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Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

Review Date: Jul 2, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: very hi IQ, sharp as a tack, easy to hand-hold & carry, focuses well, monopod/tripod mount & lens hood included, worthy of "L" status, weight is only 2.75lbs. (~1.25kg)
no IS version (in 2008, that's a minus), suitable for daytime outdoors use only (with few exceptions), minimum focusing distance of 11.5ft / 3.5m,

The 400mm f/5.6 is a lens that anyone with long telephoto requirements should consider. This lens will more than fully please many, including photojournalists with long lens requirements (i.e. situations such accidents, spot news, stake-outs where getting anywhere within close proximity is problematic), daytime sports (baseball, football, rugby, surfing, soccer etc.), and wildlife shooters (i.e. birds and animals)

Thought this lens is relatively slow, it has the advantages of extreme portability (case is included) ++ hand-hold-ability that more than make up for the slower maximum aperture.

This combo is cheaper, better and more desirable than a 70-200 f/2.8 with a 2x extender on due to obvious IQ-robbing that combo consumes. (but obviously not quite as flexible when it comes to focal length)

For instance, when using a two body system, pairing this 400mm with a 70-200mm zoom (with or without a 1.4x) on the other would be considered a very ideal set-up by many shooters.

happy shooting!

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

Review Date: Feb 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: An affordable 'L' lens, that's light, sharp and well-built. This lens can be hand-held if needbe, and is very versatile. (birds, sports, stakeouts!). Came with it's very own CANON case.
Obviously, the speed is a major problem (for all but outdoors applications) If used indoors (i.e. for static objects) a monopod/tripod is greatly recommended. If subject is not moving, or moving very slowly, using a highspeed motordrive (i.e. EOS1) burst will also enhance the probability of getting at least one sharp image in a sequence. Can only use centre AF with 1.4x (EOS1)

A lens that is perfect for those walking, hiking, or just plain hauling around all their needed (and required) equipment. After dark, however, it becomes virtually useless, at least compared to your f/2.8 lenses.
Anyone who shoots any outdoor sports:
(esp. baseball/football/soccer) or wildlife (animals/birds)
will definitely want to have this lens at their disposal.

NOTE: on a 1.6x crop factor camera body
this lens has a effective focal length of 640mm

NOTE: on a 1.3x crop factor camera body
this lens has a effective focal length of 520mm

NOTE: on a FF camera body
(1Ds/1DsII/5D) this lens has a effective focal length of 400mm