By Glenn Bartley
Canadian professional wildlife photographer Glenn Bartley took our Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II for a week long test drive in Arizona before purchasing his own. I’ve been a fan of Glenn’s for some time, especially his work in South America.
As expected, the lens is a terrific birding lens. As Glenn said from the start, it’s a 600mm lens in a 500mm f/4L IS version 1 body, which is the lens his moving on from.
“What a treat to be able to use this lens for an extended period of time for real world testing. There is basically nothing that I did not like about the lens. It is at the top of its class in every regard.”
Read the full review | Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II at B&H Photo
What do we think?
I have posted our initial impressions of the new Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II. My professional outdoor photographer friend Ethan Meleg took the lens for a day to see how it performed.
Visit Ethan on Twitter | Facebook | Blog
As with all reviews at Canon Rumors, there’s absolutely no technical stuff. We just try to tell you what we think about it in real world situations. There will be lots of pixel peeping coming in the near future I’m sure from the sites that do it great.
We’ll update the review in the coming months, we just haven’t had enough time to put it through all the various situations we might use a 600mm lens for.
Read our initial impression
Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II
I received my Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II today, and I must say it’s pretty exciting to get new big glass.
No matter how many times you read about the weight difference between this one and the previous version, you just don’t have a handle on it until you hold the lens. I cannot believe it weighs the same as the Canon EF 500 f/4L IS. It’s completely hand holdable and well balanced. Construction feels wonderfully solid and apparently the weather sealing is better than the previous version.
EF 300 f/2.8L IS II, EF 400 f/2.8L IS II, EF 600 f/4L IS II, EF 800 f/5.6L IS (500 f/4L IS II still missing)
It comes with a shorter foot, probably making monopod use easier. It also comes with the new style lens cover, a lens strap as well as a strap for the hard case. The manual is also on paper not on CD.
As suspected, it shouldn’t be a problem getting any of your Arca style plates to fit on the lens.
I will be heading out to do some birding this week with the new lens, I will report back with what will be pretty obvious information…. i.e. “it’s sharp, it’s great, it costs a lot”.
How do I know?
Because mine arrived in Ontario, Canada today and will be in my hands on Monday. The weather is too poor all weekend to waste 6 hours driving to get it tomorrow.
LensRentals.com is showing the 500 f/4L IS II as in stock on Tuesday.
B&H expects shipments of the 500 & 600 in the next week or so.
A stock note for the new supertelephoto.
Canon EF 600 f/4L IS II from 17th Street Photo for $13,599
So you wanna spend a lot of money?
I am getting the same question everyday about the same thing. “When can I get the new 500mm or 600mm lenses from Canon?”. The best answer is.. I don’t know. Canon is still maintaining a release date of May 2012, and we still have 23 days left in the month. However, whether that ever meant in large quantity is unknown.
A few facts that don’t help too much.
- Both lenses do appear on price lists, however dealer NET is still listed at “TBA” on the lists I have seen.
- Neither lens was out from behind glass at NAB
- Through the grapevine, reps are saying “I don’t know” and not “May 2012″ in regards to release date.
- No large retailer I have spoken to has any idea when they’re coming.
A couple get released for photographers at Euro 2012 starting June 8, 2012 in Ukraine and Poland. Possibly along with a few final test bodies of the Canon EOS-1D X.
All this could change pretty quickly, I could get an email later today saying they’re coming and when they’re expected. I have had both on preorder since they were announced in 1972, hopefully inflation won’t make them even more expensive.