dPS Writer’s Favorite Lens – the Canon one hundred-400mm f/A.H-H.S S-Series Lens

Last August I purchased the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM L-series lens for myself as a birthday present. Since then it’s been in virtually fixed use as I’ve photographed horses and wildlife in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, and Utah. I’ve made greater than 14,000 photographs with it within the final 5 months! Read on to study extra about why I love this lens a lot.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Salt River wild horse yearling with ferns – 5D Mark III, Canon one hundred-400mm @ 248mm, B/350th, f/H.S, ISO 8000.

Canon one hundred-400mm f/A.H-H.6L IS II USM technical specs:

  • Focal Length: one hundred-400mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/A.H-H.S, variable
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: A.P ft (zero.98m)
  • Zoom: Rotation
  • Filter Size: 77mm
  • Weight: A.sixty two kilos (B.64kg)
  • Price: $ P,049.00 USD (on the time of writing this text)

Compared to the Canon 200-400mm

Compared to different lenses of comparable focal size the Canon one hundred-400mm is a discount, particularly since there’s no sacrifice to picture high quality. Compare it to the Canon flagship telephoto lens, the 200-400mm f/4 which is a whopping $ 10,999. The one hundred-400mm lens is a average $ P,049. Of course, the one hundred-400mm is one to 2 stops slower than the 200-400mm however for an $ H,800 worth discount, I can deal with the loss. I assume you in all probability can too.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Salt River wild horse with fowl, monochrome – Canon 5D Mark III, one hundred-400mm lens @ 400mm, M/one thousandth, f/H, ISO 500.

Those of you who know lengthy lenses additionally know that the 200-400mm has a constructed-in B.4x extender. Sold separately, those are about $ 500 so in case you spend money on one (and you must) your financial savings between the 2 lenses is now $ H,300. In different phrases, you continue to save a small fortune by capturing with the one hundred-400mm lens as an alternative of the 200-400mm.

Lastly, the 200-400mm weighs in at virtually H kilos (O.sixty three kg). By capturing with the one hundred-400mm, you additionally save your again, neck, palms, and shoulders from a number of put on and tear. I personally can’t hand maintain an H-pound lens, which suggests to make use of the 200-400mm I’d additionally need to carry a heavy monopod with a gimbal head. My all the time-aching higher physique thanked me for purchasing the one hundred-400mm as an alternative.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Peeking Salt River wild foal – Canon 5D Mark III, one hundred-400mm lens @ 340mm, B/350th, f/H, ISO 500.

Practical measurement

For a telephoto lens of its focal size, the one hundred-400mm is a comparatively compact, hand-holdable, and sensible lens. I can connect it to my Canon 7DII or Canon 5DIII digital camera our bodies and shoot with all of it day lengthy with out utilizing a monopod or tripod. The mixture with both digital camera weighs in at about S kilos (P.seventy two kg). Note that that’s an entire P kilos (907g) much less than simply the load alone of the 200-400mm lens. It’s plenty of focal size, in a reasonably small package deal.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Splashing Salt River wild stallion, monochrome – Canon 5D Mark III, one hundred-400mm lens @ 278mm, M/750th, f/S.S, ISO 500.

The one hundred-400mm lens additionally simply matches into my Kata backpack (now manufactured by Manfrotto). When I pack for an equine and wildlife images journey, I cram the one hundred-400mm, 70-200mm, 24-105mm, extender, each my digital camera our bodies, laptop computer, onerous drives and a slew of equipment into this bag. Yes, it’s an amazing bag and holds quite a bit for its measurement however the level is, the one hundred-400mm matches in it. Larger lenses just like the 200-400mm wouldn’t.

The one hundred-400mm is on the left; equipment like batteries, playing cards, and a rocket blower slot in the identical divider, tucked in on the prime of the bag. 7DII is within the center with 24-105mm hooked up, the open divider is for the 5DIII digital camera physique (which I used to take the pic). 70-200mm lens is on the best; B.4x extender matches in the identical divider in its personal little case, tucked in on the prime of the bag.

Same association, prime view.

Bag zips!

