Specifications and features
Announced in Nov 1998, the EF 100-400mm f4.5-v.6L IS USM was originally designed for film, simply while information technology remained a popular and highly regarded model, the optical design required updating to meet the demands of new loftier-resolution bodies.
Adopting the aforementioned focal lengths and ratios, the new model has a redesigned optical formula consisting of 21 elements in sixteen groups, and focusing to 3.2’ (0.98m). As well as featuring a single fluorite and Super ED glass chemical element to reduce color blurring (principally at the edges of the frame), the new model features an improved iv-stop stabilizer (as found on the Mk II super-telephotos), and is the offset to adopt the company’southward new nano-tech Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce flare and ghosting.
The original model featured a push-pull machinery to zoom in and out, along with a friction collar to forestall “zoom-pitter-patter,” along with a split up manual focus collar. The new model dispenses with that and adopts a more modern two-band design, yet information technology retains the friction collar as a function of the zoom band rather than the focus band, as was on the earlier model. The lens is weather-sealed, and has fluorine coatings on the forepart and rear elements to repel water and forbid smearing.
Slightly heavier and larger than its predecessor, the new model measures seven.half dozen x 3.vii” (193 10 94mm) and weighs 3.5 lb (1640 g) with tripod mount. It is available at present at around $2,200 (USD).
- 21 elements arranged in 16 groups
- Single fluorite and Super ED elements
- Air Sphere and fluorine coatings
- Optical stabilization – upward to iv stops’ correction
- Band type USM with IF
- Detachable tripod mountain
Measurements: Competitive performer
Achieving an overall DxOMark score of 21 points on the full-frame 22-Mpix EOS 5D Mk III, the EF 100-400 f4.v-5.6L IS II USM ranks highly in our database. The new model has loftier levels of sharpness throughout the zoom range, manual measured at T5.2-6.three, which is quite impressive, relatively low distortion though there’due south some pincushion noticeable at 400mm, depression vignetting and very proficient command of lateral chromatic aberration. To give you an indication of its overall optical qualities, it ranks alongside the Catechism ultra-broad 16-35mm f4L IS USM and just backside the Canon super-tele 400mm f4 DO 2 USM at 22 points.
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-v.6L IS II USM vs. EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM: New model shows several enhancements
Compared with the original model, the updated version is improved in only well-nigh every metric. Acuity or sharpness has been improved, particularly at the shorter-terminate but less and then at the longer focal lengths, although to exist fair, Catechism has improved sharpness in the outer field – towards the edges and corners – at the long end. Manufacturers expect to ameliorate uniformity rather than concentrate on center operation as they might of done in the past, perhaps information technology is and so much easier now to check on screen.
Nevertheless, it’due south a pity Catechism hasn’t been able to enhance sharpness in the eye at 400mm, as this lens is probable to be used with the Canon crop bodies, particularly the EOS 7D Mk II, where just some of the gains in the outer field will be noticed. Nonetheless Catechism have improved manual, and profoundly reduced chromatic aberration, specially at 400mm. They’ve also lowered baloney between 150-300mm, but in doing so have introduced some barrel distortion at 100mm. Vignetting also been improved overall just nosotros measured an increase in the corners wide-open at 400mm although that’southward piece of cake to correct in software.
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.five-5.6L IS Two USM vs. Tamron SP 150-600mm f5-half-dozen.iii Di VC USD vs. Sigma 150-500mm f5.vi-6.three APO DG Os HSM: Strong performer
Catechism’s main rivals are the relatively new Tamron SP 150-600mm at effectually $1,100 and the older $999 Sigma 150-500mm, although the latter model can be plant for around $730 now as Sigma has recently released an updated version to compete directly with the Tamron (and which we’ve yet to assess). Both of the third-political party models push the limits of AF sensors with their f6.3 maximum apertures but their longer focal lengths and more attainable pricing make them a very attractive prospect for wild fauna photographers.
In truth their optical functioning trails off at the longer focal lengths, peculiarly in the outer field when used wide-open but that may non exist as well much of an issue given the benefits. And of class both models are sharper at 400mm than when they’re at their longest focal lengths. Both the Tamron and Sigma take similar sharpness in the centers but the Tamron is sharper slightly at the edges, at to the lowest degree in our tests, though that will be hard to encounter on a three-dimensional subject. With the sharpness dropping towards the longer end, the Canon follows the aforementioned trait as the others but fifty-fifty then the Canon holds its own, although in the lab it’due south behind the Tamron in the center. Withal at 400mm the Tamron also has expert control of CA with similar levels every bit the Canon and it has low vignetting all while possessing similar levels of baloney.
Every bit the replacement for the original model, Catechism take improved merely near everything they can from functioning through to optical quality. However it’s the operation at the long-terminate that’due south crucial and while Canon take made advances virtually of the gains are in the outer field where users of Catechism’s crop bodies aren’t and so likely to do good. Sure the chromatic aberration is lower and sharpness at the edges is ameliorate than the old model but users aren’t going to see any improvement in the center.
The new model is likewise up confronting a capable and more accessibly priced rival in the form of the Tamron 150-600mm though it’s larger all the same and somewhat disappointing at 600mm. For all that, the Canon is an attractive option and a strong choice for the long term.