Green Woodpeckers and a Lens Review

A couple of months or so ago, I sold a lens, and bought a new one – the Canon 100-400 4.5, 5.6 MK2, which I intend to use with the 1.4 convertor.  This will give me 540mm at F8, and still allow full auto focus, on a full frame camera.  It replaced the Canon 70-300 which, although sharp and light, didn’t, in the end, give me the length I wanted, and I could not use it with extenders.

I’d used the new lens a couple of times, but not really in ‘anger’, as it were.  I discovered it was well balanced on the camera, ultra fast to focus, and had very little distortion or vignetting.

The other day, I was offered the chance to sit in a hide, to photograph green woodpeckers, and not knowing how far away these birds would be, I chose to take with me a 300mm 2.8 prime, with a x2 convertor, so 600mm at F5.6, and the 100-400 with the 1.4.

I ended up using the 100-400 mostly, as it was lighter, smaller, and easier to move in the lens space inside the hide.

Eager to compare the two lens performances, (and I should have taken two camera bodies with me) – I have to say there wasn’t much in it.

300mm 2.8 with no convertor / 1/200 sec, F7.1, -2/3 EV, ISO 250 on a tripod
100-400 no convertor, 1/500, F7.1, -2/3 EV, ISO 400, hand held


The 100-400 performed beautifully, and I was over the moon with the results.  The colleague I was with in the hide borrowed it, and in the end used it more than I did…. complete with extender, which I didn’t get to use.

There’s always next time.