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

4.8 out of 5 stars 278 customer reviews
| 130 answered questions

List Price: $1,249.00
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400mm f/5.6L
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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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  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
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This item: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Customer Rating 5 out of 5 stars (278) 4 out of 5 stars (405) 4 out of 5 stars (114) 5 out of 5 stars (134)
Price $1,179.00 $1,688.65 $429.00 $1,999.00
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Amazon.com 6ave Amazon.com Amazon.com
Compatible Mountings Canon EF Canon EF Canon EF Canon EF
Dimensions 3.54 inches x 10.12 inches x 3.54 inches 3.62 inches x 7.44 inches x 3.62 inches 2.83 inches x 1.06 inches x 2.83 inches 3.7 inches x 7.6 inches x 3.7 inches
Item Weight 2.8 pounds 3.04 pounds 0.49 pounds 3.46 pounds
Lens Prime lens Zoom lens 35mm Zoom lens
Maximum Aperture 5.6 4.5 1.4 40
Max Focal Length 400 mm 400 mm 1 400 mm
Min Aperture 32 38 10 4.5
Min Focal Length 400 mm 100 1 100 mm
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Product Description

Style: 400mm f/5.6L

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.

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 Information

Style:400mm f/5.6L
Product Dimensions 10.1 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
Item Weight 2.8 pounds
Shipping Weight 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B00009USW3
Item model number 2526A004
Customer Reviews
4.8 out of 5 stars 278 customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #505 in Camera & Photo > Lenses > Camera Lenses > Digital Camera Lenses
#15,542 in Camera & Photo > Camera & Photo Accessories
Date first available at Amazon.com May 21, 2004

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Style Name: 400mm f/5.6L
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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Style Name: 400mm f/5.6L 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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Style Name: 400mm f/2.8L
I have to start by saying what you already know: This lens is amazing. There is no other peer that gives you an aperture of f/2.8 at any higher focal length and weighs so little with the contrast and resolving power this lens provides. The image quality is so high that Adobe has determined that there is no need to generate a lens correction profile for this lens. So what is the catch and how are you going to monetize the investment?

There are a couple of photographic subjects this lens excels at. You can get publication quality shots of anyone playing a sport. You can do this at f/2.8 down to f/5.6 before you start to lose the background cream effect. The added bonus is that at f/2.8 this lens nails sharpness and contrast with unnoticeable vignetting, so you really don't have any reason to stop down to f/4 unless you're going for depth of field. Those two wide aperture settings mean shooting at the minimum shutter speed of 1/1000 to capture action is relatively easy to pull off at ISO 800 or less. I recommend either screwing directly onto the monopod if you only need to aim horizontally, or using a tripod and the very affordable Manfrotto 393 gimbal head (if you don't want to buy Really Right Stuff and Arca Swiss mount gear.)

As anyone who knows how Sports Illustrated swimsuit photographs used to be shot, they did use the 400mm and 600mm focal lengths for compression effects and bokeh in their shots. They now use Hasselblad medium format cameras for the majority of their cover photos, the same as Playboy does for their centerfold photos, but the prior use for full body length shots should be considered.

Nature photography is the second use. Ranging from hummingbirds at 15 feet to deer at 500 feet, this lens allows you to get low noise images at f/2.
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Style Name: 500mm f/4L
After noting the captions of exceptional photographs that appeared in nature and photography magazines were often shot with this lens, I began to read the reviews. Based on the uniformly excellent reviews, I bought this lens and spent two weeks this January in the Florida Everglades taking pictures of birds. Based upon my experience with the lens, I would rate this as second in sharpness and contrast only to the 300 mm f2.8 Canon L series lens. The lens is handholdable for short periods to shoot birds in flight, but it is best suited for use on a solid tripod with a Wimberley tripod head to allow tracking of birds in flight.

Jerry Reed
Giclée Maker
[...]
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