Side view of the Canon EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x lens – note the 1x/1.4x extender switch towards the rear of the lens.
- High-performance L-series super-telephoto zoom lens.
- Fixed f/4 aperture.
- Built-in 1.4x extender.
- Fluorite lens elements to correct chromatic aberrations, enabling high resolution and high contrast images.
- SWC coating reduces ghosting caused by light bouncing back from the sensor.
- Fluorine coating on lens surfaces to prevent dirt sticking to lens elements.
- Four-stop Image Stabilizer for handheld shooting at slower shutter speeds; supports the use of the built-in extender.
- IS Mode 3 suited to sports and action photography.
- Ring-type USM with high-speed CPU for silent, high-speed AF.
- 9-blade circular aperture for beautiful out of focus highlights (bokeh).
- Full-time manual focusing.
- 2.0m minimum focusing distance throughout zoom range.
- Power Focus mode to increase versatiiity during movie shooting.
- Durable and rugged lens construction, with magnesium alloy to reduce weight.
- Highly resistant to dust and water for use in harsh conditions.
- Security lock socket on tripod collar for wire-type security lock.
SUPERB OPTICAL PERFORMANCE
The optical design of the lens is new, with the built-in 1.4x extender in the sixth group of fixed elements for optimised optical performance throughout the zoom range.
With the deployment of 25 lens elements in 20 lens groups (33 elements in 24 groups with the extender) as well as the use of fluorite and UD lens elements effectively minimises chromatic aberration and eliminates colour blurring around the edges of a subject, providing higher levels of resolution and contrast that are unaffected when the built-in extender is used.
The lens features an inner focusing system and optimised lens coatings and the placement of lens elements ensure excellent colour balance, while the use of a SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) reduces ghosting and flare when a bright light source is included within the frame.
BUILT-IN EXTENDER FOR WIDE FOCAL LENGTH RANGE
With its built-in 1.4x extender the lens offers a total focal length range of 200-560mm, enough for the needs of many sports and wildlife photographers in a single lens. You can get closer to the action via a flick of the 1x/1.4x switch close to the rear of the lens to automatically extend the focal length range by 1.4x whilst maintaining superb image quality.
CONSTANT F/4 APERTURE
A constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom focal lengths of the lens allows for excellent image reproduction in low light. It also enables the use of faster shutter speeds and can be used to creatively isolate subjects from the background.
SILENT HIGH SPEED AF
The lens' ring-type USM autofocus motor combines with an optimised AF algorithm to provide fast, accurate and silent autofocus. It allows photographers to quickly achieve focus, which is especially useful when using AI Servo AF. The closest focusing distance is 2.0m, so for photographing subjects photographers may wish to get a little closer to this will prove a big benefit.
FULL TIME MANUAL FOCUSING
As well as its fast AF system the lens also offers full time manual focusing, even during AF. This helps to ensure that you can accurately and precisely fine-tune the autofocus.
POWER FOCUS MODE (PF)
The Power Focus mode is activated from the focus mode selector switch and allows the lens to adjust the focus smoothly by driving the AF motor. It can be used when shooting movies with the lens to provide a pull focus effect. Power Focus is activated by turning the focus preset ring. A small turn will drive the focus slowly, while a larger turn will provide a faster movement through the focus range.
Although it has an impressive focal length range the EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x is comparatively light (at 3.6kg), thanks to the use of magnesium alloy in the lens body construction, and is quite small (at just 366mm long). The use of a slimmer IS unit made it possible to incorporate the extender internally. It is easy to carry for photographers who often travel and can be used easily, even for handheld shooting.
The lens has a high-quality leather-tone texture, carefully positioned controls (including a wide zoom ring for easy control), plus the large easy-to-access extender switch. The focus mode, focus distance range selector, Image Stabilizer and focus preset switches are all shaped to prevent unintentional movement.
FOUR-STOP IMAGE STABILIZER
The lens’ four-stop Image Stabilizer allows photographers to shoot at up to four stops slower than normal. This means handheld shooting of moving subjects is much easier than with a non-IS lens.
IS MODE 3
IS Mode 3 was announced with Canon’s EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses, and is also in the EF500mm f/4L IS II USM and EF600mm f/4L IS II USM telephoto lenses. IS Mode 3 takes the benefits of standard IS (effective for both horizontal and vertical camera motion) but, instead of it being active all the time, it only activates when you fully press the shutter button to take an image. It is especially useful for sports photography where you are likely to be moving between subjects quickly, and allows for panning without the IS over-compensating for movement.
CIRCULAR APERTURE FOR BEAUTIFUL BACKGROUND BLUR
The lens incorporates a nine-blade circular aperture to help you make the subject really stand out from the background, whilst achieving a pleasing background blur.
DURABLE, DUST & WEATHER RESISTANT
The use of magnesium alloy in the construction of the lens reduces its weight without any compromise on its durability and quality of design. The lens is resistant to dust particles and water droplets to ensure photographers can keep shooting in all weather conditions.
SECURITY LOCK FOR INSTANT SECURITY
To help limit the risk of theft, the tripod mount-locking knob features a security attachment point that’s compatible with wire-type cable locks. By attaching a cable lock to the locking knob rather than the lens itself, the lens can still be rotated within the tripod collar without tying the lens up in the cable lock.
A ring-type USM autofocus motor, combined with a high-speed CPU and optimised AF algorithm, delivers fast and near-silent AF with precision. It also provides full-time manual focus so that you can adjust the focus with the focus ring, without first having to switch the lens to manual focus. This allows you to adjust the focus accurately to ensure it is exactly where you want it to be for the most creative control possible. The addition of Power Focus mode allows you to activate a motor driven focus shift for use when shooting movies.
The Image Stabilizer in a Canon lens works by shifting a stabilizer group of elements to compensate for motion detected by a gyroscope in the lens. There are now three IS modes – Mode 1 for general shooting, Mode 2 for panning and Mode 3 which is ideal for sports photographers. The panning mode, Mode 2 features a modified IS algorithm as well. This new algorithm negates the IS ‘bump' that can occur when you first start panning the lens providing a more stable viewfinder image.
IS Mode 3 only activates the IS mechanism when you full depress the shutter button to shoot an image. For sports photographers moving between shots, this avoids the lens trying to stabilise random, rapid movements and only begins to compensate while you are shooting.
Once activated, the Image Stabilizer gives up the equivalent of four stops of shutter speed so you can handhold and capture acceptably sharp images at much slower shutter speeds. For movie shooting with a tripod, the IS mechanism can be left switched on. The lens will detect it is mounted on a tripod and the IS optics will be locked in place so they cannot move. If vibration is detected the IS will then activate to remove vibrations.
Keeping lenses clean is important to ensuring the best image quality possible. To help with this, both the front and rear lens element are coated with fluorine which acts as a non-stick, easy to clean surface to help with the removal of dust and dirt or oils left by fingerprints or from the atmosphere. Fluorine is also used on the filters covering the CMOS sensor camera and the rear LCD panels of several EOS models for the same reason.
SUBWAVELENGTH STRUCTURE COATING (SWC)
Designed for use in digital photography, Canon's patented lens element coating helps to prevent the ghosting and flare that’s sometimes aused by internal reflection - helping to deliver crisp, clear images. The EF24mm f/1.4L II USM was the first Canon lens to feature the SubWavelength Structure Coating and it is now found on several lenses in the EF range. This coating reduces reflection from the surface of the lens and has the advantage of reducing both flare and ghosting to improve image quality.