Review: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM

Canon Rumors Guy

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    Most of the talk around Canon is about the EOS R system and RF mount lenses, but Canon has recently released two brilliant new super telephoto lenses, one being the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM.
    Bryan at the The-Digital-Picture has completed his review of the new king of the 400’s. Needless to say, the review is glowing.
    With superb build quality, a moderately-long telephoto focal length, an ultra-wide aperture, a fast and precise AF system, and extremely-high-grade image quality, the built-for-speed EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III package works exceedingly-well for serious, discerning sports photographers, wildlife photographers and photojournalists. This is the type of lens that will have under-funded photographers digging through their gear kits searching for anything that might be considered non-essential and potentially contributing to the 400mm f/2.8L IS III fund...

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    AlanF

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    ethanz

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    According to the graphics in the Full Review, several of the large glass elements and groups have been moved back toward the back of the lens to make it lighter and more balanced. The only way to move them back is to use smaller glass.

    So, since they are using less glass and less large pieces of glass, the cost should be considerably less too... right? Right Canon? Is this thing on?
     
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    Act444

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    He had this to say regarding handholding the lens:

    This lens is far lighter than its predecessor, but it is still not a light lens to handhold and handholding it completely unsupported (no help from an elbow resting against the body) for the many hundreds of images required for a complete image stabilization test session was a bit of a workout.

    ...and knowing how modest he tends to be with his language, I will take this to mean it is still not a handholdable lens, at least not in the way the 300 is...
     
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    Jack Douglas

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    Wow! Checking the price, I was expecting more. Only if I were a pro shooter would I even start dreaming of having this, mainly because it is still pretty heavy for anyone who is getting up there in years. That alone makes me pretty content to be using the 400 DO II.

    Now if I were young and athletic (and rich ;)) like Ethan, I'd just run out and buy it.

    Alan, it's nice to see that we don't do too badly with the DO (X2) considering it's "low" price.

    Jack
     
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    docsmith

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    ...and knowing how modest he tends to be with his language, I will take this to mean it is still not a handholdable lens, at least not in the way the 300 is...

    It is lighter than the 500 f/4 II, which I handhold all the time. I've walked miles with it attached to a black rapid strap, taking pictures along the way. So, I completely expect the 400 III to be "handholdable."

    But...your caveat is dead on, it isn't like a 70-200 f/2.8, 100-400 II, or the 300 f/2.8 II.
     
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    ethanz

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    It is lighter than the 500 f/4 II, which I handhold all the time. I've walked miles with it attached to a black rapid strap, taking pictures along the way. So, I completely expect the 400 III to be "handholdable."

    But...your caveat is dead on, it isn't like a 70-200 f/2.8, 100-400 II, or the 300 f/2.8 II.

    And I don't think we should expect it to be like one of those lenses. It is a 400 f2.8.

    Handholdable is very subjective anyways.
     
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    unfocused

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    I do wonder if Canon will eventually offer a service to convert the the 400 & 600 from an EF mount to a RF mount. They did this before with the FD200mm f/1.8L in the late 80s

    I doubt it. The RF adapter is already available and offers no loss in quality. Not sure how much of a market there would be for conversions, which would simply mean your lens wouldn't work on DSLRs any more. Anyone opting for the conversion better plan on being buried with the lens, because it would likely make it much harder to sell or trade.
     
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    dolina

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    I doubt it. The RF adapter is already available and offers no loss in quality. Not sure how much of a market there would be for conversions, which would simply mean your lens wouldn't work on DSLRs any more. Anyone opting for the conversion better plan on being buried with the lens, because it would likely make it much harder to sell or trade.

    DSLRs are on the way out. CIPA number shows that mirrorless are replacing and not adding to interchangeable lens camera body sales.
     
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    Ozarker

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    According to the graphics in the Full Review, several of the large glass elements and groups have been moved back toward the back of the lens to make it lighter and more balanced. The only way to move them back is to use smaller glass.

    So, since they are using less glass and less large pieces of glass, the cost should be considerably less too... right? Right Canon? Is this thing on?
    No, not necessarily. What are the manufacturing cost differences between the two and the R&D? Labor? It might very well have been just as expensive to make.
     
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    Ozarker

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    DSLRs are on the way out. CIPA number shows that mirrorless are replacing and not adding to interchangeable lens camera body sales.
    Mount conversion would = adding a permanent adapter, essentially. Still have to make up for the flange distance difference. Probably not profit in it.
     
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    AlanF

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    Wow! Checking the price, I was expecting more. Only if I were a pro shooter would I even start dreaming of having this, mainly because it is still pretty heavy for anyone who is getting up there in years. That alone makes me pretty content to be using the 400 DO II.

    Now if I were young and athletic (and rich ;)) like Ethan, I'd just run out and buy it.

    Alan, it's nice to see that we don't do too badly with the DO (X2) considering it's "low" price.

    Jack
    The 2xTC lives on my 400mm DO II when it is on the 5DIV, so it is a real hoot that the lens beats out its big brother!
     
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