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Donald Kinney and Faye Pekas in comments on my previous post both correctly assumed that I had captured the image with the 100-400mm L lens. I use this lens to capture nearly all of my wildlife photographs.
Upon desiring to upgrade to my first DSLR, naturally I turned to my local resident “Expert”, my brother Willard. Willard has built a dream collection of Canon equipment over the years and when he speaks, I listen. His first advice was for me to learn from his mistakes. In years past he had worked with numerous lenses. As he continued to strive to improve his craft he found himself replacing those lenses with lenses of higher quality. Willard stated that if I were to begin with Canon L lenses then although the initial outlay would be greater, in the end they would be a bargain. With his advice in mind I chose the 24-105mm L for my primary lens and have not been disappointed.
Soon I began investigating a higher powered telephoto for wildlife work. Willard was kind enough to allow me to shoot with his various lenses and even gave me his EF 100-400mm L on indefinite loan last autumn. Many other lenses in Canon’s lineup out-perform the 100-400 in certain aspects, for example the primes offer greater sharpness and larger apertures.
The versatility and price of the 100-400mm L finally decided the issue for me. This lens gives acceptable sharpness while combines 400mm power in a very portable package along with good image stabilization. I find that not only does it work well on the tripod but it also works very well for my run-and-gun style of waterfowl shooting. It work well on distant subjects and with its 1.6m macro focus distance it does yeoman’s duty on small wary subjects such as butterflies, dragonflies etc.
At the moment I can only think of three negative aspects of this lens and frankly I consider these minor.
1 Weight; at 3lbs it is heavy to tote around
2 F5.6 aperture
3 Push/pull zoom, moves dust around requiring more frequent camera sensor cleanings.
This isn’t a sales pitch for Canon; it is my personal thoughts and observations about a product whose performance meets my expectations.