04 December 2021

Acquiring the original Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens

Canon EF 100-400mm Lens for Birds and Flowers at Kirstenbosch / Woodbridge Island

Levaillant's Cisticola Copyright Vernon Chalmers Acquiring the original Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens
Levaillant's Cisticola : Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island

For Small Birds Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and Woodbridge Island,  Milnerton Cape Town

I have had quite a number of opportunities for testing the older Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens along the Diep River and the Table Bay Nature Reserve at Woodbridge Island (perched birds / birds in flight) and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden (smaller birds / flowers).

100-400mm Zoom Lens Objective
My objective was to find the most suitable and effective body / zoom lens combination for my Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town small bird and flower photography.

I've tested the lens on both the Canon EOS 70D and 7D Mark II and found the best value proposition pairing for the lens to be the EOS 70D.

Canon 100-400mm Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter >>

My Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens is my preferred go-to lens for birds in flight, but it is rather limited as a prime / non-zoom 400mm lens for my shooting requirements at Kirstenbosch. 

Southern double-collared Sunbird Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS 70D
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens
I purchased the original Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens from a client in late November 2021. After a long time thinking about my options, I made the decision to purchase this lens for my Kirstenbosch small bird photography (paired at this stage with my Canon EOS 70D). 

Image to the right was was captured at Kirstenbosch paired with my EOS 70D before I made any purchasing decisions. This image of a double-collared sunbird was the image that decided the lens is more than good enough for my purpose(s).

A review of the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens shortly after release.

Compared to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens (for my purpose)
I also own and use the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens. Although this is optically one of the sharpest Canon EF lenses I own, its just a bit too 'short' for my purpose / licking at Kirstenbosch.

Versatility of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens.

My Birds in Flight Photography lens Canon EF 400 f/5.6L USM lens paired with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Birds in Flight Photography with the original Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens

Canon Camera / Lens used at Woodbridge Island / Kirstenbosch: 
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens (Mark I)
  • AV Mode: 400mm / f/5.6 / Auto- ISO (Various) Shutter Speeds (Various)
  • Manual Mode: 400mm / f/5.6 / Auto- ISO (Various) / 1/1000s - 1/3200s shutter speeds
  • Lens IS Switched off / Handheld

Post-Processing
: Adobe Lightroom 

Perched Karoo Prinia Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Perched Karoo Prinia Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Perched Southern Masked Weaver Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Perched Southern Masked Weaver Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Grey Heron in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Grey Heron in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Also with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens Glorious Morning at Kirstenbosch

Using the Canon Extender EF 1.4x III with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens

Vernon Chalmers Photography Popular Posts