Now that the eagerly awaited EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens has been officially released, attention has again turned to Canon's other venerable lens, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS. This is one of my favorite zoom in Canon's 'L' lens lineup. You can read my review of this lens here.
Unfortunately, the lens is showing its age. Released in 1998, it quickly became a staple in my photography bag for wildlife photo shoots. The lens is perfect for mobility and handholding. Although not a fast lens, its versatility and great zoom range more than offset the other shortcomings. The replacement lens has been spotted out in field tests and may be slightly faster (f/4) on the short end (100mm). The current lens is one of Canon's best selling zooms and there may be plenty of inventory around the world. Some are suggesting Canon may be holding off the announcement to see how well the recently released EF 200-400mm sells or rather people may be holding off in hope of the new EF 100-400mm II.
I find that not to be a plausible scenario. The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is an expensive ($11,799) niche lens. Not too many photographers will opt to buy this lens unless they have a specific need for it and have the funds to do so. I have placed an order for one because owning a Super Telephoto zoom lens with a built-in extender has always been a goal of mine. The EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II lens is also on my list because the two lenses serve very different purpose.
As my readers know, I prefer to travel light and handhold my equipment while on photo shoots. The EF 200-400mm lens will be on the tripod or monopod most of the time while the EF 100-400mm II lens will offer me unmatched mobility and versatility. Cannot wait to get my hands on this replacement lens. Nikon recently announced their 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF-S zoom lens to great excitement. Hopefully, Canon will respond and announce the EF 100-400mm II in the second half of this year. I expect the list price will be below $3,000, similar to the current EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS lens. The push/pull design will be replaced by a zoom ring. Keep checking back for the latest information.