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Canon’s 2 New Super Telephoto Lenses: Big, White and Lighter Than Ever

On 5 September 2018, Canon unveiled the EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF600mm f/4L IS III USM. As third-generation successors to the brand’s popular super telephoto prime lenses, both lenses retain the signature high image quality of L-lenses amid huge reductions in weight. (Reported by: Makoto Suzuki (Digital Camera Watch))

EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF600mm f/4L IS III USM

 

Redesigned for professionals, with 5-stop image stabilisation and enhanced operability

Two of Canon’s flagship super telephoto lenses have been redesigned, and are now better and lighter than ever. Changes to the optical design and mechanical structures on both lenses, as well as the incorporation of fluorite and Super UD lens elements, have made the EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF600mm f/4L IS III USM significantly lighter than their second generation predecessors by 1kg and 870g respectively. There are no changes to the maximum diameter and length.

The two lenses are the first Canon lenses to feature not one, but two focus presets. Users can simply turn the white playback ring (located behind the function button and in front of the focusing ring) left or right to move the focus to a preset distance.

Each lens is equipped with a new electronic focusing ring and a manual focus speed switch that allows users to switch between three speed levels. Turning the focusing ring lets users seamlessly switch from One Shot AF to full-time manual focus.

Image stabilisation has been enhanced to up to 5 stops (CIPA standards) from the previous 3.5 stops. This was made possible by incorporating a digital gyro sensor and increasing the compensation angle.

 

IS ON

Street lights with IS on

EOS-1D X Mark II/ EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM/ FL: 400mm/ Manual exposure (f/4.0, 1/13 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: White fluorescent light

 

IS OFF

Street lights with IS off

EOS-1D X Mark II/ EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM/ FL: 400mm/ Manual exposure (f/4.0, 1/13 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: White fluorescent light

Both lenses also feature enhancements to the signature white lens barrel coating. While still off-white (albeit a slightly different tone), the EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF600mm f/4L IS III USM feature a new, highly-reflective heat shield coating that protects against the infrared rays in sunlight. This together with a two-layered lens barrel construction further reduces rises in lens temperature, and is said to ensure stable image quality even when shooting for long hours under the hot sun.

The lens barrels for both lenses also feature a dust-proof, drip-proof construction, as well as fluorine coating on the frontmost and hindmost lens elements to allow the easy removal of dirt.

 

Fun fact: How “big white” lenses got their name

The white lens barrel coating was originally applied to Canon’s larger telephoto lenses to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating. Over time, these lenses have become affectionately known as “Big White” lenses.

 

EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM

EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM

EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM

The successor to the EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM (released 2010), the EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is Canon’s new flagship super telephoto L lens.

Key specifications:
- Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
- Closest focusing distance: 2.5m
- Aperture blades: 9
- Minimum aperture: f/32
- Filter diameter: 52mm
- Max. diameter × Total length: Φ163 × 343mm
- Weight: approx. 2,840g

 

The mobility you need to frame action better

Athlete jumping over hurdle

EOS-1D X Mark II/ EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM/ FL: 400mm/ Manual exposure (f/4.5, 1/5000 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 1600/ WB: Cloudy

With a lighter lens body, you can now respond more quickly to unpredictable movement on the field. Say hello to action shots with better framing and composition.

 

EF600mm f/4L IS III USM

EF600mm f/4L IS III USM

EF600mm f/4L IS III USM

The successor to the EF600mm f/4L IS II USM (released 2011), this update was timed ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Key specifications:
- Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
- Closest focusing distance:4.2m
- Aperture blades: 9
- Minimum aperture: f/32
- Filter diameter: 52mm
- Max. diameter × Total length: Φ168 × 448mm
- Weight: approx. 3,050g

 

Idea for sports photography

Swimmer in race

EOS-1D X Mark II/ EF600mm f/4L IS III USM/ FL: 600mm/ Manual exposure (f/5.0, 1/2000 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 6400/ WB: Auto (White priority)

With the trademark L lens image quality together with their newfound lightweight mobility, the EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF600mm f/4L IS III USM are ideal for capturing the height of action and emotion.

 

In response to popular demand: Improvements to accessories

Soft Lens Case LS400

Soft Lens Case LS400
For EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM: A lightweight, soft-type case for easier handling.

Lens Hood ET-155(WIII)

Lens Hood ET-155(WIII)
For EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM

 
Tripod mount

Tripod mount
Features an improved grid shape and a new colour to match the lenses.
*A monopod mount is also available, sold separately. Users can switch their tripod base plate for the monopod version at a service centre.

Lens Cap E-180E

Lens Cap E-180E
For EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM. Can be attached even when the lens hood is not attached.

Developers Interview EF400mm & EF600mm


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Digital Camera Watch

Digital Camera Watch

Delivers daily news related to topics such as digital cameras and peripheral devices, and imaging software. Also publishes articles such as reviews on the use of actual digital camera models and photo samples taken using new models.

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