Long Awaited Canon Super Telephoto Emerges From The Wild

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Canon has finally confirmed the impending release of one of the most anticipated lenses for wildlife and sports photographers, their EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x.

The lens, which is particularly aimed at professional sports and wildlife photographers, has several notable, distinguishing features. The primary one though, is the inclusion of an integrated 1.4x extender.

This can be engaged, or disengaged by flicking a lever rather than by having to risk exposing one’s camera to dust by removing the lens. Additionally, it transforms the lens into a 280-560mm on full frame cameras like the EOS 5D Mark Ill or the EOS 1D X, for example, or into a 448-896mm on an APS-C body with a 1.6x crop factor.

Cannon EF 400 mm f/4L

Cannon EF 400 mm f/4L

The lens further boasts a fixed f4 aperture, ideal for use in low light and for capturing pleasingly blurred backgrounds. Engaging the Teleconverter does cost you a stop though, in this case rendering the lens into a still respectable f5.6.

Built to last

As we have come to expect from Canon’s premium L lenses, the EF 200-400mm has been built to handle life in the rough, boasting a magnesium alloy design, environmental protection and specialized lens coatings.

Cannon EFs

Cannon EFs

According to Canon, the optical design includes both fluorite and Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens elements, which help minimize chromatic aberration and eliminate color blurring. Advanced anti-reflection Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Super Spectra Coating further reduce ghosting and flare.

The final feature worth mentioning is the newly designed optical Image Stabilizer (IS), which provides users with a four stop advantage. Furthermore, an IS Mode 3 applies image stabilization only at the time of exposure, which enables photographers to pan with fast-paced action without IS overcompensating for movement.

EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

To the point

Understandably, these features do come at a price, and the lens is expected to retail for about $10,000 if not more, when released Stateside, while local availability is expected by the beginning of this month. Although no official local pricing has been confirmed as yet, indications are that it will be in the region of $13,172. We suspect this is a lens that will separate the men from the boys so to speak, or at least compel a visit to the bank.

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