…morning light is magic…

New Canon 100-400 II Lens

Since the new Canon 100-400 II lens came out, I’ve been reading the positive reviews and finally decided to take the plunge and replace my old 100-400.  Unfortunately, my usual source for camera gear, B&H, along with most of the other reliable on-line retailers have been out of stock for several weeks.  Ended up getting it at a local Best Buy.

Purchased my old 100-400 back in 2005 and used it for wildlife photography until I got my 500mm lens a couple of years ago.  It’s been a great lens but needs some repairs.  The rotating collar is worn out, for the second time, one of screw holes for the collar alignment pins has stripped out, and it needs to be torn apart and cleaned internally with some dust on the inner lens.  Decided to invest in the new lens with its improved image stabilization instead of spending a few hundred dollars to repair the old one.

First impressions out of the box compared to the original model is that it’s a little heavier, the hood design is much improved, the rotating collar appears to be a better design and obviously the push-pull zoom design has been replaced with a twist zoom design.  It will take some getting used to the new zoom mechanism as I loved the push-pull.

Will be taking the new lens along on some upcoming photography trips.  I’m anxious to get it out into the field to try it out.  I’ve ordered a RRS replacement foot to keep from having to add a plate like on my old lens and I’m not thrilled with the twist lock on the foot that comes with the new lens.  This will be my go-to airshow lens and lens when shorter focal lengths are in order.

Here is a photo of the old and new 100-400.  I’ll post some photos taken with the new lens when I’ve had a chance to try it out.  Of course, it’s supposed to rain all weekend in SE Texas.

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7 responses

  1. I’ve also read good reviews on this lens as well. Photo Rental Source here in Houston has it in stock and thought about renting it. Can’t wait to hear your review……..

    February 22, 2015 at 8:17 am

  2. I’ll likely be heading to Brazos Bend one of these days to test it out. Don’t have a raincoat for it so likely won’t be taking it to Bolivar.

    February 22, 2015 at 9:36 am

  3. I will also be waiting for your thots on the lens. It seems like a good option. I had the original one and traded it in for a 70-200 II thinking I could use it with an extender. Now I’m wondering if I’d be better off with the updated 100-400.

    February 22, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    • If you need the reach, the 100-400 is probably a good choice. I’ll check it out this weekend shooting some birds and gators. I’ll let you know how it acts compared to the old version. I was very pleased with my original so I’m expecting this one to be very good with the improved IS. I’m also looking forward to seeing how it does with my 1.4X.

      February 24, 2015 at 8:15 pm

  4. Considering this lens also but really love the old 400mm f5.6. Waiting to hear your thoughts. Thanks

    March 7, 2015 at 5:08 am

  5. Now that you’ve had this lens for a bit, what do you think of it? I’m now ready to take the plunge for the new one as well. Love the focal range of our old 100-400mm and have no trouble with the push/pull system.

    As always, your work is amazing Tim!

    May 23, 2015 at 7:38 am

    • Thanks Emily. I’ve only had the new 100-400 out a couple of times but it appears to be very sharp. It works great on my 1DX with the 1.4x III teleconverter. It’s difficult to say how it compares to the old lens since I was using my 7D with the old version. I’m still not used to the twist zoom. It will take some more time.

      May 25, 2015 at 9:13 am

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