|Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS Lens|
DxO Labs tested the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS lens on a variety of camera bodies. These are two of the best zoom lenses in 'L' lens lineup for wildlife photography. I use these two lenses regularly on all my wildlife photo shoots and they are a permanent fixture in my equipment inventory. You can read my Canon Travel and Wildlife lens recommendation, check out my equipment bag and see my works on MichaelDanielHo.com
Canon is expected to release the EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II lens some time this year. The current lens is a great performer but showing its age and can benefit from some of the latest coatings and optical technologies.
The following is an excerpt from the DxOMark's site on the Canon EF 100-400mm lens :
A favorite of wildlife and action photographers, Canon’s EF-100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM is a well-specified and versatile model. However, as it approaches sixteen years in production, is it still capable of competing with more modern offerings? Read on to find out.
Before last year’s introduction of the Canon EF-200-400mm f4L IS USM x1.4 Extender this model was the only telephoto zoom in the range with a focal length over 300mm. Introduced in 1998 this L-series lens was made to a high specification that still stands today. As well as a two-stop image stabilizer the EF-100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM has a fast, quiet ultrasonic AF motor. Like all Canon L-series lenses, it’s made to a high standard but it doesn’t feature environmental sealing – though just how effective that is in zoom is It also has a push-pull zoom mechanism (with a collar for adjusting resistance), which although once common is unusual today.
The optical construction is impressive, consisting of 17 elements arranged in 14 groups and includes fluorite and super low-dispersion glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration. It has a ‘floating’ system for improved image quality and close range, and a minimum focusing distance of 5.9 ft. (1.8m) and a maximum magnification of 1:5. With a 77mm filter attachment thread and measuring 7.4 x 3.6” (189 x 92mm) it’s compact (at least at 100mm), and at 48 oz (1,380g) it’s of reasonable weight (in fact slightly lighter than the firm’s EF-70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM)