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  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
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Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

by Canon
| 43 answered questions

Price: $1,339.00 and eligible for FREE Two-Day Shipping Details
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  • Lens construction: 7 elements in 6 groups.
  • Fluorite and Ultra-low Dispersion-glass; internal focusing; full-time manual focus.
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 3.5m / 11.5 ft.
  • Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 400mm 1:5.6
  • Filter size: 77mm

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Frequently Bought Together

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras + B+W 77mm Clear UV Haze with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M)
Price for both: $1,403.93

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Canon
  • Model: 2526A004
  • Lens Type: Prime lens
  • Minimum focal length: 400 millimeters
  • Maximum focal length: 400 millimeters
  See more technical details

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 257 x 90 x 5.9 inches ; 2.8 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00009USW3
  • Item model number: 2526A004
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: May 21, 2004

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Light. Portable. Excellent handling. Sharp. And amazingly fast autofocus. The 400mm f/5.6L is all of these things, and a premier choice for wildlife and nature photographers--one of the finest telephoto lenses in the world for fast-moving subjects such as birds in flight or motor sports. It uses UD-glass elements to provide outstanding optical quality, even wide-open, and image quality is preserved when used with either the EF 1.4x II or EF 2x II tele extenders. It accepts 77mm filters, and has a built-in removable tripod collar.

See a Different Dimension
A super telephoto lens can make an ordinary scene into an extraordinary one. Its ability to see surpasses that of the human eye. It can compress images and make them look as if they come from another dimension. It opens up new realms of photographic expression. All EF super telephoto lenses are L-series lenses to provide the highest quality. The USM provides quiet and high-speed autofocusing. These lenses promise outstanding delineation and put your imagination to the test.

Product Description

This high-performance lens was designed with portability and handling ease in mind. One Super UD-glass element, whose characteristics are similar to fluorite, and one UD-glass element result in sharp pictures from corner-to-corner. The lens also has a built-in hood and a detachable tripod mount.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 95 customer reviews
Great for Bird photography.
C. Hunt
The result was stunning...razor sharp images with vivid colors and contrast...I didn't have to do a thing to the images with photoshop...jaw dropping awesomeness!
Diverhank
In good light, I can use very high shutter speeds while keeping ISO values low, enabling high detail and great stop motion capture shots of birds in flight.
Eric C. Reuter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

156 of 159 people found the following review helpful By A photographer VINE VOICE on September 7, 2006
I've been using this lens about six years. In all that time, I can't remember ever shooting at any aperture smaller than f/5.6. It's amazingly sharp wide open and I've never had any reason to stop it down. When I first bought it, I used it on a tripod almost all the time. These days, I've started using it handheld and I can appreciate how well it handles. In good light, autofocus is fast and accurate. In low brightness and low contrast light, it gets a little slow and sometimes hunts. Not a real problem, just switch off the autofocus and use the superb manual focus ring. Images snap in and out of focus easily whether you do the focusing or you let the lens do it.

The lens is made like a tank. Mine has been subjected to a lot of use but it has never failed me. I sometimes use it with the Canon 1.4x Extender which makes it a 560mm f/8 lens. That combination does usually require a tripod but it is still a handy combination that retains great sharpness. I've also used it with the Canon 2x Extender as an 800mm f/11. It's a good idea to put it on a sturdy tripod and stop down a wee bit to get the best results.

If you can make use of the focal length and you can live with f/5.6 as the maximum aperture, I recommend it highly.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Gadget Hound on June 9, 2009
Verified Purchase
I purchased this lens primarily for hand-held bird photography for use on my Canon 40D DSLR. The lens is typical of Canon's L-series "white" family of professional level telephoto lenses, having very high standards of construction and superb optical performance, even with a 1.4X teleconverter, when conditions allow.

This lens is known as the "overlooked" Canon telephoto, since it does not garner the glamor of its cousins, the really long, heavy, faster, and vastly more costly professional telephoto lenses. It is also known as the "toy lens" by bird photographers who mostly use those really Big Berthas for long-distance close-ups with blurred-out backgrounds.

I selected it for the high image quality wide-open, relatively light weight, and shorter physical length, allowing both hand-held and tripod mounted use, as well as its modest cost (compared to all high quality alternatives). The image quality is extremely high, even wide open at f/5.6, although it does improve slightly stopped down a notch or two. The image contrast, flare resistance, and color saturation are also excellent for a telephoto lens of its "older" fixed focal length optical design.

It doesn't have image stabilization (IS), which maintains the reasonable price, but I don't consider that much of a handicap using Canon's DSLR's, which allow low-noise high ISO settings for higher shutter speeds under decent lighting conditions. Braced against a tree, fence post, etc., and especially in a sitting position with arms resting on knees, for example, the lack of IS is simply not an issue. The focus is extremely fast and accurate with the 40D's sensitive all X-type focus points, and the quickly removable tripod mount is of an excellent design that all tripod mounts should have.
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114 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Minasi on August 16, 2007
A 400 MM prime for about a grand? Neat.

I originally bought the 100-400 when I got my Canon body, as I wanted to do wildlife photography and wasn't even AWARE of this lens. I wish I had, because this lens is (1) a pound lighter than the 100-400 (two pounds vs three), (2) doesn't pump dust into my camera body when I adjust the zoom (as there isn't any zoom!), (3) is shorter and so easier to balance in my hand, (4) has a built-in lens hood -- the one with the 100-400 is separate and surprisingly flimsy for a $1500 product, (5) produces a somewhat better picture, and (6) it is a 77 mm L lens, which means I needn't buy a new set of UV and polarizing filters. (Many, but not all, "L"s are 77 mm diameter lenses.)

No, there's no IS, but -- and here's the important part -- it doesn't NEED it. That one pound and shorter length makes all the difference, at least for me. But if you're undecided, then keep in mind that: (1) the 100-400 has that zoom, which means that when you CAN shoot in, say, 100 mm, then you're doing it at F/3.5, and (2) if your hands are a bit wobbly then you can do a lot of hand-held shooting with the IS.

I wondered if I'd miss the zoom, but in all honesty there has only been one shot in the two years that I've shot with this lens that I wished that I could dial it back a bit. A great lens for the money.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Ole-henrik Helin on September 3, 2007
I started out with the sigma 50-500 and shot with that for about a year. Dissapointed with the fact that I had to stop it down to F8 to get acceptable results, I started to look for a new telephoto in the same range. Besides, I was always at the long end of the sigma anyway, so I didnt need the zoom that the sigma provided.

After reading pages up and pages down on the 100-400, the 300 f4 and the 400 5.6L, I landed on the latter.

It is true what they say, the lens is tack sharp at f5.6, you need to zoom into 200% to properly see any improvement to around f7-f8 (atleast on my copy). Contrast and color are both beautiful and the bokeh is awsome, although you need to get closer than with a 400 f2.8L to completely wash out the background. (the f2.8 L does cost you an arm and a leg though).

Build quality is excellent, my lens accidently took a dive from 6 feet when mounted to a 20D, the lens hit the floor with the lens shade (which was in the back-position) with a very foul sounding thud.

Result: No damage, no mis focus, not a single mark and the lens works just as well as it always has.

The lens is primarily a birding lens, but there is no problem using it on larger wildlife or even for portraits. It also performs well as an air show lens, giving you the cool pilot-in-seat pictures that the 70-200 owners can only gawk at.

I will never sell this lens, even if I in the future own the 600mm L, it's just too good to part with.
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