Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II USM


Even though fast super-telephoto lenses are known to be notoriously heavy, the new Canon EF 400mm/f/2.8 IS II USM, even at 8.49 lb, is more than 28% lighter than its predecessor, making it one of the lightest in it's class.

The new Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, which is expected to be available in December, 2010, for an approximate retail price of $11,000, also features an improved image-stabilization system designed to enable a 4-stop advantage over camera shake when shooting handheld or on a tripod, Fluorite lens elements (in a total of 16 elements in 12 groups), Fluorine coatings and an inner focusing system with focus-assist cams.

Other features include a 6-degree field of view, a minimum focusing distance of 8.86' (2.7m), and 52mm rear drop-in filters.

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I'm completely impressed. After taking a look at the MTF charts, both for the lens itself and with the new extenders, it's clear that this will be a breakthrough lens. When one then factors in how much lighter the new lens is...

The old lens really needs to be stopped down a little to maximize sharpness, particularly with sensors approaching 30 Mpixels. I've sold my old one and am impatiently waiting for my lighter, sharper example of optical perfection. I don't understand how it's possible to do this in production, but bring it on!

These lenses look amazing. The MTF charts with the new 1.4III and 2xIII combined with significant the weight reduction will make it worth the money for those who use and rely on these lenses daily for their work. That's who they're designed for. I can't wait for the new 600 f4 myself. I hope the specifications are similar to this lens. The extra price is, in reality, a drop in the bucket if you will be earning a significant portion of your income with the lens for the next 10 years.

 Let us know when you are giving away free lens again B&H for positive comments.  I would love to get a 400mm f2 as opposed to what I will be getting which is a 70-200mm and 2x converter which makes mine a 400mm f5.6!  I would much prefer the 400mm prime lens any day

Hey 11K is a lot of coin, but if you want to play in the Major Leagues that is the price of admission my Friends. I hope to have the First One.

I cannot wait!!

Just last week I was pondering with fellow photographers "if money was no object, how small, light, and sharp could a super-telephoto be made?"   With the 400mm f/2.8L II, we just got our answer.   Very cool.   I'm going to buck the negative trend on this thread and support Canon on this one - this lens is an engineering marvel.  WOW.   The MTF curves for this lens with the 1.4X EF TC III and 2X EF TC III are staggering.   I'm surprised people aren't making a bigger deal out of how good these lens/TC combinations are.  The curves are up on the Canon site.  After January, why would anyone buy the 800mm f/5.6L ?   It looks like the 400mm f/2.8L II and new EF TC III's were opticaly optimised as a set.   I don't know how else the two could work so well together.  

My solution to the price is to just rent this lens when I'm going on a trip.

The high price might actually be a trick to compel consumers to buy the mark I version until the mark II version starts shipping. 11K$ gives canon room for discounts once the shipments actually start and stocks of the mark I have been finished.


typo - whoops!   I meant to write you're in the second sentence.

Oh - stop whining - all of you. It's 28% lighter and you are the person who is REALLY going to have to pack this out on a trip say, across the tundra or something, than this lens is worth it's weight in gold...err platinum maybe.  

  I seriously doubt any of you would be buying it even if Canon also dropped the price by 28% - so live with the reality of this being something out of you reach (financially) and do the best you can with what you have.

  I hate Canon - I really do. I never forgave them for when they abandoned FD users in favor of EOS (which, at the time, was s joke of a system). So - I really don't care one way or another about this particular lens. I do however admire the engineering behind it. Sharp? I'd guess so. How sharp? Who cares - the best images aren't always the sharpest. The concept of sharp takes a backseat to many other criteria that I serously doubt most people here have nailed down - myself included.  

  How 'bout this? Try shooting some images instead of whining on this board like little boys that can't have their toys?

Sheesh - you're all giving photography a bad rap here. Grow up already.

Two points for Pro Photog though.Spot-on assessment;  crybabies always live in fear and get led by their noses by the liberal media. Waah waaah waaahh..... 

Wow, its a beautiful lense & all...I guess this hard working artist has a better chance of winning the lottery than being able to afford my dream lense.....

