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Canon EF 200-400mm f4L IS

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Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x lens

Collection of information and reviews for Canon’s  lens

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We’ll hopefully get one to look at eventually, but in the meantime here are the release specs and any info we find…

Lens information

EF 200-400 lens


Latest info

2018 May

10th A firmware update for the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4x [Canon]

Firmware Version 1.1.0 is incorporated with the following correction.

  • Corrects a phenomenon in which the subject may not be in focus on some occasions when using this lens with some camera models (*) and performing AF shooting from approximately 3m.
    * Some camera models: EOS-1D X, Mark II, EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5Ds R, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark III

2013 September

25th Canon technical report on 200-400


20th Detailed review of the 200-400 [CSR]
19th Canon has a series of articles about the 200-400 lens at CPN


31st The 200-400 is in (limited) stock at Adorama
14th Whatever next – the lens is formally launched! £12,000 Limited quantities next month.
There is a CPN article about the lens.
Preorder the Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x
Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x $11,799
B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon
Canon Lens Case 200-400 $649 (sold separately)
B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon.

Introducing the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x – improved performance and versatility for professional sports and wildlife photographers

200-400 f4 lens

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 14 May 2013 – Canon today adds a new category to its range of high-performance super-telephoto lenses, with the introduction of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x to Canon’s acclaimed L-series. The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x features a flexible 200-400mm focal range with a fixed f/4 aperture, 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer and for the first time in a commercially available lens, a built-in 1.4x extender. These features combine to provide an outstandingly versatile lens for professional sports or wildlife photographers. A robust magnesium alloy design, environmental protection and specialised lens coatings also make it ideal for mobile use, combining with the finest quality optics to deliver exceptional results, even in the harshest conditions

200-400 box

Get closer to the action with superior image quality

The reach of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is boosted by its internal 1.4x extender, which is engaged or disengaged at the flick of a lever to provide an extended focal length of 280mm to 560mm – allowing photographers to get even closer to distant action. Ensuring the highest image performance, the optical design includes both fluorite and Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens elements, which help minimise chromatic aberration and eliminate colour blurring. Advanced anti-reflection SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Super Spectra Coating also reduce ghosting and flare. Thanks to the use of the latest optical technologies, image performance is unaffected when the integrated extender is used.

With a fixed f/4[i]  aperture the use of high shutter speeds to capture fast-paced action or a low-light scene is possible. A newly designed optical Image Stabilizer, which provides users with a four stop advantage, while IS ‘Mode 3’ applies image stabilisation only at the time of exposure – ensuring that photographers can pan with fast-paced action without IS overcompensating for movement. This feature is ideal for sports photographers, who typically have only a split-second to capture a subject in front of them.

Powerful, flexible focusing

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x features Canon’s pioneering ring-type Ultrasonic Motor providing fast, silent autofocusing. For those who prefer to fine-tune focus themselves, full-time manual override allows photographers to manually focus at any moment when using AF. The Power Focus (PF) mode also increases versatility during movie shooting with the EOS-1D C or EOS-1D X, enabling photographers to achieve an accurate pull-focus effect at one of two speeds, simply by twisting the focus recall ring and stopping at a pre-set distance.

High-performance design for professional demands

Designed to answer professional demands for superior image quality and versatile zoom range, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x a boasts a premium-quality design befitting Canon’s industry-renowned L-series lenses.

The tough magnesium alloy chassis ensures that, despite the inclusion of the 1.4x extender, the lens is a similar weight to lenses of comparable focal length. Fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens elements also reduce the ability of dirt to cling to the lens surface, while a dust and water-resistant construction allows photographers to shoot in challenging weather conditions. The combination of outstanding optical performance, versatility, weight and tough construction will make it an essential part of any professional sports or wildlife photographer’s kitbag.

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

Built-in 1.4x extender, for extra magnification when you need it
Shoot in low light with four-stop Image Stabilizer
High image quality using Fluorite lens elements
Fast AF with USM technology
Robust design for use in the toughest environments

Pricing and availability

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM will be available from June with an RRP of £11,999.99 / €13,999.99


Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 200–400 mm
Image stabilisation Yes (4 stops claimed)
Lens mount Canon EF
Maximum aperture F4.0
Minimum aperture F32.0
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Elements 25
Groups 20
Special elements / coatings Fluorite and Ultra-Low dispersion glass elements, Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating and Super Spectra Coating
Minimum focus 2.00 m (78.74″)
Maximum magnification 0.15 x
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter 3 positions: Full, 2m-6m, 6m-infinity
Weight 3620 g (7.98 lb)
Diameter 128 mm (5.04″)
Length 366 mm (14.41″)
Materials Magnesium alloy barrel
Sealing Yes
Colour White
Zoom method Rotary (internal)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock No
Filter thread 52 mm
Filter notes Rear drop-in filter holder
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code ET-120 (WII)
Tripod collar Yes
Notes Switchable built-in 1.4x extender (8 elements / 4 groups) converts lens to 280-560mm f/5.6 lens with 0.21x max magnification
Pre Launch information

2013 May

Just in case you’d forgoten, the lens was first announced in February 2011, with a ‘late 2011’ availability…
13th There is a Canon event on the 31st, which has been mentioned for the release of the 200-400, but so was tomorrow… [CR]


27th A potential date for announcement – May 14th [CR] Availability in the Autumn – could this tie in with the info we had last week?
19th We’re told (thanks) that the formal announcement of avallability for the 200-400 will run alongside a camera announcement, most likely the 7D mk2, in time for shipping of a few units in the Autumn. There are quite a lot of test units in circulation and despite there being no official price, a lot of lenses have been pre-ordered. If (and at £10k that’s still a big if) the preorders are taken up, supplies will be very thin on the ground until well into 2014.