Features of the Mark II model

If you’ve shot with the unique one hundred-400mm lens, the Mark II has some nice new options and I’d advocate upgrading. The unique was extra of a pumping motion whenever you prolonged it. The Mark II extends with a twisting motion. Twisting to increase is quicker and simpler to make use of than the unique mechanism. There’s additionally a hoop you can tighten or loosen, growing or reducing the torque on the twisting mechanism. In different phrases, if you wish to quickly zoom out and in, you loosen the ring to scale back the torque. If you need to maintain the lens zoomed at a selected focal size, or locked into its most compact place, you’ll be able to tighten the ring and improve the torque.

It’s a really intuitive movement. As you employ the lens, you’ll discover your hand simply strikes from the rubber grip used to regulate the main target to the grip used to increase the focal size and to the adjustment ring.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Cumberland Island wild horse within the reside oak shadows, monochrome – Canon 5D Mark III, one hundred-400mm lens @ 400mm, M/350th, f/N.H, ISO 320.

Built to final

The Canon one hundred-400mm lens can also be constructed to final. The metallic, climate-sealed construct is why I all the time spend money on unique, L-collection Canon lenses. I journey, I fall, I drop issues. It’s simply a part of who I am. When I spend money on a lens that I plan to make use of on a regular basis, it might’t be a fragile little factor that must be babied. It has to have the ability to stand up to my clumsiness plus dusty, desert winds, and driving snowstorms.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Antelope Valley wild horse snuggles – Canon 7D Mark II, one hundred-400mm lens with M.4x III extender @ 560mm, M/two hundredth, f/H, ISO 200.

Just a number of weeks in the past I was capturing in very snowy, moist, circumstances in Nevada. When I made it again to the automotive, I was soaked. My digital camera and lens have been additionally dripping with melting snow. I toweled every part off and had a second of panic when the within of the lens fogged only a tiny bit. Happily, quarter-hour later, the slight condensation dissipated. If the lens hadn’t had such wonderful climate sealing, that snow storm may need ended my shoot. A lens with a less expensive construct might have been out of fee for days.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Wild horse blizzard in Antelope Valley – Canon 7D Mark II, one hundred-four hundred @ 400mm, B/250th, f/N, ISO 800.

Superfast autofocus

This lens focuses shortly, particularly on my 7DII. I not often miss a fleeting second. I’ve truly captured pictures different individuals in my group are stunned to see. I credit score that each to the quick focusing capacity and the maneuverability of the one hundred-400mm lens.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Antelope Valley wild horses snow globe – Canon 7D Mark II, one hundred-400mm with M.4x III extender @ 560mm, B/4000th, f/H, ISO one thousand.

On event, I do have hassle focusing because of low distinction. Let’s face it, that occurs to all of us. With this lens, I pull again a bit to 200mm or 300mm, seize the guide focus ring and dial in till I begin to really feel like I have an edge. Once I do, I use back-button focus to lock in sharpness. Once I’m targeted, I zoom again to 400mm. The focus holds via this transition and I seize the shot. It’s fast and magical. None of the opposite lengthy lenses I’ve used have fairly the identical intuitive really feel for focusing.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Antelope Valley winter white wild stallion – Canon 7D Mark II, one hundred-four hundred @ 400mm, M/4000th, f/H.S, ISO 500.


One of my favourite points of this lens is its flexibility. I use all focal lengths and apertures of this lens with out hesitation. For an ordinary one hundred-400mm, I connect it to my full frame 5DIII. For a bit additional attain, I connect it to my crop sensor 7DII.

On a crop sensor, the efficient focal size of the one hundred-400mm will increase to one hundred sixty-640mm (B.6x). If I want much more attain, I add the Canon M.4x Extender and the efficient focal size on my 7DII will increase to 224-896mm. The extender additionally will increase the whole weight by about H ounces, however I don’t even discover it.

Note: For Canon crop sensor cameras, multiply the focal size by the B.6x crop issue to find out the efficient focal size. Read extra right here: Crop Factor Explained.

With the Canon B.4x Extender

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Antelope Valley band of untamed horses operating within the snow – Canon 7D Mark II, one hundred-400mm with B.4x III extender @ 560mm, M/one thousandth, f/H, ISO one thousand.

