Canon 100-400 II

Canon 100-400 II
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
$2200 to $2200
  • 90%

  • Canon 100-400 II
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: October 18, 2017
  • Usability
    Editor: 70%
  • Image Quality
    Editor: 80%
  • Speed
    Editor: 50%
  • Accessories

Canon 100-400 L IS IIThe Canon 100-400 II is Canon’s semi-pro zoom lens for sports and wildlife. I owned the original 100-400 for 11 years. I liked using it, and the image stabilization worked well, but it was never sharp at 400mm… and about 80% of my pictures were taken at 400mm. That’s where wildlife photography happens; at the longest end of the longest lens you have. I sold the original 100-400 and bought the amazing Canon 400mm f/5.6 prime, and was blown away by the sharpness and handholdability. Sure, it doesn’t have zoom, and it doesn’t have image stabilization, but it gave pro results. I’ve talked at least 100 people into switching from the 100-400 to the 400 f/5.6 prime, and they all thanked me for it. But this new generation 100-400 II is a far better than lens than it’s predecessor. In our video test, we found it to be very slightly sharper than our beloved 400mm f/5.6 prime, and that’s quite a feat. However, it’s also significantly more expensive than the prime, despite giving similar results and being much heavier (and thus less hike-able). So, for wildlife, we still push most people towards the 400mm f/5.6 prime. If you think you’ll be zooming back below 400mm, save the extra budget for a Sigma or Tamron 70-200mm. If you’re convinced you need image stabilization at 400mm, the 100-400 II is the lens to get. If you watch our video test above, you’ll see that we found the 100-400 II to be sharper than the Sigma and Tamron 150-600mm lenses… not just at 400mm, but also at 600mm. Yes, we cropped from 400mm to 600mm, and the 100-400 II was still SIGNIFICANTLY sharper. There’s no reason to buy those 150-600mm lenses; just use this lens and crop.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Image stabilization
  • Sharper at 400mm and cropped to 600mm than other zooms at a native 600mm

Cons

  • More expensive & heavy than the 400mm f/5.6 prime, not especially more sharp