Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L IS Mentioned [CR1]

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
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My EF 400/5.6L is my oldest lens and I've had since film days. Probably my best investment. My main uses are sports (windsurfing) and birds, and like someone already mentioned, if I had a 100-400mm, I would use it at 400mm 95% of the time. Sure the latest zooms may well be sharper, but this lens is 30 years old.
I would definitely be in the market for a RF 500/5.6 that is sharp wide open. Not interested in zooms or faster (heavier, more expensive) primes.
A 500 f/5.6 would be substantially heavier than your 400mm f/5.6. The diameter would have to be 25 percent wider, 56% more area. The big element would probably be 95 percent heavier (because it'd be 25 percent wider, taller, and thicker). Other optical elements would probably scale up. The metal tube and so forth would go up either 25% or 56 percent (or something in between) because that will scale with circumference and possibly focal length.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,567
11,274
A 500 f/5.6 would be substantially heavier than your 400mm f/5.6. The diameter would have to be 25 percent wider, 56% more area. The big element would probably be 95 percent heavier (because it'd be 25 percent wider, taller, and thicker). Other optical elements would probably scale up. The metal tube and so forth would go up either 25% or 56 percent (or something in between) because that will scale with circumference and possibly focal length.
The Nikon 500mm f/5.6 weighs 1460g (51.5 oz), which is only 210g (7.4oz) more than the 400mm f/5.6. My Nikon with the 500mm f/5.6 weighs the same as my R5 with the R5100-500mm, slightly less than the R5 with the 100-400mm II + adapter. Technology has moved on since that 400mm f/5.6 L.
 
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SteveC

R5
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Sep 3, 2019
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The Nikon 500mm f/5.6 weighs 1460g (51.5 oz), which is only 210g (7.4oz) more than the 400mm f/5.6. My Nikon with the 500mm f/5.6 weighs the same as my R5 with the R5100-500mm, slightly less than the R5 with the 100-400mm II + adapter. Technology has moved on since that 400mm f/5.6 L.
Ah, and there's the forgotten variable--technical progress. I was wrong but happy to hear the reason. I imagine a (hypothetical) DO would be even better from the standpoint of weight.

Also, all other things the same I'd expect a zoom that maxes out at 400mm f/5.6 to be a bit heavier than a prime at those numbers; the zoom lens has more "stuff" in it to give it the zoom functionality.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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Ah, and there's the forgotten variable--technical progress. I was wrong but happy to hear the reason. I imagine a (hypothetical) DO would be even better from the standpoint of weight.

Also, all other things the same I'd expect a zoom that maxes out at 400mm f/5.6 to be a bit heavier than a prime at those numbers; the zoom lens has more "stuff" in it to give it the zoom functionality.
The Nikon is a DO (PF). To put it in perspective, they also do a 300mm f/4 PF, which weighs only 805g with hood. Put a 1.4xTC on it and it is a 420mm f/5.6 weighing 995g. It's a very nice piece of kit if you want something really light.
 

fabioduarte

I'm New Here
Aug 8, 2014
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Brazil
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The Nikon 500mm f/5.6 weighs 1460g (51.5 oz), which is only 210g (7.4oz) more than the 400mm f/5.6. My Nikon with the 500mm f/5.6 weighs the same as my R5 with the R5100-500mm, slightly less than the R5 with the 100-400mm II + adapter. Technology has moved on since that 400mm f/5.6 L.
My whole upgrade thing started because of this 500mm f/5.6 pf lens from Nikon. I was ready to sell all my gear and get a D500 + 500mm 5.6 pf, but I decided to check if moving from my 7D II to the R5 wouldn't be a better choice.

Imagine what Canon could do with that price point on a 500mm f/5.6 prime!