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Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
38 202931 Jan 26, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $6,486.36
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.96
8.84
10.0
ef400mmf_28l_1_

Specifications:
Super telephoto L-series lens with an Image Stabilizer for use in track and field sports as well as low-light nature and wildlife photography. The fluorite element and two UD-glass elements result in high resolution and high contrast. The ring USM and an improved AF drive algorithm make the AF speed the fastest in the world when used with the EOS-1v and EOS-3. This lens has the same AF stop and focus preset features as the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM.


 


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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 309
Review Date: Feb 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality even with converters
Cons:
relatively heavy and very costly...however you get what you pay for.

This is about as good as it gets.
The images from this lens are amazingly sharp, detailed and presented with beautiful bokeh.
A monopod is a must with this lens.


Feb 17, 2009
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Nimra
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Registered: Jan 4, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 37
Review Date: Jan 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: PQ
Cons:
You need a mono- and a tripod with gimbal head, it slows You down, and sometimes a 400 5.6 is the better choice.

Stunning beast,

made some first simple tests and shot a picture of my neighbours kitchen through the window at night, 20 m distance. I used my 1Ds, a tripod and aperture 2.8.
After a look on the photos I was blown away. It was possible to read the fine print on the coffeebox on his kitchen shelf.

I better never show him this picture, guess he could get paranoia and draw out from this apartment.

Now it's on me, to learn to handle this belle.


Jan 17, 2009
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dk_samurai
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Registered: Jan 27, 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 185
Review Date: Jul 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

If you're looking to buy this lens, you already know what it's all about.

It's expensive - but worth every penny!
It's heavy - so get a monopod!
It's bright and fast focusing - excellent for sports & action!
It's one of Canon's best white lenses - so stop crying and hit the "buy" button already!

There are a few cons: It is heavy, but it's not impossible to handhold. But do yourself a favor and get a monopod. Also, the standard lens cap is very clumsy. Get a Zeck lens cap that works almost like a regular lens cap does on smaller lenses. The Think Tank Photo Hydrophobia is also an excellent rain cover for the 400 and camera body.

Accessories I Recommend:

* Gitzo Carbon Fiber Monopod - GM5541
* Zeck Lens Cap for Canon 400mm f/2.8L USM IS
* Think Tank Photo Hydrophobia (raincover)



Jul 23, 2008
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FlyFro
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Registered: Mar 16, 2008
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 20, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Fine Arcticle.. It's a little bit heavy but takes very clear and sharp images..
Cons:
Heavy and expensive
Jul 20, 2008
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Geofn
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Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 842
Review Date: Jul 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality. Image Quality. Did I mention the image quality?
Cons:
None noted. Well okay, the case won't close with the quick-mount adapter plate attached to the foot.

This is a killer lens for live theatre. Unbelievable sharpness even wide open. A+++

Jul 17, 2008
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FlyFro
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Registered: Mar 16, 2008
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fine Arcticle.. It's a little bit heavy but takes very clear and sharp images..
Cons:
heavy and expensive
Apr 11, 2008
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Wes Allen
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Registered: Oct 16, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 338
Review Date: Jun 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bought used about 6 months ago. Amazing IQ, IS works great in low light - totally usable photos at ISO 3200, F2.8, 1/200th hand held from a moving car. Take TC's well, but a bit of a learning curve for me at first.
Cons:
None. Everyone says it is heavy, but I can hand hold it for BIF, or short bursts. Mostly just use a monopod, even for wildlife. Not a big fan of the lens case that comes with it though. Need to buy an aftermarket one for day to day use.

I love using this lens! It is everything good that people say about it, and the weight doesn't bother me that much. It does cost more then my car, but it is worth it.

Jun 11, 2007
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raceroy
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Registered: Jul 21, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 54
Review Date: Jun 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp...Sharp...Sharp...Oh did I mention that it is SHARP... Built like a aircraft carrier!! Backgrounds out of focus...like butter!
Cons:
I bought this lens and I knew that it was both HEAVY and Expensive.. Negative aspects NONE!!! I got what I paid for!

