Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM 35mm Primes

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EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

This high-performance super-telephoto 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. The lens also has a built-in hood and a detachable tripod mount.

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
Vijay Shastri   Intermediate [Feb 23, 2011]
Strength:

Outstanding sharpness, well controlled flare characteristics, very little lateral colour, Minimal drop in sharpness with the 1.4 X EF teleconverter.

Weakness:

lack of USM, I guess that is about it

I am an extremely satisfied user of Canon 400 mm F 5.6 EFL lens. I have used this lens with variopus Canon bodies like Canon EOS 1RS, EOS 1N, EOS 3, EOS 1DS mark II, EOS 5D. I have had wonderful experience with all these bodies with excellent sharpness in the center of the frame. The edge sharpness is also very good although not on par with the central sharpness.

The auto focusing is extremely fast with all the bodies and the best performance is found with Canon EOS 1DS mark II. I have also used the lens with the Canon 1.4 EF converter. I have not seen any noticeable drop in sharpness on either of the film or digital bodies. I have used the lens for photographing small birds like the minivets, barbets, tailor bird, baya birds and the details that I have obtained are excellent. The best part of this lens is low CA and negligible lateral colour.

The bonus is that I am able to use auto focus with the extender attached on Canon EOS 1DS mark II. Even with the telec onverter, the auto focus was spot on. I guess that is the tribute to the auto focus system on the Camera!!

Customer Service

Satisfactory

Similar Products Used: 100-400 mm 4.5-5.6 EF L zoom
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
dustlens9   Intermediate [Feb 11, 2008]
Strength:

Light weight, sharp sharp sharp! - fast auto focus. Good price.

Weakness:

No IS - but you don't have to pay for it either.

This has been one of the most satisfying lenses I have ever bought. The sharpness and auto focus speed has been a real treat. It was my first super tele, and I use it photographing my son's track and soccer activities. I live in Arizona, so the sun is frequently available to allow for fast shutter speeds. I use a monopod to stabilize the lens attached to my digital rebel. It took some getting used to the proper technique to keep the lens steady. Now I feel comfortable shooting a steady shot from about 1/1000 of a second on up. IS of course would be nice but I have not had any issues with blurry shots do to camera shake. I set it at 5.6 aperture priority with ASA 400 and almost always have enough light to get the job done. If you are shooting in less than sunlit situations you are probably going to need to bump up to ASA 800. Not the end of the world with modern DSLRS.

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used: 70-200 4L
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Christiano   Professional [Oct 08, 2005]
Strength:

sharp sharp shaaarp...superb colour...no distortion on my d30 and d10..it is super L gear !..and affordable

Weakness:

white?? nope..none at all.. use this on a mono or good tripod.

Boy ! This is a very wonderfull lens indeed; i remember one time for a period when my other cam and lens( Canon 1 D and 400 2 ,8 ) was away ,i used this lens fro sportsphotography =with my beloved Canon D30(remember to put a batterygrip on as well).The 400 mm and 5,6 was set up to 400 iso and 800 iso and a carbonmonopod from slik; this combo made my money and still does!the pics is very sharp and good,my editor think its fantastic.And i think this kit is awesome good and affordable..i also used this combo for nature and alike..and my clients is so impressed ,i actually think the D30 output is more noiseless and good than other DSLR cameras i used,its also dependable on which software( i use PS and C) ; i also use the RAW config and jpeg bot solo and as well in combination with fred mirandas plug in; the result is stunning! Do you always need F 2,8 and a broken back and leg? Nope..not if its only for local sports which is not in the premier league,or simple nature pics..(hey its not nat geographic?!!save money..use your software and be patient. Buy this lens!

Customer Service

nope

Similar Products Used: manu from nikon and canon..and..other brands..as well as tamron..but this is no 1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
RickP66   Intermediate [Aug 21, 2005]
Strength:

Sharp. GREAT colors. Light and hand-holdable.

Weakness:

Not fast, but for this weight and this money...

I was set on buying the 100-400L when I chanced upon a killer deal on a barely used 400 f5.6 and couldn't pass it up. Boy am I glad I got this lens. I am constantly amazed at how sharp this lens is. It's become my most-used lens---for birds, butterflies, any wildlife shots. It's light, easily hand-holdable and autofocusses with my 1.4x Tamron TC. Without the TC, it's very fast-focussing and produces incredible pictures. A great lens that is often overlooked by those seeking a wildlife lens.

Customer Service

NA

Similar Products Used: Sigma 50-500 Canon 100-400
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sebastien B   Intermediate [Mar 14, 2005]
Strength:

-Focusing speed. -Lightweight (for a 400mm) -Sharpness and contrast even wide open.

