Why I love my 100-400mm lens: Richard Pohle

For news photographers, the lens is everything. You need the reach to be able to frame your subjects, you need the speed to be able to freeze the action in all conditions, you need the build that means that carrying the lens all day isn’t going to give you chronic back problems (though some are willing to compromise on that last one). Which lens you end up favouring will depend on the precise nature of your discipline – many photographers who work in all sorts of conditions will favour the workhorse 70-200mm, while those who find themselves needing pin-sharp image quality at a distance will plump for a 500 or 600mm prime.

Some, however, prefer the best of both worlds. At Fixation we’ve long rated the 100-400mm lens as the ideal jack-of-all-trades lens for a working press photographer, and someone who firmly agrees is Richard Pohle, staff photographer at The Times. Winner of the 2019 Arts and Entertainment Photographer of the Year at the UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards, Richard is a familiar and highly respected face in the industry

Richard’s lens has covered a huge range of the news sphere, from political party conferences to state visits by foreign leaders and huge military ceremonies, and he swears by his Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM Lens as the tool to get the job done in a huge number of situations. We were intrigued, so we got in touch to find out why this lens works so well for what Richard does…

EF 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6L IS II USM


Thanks for talking to us, Richard. So how did you get started using the 100-400mm lens for press work?

I cover a lot of events – things with the royals, a lot of military ceremonies. I always used to have to carry around the 400mm f/2.8 and then also have the 70-200mm by my side. And the 400mm f/2.8 especially was always so lumbering and heavy, it was very unwieldy. I saw some of the royal-photography guys use the 100-400mm when it first came out, and I thought, “Wow, what an absolutely practical lens for the type of thing that I need to do.” 

That scope, from 100mm to 400mm in one lens, was exactly the thing that I needed – one, to cover royals, and two, to cover what I especially like doing: military ceremonies and state occasions. 

I’m one of these photographers who doesn’t always necessarily have my camera pointed at the main event – I’m always looking off to the side to see what’s happening there. And when you suddenly turn a 400mm f/2.8 lens away from the main subject to something you’ve seen on the side, you’re knocking out three photographers next to you, and getting a load of abuse for it! So the 100-400mm lens just allows me to be more flexible in where I’m pointing, and means I’m able to go from middle distance to reasonably far distance no problem.

That’s definitely evident from your portfolio – you have a real eye for the moments that are happening a little away from the main action.

When I’m doing state ceremonies or military ceremonies, I arrive early, and I walk around trying to find the moments of people getting ready, which for me always makes for a better picture than the actual event! So I like to wander around and look a bit incognito, but with a large 400mm or a 600mm lens, you can’t do that. With a 100-400mm lens, you can quite easily stand off to the side, and when you see something happening, happily shoot away. You can have it dangling on one shoulder and another camera on another shoulder

Have you seen other photographers making the jump? From the way you describe it, it sounds like a no-brainer!

It does – from the point of view of a practical news photographer, which is what I am. If you’re, say, a royal photographer, you will want to stick with your 600mm or 800mm prime lens, because they’ve got more reach. Also, while it’s less of a problem these days with digital cameras, the f/5.6 aspect of it puts some people off. It’s an incredibly sharp lens all the way through, but if there is a degradation, it would be at the f/5.6 end. For me as a news photographer, it doesn’t matter – for a magazine photographer, it might. 

It’s been a wrench to move away from the 70-200mm, absolutely, and I still find myself going to the 70-200mm when I know I’m not using it for big occasions, but the 100-400mm is the go-to lens when I’m doing state ceremonies or events like that.

What body do you use with it?

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. 

Okay, so that’s a setup that’ll do basically anything.

Yes, if I’ve got a 100-400mm lens on one shoulder and my 24-70mm on the other – that’s it. I’m completely made up; I’ve covered everything from 24mm all the way up to 400mm in two bodies.

