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Why Buy a Canon 100-400mm Lens

Updated on December 23, 2010

Where is my Canon 100-400mm lens?

This is me, but not yet with a Canon 100-400mm lens on my Canon Digital SLR Camera
This is me, but not yet with a Canon 100-400mm lens on my Canon Digital SLR Camera

Canon 100-400mm Telephoto Lens Envy

Ever get jealous? I do, particularly when it comes to my photographic camera equipment. Now I'm drooling about a new Canon 100-400mm lens presently. Down the road, you never know. However one thing is for certain, it will probably be some piece of camera equipment (or a new digital slr camera).

In all honesty, that Canon 100-400mm lens has actually been on my personal hit list for ages. It's not that I don't have some good lenses, though. In fact, I've got a Canon 70-200mm f4. It ain't the f/2.8 IS version, but  it is most certainly my finest lens. But, you know how it goes, you always want more.

Photographers are like golfers or fishermen. We are constantly on the prowl for something that will improve our game. In my case, I am limited in funds, so I can't go after the 500mm lenses that the National Geographic photographers use.

OK, let's get to the good stuff. Here are just three of the reasons the Canon 100-400mm lens is at the top of the list to be my next acquisition:

1. The telephoto zoom range has to be number one. It is great for the kinds of pictures I want. I take loads of bird photos, and without a super good telephoto lens, I have to come up with imaginative methods for getting closer to my feathered friends. The zoom to 400mm would be superior to the 200mm I now have. Plus, when you fit this lens on any digital camera with a crop sensor, such as a Digital rebel or 50D (or in my case a Canon 30D), you get a multiplier of 1.6 times the actual declared focal length (if my math is correct, that's 680mm). Now, I'm sayin', "That's what I'm talkin' about!"

2. This is an L series lens. "L" lenses are what all Canon photographers want in their arsenal of gear. It is Canon's finest quality lens group. You get the best image quality and much better construction and design than the non-L lenses. Plus, other photographers will be watching you and coveting your gear (see the tale down below).

3. Nature Photography requires a lens such as this. For us poor folks who can't afford the prime lenses at 400 or 500mm, this lens could be the next most suitable choice. I already mentioned taking pictures of birds. Well, let me tell you, birds and other creatures of nature won't just walk up to you, strike a pose and say "pickles and cheese." It just ain't gonna happen. When shooting photos of wildlife, one must undoubtedly have the right lens which can reach them where they are without sending warning signals for them to scatter. When you might be walking through the wilds of Denali National Park in Alaska or simply hiking in a nearby nature preserve, a telephoto lens with this kind of distance is just what the photo doctor ordered.

The Object of my envy - Canon 100-400mm lens

The Canon 100-400mm Lens - Ain't she a beauty?
The Canon 100-400mm Lens - Ain't she a beauty?

The Grass Is Always Greener

So here is the tale I promised above. It is a true story of my recent experience with "lens envy."

I had been traveling to where I work at just the right moment in the early morning for the sunlight to be perfect for a particular shot I'd been considering. It's a horse farm and stable which is right on one of the intersections where there is a 4-way stop, so I usually have time to look at this image that I had been "seeing in print". There are a few really good looking chestnut horses grazing in the field on a sloping hillside, and there is a small barn at the foot of the slope.

This particular morning, it happened to be the exact image I have been envisioning. So I pulled off the road right after turning the corner. Took out the trusty Canon digital slr from its secure place in my camera bag and connected my 70-200mm lens to it. I proceeded to cross the road and take up my location beside the fencing. I clicked a few pictures and moved to take a few more. I checked the rear LCD screen  to see how the shots were turning out.

I was a bit disappointed that I was so far away from the hillside. I realized that I would have to do some cropping after I got the photos uploaded to my computer.

At that point I heard a familiar sound off to my left and glanced over to see another guy doing exactly what I was doing. I noticed the familiar color of a Canon telephoto L lens. It was the Canon 100-400, and I began to get that sick feeling in my stomach.. perhaps you know the feeling I'm talking about? It's the one associated with jealousy.

Despite my covetous feelings about his lens, I had no ill feelings toward him, so I began a conversation, and he said that seeing me taking those shots had given him the courage to stop and do the same. It turns out that he was at about the same place in his photography journey as me (except HE had the lens that I wanted.. grr). We spoke for a few minutes, and upon parting, he gave me the name of a website where I could view the images he had shot of the horses.

Of course, I couldn't wait to see those shots, and when I did, it merely renewed my feelings of intense desire for that lens. I am looking forward to opening a box with a Canon 100-400mm lens, maybe for my birthday, or Presidents' Day, or September 3 (no significance to the date - any day will do).

Honey, are you reading this? (I hope she is..)

Anyway, Happy Shooting. I hope you get the lens of your dreams, too.

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