4th A video of the 200-400 being used is at LL


10th ‘Soon’ is redefined as production of the 200-400 starting in Q2/13 [CR] and at well over $10,000
3rd Canon Singapore is saying that the 200-400 will be available soon [CS-fb]

2012 December

3rd The lens is possibly expected within months… [CR]


15th After mention of the delays, I’ve heard [thanks] from a couple of people who used the lens at the Olympics and Wimbledon, unfortunately they just said how well it worked, and how they really wanted to add one to their day to day equipment. Whatever the issues might be, they didn’t notice (note that this is on a sample size of two, both with only relatively short use of the lens).

Has anyone trying the 200-400 noticed any potential issues, maybe with the extender?
The image below is from Bob Atkins’ look at the 200-400 and shows the bulge for the extender
Could the issues be related to the ergonomics of all those controls and the bump?

controls for ef200-400

14th Still no sign of an announcement…
Where is that 200-400 lens – suggestions [CR] that unforseen design/manufacturing issues have hit the product.


8th Looking for the 200-400? Even though not formally announced, it looks as if it’s going to go for around 10,200 euros.
How so?
If you look at some sites, you’ll find various bundle deals [FK] 1DX + 500/4 is 16498 whilst 1D X + 200-400 comes to 16668


22nd We’re told [thanks] that the EF200-400 will finally be properly ‘announced’ for the PhotoPlus show in New York (Oct 24-27) and become available later this year.


31st Interesting positive report about using a 200-400 [PB]
17th If you’re a CPS member covering the Olympics, then I’m told that there are several loan lenses available to try out…
3rd Seen at Wimbledon – launch ‘soon’ – Thanks for the pic! – Full res pic on Google+

200-400 at Wimbledon

200-400 detail


29th More suggestions of an ‘announcement’ [CR] BTW, the lens was first mentioned on the 7th Feb, 2011


23rd With expectations of a 5D mk3 announcement on the 28th, there is also a price $11,000 and imminent release date for the 200-400 [CR]

200-40 sighted in KenyaJanuary

23rd Just when I’m thinking there’s still no sign of this lens getting a release date… and then it’s seen in Kenya being tested with a new body that might be the 5D3 [AA] Launch in March/April.
Lots more photos at AA

2011 November

4th The 1D X and C300 (with lenses) have all been announced. Not even an official announcement yet for the 200-400.


27th The EF200-400 is not on the list of lens due dates, and we’ve been told that there is no more info about it until after it is formally announced – probably at the same time as other product announcements.


21st We’re told that the £10k price listed at Park Cameras was an error – no price has as yet been given out by Canon.

19th A page appears at a UK dealer with a £10k price tag.

We’ll see if we can get any more detailed info as to whether they think this is for real, or just a ‘placeholder’ value.

A new long zoom

Canon is developing the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens, which features a built-in switchable 1.4x teleconverter.

With the converter in place, it becomes a 280-560mm F5.6 lens. It’s designed for sports and wildlife photographers and the lens will feature weatherproof construction.

It is scheduled for launch later this year. It’s not known if it will make an appearance at this year’s Focus On Imaging trade show in Birmingham (UK).

Price – unknown, but not cheap!

Full Specifications

Awaited with interest :-)

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

Press Info (UK)

Press Release – 7th February 2011, 05:00 GMT

Canon announces development of a new telephoto zoom lens with an integrated extender

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 7th February 2011 – Canon today announces the development of a telephoto zoom lens featuring an integrated focal length extender – the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x The lens will be displayed for the first time during CP+, held in Yokohama, Japan.

Designed for Canon’s leading range of EOS Digital SLR cameras, the new lens will be an ideal addition for sports and wildlife photographers, offering exceptional flexibility with a built-in 1.4x extender that creates an increased focal range of 280 – 560mm.

Perfect for photographers who require high performance, fast aperture and a flexible telephoto range, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x will enable photographers to shoot a greater breadth of subjects using a single lens, delivering the best possible image quality at all focal lengths.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x lens

Developed as a new addition to Canon’s acclaimed L-series of professional lenses, the new lens will offer an unsurpassed combination of versatility, first-class optical performance and an enhanced weather-proof construction. The model will be released as part of Canon’s continued development of its EF lens line-up, offering enhanced performance and improved functions that cater for the needs of photographers from beginners through to professionals. Built for professional performance

controls for 200-4000 lens

Press Info USA

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 7, 2011 – Canon Inc. today announced the development of a new super-telephoto lens, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER l.4x, for use with all EOS SLR cameras. A prototype of the new lens will be exhibited at the CP+ tradeshow, held in Pacifico Yokohama, from February 9 – 12, 2011.

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER l.4x is being developed as an L-series super-telephoto lens with an integrated 1.4x extender and high-performance Image Stabilizer technology. The new lens will offer exceptional flexibility by incorporating a built-in 1.4x extender that increases the maximum focal length to 560mm for sports and wildlife photography. High-quality images with high levels of resolution and contrast will be possible through the use of advanced optical materials such as fluorite crystal. The new lens will also include dust- and water-resistant construction designed for extended usage under harsh conditions.

Canon will continue to respond to the needs of various users ranging from beginners and advanced amateurs to professional photographers, in an effort to enrich their photographic expression with SLR cameras by continuing to develop attractive new lenses with improved optical technology.

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