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Review of the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens

 | John White

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

If you are looking for a versatile, high quality, value for money telephoto zoom lens then look no further, Canon’s EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM is the answer!

Canon’s 100-400mm lens is probably one of the most popular telephoto zoom lenses. While it does not have the fixed focal length like some of the higher end Canon lenses, its 100 to 400mm zoom range makes it a versatile, value for money lens suitable for both general purpose and wildlife photography.

Coupled with a cropped sensor camera (e.g. Canon 7D, 70D, 60D and above), this lens has the equivalent focal length of a 160mm to 640mm, a factor of 1.6 times greater than a full framed sensor camera such as the Canon’s 1D, 5D or 6D. If you are using a full framed sensor camera, you can always boost the focal length by using the Extender EF 1.4x III or Extender EF 2x III. The drawback with using these extenders is you may experience autofocus limitations (camera dependant) and your minimum aperture decreases by about 2 stops.

The zoom mechanism of this lens is different to other Canon lenses in that zooming makes use of a push/pull mechanism that extends or retracts the lens. A tension ring is used to adjust the force required to extend or retract the ring. The zoom mechanism, together with the adjustable tension ring does take a bit of getting used to, but you hardly notice it after a while.

The EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM features a three stop Image Stabilizer (IS), making it an ideal lens to use without a tripod. The three stop Image Stabilizer enables you to shoot with a shutter speed three stops lower that would have been possible without it. This makes a huge difference in low light conditions!



  • - Great value for money
  • - L-series quality
  • - Versatile zoom range
  • - Three stop Image Stabilizer


  • - Zoom mechanism take getting used to


You can buy Canon’s EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM from the following stores:



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