Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Review
The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is a very capable but also pricey telephoto zoom lens that will appeal most to sports and wildlife photographers looking for a relatively lightweight and versatile lens. It is a vast improvement on its venerable predecessor, but faces stiff competition from recent Sigma and Tamron lenses that provide an even longer reach.
Given its L-series billing, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM build quality is reassuringly excellent and it makes a perfect partner to a full-frame Canon DSLR like the EOS 5D Mark III that we tested it with. Auto-focusing is quiet and quick, with the ability to manually override it and focus manually if required proving a nice touch. The very capable image stabilisation system used in conjunction with a high-ISO monster like the 5D Mark III goes some way to making up for the relatively slow maximum apertures, although for best results the use of at least a monopod is advised.
Image quality is generally excellent. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled, bokeh is impressive despite the slowish maximum apertures, and the Air Sphere coatings successfully prevent contrast loss attributable to flare. The only real optical issues are some corner shading especially at the 400mm focal length, and a lack of centre and edge sharpness when shooting wide-open at 300-400mm. Still, given the versatile focal range on offer, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is an excellent performer.
If you can afford the hefty price-tag, then we can certainly recommend the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM as an excellent telephoto zoom lens for Canon full-frame DSLR owners that can very effectively take the place of several primes. Unless you need faster maximum apertures or the longer reach of the Sigma and Tamron alternatives, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is a serious but excellent investment.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4|