FAQ: Canon EF 100 400 L IS

I am about to buy the Canon EF 100 400 L f/4.5 f/5.6 lensso i don’t have it yet ;) so I have read many many threads about it in different forums and I am trying to build a “Frequently Asked Questions” list to save time for anyone who wants to buy it in the future.

If you happen to read this thread and feel there is any FAQ I missed, please kindly add it in the comment and I will update the list

1) What is the Canon EF 100 400 L IS usage?
2) Do I need to buy tripod mount for the Canon EF 100 400 L IS?
3) Do you hate the push/pull zoom system of the Canon EF 100 400 L IS?
4) How does the Canon EF 100 400 L IS compares to the Canon EF 70 200 L f/2.8 IS?
5) Does the Canon EF 100 400 L IS performs better than the Canon EF 70 200 L 2.8 IS with a teleconverter?
6) Do you have any problems using the Canon EF 100 400 L handheld?
7) Can I still put a 1.4x teleconverter on the Canon 100 400 L IS and be happy?
8) Can I still put a 2.x teleconverter on the Canon EF 100 400 L IS and be happy?

1) What is the Canon EF 100 400 L IS usage?

This Canon lens is a very popular lens and is used in a great varieties of photography like wildlife, birding, sport and landscape.

2) Do I need to buy tripod mount for the Canon EF 100 400 L IS?
No, this lens ships with a Tripod Mount Ring B
3) Do you hate the push/pull zoom system of the Canon EF 100 400 L IS?
This question is rather hard to answer simply because owners seems to be divided, but most of them agree that you can easily get used to it. Some even claims that it is rather practical for sport photography. Big issue with the push/pull? It sucks dust right into your sensor
4) How does the Canon EF 100 400 L IS compares to the Canon EF 70 200 L f/2.8 IS?
This one is unanimous, all the forums threads I’ve read agrees that the Canon EF 70 200 L f/2.8 wipes the floor, or if you prefer wins hands down against the Canon EF 100 400 L IS in their overlapping zoom range.
5) Does the Canon EF 100 400 L IS performs better than the Canon EF 70 200 L 2.8 IS with a teleconverter?
Well it depends on the teleconverter itself, it seems that the Canon EF 70 200 L with a 1.4x has a slightly better image quality than the 100 400 L, but that the Canon EF 100 400 L IS wins if you decide to add a 2x teleconverter to the Canon EF 70 200 IS L f/2.8
6) Do you have any problems using the Canon EF 100 400 L handheld?
It seems that if there is one advantage in the push/pull design this is it, and since the lens extends when going on the long side it make is easier to support handheld
7) Can I still put a 1.4x teleconverter on the Canon 100 400 L IS and be happy?

From the Image Quality side, the Canon EF 100 400 L IS and a 1.4x teleconverter is still pretty pretty good, the down side of this combo is the Auto Focus. Remember that the 100 400 is a f/4.5 f/5.6 lens and that the teleconverter will make you loose an extra stop so it will be a f/5.6 f/8. Canon EOS cameraswith the exception of the 1D bodies using only the central focus point can’t focus past f/5.6.
If you are using a cheap teleconverter like the Tamron “base” model not the pro. This teleconvert will not pass aperture information to your camera so, although you EXIF data will be wrong, the camera will not know you are past the f/5.6 and will still try to autofocus.
Now if you have a Canon 1.4X teleconverter or the Tamron “pro” series etc… your Canon EOS camera (unless you have a 1D series body) will know it is at f/8 and autofocus will be disabled. A small trick you can do is tape the 3 pins (or paint them with nail varnish) as shown in this image

Please not I did not take this picture, I saw it in one of the forums, just thought it would be useful to share it

Please also not that even if the Camera will not know you are at f/8 and tries to autofocus, this doesn’t mean that it will and sometimes the AF system will just haunt
8) Can I still put a 2.x teleconverter on the Canon EF 100 400 L IS and be happy?
Although some claims that they are happily using this combo, most believe (or affirms by experience) that with a 2x autofocus will not be possible and the image quality loss is considerable.

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