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Kit Bag – Canon RF 100-400mm f5.6-8 IS USM Lens

The Canon RF 100-400 f5.6-8 IS USM lens , is a lightweight RF mount zoom lens aimed primarily at hobbyists and enthusiasts and promises to deliver stunning images of wildlife , as well as being affordable and compact which should make for a portable easy to use option suited to both close-up and distance photography. Compared to it’s big brother the L series 100-500 it certainly delivers on portability , weighing in at 635g compare to 1530g so obviously a massive saving in weight. Add in 5.5 stop optical image stabilisation and you have a lens you can comfortably hand hold all day.

The lens uses a Nano USM motor delivering near silent and fast auto focus together with the now standard Lens Control Ring giving you more control over camera functions when on the move. I have been using this lens on my second body for a couple of weeks now and it certainly is quick and very easy to use , plus at only 165mm long , it’s also compact enough to fit into my camera bag with two bodies and two lenses , a real bonus.

The lens controls are well lauded out and configured, as well as the Lens Control Ring there’s a selection switch for manual and and focus , control switch to select image stabilisation and finally a lens lock switch , always hand when transporting the lens to stop lens creep. One noticeable absence is a tripod thread , probably not a deal breaker because I’m guessing most users will hand hold , however at the price point I would have expected the lens to have one.

Another disappointment for me is the lack of lens hood. As with most of Canons RF STM lenses the hood isn’t included and if you opt to add this from Canon it comes at a considerable extra cost . However I’m splitting hairs here a little bit because for the money this is a cracking good lens. In the limited time I have been testing the lens it has outperformed my expectations and the quality of images is pretty good , I have excluded a few images at the bottom of this review.

So the million dollar question , should you buy one ? If you want a portable lightweight small lens for wildlife photography then this could be the right solution. Easy to use , economically prices and delivering surprisingly good results the answer is a definitive yes.


  • Focal length. Tele 400mm Wide 100mm
  • Aperture blades. 9
  • Mount type. Canon RF mount
  • Filter thread. 67mm
  • Lens hood model. ET74B – optional purchase
  • Minimum Focal .88m
  • Sensor size. Full frame
  • Size. 79.5mm x 164.7mm
  • Weight. 635g

The lens is supplied with a 67mm lens cap and RF dust cap. Expect to pay around £ 699.00

Images taken using the Canon RF 100-400 STM

4 replies »

  1. I’m a Canon shooter, have a large number of lens and bodies. I say that first because the ‘new’ Canon has pushed me away. No plastic lens hood, really 😳. No tripod mount, again ! Combine that with no support for third party lens now. If Canon users change to mirrorless it seems it would be to be open to other systems. I know we are.


    • I know , a little disappointing not to have a tripod mount and having to pay extra for a lens hood , I think even at this price point it needs to be included. I still have a Canon dslr , plus a load of lenses but have to admit the mirrorless now suits my needs perfectly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S that seems to have been quite a bit more expensive than that as well as twice as heavy (probably because of the tripod collar). But it is fun to shoot with and with all the lens stabilization as well as in-body stabilization I can shoot hand-held in decent light. It does get a bit heavy after a while though.

    I have also shot it with the 2.0x teleconverter and that works well but you lose 2 stops of light so you have to really bump up the ISO.

    I think the lens hood is worth the added expense just to make me feel better about bumping into things.


    • I normally use a hide for wildlife , I suppose I’m getting old , so for me the deciding factor when switching to mirrorless was the weight of the equipment. I normally carry at least 2 bodies plus 800mm , 600mm and 100-400. It’s a 1/2 mile walk to the hide so weight really matters. And I agree, never shoot without a lens hood.


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