Not much to say that hasn't already been said... You do get what you pay for! I sold my 500mm IS to pick up the speed of this lens both in AF and aperture... I put my 1.4II on it and have an equal to the image quality of my 500mm and when the focal length isn't needed BAM ... I have the speed of the 400mm 2.8... life is good.. Is this lens sharper than the 500mm ... maybe... is it as portable... I think not! But I rarely venture far with my gear (two total knees will do that)
This lens does perform as reported and I feel fortunate to have it


Jun 8, 2007
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jcmedeiros
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Registered: Jun 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 760
Review Date: May 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, lightning fast focus, smooth brokeh
Cons:
Heavy as a sledgehammer

This was my dream lens and now that I've finally got it, I'm totally astonished at the images I'm capturing. For Baseball, Soccer or Motorsports this lens is a good as it gets. I've taken over 12000 images with it since I got it last Fall. I bring other lenses to every event I shoot but I always end up using the 400 2.8 all day long.

The only adjustment is the immense size and weight. It is massive and heavy. I use a Bogen 681B with and ARCA mount. This makes it manageable.

If you can afford it, you will love it.


May 11, 2007
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benandbobbi
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Registered: Jul 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Unbelievable IQ and AF
Cons:
Weight and obviously the cost

You already know that this this is heavy and expensive. What yo may not know is that looking at the pictures it produces vergen on a religious experience. Unbelievable IQ. The AF is so fast you'll find yourself jsut aiming anf pressing the shutter half way down jsut to amaze yourself at how fast a blurry scene comes into crisp clear focus. Instantanous. If handles the 1.4X and 2X like they are part of the original lens. Effortless and exacting. I've compared the images of mine to the much talked about 300 2.8 and the ones produced by the 400 are better but you have to pixel peep to see the difference. If you can afford this lens, and can handle lugging around the 13 pounds then there really isn;t another choice in my opinion.

Mar 22, 2007
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john Paul
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Registered: Jul 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 150
Review Date: Oct 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I like the low weight, the AF speed, the optical performance is much improved, especially with teleconverters.. & minimal fucusing distance.
Cons:
I miss the 3 MF speeds that the previous versions of the 400mm f2.8 L lenses had.. The case is nice, but I never use it.. It holds just the lens, without any room for teleconverters like the old trunk type cases had.. However, it is a LOT smaller and lighter than the old (back breaker) trunk style case..and is darker.. I just use my Tenba case for it..


I would like to say that anything that costs next to nothing is a good thing..so I which I didn't have to be asked about the price of the lens I bought...yes it costs a lot...who cares..

I owned the 400mm f2.8 USM L, and the 400mm f2.8 USM MkII L lenses prior to buying the IS version, and I am thrilled with it!
I managed to take a usable shot at 1/45ths of a second, in low light hand held! With the non IS versions of this lens, I would never shoot hand held bellow 1/250ths.

The minimal focusing distance is amazing! I *could* use it in my studio for (close up) head shots if I wanted to..

The weight is a huge factor over the previous versions of the 400mm f2.8 L lenses.. yes, 3 lbs is very noticeable,...and I often shoot hand held with this lens.. & I'm not the biggest / strongest guy out there either..

I do miss the three choices of manual focusing speeds, but the new AF is much more accurate than it was in the previous versions, and noticeably faster to me too.. I have yet to master this lens in MF, and I'm sure I'll miss that feature because I'd often change the MF speed selector while shooting field sports on my old super telephoto lenses..and when it comes to shooting sports, you can't always rely on AF no matter how good it is..because things pass between you and your subject all the time, and you may not want those things to take away your focus while you are trying to get the shot....it's also a little more difficult to MF (hand held) compared to the old versions of this lens..

The AF preset switch is tricky for me to reach.. I have to get used to using that feature..

It's a nice tool, and I'm glad I finally upgraded to it!

JPphotographer.com







Oct 13, 2006
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Tristan
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Registered: Apr 18, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 264
Review Date: Aug 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good contrast, great in low light
Cons:
None

A superb lens, have shot over 40,000 frames with it in 6 months and the only bad shots have come from user error. Fast auto focus - so much so that I find myself being dissapointed with my other lenses auto focus speeds. Really sharp - that the slight softening that you get with a 1.4 converter does not matter. If you are looking to shoot golf, football or any other field sport this is a great lens.

