Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L going away?

CanonFanBoy

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Jan 28, 2015
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I noticed today that the EF 400mm f/5.6L is no longer available at Adorama or the Canon store. It seems B&H still has it. Is it going away? Anybody heard?
 
Nov 3, 2014
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I'll be curious to see how much benefit you get with IBIS on that lens. If I could just get 2 stops for stationary subjects that would be a big improvement. I've used it on my Fuji XT3 with some success recently. It focuses great, balances better than the 100-400 and IS can be a bit wonky with adapted lenses. I've never been offered enough for mine to justify selling it.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mar 25, 2011
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I wouldn't be the least surprised if it was discontinued so people would buy the new 600mm & 800mm f/11 lenses, rather than the 400mm f/5.6L with TCs and rely on IBIS.
Those lenses don't fit the same cameras and are not replacements.

The lens has been rumored to be going away for at least 10 years.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mar 25, 2011
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With an EF to RF adapter, the EF 400mm will mount on RF cameras.



But it didn't go away 10 or 5 years ago.
But it has disappeared from stores and Canon website at times. That starts the rumors.

Sales is the key to finally retire a lens. Sales of both cameras and lenses has been dropping, so some will go away. Canon is going to shrink, they continue to reduce staff, so it is plausible that slow selling lenses and bodies will be discontinued. There are a few in that category that are good lenses but are dated and unpopular now.

I hate to see them go, they are a way for someone to get a excellent lens at a reasonable price.
 
Nov 3, 2014
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I tried selling mine a couple times without getting much interest. Maybe if it’s discontinued I’ll get a fair offer for it. The lack of IS makes it a bit of a niche lens. Difficult to get a sharp photo much bellow 1000/s on APSC. It’s long but mostly air and I find it handles pretty well. I also like the built in hood.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mar 25, 2011
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Its been a long time since I owned the lens, I searched and found a handful of test shots, none of which were memorable. My old Tokina 400mm f/5.6 was good by comparison. These were 1/1000 sec exposures but still not as sharp as I'd like.
 
Nov 3, 2014
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Mine is sharp for an older lens and I think the bokeh is pretty good for an f5.6L but I agree that it's nothing special compared to modern lenses. It definitely has a bit of a vintage telephoto draw. Modern lenses are just better in most regards.

It's a fine lens for shooting birds in flight If they are close and the light is good but that alone probably doesn't make it worth owning. I think the MFD could be a little better. The mag factor, even compared to the old 100-400, is pretty weak. That always annoys me. I wouldn't buy one today but I don't mind owning it. IBIS might breath a bit more life into it.

As I said previously, it's snappy on the XT3 where it's more like a 600 f8. The 100-400 zoom is too front heavy for that body. Whenever I'm ready to let it go I always seem to find a new use for it.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mar 25, 2011
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My Canon DSLR was a 30d 8.1 MP at the time. the lightroom page is almost 1:1. Still, other lenses looked very sharp on that camera body., so I think that the autofocus needed adjustment on the 400. I just looked at images from non l lenses used on that body and they were sharper by far. I had just bought the 30D and loved it, but then the 40D arrived with live view which was exactly what I wanted, so I sold my 6 month old 30dD and bought a 40D.
 

Frodo

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Nov 3, 2012
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My 400 5.6L is my oldest lens. Bought it second hand in predigital days. Great with the 5DsR for windsurfing photos usually in good light, where cropping gives me an effective lens of 400-600mm. I shoot it wideopen, although it sharpens a little more at f/8. Has given me more memorable photos per $ than any other lens.
Sure, I'd like the latest 100-400 but for the amount I use 400mm, i'll keep. For most of my photos, I'd shoot the 100-400 at 400mm anyway.
I'd really like Canon to produce an equivalent to the Nikon 500/5.6.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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My 400/5.6 L wasn't as sharp as a 100-400mm II. The 400/5.6L has been priced far too high for a lens whose development costs were covered decades ago. There has been little point, apart from cost, of buying one new when the zoom has been better in every way.
 
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