Technique Tuesday – Canon EF 100-400mm Lens

For as much versatility as you get out of it, the Canon EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM lens is light weight, which means it’s great for traveling and backpacking. This is a particularly sharp lens with great glass and a smooth action collar. It also works well with extenders, which only adds to it’s versatility and value. The quick action zoom makes it a go-to lens for me for capturing wildlife.

What are some of your favorite lenses that never leave your pack? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know what’s out there, and check out my gear page for more recommendations!

11 Responses to “Technique Tuesday – Canon EF 100-400mm Lens”

  1. Rafa says:

    Good morning Art,
    It seems to me a surprising objective and full of possibilities. Someday, I hope and wish, that it’s in my backpack.
    I currently carry the Canon 24-105 F / 4 IS II with a Canon 700D (my intention is to change as soon as possible to a Full Frame), my next goal, which I think is almost basic, would be the Canon 70-200 F / 4 IS.
    Do you think it is worth buying the Canon 70-200 and then the Canon 100-400 or take the jump directly to the Canon 100-400 ?.
    I usually do mountain photography and some wildlife, but a lot of landscape.

  2. John Mack says:

    Hey Art, I use a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary for wildlife. I have the old 100-400 But haven’t used it since i got the Sigma.

  3. John nelson says:

    Art,my canon 100-400 always goes along with my canon70-200 lens my canon1d m2 has my canon600 mn.

  4. George says:

    Hello Art,
    I agree, the 100-400 v2 is a clear cut winner. After several years of using the 100-400 v1, the version 2 is a gem. As to Rafa’s question, the 70-200 f/4 L IS is a very sharp, light weight
    lens. Everybody needs a 70-200 in their bag. It was my first “L” lens, and really opened my eyes to what a good lens should be. If I had to choose between the two, I still think I would pick the more versatile (to me) 70-200 first, but you coulden’t go wrong with either.

  5. Dallas Wright says:

    Hi Art, my go to lens on my camera is the 24-105 f4 Series 2. I also have the 70-200 f4 and 16-35 f2.8 V2 in my bag. All three of these are great, sharp lenses to have. I also have the 100-400 V II. It is very versatile and sharp and works well with the Series III 1.4 converter. I’ve got some great shots with it. I would agree that having both the 70-200 and the 100-400 would not be redundant.

  6. -hh says:

    Art certainly remembers this sort of question from back in the days of film too.

    My debate was the 100-400 versus a 70-200 f.28 IS with 1.4x teleconverter, a trade-off that essentially was asking if one was willing to lose some reach for the faster (without teleconverter) f/2.8 aperture for use in low light conditions.

    I ended up going for the 70-200 and its been my go-to for years now (for wide angle, its an EF-S 10-22mm on a 7D). If I had to do a gear reset, because of the strides made in digital cameras for high quality high ISO, I’d very much consider the opposite of what I did, and get the 100-400 today.

  7. Robert McNeil says:

    my go to lens is 100-400 mark2 on 7dmark2 and for landscape 6d with 16-35 lens with nisi filters

  8. Now thats what called techniques thanks for sharing such informative article.

  9. I am looking to upgrade to the 100-400 V2 from the V1… but seeing that some are made in Japan and some in Korea! Which is best? Thanks!

    • Avatar photo Art Wolfe says:

      I can’t speak to any differences in the country of origin so picking the best would be difficult and a guess. I currently use the 100-500 for most of my telephoto needs these days and I’m super happy with that lens!

    • deirdre says:

      Hi Linda, Art has sold his EF100-400mm II lens, which he used successfully for many years, & replaced it with the new RF100-500mm, which is even more versatile. You might find helpful comparison reviews on sites such as

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