To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 319 - The Canon EF 100 - 400L IS USM Lens

So, I finally got myself the lens I was looking to get for my birding.  And what's my verdict?

Well, I am not that happy with what I got.  I think I had really high expectations, especially since it's an L series lens. But (and there's a big BUT in it), I tried the lens in poor light.  The little park in front had very little light, and I had to not only pump up the ISO, I had to slow down the shutter as well.

The rule for shutter speed is dictated by the focal length of the lens, if you want to obtain a really sharp image.  For instance, when I was shooting racked out at 400 mm, my shutter speed should have been at least 1/400s, so I wouldn't have camera shake.  However, I was shooting at 1/90s.  Although there is no visible camera shake, the images are soft.  And this is a monster of a lens, and weighs nearly 1.4 kgs!  The combined weight of my camera and lens is about 2.2 kgs.  And I was shooting handheld.  Whose fault is it that I wasn't satisfied with the quality of images?

And the ISO being at 1600 didn't help any!

Therefore, before I judge my new Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, I should probably try it out under better lighting conditions.

This image was the only one that was passable enough to post.  No, this isn't my pet.  This adorable doggy was sitting on my neighbour's balcony all by himself looking out longingly at the other doggies in the park.  I hope he gets to go out at times.


And I need to acknowledge how good the autofocus is on my Canon EOS 7D.   It was a challenge shooting through the numerous tree branches and the railing bars on the balcony.  I am slowly trying to wrap my head around the AF functions on the camera.  They are so numerous, that I would probably need a week of dedicated practise to master them.

I think I really need to try the lens in better light, and give it a chance at justifying the price I paid, which is incidentally a lot cheaper than the posted price on Amazon.  The camera store I go to gave me a decent deal on it.


  1. aw sorry you don't like it, can you return it?

  2. I'm actually rethinking the lens - not sure what I'll do with it yet, but my 2nd experience with it seems to have gone much better! Keeping my fingers crossed...