My Adventures In Photography

A while back I started a photography column for my hometown's local newspaper — you'll find all of my columns from those pages here as well as new ones that I write.

To see all of my blog posts to date, click here.

A new spin on an old lens

 UPGRADED: Canon’s new 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS USM II is a brilliant lens and the value of this piece of equipment is highly valuable to wildlife, sports and event photographers. The advances in camera technology incorporated into this new lens make it a far better performer than its predecessor.

UPGRADED: Canon’s new 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS USM II is a brilliant lens and the value of this piece of equipment is highly valuable to wildlife, sports and event photographers. The advances in camera technology incorporated into this new lens make it a far better performer than its predecessor.

Canon outdoes itself with a long-awaited upgrade to an old favorite

A while back I wrote a post about Canon's announcement to release an upgrade to its old 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens. The lens was showing its age (11-years old without an upgrade!) and many photographers weren't holding their breath on an upgrade happening anytime soon...

Then the announcement went out that there'd be a version II of this lens and every photographer did a collective flip (myself included).

After having owned this lens now for about a month, I have to say it's impressed me greatly — even more so than my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM II; that's saying a lot, guys. Granted, my 70-200 has a nasty quirk with the autofocus system that I need to get looked at, however, the perks of Canon's latest innovation still blow me away even if just on paper.

The contrast is outstanding, the image stabilization gives about 4 to 4.5 stops of help when using slower shutter speeds, the lens is lighter than the 70-200 (explain that one...), but also a touch bulkier and the focal length is absolutely what I've been needing in my life.

If you'd like to read up on all the technical stuff about this lens, click here. For this post, I'll let the images speak for themselves.

Now, as much praise as I have for this lens... there are a few cons that I have to address. They're not deal-breakers by ANY means, but they are worth noting. 

  • The tripod mount ring has been upgraded so that it can be unscrewed right from the lens and, while that's very convenient, it's also a little tricky to actually accomplish that. You have to lift up on the dial as you turn it to unscrew the mount. That sounds easy, and it's not terrible... but it does take some getting used to and it can take longer than you'd think.
  • The smooth–tight ring, while welcome, has been entirely ignored by me thus far. I'll probably never use it. I just don't need it unless I'm locking the zoom in place, which never happens. That's just me, though.
  • The price. This thing costs a whopping $2,200. Yeah. Not bank account friendly. I'm only able to own it due to decreased spending and a very generous helping hand from my family. It's an investment that will last more than a decade, however, so that's worth considering.
  • Lastly, and this is mostly due to personal taste, the zoom ring is in front of the focus ring. Most lenses have the focusing ring the other way around and I'm used to that. Again, it's not a deal breaker, but I don't particularly care for having to switch focusing styles after switching lenses.

I hope to capture a lot of great images with this lens. Keep an eye on my blog: I'll be using images taken by this lens often.