13th July 2008 The Queen and Donald Trump photography by Richard Pohle
Queen and Trump 13th July 2018 by Richard Pohle using the EF 100-400mm L mark II lens

Do you think about mirrorless at all? The RF mount has that nice-looking 100-500mm…

All the time. It’s the number-one source of conversation at the moment. It’s just the cost implications of moving over; you’ve got to think about these things carefully, financially speaking. But it is the future, there’s no question. The idea of being completely silent is very very appealing, especially for some of the things I have to photograph, and the tracking mechanism seems absolutely awesome. I’ve had a quick play with it and I was very, very impressed. It is the future, there’s no denying it.

Finally, is there a particular image taken on the 100-400 that you’re proudest of?

The picture that I think of as the best picture I’ve taken on the 100-400mm is when Donald Trump visited the UK and he inadvertently walked in front of the Queen. The Queen had to sidestep out from behind him because he suddenly stopped, and she nearly collided with him. I was the only photographer who got that, because I was on the 100-400mm and I could manage to get it framed and shoot it. And it’s gone on to be exhibited and things like that.

It was actually taken on a hire-in 100-400mm lens; my one was in for repair because I’d dropped it. I was so panicked about doing this event without the 100-400mm that I hired it in. And thank god I did!

Richard Pohle was talking to Jon Stapley. See more of his images at his website, www.richardpohle.com


New releases from Sony | Fuji | Canon and Sigma

Sony introduces high-resolution Alpha 7R IV Camera with world’s first 61.0 MP back-illuminated full-frame image sensor

The Sony A7R IV mirrorless camera features an impressive 61MP full-frame sensor, making it the highest resolution camera in its class on release. The newly developed sensor is back-illuminated and offers up to 15-stops of dynamic range. The A7R IV also features the same pixel-shift multi-shooting mode as found in the A7 III, creating stunning 240MP images.X-T2_BK_18-55mm_FrontLeft_White
Main Features

  • A brand new back-illuminated 35mm full-frame 61MP image sensor – a world’s first
  • 15-stop of enhanced dynamic range
  • 5-axis Optical In-Body Image Stabilisation
  • Superior AF performance: 567 phase-detection points, covering 74% of the frame
  • Real-time tracking iAF for both humans and animals
  • Built for video: Full sensor width capture, oversampled 6K for 4K capture, touch tracking.
  • Real-time iAF tracking for video – a first for Sony
  • Digital audio interface in camera – another first for Sony
  • A reliable professional tool: Dual UHS-II slots, refined focus control, 2.4+5GHz WiFi,
  • 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED viewfinder
  • USB-C connecton


Sony releases long-awaited FE 35mm F1.8 lens

The lightweight 35mm prime lens for full-frame cameras is a versatile choice for everything from table-top photography to the great outdoors. Fast, quiet AF operation and reliable AF tracking make it suitable for shooting videos as well as stills



Main Features

  • Standard prime lens with fast F1.8 aperture
  • Quiet, reliable AF tracking for movies as well as stills
  • 9-blade circular aperture for smooth bokeh
  • An aspherical element for high corner-to-corner resolution
  • Dust and moisture resistant design


Sigma has launched a newly developed, high-performance lens series for full-frame mirrorless cameras

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN  “Contemporary” is compact  in size while maintaining high image quality and is compatible with full-frame mirrorless cameras.


Main Features

  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof structure
  • Full-time manual mode
  • Available Mount Conversion Service
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system: A1
  • 7-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, rugged brass bayonet mount


The Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN  “Art” enables a creation of artwork with astounding resolution and large bokeh effects, such as portraits that make use of a shallow depth of field.

Main Features

  • Full-time manual mode
  • Hood with lock
  • Available Mount Conversion Service
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system: A1
  • 11-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, rugged brass bayonet mount


The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN  “Art” is a large-diameter, ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras. While pursuing the ultimate image quality of the Art line, the size is reduced thanks to the exclusive design for mirrorless cameras.


