Below is a rundown of what we’ve been told about the lens.
Smaller than the current EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS
Will retain the same aperture range of 4.5-5.6
Zoom ring design instead of push/pull
Similar design to the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS (zoom ring at front of lens)
Lens hood is designed to make using polarizers easier
Lens hood will be ET-83D (from DCI)
New thumb screw design on the foot of the lens
Obvious optical, AF and IS improvements
We’ve had no mention of filter size, or more importantly the price of the lens. I suspect it’s going to cost a fair bit more than the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS just to separate the two lenses in the lineup.
A few more people have confirmed that select Canon pros around the globe are testing the new EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II. Also being confirmed is that the lens resembles the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS in its design; with the zoom ring being at the front element side of the lens, and the focus ring near the camera mount. We were also told that the new lens is “quite a bit smaller than the current iteration”, although this could be subjective depending on the photographer. If it is actually smaller, then I expect the front of the lens will be telescopic like the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS.
Availability will be at the end of the November according to one source. There has been no mention of pricing or filter size for the new lens.
We’re told that demo versions of the upcoming replacement for the EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS have hit select photographers hands for field use.
The new design resembles the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS with a thin focus ring at the base, and a wider zoom ring near the front element. The aperture range for the lens will remain at f/4.5-5.6. Another mentioned feature is in the lens hood for the lens. It sounds like there will be a retractable opening near where a filter would be, so you could turn your circular polarize easily if you needed to.
As with anything regarding this oft rumoured lens, we take things with a grain of salt. That being said, things are lining up with a lot of consistent information.
Matt Granger has posted a short hands-on video and samples gallery for the new Canon EF 400 f/4 DO IS II. Keep in mind the lighting conditions around the Canon booth are less than stellar and all the sample images were shot at high ISO.
I had a chance to hold the lens and it feels exactly like the previous version, solid, light and well balanced. I am looking forward to shooting with the new 400 DO, as the first version is one of my favourite Canon lenses.
Canon’s Chuck Westfall has confirmed to CNET that Canon is indeed working on a replacement to the long-in-the-tooth EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L, though no timeline was given as to when we would see it.
Canon also plans to introduce more DO (diffractive optics lenses), though manufacturing costs have to come down before we see more “popular” type lenses. It’s interesting to note that Canon has patented an EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens formula in the past.
EF-M isn’t dead yet according to Canon, as they promise to introduce more lenses for the system in the coming months and years.