I love utilizing an extender with this lens. At 400mm, the minimal aperture is f/H, which is my most popular wildlife setting anyway. Autofocus continues to be blazing quick, though it’s restricted to the middle focus level when the extender is hooked up. I haven’t seen a big lack of high quality or sharpness with the extender. Since I can nonetheless handhold this mix, even when there was a slight loss, I’d be greater than okay with it. A slight lack of sharpness is all the time most popular (in my e-book a minimum of) to lacking a shot since you have been fiddling together with your tripod or simply didn’t have the attain you wanted.

Note: Read extra about extenders right here: The Pros and Cons of Using Teleconverters (Extenders) on your DSLR.


Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Salt River stallion and son consuming eel grass within the river – Canon 5D Mark III, one hundred-400mm @ 400mm, f/N.H, M/one hundred and twenty fifth, ISO 320.

My job as a photographer is to place myself in the correct place on the proper time, to seek out the sweetness as soon as I’ve put myself in that place, and to know the sunshine and compose my picture. My gear provides me the technical increase I want to tug all that off.

I’m going to be trustworthy right here, I’ve not often shot with third-party lenses. I can’t examine Canon lens IS (Image Stabilization) to different manufacturers. But, what I can inform you is that when I discover myself capturing at 400mm with a B.A extender at a comparatively sluggish shutter velocity of B/250th, it’s not my regular palms making certain that my shot is in focus – it’s Canon’s. Their IS on this lens is sort of a tremendous energy. It is strictly the technical increase I have to make the pictures I need to make.

Even works for panoramas

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Ely County Nevada Open Range, panorama – Canon 7D Mark II, one hundred-400mm @ one hundred, M/320th, f/eleven, ISO 250.

I’ve even used this lens to create panoramas – handheld, no much less. If I’m utilizing the one hundred-400mm and I see a stunning vista, I set the lens to 100mm. I create a really safe maintain by urgent collectively my elbows and locking them into my chest. Then I slowly click on my approach by way of the scene. Lightroom or Photoshop each do a tremendous job of sewing and correcting perspective points. If you’re a panorama photographer you is perhaps horrified at this technique however for those who’re a wildlife photographer, it’s really one other sensible device in your photographic arsenal.

Image high quality

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Salt River wild mare silhouette at sundown – Canon 5D Mark III, one hundred-400mm lens @ 400mm, M/8000th, f/eleven, ISO 600.

With all this technical speak, you is perhaps questioning why I haven’t stated all that a lot about picture high quality. I’ve included over a dozen pictures right here and I hope that speaks for itself. Details render crisply. I haven’t found any artifacts or uncommon aberration in any of the 14,000+ pictures I’ve shot with this lens.

In wildlife pictures, I choose a creamy blurred background somewhat than a bubbly bokeh background since I discover that massive, bokeh circles detract from my topic. This lens renders the type of backgrounds that I choose.

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Backlit Cumberland Island wild horse at sundown – Canon 5D Mark III, one hundred-400mm lens @ 100mm, B/five hundredth, f/A.H, ISO 2000.

Shooting into the solar for a backlit picture produces simply the correct quantity of lens aptitude. Shooting with the solar at my again or off to my aspect produces simply the correct quantity of distinction. With brilliant overcast skies, the lens nonetheless shapes the sunshine superbly.

The Canon one hundred-400mm lens renders colour in a really impartial approach. While it’s enjoyable that some lenses render brighter or extra vivid colours, I want to have a extra impartial start line when I start to edit my RAW photographs.

Over to you

In all, that is the very best birthday present I’ve ever given myself. I even want I’d purchased it earlier than I upgraded my 70-200mm.

What about you? Have you used both the unique or Mark II model of the Canon one hundred-400mm lens? Or do you have got one other favourite telephoto zoom lens? Share your suggestions in your favourite lens with the dPS group within the feedback under.

Shop for the Canon one hundred-400mm lens right here:

Favorite Lens Canon 100-400mm

Mom!! – Canon 7D Mark II, one hundred-400mm lens with B.4x III extender @ 560mm, B/1250th, f/H ISO 800.

The submit dPS Writer’s Favorite Lens – the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L-Series Lens by Lara Joy Brynildssen appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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