These prices have convinced me to switch to Nikon as quite a few of my sport photographer friends have. It's a painful decision as I have been a longstanding Canon fan. Reality and a lack of understanding by Canon has forced my hand. Cheers Canon, but the ride is over.

Arrogantly priced supertelephoto lenses although they will probably be the best in their class.

All one can really do about it is refuse to buy and fill the need with Mk I lenses.......those are still excellent performers, from 300 f/2.8 IS to 600 f/4 IS.

$11k is outrageous for a 400mm Lens (IT'S NOT F/1.0!!!). Canon needs to get over themselves. I've been a loyal Canon user, but I'm sick of emptying my account every time I want a decent lens. I love your lens but hate feeling like I'm getting swindled when I buy one.Tell me, what wildlife photographer can afford this? Absurd.

The announcement is fitting for 1st of April!

Nah, I don't think I'll sell off a car to buy a lens!


Thank you for help me make my decision: after 20 years of been your coustumer I will go back to Nikon because they are more sensitive about their prices.

Regards from Mexico

I just returned a 400mm as a loan from CPS.  This was the old one.  It's 'value' was $10,000. I have a feeling the $11k is a MSRP.

 I have a 300 F2.8, 400 F2.8 and the 600 F4.0. and I use and love them all.

That the new 400 mk 2 is almost 4 lbs lighter than the mk 1 makes some sort of inverse sense of the $4k premium, almost. That means you can almost forego the monopod and realize some cost offset there. $11K is some hard candy to chew on though.

Hey listening????

Please don't improve the 500 or 600 just yet, I'm still trying to save up some extra money to buy one after the last price increase.

Canon's pricing structure is unreasonable. But they can get whatever they want because we keep buying. Gotta go, my wallet is killing me.

I would like canon make better pro cameras, then the better lenses make sense. 

did someone change the date ?????  is it april 1st.????????

when any new product from canon comes out the first thing I look for is the PRICE !!!!!!!!!   I won't be looking for any new products from canon ...............

What is all the continuous talk about "this economy"?   I don't know a single person who doesn't have a job.   My commercial photography business is thriving.   My wife's company is thriving.   Every time we go out to dinner (which is often) the restaurants are full -- sometimes even with a long wait.   I think "this economy" is fine if people would just quit listening to the Democrats and liberal news media.  

I do agree though that this lens isn't likely worth $11,000.  I guess we won't know for sure until the reviews start coming out but I can't see it being worth so much more than its predecessor.     

 I wonder if the tripod collar rotation problems I have with my current 400 2.8 will be addressed for the extra 4 grand?

I'm very happy with my Nikon 200-400 F4.0 for much less $.

Give me four!!! 

 $11,000???? Jaaaajaajajajajajajajaj!!! 

Still valid? lol

After seeing it on the rumors site i love the new look. If it were an f/2.0 aperture i could see the reasoning, but damn

 If you look at the MTF curves for the current 400, you will see that there is no room for getting any more resolution from this design.  

According to Canon, the lens is nearly perfect the way it stands.  So then, it takes 4 grand to improve on the near perfect?  Not in this economy.  Pro photography is on it's death bed, good luck!

Well, at least it will look newer longer. Canon got smart and has changed the front end where the hood goes on. Is this some ware resistant coating? Hopefully no more marks or metal showing through. :-)

This is insane.  I am sure most people will agree these are unreasonable prices although there will some rich people will get these lenses no matter what Canon asks for.

One thing for sure: These pricings will drive up the prices on the used version 1 300 and 400 IS lenses.

Must be the Obama Pelosi Mk II economic stimulator model. Wonder if the picture of the lens will fit my camera? 

Earth to Canon, anyone home. Have you heard about the economy on this planet? What is worth another $4k?  

What makes this lens $4000 better?

For 28% lighter I didnt think they meant my bank account!

Can I order one of these and apply some of that "Hope and Change" stimulus money that is floating around out there?

$11,000  Are you KIDDING me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How does Canon go from $6800 to $11,000?  B&H, don't plan on selling many of these thats for sure!