Excellent value for money
I have been owning this lens for the last two years. It's mated to my 7D for bird photography and I have absolutely no regrets. It's a delight to own. Initially I used to use it only on a tripod (since it doesn't come with IS). But since January 2012 I have done away with the tripod for shots of 1/125 or faster shutter speeds. It is so light that one can carry it effortlessly and is great particularly for birds in flight shots.
My only grouse is that it has too long a minimum focusing distance. You can push a switch and reduce it somewhat from 8.5 m to 3.5 but that comes at the cost of focusing speed. At 3.5 m focusing speed is fairly slow. This results in missed opportunities for those rare moments when a bird perches close to you.
For day long trips in the wilderness, it is best to carry the camera/lens as a sling rather than round your neck.
I might one day graduate to a 500 or even 600 mm lens but I don't see myself parting with this lens ever. It is great for shooting from situations where a tripod is impractical - for example from a small rocking country boat !!
January 30, 2013
Have used this lens for doing a variety of shots such as birding, wildlife and fun stuff (tracking butterflies in flight). I have also used the 100-400 which is great in concept but diifcult to manage in practice due to its push pull design.
The 400 prime's light weight and fast focus allows it to be easily handheld with the newer Canon bodies (higher ISO) allowing for great versatality in use. On a tripod it gives super sharp images.
Its great value for money for the reach it offers. The only con I have is that it's not weather sealed which is needed given that it's used outdoors.
A fun lens to own and use!!
December 13, 2012
Totally Awesome Lens!
I have owned and used this lens for about 5 years now and it is almost always on my camera! Sure, it is a bit heavy, but I have no problem walking around all day with it on my camera around my neck. I do a lot of Eagle and wildlife photography, so this lens is a fantastic tool!
This lens produces Razor sharp images at every setting from f5.6 to f/32 if you have enough light and a steady hand of tripod.
Even indoors at wide open aperture and slow shutter speeds I have been able to take amazing portraits from a distance during Orchestra Concerts using stage lighting.
I would and do Highly Recommend this lens to everyone!
November 23, 2012
Great bird lens
This is one fine lens. For those wishing to photograph birds this is the lens to start with and keep on using for a long time. With the smaller crop factor sensors on the Rebel series just put the camera on the lens and never take it off.This lens becomes the equivalent of a 640 mm lens on these smaller sensor cameras. For the price and quality, the 400 mm/5.6 is unparalleled. Auto-focus capture is quick and accurate. The only drawback to this lens is that it doesn't have image stabilization, but you really don't need it. The images are tack sharp. This is the best bird lens for the money on the market today.
November 9, 2012