Canon announced EF 200-400mm f4 L IS USM with 1.4X Extender

This big lens, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with 1.4x Extender built-in, blown me away when I first read about it on a few years ago. This was something that got me very excited and eagerly waiting for Canon to officially announce their arrival into the Canon EF Lenses lineup. While its arrival took a bit longer to arrive in the market, it is now officially available! This is a very versatile lens that would suit Sports and Wildlife photographers and the flexibility of the built-in 1.4x Extender makes it an even sweeter proposition. If there is another big telephoto lens that I would love to add on to my EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM lens, the EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with built-in 1.4x Extender is definitely on my list.

I did have a short hands on experience with this lens when Canon Singapore had an event outside Cineleisure Singapore and they allowed the public to test and have a feel of the various Canon L telephoto primes. The EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with 1.4X Extender prototype was available and I had a few minutes of zooming in and out, switching on and off the built-in 1.4x Extender and shooting away on the high fps of the Canon 1DX. During that few minutes of playing with the toys, I was very impressed and excited with this particular combination of Canon 1DX and Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with 1.4x Extender.

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Photo Courtesy of Canon Singapore

I would also like to share useful and interesting information that I obtained from the media releases for the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with 1.4x Extender.

The EF200-400MM F4L IS USM Extender 1.4X incorporates a new optical design that makes use of a fluorite lens and four UD (ultra-low dispersion) lens elements which effectively corrects colour aberrations across the entire zoom range. This results in high-resolution, high-contrast images comparable to those taken by large-diameter super-telephoto prime lenses.

Better moving images

The EF200-400MM F4L IS USM Extender 1.4X features a newly-developed compact Image Stabilizer (IS) unit that was created through optimal part placement. For optimal IS performance in different situations, the EF200-400MM F4L IS USM Extender 1.4X offers three IS modes:

  • IS Mode 1 is designed to shoot still subjects, and achieves image stabilisation performance equivalent to a shutter speed approximately four stops faster[1].
  • IS Mode 2 is designed for panning shots, such as when shooting sporting action or moving vehicles. 
  • IS Mode 3 is for shooting irregularly moving subjects with unpredictable movements, which corrects against vibrations only during the exposure stage.

With movie shooting being an important part of photography, the EF200-400MM F4L IS USM Extender 1.4X has a Power Focus (PF) mode which is particularly useful for creating an attractive gradual focus shift effect during movie shooting. When PF mode is engaged, rotating the playback ring enables smooth focus shift at a consistent speed. Focus shift speed can also be switched between two speeds depending on the angle the ring is rotated to.

Information above courtesy of Canon Singapore.

Price and availability

The EF200-400MM F4L IS USM Extender 1.4X lens will be available end May at authorised Canon dealers. The recommended retail price is S$16,599.

I would really love to own this beautiful and awesome combination of the Canon EOS 1DX and Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with 1.4x Extender, hopefully in the future and I need to start saving lots of money!!

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