Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM with built-in 1.4x extender : world premiere

canon ef 200-400mm f/4L IS USM
canon ef 200-400mm f/4L IS USM

Here is an interesting innovation announced by Canon today with this f/4 L series telephoto lens, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM. The innovation lies in the integration of the optical extender which allows an extra x1.4 focal length to turn the 200-400mm into a more powerful 280-560mm (still f/4 !) with just a gesture while you are on the set without having to carry or acquire particular optical complement. This “extrazoom” is activated by a simple movement.

In addition to this well thought out innovation, the Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM is a real Canon L telephoto lens with a magnesium alloy frame and wheather sealings. It has, as its name suggests, the image optical stabilization that is enhanced by a third working mode in addition to classic mode and the second one for helping to achieve filé like on mooving cars. This mode activates the image stabilization only when you trigger. Canon states that “it is possible to support rapid movement followed without overcompensation for panoramic images.” This mode will be mostly used by sports photographers.

The ultrasonic USM autofocus motorization offers the ability to fine tune the focus manually after the autofocus crafted. The “PF” (Power Focus) will be operated with the pros Canon DSLRs EOS-1D C and EOS-1D X in video mode where it can shift the preset focus distance (Pull Focus) to quickly switch focus distance predefined to an other position precisely by turning the focusing ring.

On the optical side, the Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM lens incorporates Fluorite and UD glass (ultra-low dispersion glass) lenses to lower chromatic aberrations and improve the colors. The anti-reflective SWC and the Super Spectra coating are applied on internal lenses to fight against ghosting and various internal reflections. Its max. aperture of f/4 is available on the entire zoom range and even when you use the built-in 1.4x extender.

You will certainly have guessed by reading its upscale data sheet that the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM is a high-end telephoto lens (magnesium, fluorine, integrated extender ….) and this undoubtedly “pro” lens will sell at a “pro” price tage of € 12,999…. It will be available on May 29th.

I am just hoping will see this integrated focal length multiplier coming down to cheaper telephoto lens because this is a great idea.


canon ef 200-400mm f/4L IS USM
The canon ef 200-400mm f/4L IS USM will be remembered as the first lens to offer a built-in 1.4x extender.


Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM technical specifications


Optical Features/Specifications  
   Image size
 35mm film equivalent focal length (mm)
Angle of view (horzntl, vertl, diagnl) 10° – 5°10′, 7° – 3°30′, 12° – 6°10′

with extender 7°  20′- 3°40′, 4° 55′- 2°25′, 8° 50′ – 4°25′

Lens construction (elements/groups) 25/20 (33/24 with extender)
No. of diaphragm blades 9
Minimum aperture 32(45 with extender)1
Closest focussing distance (m) 2
Maximum magnification (x) 0.15 (0.21 with extender)
Distance Information Provided
Image stabilizer 4-stops
AF actuator Ring USM2
Physical Specifications  
  Dust/moisture resistance3 Yes
Filter diameter (mm) 52 drop in
Max. diameter x length (mm) 128×366
Weight (g) 3620
  Lens Cap E-145C
Lens hood ET-120 (WII)
Lens case/pouch 200-400
Magnification with Extension Tube EF12 II 0.20-0.03 (0.36- 0.02 with extender)
Magnification with Extension Tube EF25 II 0.26-0.07 (0.52- 0.05 with extender)
Extender Compatiblity Compatible
Other Accessories Lens wide strap B
Specifications with EF 1.4x III  
  Focal Length 280-560 (392-784 with built in extender)
Maximum Aperture 5.6-451 (8-64 with built in extender)
Maximum Magnification 0.21
AF Possible Yes4
IS Yes5
Specifications with EF 2x III  
  Focal Length 400-800 (560 -1120 with built in extender)
Maximum Aperture 8-64 (11 -91 with built in extender)
Maximum Magnification 0.31
AF Possible Yes4 (No with built in extender)
IS Yes5
 1 Minimum aperture if using 1/3stop increments    
 2 Full time Manual focus    
3 Lenses with dust/moisture resistance are fitted with a rubber ring on the lens mount which may cause slight abrasion of the camera mount.  This in no way effects either the lens or camera performance.
 4 AF only possible with EOS-1 series Cameras and 5D Mark III with Firmware update    
 5 IS will not work with EOS film cameras  with the exception of the EOS-1v when used with Mark III Extenders    

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