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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Canon, 100-400, IS, 11,
Manufacturer
Canon

Reviews summary

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Overall rating
4.60 star(s) 10 ratings
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Great MFD, IQ, Balance
Cons
  • Not much - price?
Sold a 70-200 2.8 II w/2X and a Tamron 150-600 in order to get this lens. Haven't regretted it for a minute.

Paired with the Canon 7D II, it's a dream.

IQ better than old model and approaches 70-200. Quick to focus, especially at its native focal lengths. With 1.4X TE attached, ever so slightly slower to AF but with very little image degradation.

The real bonus is it's very close MFD - especially helpful for butterflies and quasi-macro shots.

Loving it!

Steve
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
Cons
My wife and I bought the lenses of the new 100-400 L IS Mark Ii on the same day, same store. Hers is noticeably sharper, has better resolution. I took mine to Canon service and they said it was within tolerance.
I still like it but wish it was as good as my wife's copy.
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Everything which Canon claim!
Cons
  • None I have found after 18 months usage.
I have now owned this lens since February 2015 and exclusively for wildlife on a Canon 7D Mark II. I probably shoot about 1,000 images per month and all RAW.

It is absolutely as sharp at all focal lengths as either of my previously owned Canon 400mm F/5.6L and 300mm F/4L primes. However, at 100mm my Canon 100mm F/2.8L IS Macro has an edge, or perhaps it would be better to say that I get sharper results when I shoot closer with the macro lens.

I like its weatherproof features and a lens filter is not needed unless on the beach. It is built like a tank!

Image quality is very good with my Canon 1.4x III but AF is slowed and so I find it disappointing for in-flight shots if the Extender is mounted.

I like the weight and balance of it when mounted on my 7D2 with Canon Battery Grip.

Here is a tear-down blog showing its build quality....

https://wordpress.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/02/canon-100-400-is-l-mk-ii-teardown-best-built-lens-ever/
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Better IQ than the Mk1, closer focus, works well with a 1.4 extender
Cons
  • I need to use IS, don't like the new lens caps and prefer push-pull zoom.
Had mine a little while now and I must say that I am rather happy with it. Considering it's price/weight/aperture I consider this to be an excellent lightweight all purpose telephoto zoom.

The IQ is not quite as good as my big whites true, but it is not far behind and it is a much smaller/lighter and VERY much cheaper lens. AF acquisition and tracking are very good on both my 7D2 and 1DX and good for birds in flight. The short minimum focus distance is nice and handy for Reptiles, larger insects, flora etc - a significant improvement on the Mk1.

The newer IS system is great but I do find that I need to use it with this lens whilst I don't need IS with much longer lenses - strange, perhaps it is just me? Personally I preferred the old style push pull zoom of the previous model but the Mk2 is a much better lens so I can live with this quite happily!

Overall an excellent piece of kit at not silly money! Slap a Canon 7D2 on the back and you have an excellent, portable wildlife setup. Don't forget to add a Canon 1.4 Mk3 extender + a (AF) cheap extension tube and you are covered for most things out there.
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
Cons
I recently purchased the Canon 100-400 II.
I confirm I concur with all the great reviews I have read. It is a truly wonderful piece of kit.
Last evening I carried out a specific test to ascertain the performance of the lens with and without a Kenko 1.4x pro 300 DG extender (old version, not the newer DGX) and also against the Sigma 150-500 I have owned for many years.

