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Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

BH #CA5004LISEF2 • MFR #5124B002
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
Key Features
  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32
  • Two Fluorite & Four Aspherical Elements
  • Sub Wavelength Coating
Well-suited for sports and wildlife photography, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM is a Canon L-series super telephoto lens that blends long reach with fast performance and intuitive handling. Using a pair of fluorite elements, along with four aspherical elements, both chromatic and spherical aberrations are kept to a minimum in order to realize sharp, clear image quality with accurate rendering and color fidelity. A Sub Wavelength Coating also contributes to color accuracy and helps to control flare and ghosting when working in backlit and harsh lighting conditions.
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Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Overview

Well-suited for sports and wildlife photography, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM is a Canon L-series super telephoto lens that blends long reach with fast performance and intuitive handling. Using a pair of fluorite elements, along with four aspherical elements, both chromatic and spherical aberrations are kept to a minimum in order to realize sharp, clear image quality with accurate rendering and color fidelity. A Sub Wavelength Coating also contributes to color accuracy and helps to control flare and ghosting when working in backlit and harsh lighting conditions.

In addition to its optical merits, the 500mm f/4 is also characterized by its advanced four stop-effective Image Stabilizer system, which has three separate stabilization modes to suit various shooting applications. Also complementing handling is a sophisticated ring-type USM, which provides quick, quiet, and accurate autofocus performance along with full-time manual focus override. Additionally, this lens is weather-sealed for use in trying environmental conditions and it has a removable rotating tripod collar to benefit working atop a tripod or monopod.

Super telephoto prime is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLRs, however can also be used with APS-C models where it provides an 800mm equivalent focal length.
Bright f/4 maximum aperture affords control over depth of field for working with selective focus techniques.
Two fluorite elements are used to greatly reduce color fringing and chromatic aberrations in order to achieve greater clarity and color accuracy.
Four aspherical elements help to limit spherical aberrations and distortion for greater sharpness and accurate rendering.
A Sub Wavelength Coating has been applied to individual elements to control lens flare and ghosting for greater contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions.
An Optical Image Stabilizer helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed stops to better enable working in low-light conditions and with slower shutter speeds. Three distinct IS modes are available: standard single-shot mode, a panning-optimized mode, and a mode that only activates the Image Stabilizer during the exposure.
A ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM), along with optimized focusing algorithms and a high-speed CPU, is employed to deliver fast, precise, and quiet autofocus performance as well as full-time manual focus override.
Focus Preset function is available to quickly recall a programmed focusing position.
Focus Limiter switch lets you constrain the focusing to three different ranges to suit different applications: 12.1-32.8', 12.1'-infinity, or 32.8'-infinity.
A Power Focus setting is available, and allows you to electronically and smoothly adjust your focus position to suit video recording. This setting utilizes a dedicated ring in front of the main focusing ring and allows you to use one of two different focusing speeds.
Rounded nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing out of focus quality that benefits the use of shallow depth of field and selective focus techniques.
As a member of the esteemed L-series, this lens is sealed against dust and moisture for working in inclement environmental conditions.
Fluorine-coating on exposed elements affords protection to the optical system, resists smudging and fingerprints, and is easier to clean.
Removable rotating tripod collar is included and benefits working with the lens atop a tripod or monopod.
Compatible with optional EF 1.4X and EF 2X teleconverters.
UPC: 013803134124

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Specs

Focal Length500mm
Maximum Aperturef/4
Minimum Aperturef/32
Lens MountCanon EF
Lens Format CoverageFull-Frame
Angle of View
Minimum Focus Distance12.14' / 3.7 m
Maximum Magnification0.15x
Optical Design16 Elements in 12 Groups
Diaphragm Blades9, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes
Tripod CollarRemovable and Rotating
Filter Size52 mm (Drop-In)
Dimensions (ø x L)5.75 x 15.08" / 146 x 383 mm
Weight7.02 lb / 3.18 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight24.75 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)27.4 x 16.4 x 15.5"

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Reviews

To extend or not to extend!

By Russel
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-05-28

From the time I got the lens, I used it with a 1.4X extender III Conventional wisdom is that this should not reduce the resolution significantly The fact of the matter is that whatever residual aberrations the lens has, these would be made at least 1.4X worse, even if the extender relay optics were diffraction-limited which, of course, they won't be. So, in the last couple of days I have mounted it on a 7DM2 without the extender and relied on Topaz file-expansion (Gigapixel) to get printable shots. The results have been really good. I've attached a spectacular one from this morning. It is of a Little Ringed Plover (UK) at least 100 yards away. The processing was from the RAW passed through Topaz DeNoise. It has been expanded 8X linear in two stages. 4X in the first and a further 2X in the second. The shot was hand-held from a sitting position on the ground with the lens braced on my knee.

WORTH EVERY PENNY

By Von
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-12-01

This is my first lens at this focal length. An owner of the 400mm f/5.6L, the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L II and Sigma's 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM Contemporary, I wanted another prime lens for my collection. I bought this lens for birding and it was love at first click. Comparing to my other canon telephotos, the reach is obviously my reason for the purchase. When comparing to the Sigma, my preference goes to the canon 500 for birds in flight because the AF is better and easier to track the birds. The focus on the sigma is slow and hunts in comparison to the canon. For stationary birds, I may still opt for the sigma for the reach if needed. IQ is great on both, better on the canon. I use the 1DxmkII, so native glass will always out perform 3rd party lenses. This is a lens that your wallet has to grow into. But once you're there, you won't regret it (unless you make a bad financial investment decision to afford this lens).

Wonderful Lens

By Navy
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-01-10

I have had this lens now for two years and wouldn't do without it. Hand holdng this lens for very long is very tiring. I use mine with a Gitzo tripod and a Wimberly Gimbal Tripod head. The combination of the three is astonishing. Using the series III extenders is good as long as you have enough light for the AF to work.

as advertised

By rick
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-10-11

worth the investment. takes clear, crisp shots even when hand holding. some challenge exists tracking fast moving objects.

Best Value of the “Great White” Supertelephotos

By DifferentSkyPhoto
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-05-11

The EF 500mm f/4L IS II is the sweet spot of Canon’s L series supertelephoto line up. It offers great reach, fast AF and the same quality build and features as its heavier, more expensive stablemates. At a little over 7 lbs, it’s quite a bit lighter than the 400 f2.8, 200-400 f4, 600 f4 or the 800 f5.6. That’s good for your back. It’s also cheaper - $2,500 less than the 600, $4,000 less than the 800 and $1,000 less than the 400. That’s good for your wallet. Pair the EF 500 mm with a 2X extender and you have a 1000mm f/8 lens that autofocuses on 1-series or 5-series bodies. Granted, the 2X extender will degrade image quality some but for me the results are fantastic. For even more fun, stack two 2X extenders with an EF-12 extension tube and you have a 2000mm lens!!

500 mm

By L H
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-03-30

I have a 100to 400 which I really like but this lens is even better

Money Well-Spent

By Freddy
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-01-21

My favorite lens in the line-up. Sharper images than I get from either my EF 100-400 or 70-200 f2.8.

Great lens

By Manish Panchal
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-07-12

I am the First Buyer of this lens In India ( July 2012 ) Its one of the best lens of Canon Super Telephoto Lens light Weighted and Super Sharp Performance.

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