Canon USA has graciously agreed to send me the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender for evaluation (about $11799).
It looks like one heck of a lens! I’m hoping to “shoot” some Bighorn sheep and perhaps some antlered mule deer bucks, in addition to various landscape stuff.
As per Canon.
High-performance super-telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x extender that converts the focal range and maximum aperture to 280-560mm f/5.6. The extender is located at the base of the lens and applied with a simple lever switch.
An Image Stabilization system offers up to four shutter speed stops of compensation against camera movement, which is ideal in low-light situations and when shooting at its long focal lengths. Three IS modes are available, each optimized for your shooting subject. There is a mode ideal for static subjects, one for panning with moving subjects and Exposure Only mode that applies stabilization only during exposure, offering you the speed you need to follow fast, erratically moving subjects.
Fast, quiet Auto Focusing (AF) is provided by a ring-type Ultra-Sonic Motor (USM), an internal focusing system, dedicated AF algorithms and a high-speed CPU. Full-time manual focus, which enables the adjustment and fine-tuning of focus even in AF mode, provides precise control over image capture. The Power Focus mode aids focusing during video shooting, allowing the photographer to smoothly adjust focus during filming by twisting the playback ring.
Three Focus Limiting Ranges are provided to enable quicker AF in specific situations and AF stop buttons allow you to pause the AF operation if needed. Focus Preset mode allows you to set a focus distance and automatically return to it with just a twist of the playback ring. Focus Preset is available in AF, MF and PF modes.
The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens features one Fluorite and four Ultra-low Dispersion optical elements that deliver sharper images with fewer chromatic aberrations. Super-spectra lens coatings minimize ghosting and flare and a Fluorine coating on the front and rear lens elements keep oily smears and fingerprints to a minimum.
A rotatable tripod mount provides stable mounting to monopods or tripods and by loosening its orientation locking knob, the camera can be adjusted to shoot horizontally or vertically without removing it from the tripod. Inside the locking knob is found a security slot for wire-type security locks. Dust and water sealing keeps this reliable L-series lens functioning flawlessly in even the most challenging environments.
In addition to its standard accessories, included with this lens are a monopod mount, lens strap, hard case and case strap.
Four stops of shake correction are provided by the lens' Image Stabilization system which delivers clearer images when shooting in low light situations, when your footing is uncertain or when fast shutter speeds are unobtainable.
This lens has three stabilization modes: Standard, Panning and Exposure Only modes.
Standard mode (Mode 1) compensates for vibrations in all directions and is effective when shooting static subjects.
Panning mode (Mode 2) corrects vertical or horizontal shake depending on the orientation of the camera and is best when panning with moving subjects.
Exposure Only mode (Mode 3) applies shake correction only during image exposure and is best used when needing to follow a fast and erratically moving subject.
The IS system can also be turned off, and this is best when image stabilization is not needed, such as shooting on a tripod in bright light.
Fast and Accurate Autofocus
With an internal focusing system, Ultra-sonic motor (USM), high speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms, the 200-400mm f/4L provides fast, smooth and pinpoint accurate autofocus for use in a variety of applications.
Internal 1.4x Extender Switch
A built-in 1.4x optical extender allows you to extend the focal range of your lens with just a simple lever, avoiding time-consuming and potentially damaging lens changes. Located at the base of the lens, the extender has a lock mechanism that is easily disengaged to let you engage the extender. With the extender in place, the focal lengths of your lens increase to 280-560mm but the aperture narrows to f/5.6-45. With the extender engaged, the lens now contains 33 optical elements in 24 groups, its maximum magnification is 0.21x and its diagonal angle of view is 8º-50' to 4º-25'.
Focus Distance Range
You can set the focus limiting range to three distinct ranges for faster, more accurate autofocusing. The three ranges are: Full (6.56' to infinity); 6.56 to 19.69'; 19.69' to infinity.
Power Focus Mode
Using the playback ring, the Power Focus mode enables smooth, automatic focus shifts which are essential when using the EF 200-400mm f/4 for filmmaking. There are two speeds available in Power Focus Mode.
It is possible to establish a preset focus distance and return to it immediately at any point while in AF, PF or MF modes with a simple left or right twist of the playback ring.
AF Stop Button
- Four AF Stop Buttons located on the front grip ring allow you to temporarily pause autofocusing.
- One fluorite and four UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) lens elements correct for chromatic aberrations and provide sharp imaging throughout the zoom range.
- Optimized lens placement and coatings deliver outstanding color balance, while helping to minimize ghosting and flare.
- 9-Blade Circular Aperture design helps to deliver beautiful, soft backgrounds.
- Rotatable tripod mount is built into the lens and by loosening the orientation locking knob on the tripod mount you can rotate the camera for horizontal or vertical imaging without removing it from the tripod.
- Drop-In Filter rear 52(WII)-series drop-in filter holder is included with the lens and allows you to place separately sold pre-cut gelatin filters into the back end of the lens for specific applications.
- Water and Dust Resistant to dust and moisture and ready for shooting in harsh conditions.
- Fluorine Coating on front and rear lens surfaces reduces smears and fingerprints.
- Security Slot provided for a wire-type security lock. The slot is located under the cover of the orientation locking knob. The wire-type security lock can be purchased separately.