Last year while shooting at the WGC-HSBC Champions I happened upon a photog with an intriguing lens that hadn’t been announced, but had been rumored for quite some time. Yeah, he had the mythical EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X! So, I asked him (I should have asked his name…) what he thought about the lens. “The lens is one of the greatest he’d ever used, and will be THE superstar in the world of sports and wildlife photography!” Well, it’s arriving soon. Canon just announced the lens (Click Here) and it’s price. The estimated retail price is $11,799(!), that will ensure it’ll only be in the hands of the best of the best.
What is so amazing and unique about this lens is its ability to transform itself with only a lever switch unto a 280-560mm f/5.6 lens! Additional features of note are: Two customizable function buttons, an awesome stepped focus ring (Useful for video.), and an IS ‘mode 3’ that will stabilize only at the point of exposure, which is a huge benefit while panning.
A few images:
Official Press Release information:
London, UK, 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.
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 constant f/4 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
|Focal Length & Maximum Aperture||Built-in extender at 1x: 200-400mm, 1:4.0 Built-in extender at 1.4x: 280-560mm, 1:5.6|
|Lens Construction||Built-in extender at 1x: 25 elements in 20 groups (incl. 1 rear filter) Built-in extender at 1.4x: 33 elements in 24 groups (incl. 1 rear filter)|
|Diagonal Angle of View||Built-in extender at 1x: 12°-6°10′ Built-in extender at 1.4x: 8°50′-4°25′|
|Focus Adjustment||Inner focusing system|
|Closest Focusing Distance||6.6 ft. / 2m|
|Filter Size||52mm drop-In|
|Max. Diameter x Length, Weight||5.0 x 14.4 inches, 127.7 oz. / 128 x 366mm, 3620g|
Featured Image is by Juza – www.juzaphoto.com