• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

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

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

Item details

The Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM is a stabilized super-telephoto zoom lens for Canon's full-frame and APS-C digital SLRs. One of the older L-series lenses in Canon's current lineup, the 100-400mm has long been a favorite of enthusiast photographers working in the sports and wildlife fields, and it is compatible with Extenders 1.4x II and 2x II for even more reach (albeit with a penalty in maximum aperture and critical image quality). The lens is weather-sealed, and its push-pull zoom action has a friction control. The downside of the push-pull design is that it tends to suck in dust, over time. Optical construction includes fluorite and Super UD-glass elements.


Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 100400 mm
Image stabilization Yes (2 stops)
Lens mount Canon EF
Maximum aperture F4.55.6
Minimum aperture F3240
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 8
Elements 17
Groups 14
Special elements / coatings Fluorite and Super UD-glass elements largely eliminate secondary spectrum
Minimum focus 1.80 m (70.87″)
Maximum magnification 0.2
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Rear
Distance scale Yes
Focus distance limiter Yes
Weight 1380 g (3.04 lb)
Diameter 92 mm (3.62″)
Length 189 mm (7.44″)
Materials Magnesium
Sealing Yes
Colour White
Zoom method Push/Pull (extending)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock Yes
Filter thread 77 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code ET-83C
Tripod collar Yes

Latest reviews

  • Pure quality, fast focus
  • Heavy to carry around
It's a great choice for animal watching and wildlife photography. The only disadvantage is that it's quite heavy so it's difficult to carry around. It's better to set up a tripod
  • Like
Reactions: John T Tromans
  • Best zoom lens for birds in flight because of push - pull zoom
  • Heavy, push - pull zoom can suck dust inside
I'm owning this lens for about 7 years and still thinking that it is the best lens for birds in flight. That is because of its push-pull zoom. You can find the bird in the air on 100 mm and change the focus lenght to 400 mm immediadely by pushing it forward.

I tried 3 copies of this lens in the shop and found that 2 of them had very bad IQ and were blurry but one copy was brilliantly sharp and gave very good IQ of the photos on my Canon 60D. So I bought this one.

The lens is sharp on 400 mm from 7,1 aperture on my Canon 60D. It is less sharp on 6,3 aperture.

I've read about the sucking dust ability of the push - pull zoom of this lens. But I've got just few specks of dust for 7 years of using it.

Tried it with Canon 7DMk2 and got bad focus and bad IQ. Had the same result on this camera with Tamron 150-600 G2. Probably I have the bad copy of Canon 7DMk2 or just need to adjust the focus for this lens in Canon 7DMk2.

Overal - highly recommended lens if you find a good copy that suits your camera.
But for some of us without a stash of lenses, and moving to Canon mirror less, the question is, EF 100-400? Or RF 100-500. ??
I'd have to say that the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L is very variable. In production since the early noughts, early examples were renowned for being soft. As others have said it is also a dust sucking monster.

Later examples were significantly improved on the sharpness front, so if buying, check the serial number with Canon for manufacture date. A far more certain purchase with any camera from 2015 onwards would be the Mark II version of this lens, which is superb at all focal lengths.

Others have mentioned the Canon convertors. The original Mk 1 versions should not be used with any modern camera. The Mk II 1.4x was acceptable with cameras unto around 2010/11. With anything later, don't scrimp: buy the Mk III converter. Ref the 2x converter, Never, ever buy anything but the Mk III, which is excellent.
@rpg51 what did you buy? WIth hindsight, I would definitely go 100-400 Mk II - I will shortly be selling my own (mint) 100-500mm lens, despite it being very sharp.

Item information

SLR & MFT (micro four thirds) Lenses
Added by
Last update
5.00 star(s) 2 ratings

More in SLR & MFT (micro four thirds) Lenses

More from andrewins

Share this item