There are times when I just can’t carry all my stills kit, especially if I am using film/ video gear at the same time. Under these circumstances, I want the most versatile lens I can find that will give me a choice of telephoto and reasonable mid-length options. This is the fella.
The 100-400 is a great all rounder of a lens. Image stabilized, rapid auto focus, and pretty punchy throughout the range, especially at the long and wide end, and with a good f stop despite its size and versatility. It can also accept the 1.4x converter which gives you a very respectable telephoto for wildlife photography. In common with some other Canon telephoto zoom lenses, the 100 – 400 zoom is operated by an extending barrel, which makes the lens physically longer when set to 400mm. This can give balance issues if you are using a gimbal style head, but nothing that can’t be addressed if you shift the centre of gravity by sliding the whole thing backwards or forwards on its connecting plate.
The lens comes with a rotating shoe so you can mount it onto a tripod and still easily switch from landscape to portrait format. For its focal length and f stop, it’s pretty light, and, all in all, a very handy, high quality, one stop shop for field use.