100-400 L IS USM mark I - still worth it?

alfmut79

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Hello everyone,

the title says it all. I would need it for wildlife photos (of course :)). At the moment I have a 70-300 IS USM (not L) which is very soft, not happy with it anymore and need to step up.

Is it still worth to purchase the mark I version of this lens? The mark II looks like a majestic lens, but it is quite expensive and very hard to find on the used market (at least where I live). On the other hand, the mark I is very easy to find second hand. Also, even though I never tried it, to me the push-pull system seems a better option to quickly focus on a fast moving subject. But, the lack of proper sealing is a concern on the long term, especially if buying second hand....

I am also considering a 70-300 L IS USM which can be found for a similar price of the 100-400 L mark I (second hand of course). This only because the 70-300 is a newer model with a better IS. But is it worth losing those 100mm?

Thoughts?
 

goooner

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Well I guess it depends on your budget, and on what wildlife you want to phortograph. If you are into birds, a 2nd hand Tamron 150-600 (not the G2) could be a good buy. Very sharp if you get a good copy, and know how to use it. I had that 75-300 in my Canon days, and it was not very sharp at all.
 
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alfmut79

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Well I guess it depends on your budget, and on what wildlife you want to phortograph. If you are into birds, a 2nd hand Tamron 150-600 (not the G2) could be a good buy. Very sharp if you get a good copy, and know how to use it. I had that 75-300 in my Canon days, and it was not very sharp at all.

The bugdet is always less than I would like :). Below 1000 Euros for sure. And wildlife in general, mostly birds of course but I tend to shoot a bit of everything.
Sigma 150-600 C and Tamron 150-600 were also some possible option. However, I used Tamron in the past (70-300) and didn't like it at all. Sigma seems more appealing, mainly for the USB dock to adjust the AF and update the firmware. It is also true that both these lenses are much newer than the Canon 100-400L mark I. However, I keep finding very mix reviews about both Sigma and Tamron and the Sigma C comes up a lot in the used market even being a new-ish product, which could be a bit worrying. Anyway, the main issue about Sigma or Tamron is their size. I like the 100-400 range because it is still portable and I shoot with APS-C camera (60D).
 
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alfmut79

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You could also get a canon 300mm F4 IS or the 400mm F5.6 for cheaper than the 100-400mm. Both the 300&400mm primes are sharper than any of the above listed lenses.

That's for sure, but I don't like the idea of a prime zoom lens, I'd rather prefer to have a "jack of all trades" lens. One that I can carry with me and use in almost all occasions.
At the moment the 100-400 seems the most logical solution to me for range, size and type of use I want to do with it.
The good news is that I just found an awesome shop in my city with tons of used lenses. They seems to have Canon 100-400 mark I, Tamron 150-600, Sigma 150-600 and all the primes in between. I already see myself spending an entire day in this shop trying all these lenses :D
 

ronlane

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A "jack of all trades" lens honestly doesn't exist. There are lenses that will work for multiple things but it really is a trade-off.

As @zombiesniper mentioned, you get a prime and it could be cheaper and sharper than a 100-400.

There are advantages to both but it is an individual choice as to what is best. At one time, didn't want anything to do with prime lenses, as I thought that they were too limiting versus the zoom lenses. I got a 15-30, 24-70 and a 70-200 zoom lenses, then I got the new 50mm f/1.8, then an 85mm f/1.8 and have shot multiple times with a 300 f/4 and 300 f/2.8.

I really like the images that I get with the primes and am starting to prefer to shoot with them. I am wanting to get a 300mm f/2.8 for football season this year.

To answer your question, I have shot an afternoon football game with the 100-400 and for that it was just fine. I could see shooting in good light but as the light decreases, I could see having issues with it.
 

table1349

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The problem I see with my long primes, 300mm f2.8 & 400mm f2.8 is I am always cutting myself with the extreme sharpness of the images.
 
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Derrel

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The Mark I is rather antiquatated nowadays...I dunno...I would really rather have a 300mm f/4 than a slow-focusing, slow-aperture lens like the Mark I. With today's higher MP sensors, you could "Crop to 400" from a bitingly crisp, sharp 300mm f/4 EF lens's images. Have you seen just how SHARP the canon EF 300,, f/4 lens is?

Add a 1.4x TC and you have a 420-something f/5.6 lens...

I personally would rather have CRISP, clean, sharp images, especially now in the 24 to 36-MP range.
 

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