Main Features

  • Full-time manual mode
  • Available Mount Conversion Service
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system: A1
  • 11-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, rugged brass bayonet mount


The new Canon RF 24-240mm f4-6.3 IS USM Lens is the perfect travel companion with its portable, versatile 10x zoom lens for the EOS R system that’s ideal for everything from wide-angle landscapes to frame-filling portraits, and even close-up sport and wildlife. This lens represents a new standard in full-frame image quality, especially at this focal range.

X-T2_BK_18-55mm_FrontLeft_WhiteMain Features

  • Versatile 10x zoom range: Focal lengths covering 24-240mm
  • Near-silent Nano USM focusing: Fast for stills; smooth for video
  • Five-stop Image Stabilizer: Protects against blur from camera shake
  • Weighs just 750g: Portable lightweight design
  • Circular, seven-bladed aperture: For smooth, natural bokeh
  • Large lockable zoom ring: Turns through 100°
  • Clickless 1/8-stop aperture control: When shooting movies
  • Customisable control ring: Adaptable to the way you work
  • Full-time manual focusing: Take control at any time
  • Built for the EOS R system: Maximise the performance of your EOS R

FUJIFILM has launched their latest addition to the X Series lens lineup.

The FUJINON XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR is a compact 5x zoom lens that covers a range of focal lengths from wide angle to mid-telephoto with a constant F4 aperture



Main Features

  • Advanced image quality
  • Compact, lightweight and stylish design for superior operability
  • Powerful OIS
  • Fast and silent autofocus
  • The lens barrel is sealed at 10 locations making the lens dust and weather resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C


FUJIFILM launchesits their smallest GF lens yet for the GFX Large Format System,  the FUJINON GF50mmF3.5 R LM WR which is the tenth lens for GFX large format system


Main Features

  • Outstanding image quality
  • Compact 84x48mm and weighing only 335g.
  • High performance, fast and silent.
  • Durable,  sealed in ten places, making it dust and weather resistant




Nikon | Canon | Fujifilm new releases image

Nikon | Canon | Fujifilm new releases

Nikon today introduces the first of the f2.8 pro lenses for Nikon Z. The NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is a professional lens that boasts an exceptionally compact build, advanced optics, and extensive weather sealing. Stills or video, this workhorse lens delivers superb results.




Main feature
  • Exceptional close-up performance: Minimum focus distance of 0.38m
  • Advanced optical design: 17 elements in 15 groups with anti-reflective ARNEO and Nano Crystal coatings
  • Customisable control ring: Manual focusing (default), silent aperture control (great for iris transitions during video recording), or exposure compensation
  • L-Fn (lens function) button: Assign up to 21 different functions. From AF lock to metering, bracketing, and more. OLED information display panel: quickly confirm aperture, focus distance, exact focal length, and depth of field
  • Tough, compact build with extensive sealing to protect from dust and moisture

The Canon EOS RP is essentially a smaller, lighter and cheaper alternative to the imaging giant’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS RX-T2_BK_18-55mm_FrontLeft_White

Just like its bigger sibling, the EOS RP is powered by the DIGIC 8 image processor and boasts Canon’s coveted Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The mirrorless camera houses a full-frame 26.2MP CMOS sensor and is capable of reaching a maximum ISO of 40,000. Alongside Dual Pixel CMOS AF, the EOS RP matches its high-end counterpart’s 88% horizontal and 100% vertical coverage. And – although not quite as impressive as the EOS R’s mammoth 5,655 AF points – the EOS RP still packs a similarly jaw-dropping 4,779 AF positions. It also features Face+Tracking, Eye AF, One-shot AF and Servo AF modes, and those shooting in low light can make use of the camera’s ability to focus down to an impressive -5 EV.
Main features
  • Incredible quality images at any time of day
  • EOS handling without compromise
  • See everything, miss nothing with Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Shoot flexibly and connect seamlessly
  • Create high quality and super-steady movies

The Fujifilm X-T30, the follow-up to the X-T20, now boasts Fujifilm’s fourth generation image sensor and processor found in the X-T3.

