Having just returned from a great trip to California, the first thing awaiting my return was a new Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5F IS USM Zoom Lens, a lens ordered specifically for that trip and arriving a day late.
My wife had made it an especially great moment as she the picture you see here on her FaceBook Page, knowing that I would pine to get my hands on it while in California. Being married more than a few years, she knew that every shot I took this past week would leave me longing for that lens.
Not even on the ground a full 12 hours, we were off to the Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls for some first hand testing of this new ‘monster’ lens.
THE CAMERA EQUIPMENT
My main rig is a Canon EOS 6D Full Frame Digital Camera and it was purchased with a Canon 24-105L IS AF Lens, which was followed by a Canon 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Lens for close electronic shots as you might see in the articles of our main site, The SSD Review. It took me less than a week (and a great day taking some amazing shots as official press on a flotilla at the World U23 Rowing Championships) to realize what I was missing in the Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5F IS USM Zoom Lens. I have also added a Spider Pro Camera Belt System of which I immediately unscrewed the belt clip from the belt and holster and connected the plate to the bottom of the camera. The belt clip is a dream on my normal belt and the plate on the camera allows for quick and easy tripod mounts, as well as a steady hold of the camera as it hags on your side, even with the new lens.Last but not least, I threw in a Canon 90EX flash and various filters. Here is the family:
The Canon EOS 6D has just too many camera modes to stick to just one or two.. Typically, I find myself using the Scene Intelligent Auto (I know, I know), Program, Creative Auto and Aperture modes in normal everyday shooting. Program is handy when I want a center focus point only, Creative Auto when I want increased color saturation (Vivid) or a quick and easy way to clear or blur the background and Aperture Mode is what one might find my camera set to normally. Having the Canon EOS 6D in my hands for only a few weeks now, the two biggest pluses of this camera are its size in comparison to other DSLRs and the fact that it has built in Wifi which allows me to tether wirelessly to my home PC, Samsung Galaxy Note II as well as my iPAD.
CANON 100MM-400MM F4.5L IS USM LENS
For those considering purchasing the F4.5L lens, let’s dispel a bit of confusion right off. This lens has Image Stabilization and it works like a charm, as does auto focus, although auto focus can get a bit finicky for those close (1.8m or 5.9ft minimum) or darker shots. At 7 3/8″ closed and 10.5″ extended, this lens is big and a bit heavy (3.1lbs), but by no means a hard carry. Using the Spider clip described above, this camera hung from my belt, when not in use, for a great deal of walking around Niagara Falls for the full day without and difficulty whatsoever.
It is also an older lens and some have stated that they prefer the Image Stabilization of the newer 100-300mm lens, however, this lens is key to some great shots as you will soon see. Extending the lens is a bit unnatural to some as it extends or retracts with a straight pull or push. A tension ring on the lens itself assists in setting how smooth the tight extends. I personally like this as other lenses get worked in over time and you sometimes find them unwantingly extended as you are walking with the camera at your side.