EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
I have owned this lens for over two years and it has been a real workhorse for me because of its versatility. This is not the sharpest, fastest or most convenient lens that I own but when I combine what it gives me shot after shot it is indispensable to me. I will discuss some of the things I don’t like about the lens and then talk about its positives.
The push pull zoom is something I still don’t care for. It takes both hands to manipulate it if it is in a locked position. Fortunately I haven’t had any of the dust problems that some people have talked about because of this design, but I find it to be inconvenient. Also the lens for me seems a bit slow on the auto-focus. This has become very evident to me when I am trying to lock on a bird in flight.
Now to the reasons why it has become my favorite walk-around lens. The tremendous versatility it provides because of its zoom range is valuable to me. I find that I use this lens for shooting landscapes as well as wildlife. I may have the lens mounted on a tripod capturing an image of the patterns and textures of the terrain when I notice a bird come into my vicinity. I can immediately adjust to capture that image without changing my lens. This has even become more of an advantage as I have changed to the 5D Mark II with the full frame sensor. I really enjoy being able to use the 100 mm at its full focal length for the landscapes.
The lens is also fairly light to hand hold and the IS feature works very well. The images are sharp and only start to soften slightly as I use the maximum aperture f5.6 at 400 mm. You will find it is important to remember to turn off the IS when you mount it on a tripod and turn it back on again when you hand hold. I fail to do this once in a while and the image sharpness does suffer.
Below are some images that I have taken with this lens in the Palouse that shows its versatility.
Road to the Clouds by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 200 f/13 1/320 200 mm
Ring-necked Pheasant by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 260 mm
Red Combine by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 200 f/10 1/500 400 mm
Red Barn with Fence by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 250 f/11 1/500 120 mm
Mule Deer in Flight by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/250 400 mm
I would highly recommend this lens to anyone wanting a good quality walk-around zoom lens. Thanks to its versatility and portability, I think you will find it will become one of your favorite tools as well.
Posted in Palouse Landscapes, Wildlife in the Palouse
Tagged animal, barn, clouds, combine, deer, harvest, harvester, landscape, mule deer, Palouse, tractor, windmill
Mule Deer Trio by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Preparation is a key when going on a photo shoot. Gear should be checked to make sure the cameras, lenses, tripod, extra batteries, flashes, cards and any other miscellaneous equipment is packed and ready for use. Upon arrival at the location the appropritate combination of equipment is set up to prepare to make the image we have been planning and visualizing.
It is also important to be prepared for the image you may have the opportunity to capture as you travel to the location. While traveling by car, I always have a camera body with a lens attached to it sitting on the seat next to me. I have found that many times an unexpected opportunity to capture a unique shot presents itself and I want to be prepared. The image seen above was just such an opportunity.
While traveling along a gravel road in the Palouse region of eastern Washington I came around a blind corner and this threesome was standing there to greet me. I picked up the camera and carefully rolled down my window and was able to take a series of images without scaring the deer trio into flight. Many times an animal or bird will stay to be photographed if you remain in your car.
As I prepare for this kind of opportunity I have the following equipment ready. My Canon 1D Mark III equipped with a Canon 100-400mm IS zoom set to ISO500, f5.6 at 400mm is ready for immediate use. Generally I have it set for 10 fps in AI focus mode. Through some trial and error I have found that this combination of equipment and settings prepares me for just about any wildlife situation that I may want to photograph from the car. The equipment is light enough to hand hold and the settings allow for a fast enough shutter speed to stop motion.
There are undoubtably many methods and combinations of equipment that can be effective for these unexpected opportunities. My experience tells me be prepared and you may be rewarded.