Canon announces availability of their new EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with built in 1.4x Extender

Canon demonstrated this new lens earlier this year, and has now announced the availability of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with a built in 1.4x Extender.

This lens has a very unique design, as you can increase the effective focal length so that it becomes a 280mm to 560mm lens with a flick of a switch that enables built in optics that act as a 1.4x Teleconverter. When using on a camera with an APS-C size sensor versus a 35mm size sensor, the effective focal length will become even longer (equivalent to a 320-640mm lens without the extender turned on, or equivalent to a 448-896mm lens with the extender enabled). That's an amazing focal range for a zoom lens with its light gathering ability.

This is a premium quality lens including the latest optical advances like use of both Fluorite and Ultra-Low Dispersion lens elements to reduce Chromatic Aberrations, with the latest Lens coatings to help minimize any flare and ghosting in harsher lighting.

As with many other Canon "L" series lenses, only the best state-of-the-art technology is being used, and this new Canon Lens model uses a newly designed optical stabilization system designed to allow hand holding of the lens with as much as a 4 stop advantage, allowing the use of dramatically slower shutter speeds than would normally be possible without a tripod to prevent blur from camera shake. Given its focal length (up to 400mm without using the built in extender, or up to 560mm using it's extender on a camera with a full frame sensor), this type of stabilization system is a "must have" for hand held photography in anything except the brightest of conditions to allow the sharpest images possible.

As the model description implies, this a constant aperture lens, allowing the use of a constant f/4 aperture throughout its full focal range, unlike lesser lenses that lose light gathering ability as you zoom in more to capture distant subjects. Of course, as with the use of a dedicated TC (TeleConverter), the built in 1.4x Extender is going to reduce the light gathering ability of the lens by approximately 1 stop (making it function more like a 280-560mm f/5.6 lens with the built in extender switched on). That's still an amazing feat for a lens with its focal range, and we look forward to seeing some photos taken by it from Sports and Wildlife enthusiasts that participate in the forums here at Steve's.

Because this new Canon lens model features a sophisticated Ring Type Ultrasonic Motor system for focusing, autofocus performance for tracking rapidly moving subjects should also be outstanding when coupled with one of Canon's pro level dSLR models.

Of course, as with most other L series lenses, build quality will be outstanding, as this lens uses a magnesium alloy housing to help it stand up to tougher conditions with a lower size to weight ratio than you'd find in a lesser lens; and this new lens is also dust and moisture resistant for use in less than optimum weather conditions.

This lens should be available immediately in the U.S. at an estimated retail price of $11,799.00. See the press release about this new Canon 200-400mm f/4L ISM USM Lens with a built in F/1.4x Extender below:


Canon U.S.A. Announces The Availability Of The Versatile EF 200-400mm F/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens

Award-Winning Photographer Shares First-Hand Experiences with the EF 200-400mm F/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens

MELVILLE, N.Y., May 14, 2013 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced a dynamic new super-telephoto zoom lens, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x. Designed for use with all Canon EOS Digital SLR cameras, the new L-series lens has an integrated 1.4x focal length extender and high-performance Image Stabilization technology, offering exceptional shooting flexibility and range, ideal for sports or wildlife photography.

The new EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x zoom lens features an optically matched built-in 1.4x extender that increases the maximum focal length to 560mm, simultaneously preserving image quality and enabling the seamless capture of distant, moving subjects. With a simple switch, photographers can easily increase zoom range, which is extremely useful when it's difficult to change lenses quickly, and helps protect delicate equipment like a DSLR camera's image sensor in environments with dust, high humidity or other extreme environmental factors.

Peter Read Miller, an award-winning sports photographer and Canon Explorer of Light, recently used the new lens while shooting various worldwide sporting competitions.

"I had the opportunity recently to use Canon's new 200-400 lens at a number of sporting events," said Miller. "I found it to be incredibly versatile, replacing several different prime lenses that I would usually carry. The zoom allows me to control my framing; the autofocus has speed equal to or faster than most fixed focal length telephoto lenses and the ability to engage the 1.4 extender without taking my eye away from the camera is a unique feature not found in any other telephoto lens available today."

To help deliver beautiful, soft, image backgrounds, the lens features a 9-blade circular aperture. The lens also utilizes inner focusing, ring USM, a high-speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms for fast and accurate autofocusing. Quiet and smooth focus shifts - essential for filmmaking - are made possible with Canon's Power Focus mode.

Using advanced optical materials such as fluorite crystal and UD glass, the new lens provides excellent correction of chromatic aberration throughout the entire zoom range, and delivers high-quality images with high levels of resolution, color fidelity and contrast. With three image stabilization modes, (standard, panning, and during exposure only) and stabilization effective up to four shutter speed steps, the new EF 200-400mm lens provides excellent results for a wide range of subjects and shooting scenarios. The new lens also includes dust- and water-resistant construction designed for extended usage under harsh conditions.

"The EF 200-400 along with the Canon EOS-1D X camera body is my new 'go-to' combination for shooting sports," concluded Miller.

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x zoom lens is expected to be available at the end of May for an estimated retail price of $11,799.00.

For more information about Canon's new EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens, and a full list of product specifications, visit