 18-55 EFS with the rebel (about 6 years old) - recent pict though.  No... not my cat, a lost 3 month old kitty that found a home since.  I was right in front of him.  B&Wcat.jpgh the
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post

Rick:

Those images look great! What was your focal length and f-stop on photo no. 2? Also, in photo no. 4, is that at f/5.6 at 400mm? One more thing, I forgot, are you on a x1.6, x1.3 or a full-frame Canon body? I still haven't bought my 300mm f/4.0 yet. Your shots may have just convinced me to go with the Nikon 80mm-400mm f/4.5-f/5.6 VR instead.

 

Thanks, Studio!  The lens gets the credit, I'm just a beginner.  I'd love to see what you'd do with it.  Both photos 2 and 3 are at 400mm, f5.6.  Photo 4 is at 320mm, f5.6.  All the shots are taken freehand, I didn't even bring a tripod with me.  When I was researching the lens I read many comments complaining about the weight of it, but I lugged the thing around for about 3 hours that day and it didn't bother me a bit.  I'm sure for more slight photographers it would be a definite issue.  It sure is an attention grabber, lots of comments and pointing. My camera is a canon 40d with a 1.6 crop.  

I really love having the extra reach this lens gives me, and found myself using it all often.  Check this photo out.  It's of Will Rogers' Shrine.  It sits way up high, on the side of Cheyenne Mountain, above Colorado Springs.  I noticed it while sitting in my car, looking up at the mountain.  To my eye it looked to be the size of a little blip, but I thought I'd see how much the lens would enlarge it, so I pulled the camera out of the bag, opened the car window,  and took an awkward freehand shot of it.  400mm at f5.6

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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Nat, really nice shot of that handsome kitty!   I have that same lens, and like it a lot.  For such a reasonably priced lens it does a great job.  
post #9 of 11

Darn you, Rick! I did it . . . I just, "pulled the trigger."

 

I finally talked myself out of that $1,369 Nikkor 300mm f/4.0 AF-S I had my sights so dearly set on, and, instead, ordered a refurbished Nikkor 80mm-400mm f/4.5-f/5.6 VR zoom from Adorama for $1,099. I usually buy from B+H Photo, but the nikonrumors site gave me a head's up on Adorama's refurbished Nikon inventory. Every used Nikkor 80mm-400mm f/4.5-f/5.6 VR lens I've been tracking on Ebay eventually got bid up to $1,000 anyway, so I figured $1,099 for "Nikon factory refurbished" was a decent buy (compared to B+H's "import" price of $1,499 for brand new). Damn, that was a difficult decision! Well, there goes my speedy, more-bokeh-ish, "4.0," 300mm! I know, more millimeters, more-better. More reach-ey, more stealth-ey . . . I guess in the end, "reach," won out!

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Now, see what you made me do? (It's all your fault!).


Edited by studio460 - 5/8/10 at 5:40am
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Congrats, Studio!  If the nikon version is comparable to my canon, I'm sure you'll love it.  At least I hope you do, as now I feel the burden of responsibility.      Yeah, you're going to appreciate that extra 100mm.  So often I have it maxed out, or close to it, when using mine.  And from what I've read about the refurb lenses, they're generally top notch, so you got a great deal.  Enjoy!  I hope you'll share some of your shots.  

post #11 of 11

Thanks, Rick!

 

Canon's 100-400mm USM beats Nikon's VR-only version:

 

Unfortunately, the Nikon equivalent is the lesser version to your USM-equipped, IS Canon lens. Read: S-L-O-W auto-focus. Unfortunately, the non-'S' Nikkor 80mm-400mm VR likely won't be fast enough to catch you big-time GSers flying down the slopes at full-tilt (maybe, if I'm lucky, and, if I pre-focus), but I'm excited to take some artsy tele-zoom shots with my new 400mm lens (I get it Thursday!). I drove myself crazy choosing this lens. I wanted more millimeters, and every other reasonable alternative was in the $6,000 range. Don't worry, I know what I bought into, so I won't blame you for my pokey AF!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick View Post

Yeah, you're going to appreciate that extra 100mm.  So often I have it maxed out, or close to it, when using mine . . .

  

 

Length over Speed:

 

Yes, I believe I will . . . in the end, I decided that I definitely wanted "longer," and I'm happy that I finally decided on length over speed (i.e., the 400mm f/5.6 over the 300mm f/4.0). However, the fact that you almost NEVER see used Nikkor 300mm f/4.0 lenses for sale, tells you something--people LOVE this lens. Fast, sharp, fairly long, and still sharp, even with a x1.4 teleconveter attached, giving you a 420mm f/5.6 lens. That's why the fixed-focal length, 300mm f/4.0 has been so tempting. But, I pretty much settled on the fact that I bought the 80mm-400mm zoom really for use as an affordable, f/5.6, 400mm lens, and will likely be shooting at the very tele-end of this lens, 99% of the time.

 

I really wanted this length to shoot more "stealthy" street candids, and even considered the Sigma 150mm-500mm f/5.0-f/6.3 HSM OS lens (which is only one-third of a stop slower) which sells for only $999, new. But a plethora of contradictory online reviews scared me away from that choice (for now), but I still may go that route, since Adorama probably has a pretty liberal return policy.

 

If you look at the Nikkor line-up, there really isn't an affordable alternative at 400mm or longer. Anything at the shorter end of this zoom's overly large range will be better-served by shorter, faster, fixed-focal length lenses that I already own: 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 180mm f/2.8, or my big, heavy, non-VR, 70mm-200mm f/2.8. So, at least for my purposes, the entire 80mm-200mm optical range on my new 80-400MM VR zoom is pretty much "wasted."

 

New Nikkor Teles for 2010:

 

Other lenses I'm looking forward to seeing . . . if the new, much-rumored (so far, vapor-ware), Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AF-S lens ever becomes a reality--I'll so be there. I already own the 85mm f/1.8, but always wanted that speedy f/1.4. I was with a photographer friend of mine last year where we were both backstage at fashion week in Los Angeles, and he had his 85mm f/1.4 on, and . . . oh . . . my . . . God. He was taking the most beautiful available-light images (in almost no light) of some of the prettiest models I had ever seen in my life--all of them undressing right in front of us, just 20 feet away.

 

Umm . . . where was I? Oh yeah, there also continues to be persistant rumors about a "new" version of the "really-showing-its-age-now," Nikkor 80-400mm VR with AF-S, but that may be more smoke that reality. If Nikon does produce a new, much hoped-for, but completely unconfirmed, 80-400mm replacement (e.g., 100-500mm f/5.6 or f/6.3), it will likely be far pricier than the $1,500 street price of the current non-AF-S, 80-400mm VR zoom (some say, between $2,000-$3,000). If, it even happens. Oh well, 80-400mm ain't bad on a DX-Nikon body, with its 600mm-equivalent focal length, all for about $1.5K. Especially when considering that the Nikkor 200-400mm f/4.0 sells for about $6,000.

 


Edited by studio460 - 5/14/10 at 4:36am
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