Canon officially announces the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III & EF 600mm f/4L IS III. The worlds lightest lenses of their kind

hendrik-sg

EOS RP
Apr 21, 2011
247
25
This weight reduction is just fantastic. I had the 400 2.8 IS (original version for rent, it was not handholdable, and the IS quite bad. In Comparision, just recently I could use a 400 2.8 IS ii, which is a fantastic improvement.

Now, 1 kg less (as the 300 2.8 IS) and 1.5 stops better IS, there is nothing to add, except that I don't have 12k$ of pocket money to be burned. And the big concern, what about RF (beside the possibility of using adapters) ???

Now, comparing the weight differences between 300/400 or 600/500 lenses at the same opening, a 500mm 2.8 or a 700 4.0 at below 5kg comes into sight. for a bargain of 20k bucks maybe
 
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Lurker

EOS 90D
Dec 8, 2012
162
21
I just hope the IQ and durability hasn't been compromised (and has in fact been improved)
I know looking at charts has it's limits but the 600 MTF chart doesn't look as good as for the II.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,647
2,163
To hold it at arm's length is one thing, to make 100% of photographs which are not blurred, it is certainly certainly impossible in this way ...
To make 100% of photographs which are not blurred is certainly impossible on a tripod, also. Importantly, I do not have any problems getting a very high keeper rate shooting handheld. With birds in flight (my most frequent subject with the 600/4 II), shutter speeds of 1/2000 s or faster are needed, which combined with IS effectively eliminates the effect of camera shake. But I have shot handheld with shutter speeds in the 1/60 - 1/200 s range with excellent results. In winter when shooting raptors, I use a tripod and gimbal because that use case involves a lot of standing and waiting. But in more clement weather, I prefer to hike and shoot. I can assure you that even if I could achieve 100% not blurred shots by stopping to set up the tripod and mount the lens on it, the majority of those images would be sharp, crisp images of an unoccupied tree branch or empty sky, since my subject would have long since flown away.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,647
2,163
I know looking at charts has it's limits but the 600 MTF chart doesn't look as good as for the II.
600/4L IS II:


600/4L IS III:


I’m not sure I’d call the MkIII worse, but based on MTF charts I’d conclude that the MkIII does not offer any meaningful improvement in sharpness or contrast. The new coatings are likely better at reducing flare (and of course, that affects contrast when present), but I haven’t found that to be an issue with the 600 II (unlike, for example, the 70-200/2.8L IS II, where despite the claims of no improvements, I expect that lens to have meaningfully better performance in backlit situations, where the MkII just washes out with veiling glare).
 

scyrene

EOS R6
Dec 4, 2013
2,802
944
UK
www.flickr.com
An EF 600mm f / 4L IS III of 3.1 Kg is too heavy for use without a tripod...
I use the 500L II almost exclusively without a tripod and it weighs 3.19kg. I'm not strong either. It can be done, with the right technique and motivation.

As a general point, I'm very impressed they were able to reduce the weight by so much again, although I doubt I'll ever be able to afford one of these. The cost difference between 500 and 600mm was why I chose the former a few years ago.
 
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ethanz

1DX II
CR Pro
Apr 12, 2016
1,135
426
ethanzentz.com
To hold it at arm's length is one thing, to make 100% of photographs which are not blurred, it is certainly certainly impossible in this way ...
I'm no weight lifter and I can hand hold the 200-400 (which is around the same weight) for a while and shoot with good results. This is an amazing release today that they were able to reduce the 400 / 600 weight so much.
 
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dolina

millennial
Dec 27, 2011
2,012
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It blows my mind that the 400/2.8 IS III is 440g heavier than a 300/2.8 IS II. Equally mind blowing is the 600/4.0 IS III weighing 210g heavier than the 400/2.8 IS II.

Seeming the new lens will be available by mid-December buying this lens at street price would be prudent by mid 2019.

For those who need strength and endurance training take up crossfit. Really helpful in handholding heavy lenses.
 

takesome1

EOS R
Aug 23, 2013
1,490
122
99
Licking, Missouri
To make 100% of photographs which are not blurred is certainly impossible on a tripod, also. Importantly, I do not have any problems getting a very high keeper rate shooting handheld. With birds in flight (my most frequent subject with the 600/4 II), shutter speeds of 1/2000 s or faster are needed, which combined with IS effectively eliminates the effect of camera shake. But I have shot handheld with shutter speeds in the 1/60 - 1/200 s range with excellent results. In winter when shooting raptors, I use a tripod and gimbal because that use case involves a lot of standing and waiting. But in more clement weather, I prefer to hike and shoot. I can assure you that even if I could achieve 100% not blurred shots by stopping to set up the tripod and mount the lens on it, the majority of those images would be sharp, crisp images of an unoccupied tree branch or empty sky, since my subject would have long since flown away.

1.9lbs and 1.5 stops will be substantial when hand held. It is a worthy upgrade IMO.

This will be a nice step up, just let us know when your ready to sell your version II. ;)
 

Kit.

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 25, 2011
1,996
1,350
So what is the sacrifice to gain 1.9lbs on the 500mm?
The middle lens group is smaller and shifted back. Probably requiring much more manufacturing precision than before, and made possible with recent upgrades in Canon's lens manufacturing plant.
 

sid.safari

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 5, 2018
75
49
600/4L IS II:


600/4L IS III:


I’m not sure I’d call the MkIII worse, but based on MTF charts I’d conclude that the MkIII does not offer any meaningful improvement in sharpness or contrast. The new coatings are likely better at reducing flare (and of course, that affects contrast when present), but I haven’t found that to be an issue with the 600 II (unlike, for example, the 70-200/2.8L IS II, where despite the claims of no improvements, I expect that lens to have meaningfully better performance in backlit situations, where the MkII just washes out with veiling glare).
So seems like the difference in sharpness will be towards the edges and at 600mm? (am I reading it right). If so, that's fair enough...both the 600 and 400 ii's are already some of the sharpest lens in the world. I would have hoped for more considering it's been 7 years but there doesn't seem to have been a major breakthrough in optics since that time. Can't expect exponential changes given the lens materials are basically unchanged. The weight and IS though are significant improvements in my eyes. So is the balance which in the 400mm f/2.8 ii was definitely not optimal.

I like what i'm seeing and hopefully they will have a new extender pair that comes with these lens. Since the EOS R can now autofocus at f/11 that's huge for those who use TC's. I'm curious to see the MTF's of the 400 III at 1.4x and 2.0x.
 
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