The test was simple, unscientific and done indoors without flash in quite poor light. I used a Canon 760D mounted on a tripod and took photos of the small print on a bottle approx 4m away. I could barely read the small print when the bottle was in my hand and had absolutely no chance with a naked eye from across the room.
The 100-400 II autofocussed very quickly even in the poor light.
The 100-400 II autofocussing slowed down somewhat with the extender attached (pins taped), but focus was achieved.
The 150-500 autofocus speed was slower than the bare 100-400 II but maybe marginally faster than the 100-400 II with extender. Certainly similar. Both will focus much faster outdoors in better light.
The 150-500 would not autofocus with the extender attached in this light, although it will just about AF in very good outdoors light.
When I reviewed the photos, it is remarkable that in all three photos the small print was clearly legible and readable. In all three the autofocus worked very well, despite the poor lighting.
When all three photos were resized to be similar in size, despite the differing focal lengths of 400mm, 500mm and 560mm, it was very easy to distinguish which text had the best resolution and was easier to read.
The resized 400mm was better than the 500mm but neither were as good as the 560mm.
Incidentally all three were better than the a resized photo taken with a Canon 70-200mm L IS lens.

As I said, a simple unscientific test, but I believe the conclusions are valid nevertheless. The purpose of all this was to satisfy myself that the new 100-400mm lens will be a better bird/safari lens than my faithful Sigma. I think the light weight, fast focussing, wide 100-560 range (with extender) are additional benefits. Unfortunately I do not have the new Sigma 150-600mm to also compare. I expect that performs considerably better than the 150-500.
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • sharp, good colour, fast-focusing, close-focusing, good stabilisation
Cons
  • none
I bought mine to replace my MkI version (which I dearly loved for many years) essentially for it's faster focus (my copy of the MkI was very sharp so the MkII was at best a minor improvement in that regard) - especially when used with the 1.4x Extender III on my Canon 7D2. That lens and camera combination (with or without extender) is excellent and the improvement in focus speed and accuracy is considerably more than just marginal. An unexpected but much-appreciated bonus is the ability to focus closely, which is great for insects and other small things (especially with the extender). In the field, just wandering around, that really reduces the need to swap out to more traditional macro lenses to get up-close and personal with creepy-crawlies (or nice butterflys and dragonflys).
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Sharper than Mk1, impressive stabilization & AF speed
Cons
  • None really: manual focusing ring position felt awkward at first but you get used to it
I've posted before how I ignored rumours of a new version and bought Mk1 eight weeks before Canon announced the new one. Mk1 is OK, but there was always room for improvement. The new one is noticeably sharper, tends to produce slightly more saturated colours, and the stabilizer is excellent, much superior to the Mk which claimed 2 stops but was often said to be less - this is a definite 4 stops. AF is much faster than the original and has already enabled me to get a couple of shots in the nick of time before the bird was gone: with Mk1, it wouldn't have acquired focus in time. And it's now possible to use AF for BIFs much of the time, at least for the slower-flying species. Though it's apparently heavier than Mk1, it doesn't feel it.

Also, the change of zoom design is an improvement. I used to lock the Mk1 at 400mm, because otherwise, when pointing the lens upward, it would slide back down to 100mm. I don't bother tightening the zoom on Mk2 because it stays put, which means it's quicker to change the focal length. And the close focus is 3ft 2 ins, which must be unusual for a lens with a 400mm top end.

Can't compare it directly with other models of similar spec, but IQ seems similar to that of my brother's Nikon 80-400mm (latest version).
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Very Sharp Images
Cons
  • Focal range only 400mm
Just got this lens recently and it is great. Excellent image quality and sharpness.
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Excellent IQ and sharpness , no CA at all
Cons
A friend of mine uses this and i use old version of it MK1 , this model is a bit sharper and better in image quality , dust suction that all talking about it might not be right ! i have not been with it in dusty condition.
I think this model is a bit shorter than previous push pull model
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Sharper replacement for original version.
Cons
  • Lens hood a pain to attach
I've been using a 100-400 since 2008. I upgraded to the Mk 11 on recommendation. I have not been disappointed. Noticeably sharper images. The push-pull dust sucking action has been replaced although I have not personally found it to be a problem.
The stabilisation has been improved but I had little problem with the previous model. I take the majority of my shots hand held with a shoulder stock.
This is my work horse lens for wildlife. Its speed and flexibility when grabbing shots from safari vehicles makes it a personal favorite. Whilst I sometimes pine for a 300 2.8 for the razor sharp images the Mk 11 has closed the gap.
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