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Canon 100 - 400 mark ii latest thoughts (1 Viewer)

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
There's a fair few second hand mark i's on the market so I presume lots of people have bought this lens. Now people have had it for some time, what are your thoughts. Is it worth the expensive upgrade from a mark i? The closer focus is a big attraction for me - as these days I'm more of a general naturalist than a birder - but my wildlife funds are limited.
 
If the closer focus means you will use the lens more then it may well be worth the upgrade - not all decisions should be about image quality. And don't forget the MKii has 4 stops IS, the MkI has barely 2.
I presume from the phrasing of your question that you have the Mk1 lens, so if closer focusing is your main line of thinking, then for less than the cost of the Mkii you could buy a 600D and (for example) 100mm f2.8 macro and have that in your bag without the need to change lenses.
If, however, you want only one body/lens to worry about then the MKII offers a good option, I think.
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
If the closer focus means you will use the lens more then it may well be worth the upgrade - not all decisions should be about image quality. And don't forget the MKii has 4 stops IS, the MkI has barely 2.
I presume from the phrasing of your question that you have the Mk1 lens, so if closer focusing is your main line of thinking, then for less than the cost of the Mkii you could buy a 600D and (for example) 100mm f2.8 macro and have that in your bag without the need to change lenses.
If, however, you want only one body/lens to worry about then the MKII offers a good option, I think.

I have a Sigma 150 macro which I use a lot. But yes it's the long walks when I want to not keep changing lens in case I'm photographing a butterfly when a bird appears. Also it's lugging two lens around, especially when I'll be spending ten hours a day wandering round the Alps this summer - that would make it great to have one lens that can cover it all.
 

colincurry

Well-known member
Hallo Steve

I recently bought the Mk2, having had the Mk 1 for many years. I found the latter lens to be great for dragonflies and butterflies in any event, and even more so when the subject would have been out of reach for a dedicated macro lens. I had the Sigma 150 and rarely used it, preferring to rely on the old 100-400 in the main. When on holiday, I also took my Panasonic FZ200 as a backup camera along with a Raynox 150 clip on lens for really close macro work.

I sold my Sigma 150 to help fund the 100-400 Mk2 and,for MY needs, I find that I do not miss it all.

I have been using the 100-400 Mk2 (with a Mk3 1.4 tc) to photograph butterflies and other small insects. Although it is not true macro, you can get close enough with a willing subject not to have to crop or crop very little. Using the 'Full' focus option on the lens which enables the close MDF, I have been able to snap hovering droneflies to pretty good effect.

My other reason for the upgrade was the purchase of a 7D Mk2 and I now have reliable and quick auto focus using the 1.4 tc.

Hope this helps.

Colin
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
Cheers Colin. I'd never thought about selling the Sigma macro. It might be an option as I also have a Tamron 90mm macro and having said I use the Sigma a lot I suspect it's actually a lot less than I think. It'd make the purchase more popular with my wife as well!

Do you find the lens any sharper than the mark i?
 
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colincurry

Well-known member
Hallo Steve

I find the whole Mk2 setup very good. I believe that I achieved good results with the old setup but now consider that my kit is lifting my results to a new level - still room for improvement but that is part of the fun (?)

There are two earlier threads under Canon on the next page both instituted by Pete Morris '7D + 100-400 ii ultimate travel kit?' and 'Canon 100-400 Mkii IS modes which you might find helpful.

Regards

Colin
 

recreationalbirding

Well-known member
There's a fair few second hand mark i's on the market so I presume lots of people have bought this lens. Now people have had it for some time, what are your thoughts. Is it worth the expensive upgrade from a mark i? The closer focus is a big attraction for me - as these days I'm more of a general naturalist than a birder - but my wildlife funds are limited.

Steve,

I had the 400/5.6 before, so I can not compare to the old 100-400, but the 400/5.6 was super sharp! I have often felt the need of a zoom, maybe not so much for birding but for other types of photos so I gave the new 100-400 a try. I am very happy with my decision. I think it is very sharp at the long end. In fact I think it is as sharp as the old 400/5.6 was. Now I have sold the 400/5.6 and feel comfortable in having replaced it with the 100-400ii.

I attach a photo of my cat taken some day ago at 400 mm, f5.6, iso-1000, 1/2500s. Id prefer to attach a supersharp pic of a rare bird... but hopefully the cat is a decent example of the quality of the glass in the new 100-400 lens.

Also, it seems to take a 1.4x converter very well!

Edit: Allthough it does show some vignetting at 400/5.6 on a fullframe camera. Not too much of an issue but should be mentioned I guess.
 

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I have just got this lens but am finding the AF does not work with my MKII 1.4 converter. Will I have to upgrade the converter to the MKIII
 

PeterBird

Well-known member
I have just got this lens but am finding the AF does not work with my MKII 1.4 converter. Will I have to upgrade the converter to the MKIII
That would depend on the camera, not the converter. The 7DII will allow AF with the 1.4 converter ( both version II and III, limited to center point with assist points), the original 7D would not.
Peter
 
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Boy George

Well-known member
Hi Steve,

May I ask where you decided to buy the lens from and perhaps the price you paid?

Regards

Adrian
 

Colin

Axeman (Retired)
England
There seems to be a general thumbs up for using a 1.4 converter on this lens. Does anyone have further thoughts on this combination? Was thinking of purchasing the converter to add to the mk2 and 7d2. Thanks.
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
I'm struggling with the 1.4 TC + 100-400 IS mk 2 (+7D mk2); rarely a sharp focus and cannot understand how to apply micro-adjustments. I can only use it on a sunny day and the photos are NEVER pin sharp.

cheers, alan
 

Colin

Axeman (Retired)
England
I'm struggling with the 1.4 TC + 100-400 IS mk 2 (+7D mk2); rarely a sharp focus and cannot understand how to apply micro-adjustments. I can only use it on a sunny day and the photos are NEVER pin sharp.

cheers, alan

Thanks for that Alan. On other sites, I am also getting the feeling that this combination is perhaps not what it could be. That has made me think twice so I will deliberate some more.
 

PeterBird

Well-known member
I have the same combination (7DII and 10-400II) and for me it works quite well. Of course being limited to the centre point and assist points makes flight shots trickier, also because at 560mm it is harder to find and keep the bird in focus, but certainly doable. The results do not disappoint me so far. The absolute sharpness may be just a little less than with the bare lens, but not by much even when leave the aperture at f8. I have not done any MFA, or at least, a little testing showed that none was needed. That is not to say it would not work for your setup, of course. I do hope your combination will get you better results than so far. It is certainly not a given that the combination should not work very well.
Peter
A few examples:
1. Stilt
2. Kentish Plover (quite heavily cropped)
3. Common Tern
 

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Chris B.

Well-known member
I have yet to try the 100-400 vII + 1.4x with my new 7DII but the results I've gotten in initial testing with my 1D Mark IV have been absolutely stellar!

Chris
 

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