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All Cameras >> Canon >> Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens Sample Photos

Marketed: 1998
Lens Mount: EF
Random Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Samples from 168071 available Photos more
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Gary Hall02-Jan-2012 15:23
I have had mine now for 5 years and it is the best lens in my stable of "L" glass lenses. I have used the 100-400 for a walk-around lens many, may times because it is that good. Tack sharp, but heavy when on my 5D and battery attachment. Still, it is very versatile, even with the f5.6 slowness. Obviously best in bright sunlight but the lens stabilization makes it easy to capture hand holding at a 30 sec.

It did take me some time to learn how to use it properly, but now I don't hesitate to pick it up before something else in the bag.
Guest 15-Dec-2009 19:11
Outstanding lens!
Almost every picture on my website are taken with it.
Take a look:
Jan Søgaard24-Aug-2009 12:02
I like to use this lens, it capture sharp pictures, but there are error on all things.
why dont you take a look. ?
Jon Bee13-Mar-2009 02:56
Well, I must have gotten the SOFTEST copy at 400mm that was ever produced, because my images are really weak at that zoom level. In fact I was just in Irvine, CA and dropped off the lens for calibration at 400mm. To be honest, at 100mm the lens is tack sharp, but at 400mm, it is as if I am shooting with a softening filter.

Oh, and to be clear, I shoot with a 1DS Mark II, and my images through a 16-35mm or a 24-70mm are tack sharp with good clarity. My particular 100-400mm is garbage, and I hope that Canon either fixes it or replaces it under warranty!!!
Guest 15-Sep-2008 23:01
Have it 2 weeks. Am impressed with clarity of shots, especially at 400mm. Exciting to use.
Guest 15-Sep-2008 23:00
Have it 2 weeks. Am impressed with clarity of shots, especially at 400mm. Exciting to use.
Devilgorgor11-May-2008 02:19
not a fast lens, get 200mm f2 VR/IS or F1.8L if you afford one.
Tim Rucci04-Oct-2007 14:25
The Canon 100-400L IS lens is a great all around lens for nature photography, especially for birds in flight. Many people hesitate to purchase this lens because of its push-pull zoom, but I can tell you that I love the zoom for quick action when out shooting birds. It allows you to very quicky adjust the zoom (and continue to adjust it) while the subject approaches). I find this much easier to use than the conventional zoom that requires rotating the lens barrel. For birds in flight, I typically acquire focus at a mid-zoom range and then zoom in closer for the shot. When doing this, it's easy to pull the zoom inward while firing as the bird approaches, to help keep it in the frame.

At f5.6, it's not the fastest lens, but it's plenty fast in outdoor light right up till sunset. I shot mostly with this lens for over 2 years until I purchased a 300 f2.8, and now I use both of them, depending on the situation. The 100-400 is suitable for sports shooting only if you are outdoors. It's too slow for any indoor venue. I photographed baseball with the 100-400 lots of times in good light with good results. But by the time lights come on in most stadiums, you will need something faster (with an f2.8 aperture or better).

For someone on a budget, the 100-400 blows the socks off any of the typical (black) zoom lenses. I used a Sigma 135-400 lens prior to getting the Canon, and while it is a nice lens and gave me some great shots, it lacks image stabilization, which also caused me to miss lots of shots. The image stabilization is very effective on the Canon 100-400 and this is its main advantage in addition to its superior optics and push-pull zoom. Compared to the Sigma, I felt like I couldn't miss with the Canon 100-400.

You can see many photos shot with the 100-400L lens as also with the 300 f2.8 in my pbase galleries here: The exif data is shown under all the photos.

I hope this information will be helpful to people considering this lens.
Tony Long28-May-2007 00:20
I just bought this lens a few days ago, because I need a lens for outdoors/wildlife that has better reach than my 70-300 and can be hand-held. I have a better quality telephoto lens, the 300 f/2.8 L, but it really for me has to be on a tripod and there are places where I go that packing and using a tripod just doesn't work for me and I bring a monopod instead.

Since I got this lens, I haven't made it out for a field test yet, but I've been testing and practicing with it around my home hand-held and with a monopod, and even though I've gotten some blur due to shaking at 400mm I still have gotten some good sharp shots. I have my camera at continuous shooting so I can pick from the best.

I've also been pushing the limits with this lens by attaching my 2X teleconverter. This lens won't do AF with the teleconverter so I'm practicing manually focusing at 400mmX2, which is a real challenge! Fortunately, the IS works, but, either hand-held or with a monopod, camera movement is pretty continuous and makes manual focus not so easy!

