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Old Jan 6, 2006, 2:15 AM   #1
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Hi,

I have recently purchased a 20D w/18-55 lens kit and am looking to complement it with some lenses. One lens that I'm looking at is the Canon 100-400. It is expensive, as I am new to photography (read: sticker shock!), but at the same time I'd rather invest the money now on a good lens rather than investing in a cheaper lens only to later find out that I'm going to have to upgrade to a better lens. I have read a buch of the posts in regards to this lens and it seems as if owners of the lens are very pleased with it. I plan to shoot a wide variation of photography (anything from nature, to motorsports, to surfing, etc) both with and without a tripod. Before I sink the $1400 on the lens I would like a little input from the board. A more expensive alternative would be the 70-200 IS USM f2.8L with either a 1.4x or 2x extender but maybe its worth it for the extra speed and range. Then again, I'm only a novice and might not notice the difference. On the other end of the spectrum I was looking at the 17-40 4 LU. Any comments on this lens?

Thanks for all of your input,
Matt
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Old Jan 6, 2006, 2:16 PM   #2
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You need, if at all possible, to go try one before buying it. It is a wonderful lens that focuses extremely fast, is sharpand built like a tank, and therein lies the reason to try it first to make sure you'll be comfotable with it- it is heavy...really heavy. Ironically, check out the specs on the70-200 f2.8 IS USM you are also considering- it is even heavier by a matter of a few ounces, so either way you go, you'd bebuying one heavy piece of glass, so also figure budgetingon a good, comfortable bag capable of housing a lens of that size.

The 17-40 is also a wonderful lens if the limited range for a "standard" lens is not a problem with your style of shooting. If I were starting up a Canon outfit today I'd probably be more enclined to get the 17-85 IS lens for the extended zoomrange and image stabilization. It's slower, but the 20D gives you a totally useable ISO 1600 and very good ISO 3200, which more than makes up for the lack of speed.
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Old Jan 7, 2006, 12:03 AM   #3
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One other thing on the 100-400L, it is a 'push-pull' zoom lens. Thus you move part of the barrel in and out to zoom, instead of turning a ring on the barrel.

I have the 70-200L IS. Nothing bad to say about it other than that it is heavy. I found that it balances better with the extra battery grip on my 10D, which makes the whole setup even heavier but more stable. When walking around I wrap the camera strap around my wrist and just hold on to the lens with one hand.

I also have the 17-40L. Again, great lens in my opinion. But it seems if you buy this and the 100-400 you're missing some critical coverage from 40-100. Getting the 17-85 IS or the new 24-105L f4 IS might be a better choice than the 17-40 initially.

Barthold
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Old Jan 7, 2006, 4:33 PM   #4
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I've been very happy with this lens, but I don't think it is going to be fast enough to do motorsports unless the lighting is much better than I imagine it would be.
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Old Jan 9, 2006, 11:31 PM   #5
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barthold wrote:
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But it seems if you buy this and the 100-400 you're missing some critical coverage from 40-100. .

Barthold
Yeah, I'm going to need a third lens to cover the gap. Hopefully after these three my wallet can recover for a long time! Thanks everyone for your input. I'm going to try to get to the sorte this weekend to check out the lens'. I have a feeling that I would be happier with the 70-200 but that is alot of money, not that the 100-400 is cheap! I guess you get what you pay for.

Thanks again,
Matt
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 12:52 AM   #6
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I hear you :-) After buying a 17-40L, 70-200L IS and 24-70L IS my wallet wasn't happy either. I still need something for the longer reach. I am actually looking at the 300mm F4L IS prime. Combined with a 1.4x TC it gets to 420mm, which is fine for what I want.

Barthold
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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I use my 100-400 at all the places, shooting birds, events, people, cars, surfing. It is a nice lens. Don't let the weight put you down. You get used to it after a while. I am small guy and my medical condition requires me to walk with braces and I can hand hold the 100-400, 10D and other stuff for 5-6 hrs, no problem. It took a while, as arms used to hurt in the begining.

In good light, this lens is very good and quite versatile. 70-200 f2.8IS is also nice but using 2x on that won't match 100-400L. So if you need 400, then get 100-400. If you need low light, then 70-200 f2.8 IS.

Lot of people on the track have 100-400L, atleast in California.


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Old Jan 10, 2006, 10:40 AM   #8
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Find out what focal length you'll use most and base your decision on that. As far as lenses go the Canon 100-400 f/4-5.6, 70-200 f/2.8with and without IS are great...naturally. My recommendation would be to check out the Sigma offerings. They have an 80-400 f/4-5.6 OS (optical stabilization),a 100-300 f/4, and a 70-200 f/2.8...all fantastic lenses (especially the 100-300 and 70-200).

I think you'd like the 100-300 with a 1.4 TC the best. You get a super sharp 100-300 f/4 and 140-420 f/5.6 all for under a grand. Best of luck with your decision and your shooting.
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Old Jan 12, 2006, 5:18 PM   #9
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bobbyz wrote:
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bobbyz wrote:
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70-200 f2.8IS is also nice but using 2x on that won't match 100-400L. So if you need 400, then get 100-400. If you need low light, then 70-200 f2.8 IS.
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Again, I am new to all of this so if you don't mind please explain why the at 400mm the 70-200 f2.8 with a 2x teleconverter will not perform as well as the 100-400 lens?I would have thought it woulddo as wellsince itis a 2.8.
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SlapNTickleJr,

How does the Sigma 80-400 stack up to the Canon 100-400? Similar price range?
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Old Jan 12, 2006, 5:33 PM   #10
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how about the sigma 50-500mm.....all in one...i would give it a thought:?
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