Aug 22, 2006
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Benny L
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Registered: Feb 4, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 58
Review Date: Feb 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Long reach, fast f2.8 aperture, extremely sharp!!
Cons:
weight is a small issue but if you are anything like me (6 ft 2 & 215 pounds) its not that much of an issue ;-)

i got this lens three days ago from Gerry Gibbs Camera House in Cannington, Perth Western Australia.

previously i hired this lens off of them and i have dreamed of owning one ever since.

from back then and the last three days of constant shooting i am happy to say that the 12,100 reasons that i found to convince myself to bite the bullet was worth every one.

a very highly reccomended piece of kit.


Feb 4, 2006
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kevintat
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Registered: Dec 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb contrast and sharpness. Quick autofocus, especially at wide open. Built, functional quality. Out-of-the-camera image quality are awesome! Team up great with either TC.
Cons:
Technically, none found (yes, it's that good). It's heavy, but manageable by any one who loves it. A lot of bucks, but it's worthed.

Like others, I have drooled for a long time for this copy, and now it's here and I am glad I have picked up this one. Almost all potential buyers' setback of this lens is its price tag, but after owning it, using it, and examined it in details, I think it's worthed in every fraction of a penny that I have spent, and I am sure the ones that have already own it are with me.

I am not getting it for shooting sports, at least that's what this lens is known for, but rather for wildlife and nature. I have been seeking advices from a lot of wildlife Pros and got a lot of advices from others as well, before acquiring this lens. Most would recommended the EF 500mm for it's reach and reasonable price tag, and a few also mentioned the EF 600mm. It has not been easy to make the decision of which lens to get, but the f/2.8 offering by this lens has attracted me the most. Most personal reviews have said it's "fast fast fast! sharp sharp sharp!", and I don't need to repeat that. I have been tracking in-flight birds at the lake with it and the 1D MkII, in low light, wide open and it works flawlessly. Most have told me since the latest DSLR's can handle higher ISO so well, that the f/2.8 is not necessary. But I find wide-open shootings offer more controls, such as enable the camera to shoot in as low as ISO 50 at dim light, and/or freeze the frame at higher ISO, yes, even in dim lighting! The reach, personally I start at 400mm, adding TC's 1.4x and 2x as needed. I find shooting with the TC 1.4x it is as fast and as sharp, little or no quality/light lost (wide-open at f/4). Shooting it with the TC 2x (wide-open at f/5.6) could hurt a little in sharpness, but could be regained later in Photoshop, contrast is also lower, but to trade these with 800mm at f/5.6? I'll do it! All controls/functions in the lens work perfectly.

Supporting it in a way to provide stability while shooting is another big thing. I have not tested anything before buying but have known about the full Wimberley Head, and I have chosen it with the Gitzo G1325 tripod (this is as well the most common set-up by most big lens shooters) to support the EOS-1D Mark II, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM, RRS's flash bracket, the 580EX with the flash X-Tender (Better Beamer), all well over 15 lbs, weightless! It is actually "fun" swinging this big set-up all-over and still shooting at a rate of...what?...8.5 fps. Some thought the Wimberley Sidekick alone can do the same job, I could only believe it. I have tried to use a monopod to support this lens but I could not handle it too well, mainly because it's still a bit too heavy for me.

I hope I have not written too much, it's just because it's hard to find in-depth information about this lens anywhere, and it seemed most reviewers/readers only interested in with the latest digital camera bodies only, so I rather be writing a little more than needed, than just little information. Please note all these are my personal thoughts of this lens, others may not be agreed with me, and you have to try one for yourself to know. Pros and Cons: same as others have said here. Goodluck!


Apr 13, 2005
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Chris Anderson
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Registered: Dec 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 841
Review Date: Nov 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great Lens, almost as goos as the 300 2.8 IS!
Cons:
NONE



Nov 12, 2004
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wyndam2
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Registered: May 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 240
Review Date: Oct 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp,sharp, sharp oh and did i mention sharp
Cons:
400 2.8 is a lot of glass ,not negative realy

this is probably the best all round sports lens on the market, works great with 1.4x and very acceptable results with 2x.
2.8 400 wow all the way


Oct 30, 2004
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Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 202931 Jan 26, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $6,486.36
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.96
8.84
10.0
ef400mmf_28l_1_


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