Designed for all photographers from beginner to advanced, the X-T30 offers phase detection pixels across the entire frame, Full HD and 4K/30p video recording, a new intuitive 3.0″ touch-screen, and an improved body design for increased comfort and stability.
Main features
  • New Fourth generation 26.1-megapixel APS-C X Trans CMOS 4 image sensor and X Processor 4 (same as X-T3)
  • AF algorithm has been improved to deliver even more advanced AF-tracking performance for both stills and video
  • 100% phase detection pixels are now across the entire frame, making it possible to quickly and accurately focus on a subject
  • Improved video functionality: 4K at 30fps, Full HD 1080p, including 120fps to create super slow motion effects
  • Filmmakers needing high colour fidelity can record 10-bit, 4:2:2 colour through the camera’s HDMI port
  • New intuitive 3.0″ 1.04M-dot 2-way tilting touch LCD & 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • New Focus Lever: replaces Selector Buttons to achieve faster and more intuitive camera operation, allows for extra grip too
  • Improved ISO: extended 80-51200, standard ISO160-12800
  • Built-in WiFi for shooting from your smartphone or tablet devices
  • 1x SD UHS-I card slot, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth V.4.2, headphone Jack via USB-C Adapter & NP-W126S battery

The Fujifilm XF16mm f2.8 R WR Lens expands the X series line-up of compact, lightweight and stylish lenses with a focal length that’s suitable for architecture, landscape and low-light photographyX-T2_BK_18-55mm_FrontLeft_White
Designed for Fujifilm’s mirrorless cameras, the lens features a focal length equivalent to 24mm (in the 35mm format), has a maximum aperture of f2.8 and adopts an inner focusing system driven by a stepping motor for faster and quieter auto-focusing.

Main feature
  • The lens features 10 lens elements in 8 groups including two aspherical elements. Optimal arrangement of aspherical lenses suppress spherical aberrations and field curvature while maintaining high performance from the center of the screen to every corner.
  • The lens weighs just 155g and is 45.4mm in length. It is the widest lens of the compact prime lens series. The aperture and focusing rings feature precise click stops and smooth damping for enhanced operation. The metal exterior uses the same design style as XF23mmF2 R WR, XF35mmF2 R WR, and XF50mmF2 WR for a robust, premium feel.
  • The inner focusing AF system uses a stepping motor to drive lightweight focusing elements for a fast, silent autofocus performance.
  • The lens is weather-sealed at nine points around the barrel making it weather and dust resistant. It is designed to operate in temperatures as low as -10°C. Used with the weather and dust-resistant FUJIFILM X-Pro2 or X-T1/T2/T3, and X-H1 bodies means users can shoot confidently in light rain or dusty environments without worrying about the conditions.
Fujifilm X-T3 unveiled images

Fujifilm X-T3 unveiled

The Fujifilm X-T3 features a new X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 image processing engine for the delivery of outstanding stills and video. Is this the moment to switch to mirrorless?



Fujifilm has officially announced the new X-T3. The APS-C mirrorless camera boasts superb image quality and an enhanced ability to track a moving subject – AF performance has been significantly improved and the electronic shutter is capable of up to 30fps blackout-free burst shooting. The X-T3 is also the world’s first APS-C mirrorless camera that can record internal 10-bit 4K video at 60fps.

Main features

– The combined might of the X-T3’s X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 is set to deliver superb image quality and the fastest processing in X-Series history.

– The X-T3’s X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor boasts four times the number of phase detection pixels than the camera’s predecessor (the X-T2). This has increased the phase detection AF area to cover approximately 100% of the frame.

– The X-T3’s electronic shutter is capable of blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 30fps. The mechanical shutter is capable of continuous shooting at 11fps (without the vertical grip).

– Improvements have been made to the mirrorless camera’s low-light performance. The X-T3’s native ISO range is 160-12,800 and its low-light AF limit is -3EV.