Well, 'nuff said -- any of you have feedback for me, drop me a line!

Guest 26-May-2007 02:21
I've been using a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 lens for about a year. I got a little tired of carrying a tripod around to shoot birds, so I went for this lens because of the zoom and the IS..The first copy was defective.Push/Pull got stuck at 135mm. Sent it back and got a replacement. After shooting at least 100 images with this lens, I have decided I am sending it back from whence it came. It has the worst bokeh I've ever seen. Truly ugly backgrounds.Unless you are lucky enough to be able to shoot nothing but birds against a blue sky.Also, this lens is not sharp at 400mm and seems very slow. I'm spoiled by the 400mm prime, for sure. There are a lot of people out there who love this lens. I came here to find something, anything to convince me to keep it.. I haven't.
Al Swanson02-Apr-2007 23:15
I've had this lens for about two months now and it's becoming my favorite lens. True, not for indoor portraits, but certainly for birds. Focuses fast and accurate. Not light by any stretch, but built like a tank. Great sharpness and contrast. Well worth the price and "L" designation.
Ron Wright15-Mar-2007 01:38
I've had this lens for two months now and I LOVE IT! It amazes me how sharp it is handheld at 400mm and aperture wide open at 5.6. It is quickly becoming my favorite lens.
Guest 09-Oct-2006 22:32
Great sports and nature lens. I love it. It has great focusing and quality. One of Canons great lenses.
Ben D. Mor01-Jun-2006 11:30
Wonderful lens! It's hard to believe what the stabilizer allows you to do at 400mm. Contrast, color, and sharpness are outstanding; there is little need for post-processing.
I have a gallery of pics taken with this lens here:
Ron Asp23-Feb-2006 15:42
I have just bought this lens and like it very much. When you match the lens with the camera there are a lot of settings that affect the quality of photos. Getting to know and working with the pair, you can only get better. There are so many setting using a Canon 20d, that it becomes a choice in what a photographer wants to create. Just like an artist. My biggest problem is trying to get the best equipment and not taking the time to really get to know what I have. Its not necessarily the equipment but the photographers creative knowledge that makes a photo outstanding. Having good equipment gives you the edge.
Guest 13-Dec-2005 14:20
It's two or three days that i'm lokking photos above.
I decided to sell my EF 300/4L and buy the EF 100-400/4.5-5.6 IS L because of the image stabilizer and the extended focal range.
I like the way this lens works.
I'll buy it, as soon as.
Guest 15-Nov-2005 12:24
Superb Lens
Guest 31-Oct-2005 01:03
I love using this lens! AWESOME!
Martin Trachsel13-Jul-2005 08:44
"Until I saw the above photos, I was ready to get a second job to pay for this lens. - I've changed my mind."

There's nothing like an informed decision ...
But maybe the pictures are worse than the lens? Postings on Pbase are made for many reasons, and technical perfection (focus, camera shake, subject movement etc.) is not the first one - but critical for long lens photography. Most members are amateurs like me, capable of trying to shoot moving subjects in less than perfect light with a long and slow lens:
For me an acceptable result, but not necessarily so for others. Sure, under such circumstances Canons 2.8/400 would do a better job, but for this I would have not only to find a second job, but also a better paid one. And I am not sure if I was willing to drag that monster along on my walks. Every lens is a compromise, and different peoples have different priorities.
Actually, I am looking for a cheap, short and light tele zoom for when I want to go light or unnoticed. But none of those currently available (Canon, Sigma, Tamron) can compete with the 4.5-5.6/100-400 L IS USM in picture quality (I can not afford the 70-300 DO IS and the 4/70-200L is too long and flashy). Is there anyone out there having an old Canon 3.5-4.5/50-200L idling around?
John Morris12-Jul-2005 00:26
Until I saw the above photos, I was ready to get a second job to pay
for this lens.

I've changed my mind.
Guest 20-Mar-2005 10:13
You are absolutely right Scott, I have purchased it a month ago and I carry it everywhere. It's what I needed it for animals shooting and or portraiture.
J. Scott Coile28-Dec-2004 21:04
This is a wonderful wildlife lens. With a two stage Image Stabilization (IS) it compensates well for average aperture range. It is incredibly useful for single lens use in adverse situations when lens changes could compromise DSLR sensor cleanliness. The push pull zoom design is a pleasure for some and a pain for others. I personally enjoy this design.

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