– Enhanced viewfinder performance should improve the user’s ability to track a moving subject. The new Sports Finder mode is targeted towards action photographers by capturing a 1.25x crop, marked on the rear LCD or EVF. The larger field of view is intended to aid the manual tracking of a subject, while also decreasing the blackout time.

– The X-T3 can capture 4K at 60fps in 10-bit 4:2:0 internal SD card recording and 4K at 60fps in 10-bit 4:2:2 HDMI output (both can be filmed at the same time). Supported video formats include the widely-used MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC for greater data compression.

*As of September 6, 2018, according to FUJIFILM data

Vertical Power Booster Battery Grip VPB-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)



This Vertical Battery Grip is dust and water resistant, and is capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C. It houses two batteries, bringing the total number of batteries to three (including the one in the camera body). This increases the maximum number of frames that can be taken per charge to approximately 1,100 (in Normal mode). The camera does not need to suspend its operation to switch to a new battery, even during continuous shooting or video recording.

Main features

– The grip features a variety of buttons to provide the same level of operability when shooting vertically, as you’d expect when shooting horizontally.

– Charge batteries within the VPB-XT3 by using the supplied AC adapter (AC-9VS). You can fully charge two batteries at the same time in approximately two hours.

Key Features: Fujifilm X-T3 Digital Camera Body – Black

  • New back-illuminated 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor
  • New X-Processor 4 image processing engine
  • 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit internal SD card recording
  • Full HD 1080/120p slow motion recording
  • Dramatically improved AF performance (1.5x faster)
  • ISO160-12800 (extendable from ISO 80 to 51200)
  • Features Fujifilm’s Colour Chrome Effect found in the GFX50S
  • 30 fps continuous shooting in 1.25x crop ‘Sports Finder’ mode (electronic shutter)
  • 20 fps continuous shooting at full resolution with AF (electronic shutter); 11 fps mechanical shutter (without grip)
  • 3.69-million-dot high resolution EVF (100% coverage)
  • 3.0″ 1.04 million dot 3-directional tilting touch screen LCD monitor (100% coverage)
  • New Sports Finder mode and New Pre-Shoot function
  • Dual SD card slots
Fixation | Official Fujifilm Service Centre

Fixation | Official Fujifilm Service Centre

Fujifilm have today launched the Fujifilm Professional Service (FPS) and we’re proud to announce we will be an official Service & Support Centre, working in conjunction with Fujifilm to offer benefits to FPS members.


With the increasing numbers of professional photographers switching to Fuji mirrorless cameras like the X-Pro2 and X-T2, and also with the launch of the GFX medium format mirrorless system in March 2017, there is an increasing need to offer support to these photographers in a similar vein to services offered by Nikon & Canon.

As Fuji products have evolved and are now widely used by professional photographers, it is a natural development that Fixation should be able to offer service support for Fuji products. We are also proud to be a key supporter of the FPS programme. Fixation General Manager

The scheme is open to working photographers who own either a GFX system or at least 2 professional X system bodies and 3 XF lenses. Membership to FPS will be offered free of charge for the first 2 years.

Paul Stewart, long time Fixation customer and professional press photographer, switched to Fuji over a year ago and hasn’t looked back. ” I’m delighted to hear that Fixation will be the London Support Centre for FPS. It’s something I’ve been asking Fuji for and I’m glad they listened!”

3-fuji-cameras-compressorFujifilm’s GFX, X-Pro2 & X-T1 models have been well received by professional photographers

Mick Edwards, Fixation’s Technical Manager will be heading up the Fuji service department: “We’re very excited to take on Fuji as an authorised service centre, allowing us to support our customers as we’ve always done.”

FPS members will be able to take advantage of while-you-wait sensor cleaning, cosmetic repairs and loan stock if equipment has to be sent away for more extensive repair.

For more information on which models we can service, click here.

For details on how to join the FPS, see Fujifilm’s page here

Hi, how can we help?