Weakness:

-none considering what you get for the price.

I was looking for something longer than my 70-200, after considering the 100-400 I gave a try to the 400 f5.6 because of the lighter weight and because I figured out than I would use the 100-400 mainly @ 400mm anyway. I am really happy with it, really fast focusing, really sharp wide open, I shoot with a 10D and bumping ISO to 800 allow you to handheld most of my shots so not having IS is not an issue.

Customer Service

Not needed yet.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Rollins   Expert [Jan 22, 2005]
Strength:

Sharpness and contrast -- excellent (even at f/5.6) No degradation with Canon 1.4X converter. It light enough to hand hold in good light. I like the lens hood -- it's always there! I experience NO FLARE! Fast to focus.

Weakness:

NONE! I knew, when I purchased it, that it was f/5.6 max. aper., so it would be stupid to whine about that. Also I knew that it didn't have Image Stabilization when I put it on my credit card so why mention that.

This is a great lens. After having the EF 300 f/4-L (non-USM) for several years I decided to purchase the 400 f/5.6-L. This lens is extremely sharp and contrasty wide open. I like the picture quality so much that I now use the 1.4X-II teleconvertor with it a lot -- hardly any degradation at all! I use the EOS 1-V so it maintains AF all the way to f/8 -- although, in very low light it hunts some. This lens looks and feels GREAT! It's long, slender, and light.

Customer Service

Never needed.

Similar Products Used: EF 300-L f/4, EF 70-200-L f/4, Sigma 135-400 APO, Rubinar 1000 f/10 mirror lens.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lionheart   Intermediate [Dec 15, 2004]
Strength:

Small, lightweight, Extremely sharp from f5.6 through f16, but sweet at f8. Very fast focusing. Cheap.

Weakness:

f5.6 is a problem in low light. Other than that, none.

Wow. WOW. Really WOW. I bought this on e-bay by happenstance. I made a reasonable bid of 1275 on this lens plus 1.4xII and an EOS3, and a cheesy Tamron zoom, so I paid probably 600 for this lens. I immediately tested this puppy against my trusty 70-200 f2.8L+2xTCII. Not a contest. check this link http://forums.photographyreview.com/showthread.php?t=7391

Customer Service

na

Similar Products Used: 100-400 f3.5-5.6L IS USM. 70-200 f2.8L+2x TC II
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Smallman   Expert [Oct 10, 2003]
Strength:

Detailed above. Very fine performance for a moderate outlay.

Weakness:

None really but the rear lens element is very deeply recessed in the interior of the lens barrel and I have not yet figured out how to access it for cleaning.

This is a really nice long lens. Size, weight and price are moderate, making this the easiest 400mm lens to carry. A very nice soft case with strap is included also an excellent tripod collar and built in lens hood. I wish every lens had a built in hod, great idea. An ordinary 77 mm filter is used, no need for drop in filters and the front lens element is protected. The lens handles very well with smooth, accurate manual or auto focus. Both are available simultaneously. Image definition is really excellent with good contrast and rendition of fine details from centre to the extreme corners of the image at all apertures. Image definition improves only slightly when stopping down from f5.6 to f8. The lens performs just fine at f5.6. Bokeh is very nice, better in the far out of focus image than the near out of focus image. This is fine as the far image is more important. Flare resistance is excellent. Distortion is almost undetectable, with just a hint of pincushion.

Customer Service

Not needed for this lens but generally very good from Canon Australia.

Similar Products Used: Pentax 400mm f5.6, Sigma 400 mm f5.6 apo. Neither of these lenses is in the same class as the Canon.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom Darnall   Expert [Aug 07, 2003]
Strength:

Sharpness and contrast, even wide open. Light weight and (common) 77mm filter size. Excellent build quality and balance on camera. Extends with converter where necessary, and maintains decent optical performance. Reasonably fast focusing. Sturdy, yet lightweight, case is included.

Weakness:

No IS. Loses autofocus with converter. Modest maximum aperture makes it less suitable for sports or moving wildlife, but this is a calculated compromise for weight and size.

I'm a landscape/nature photographer, and I bought this lens to extend my reach for the occasional long shot when my workhorse 70-200L won't do. I wanted something light and portable when I'm in the field, because I often hike into locations. I put a good strap on the (included) Canon case and toss it over my shoulder when I think I might need it...and it's not really a burden at all. I almost always use a tripod, and don't mind locking up the mirror and using a 2-second self-timer to help dampen vibration. With careful attention to vibration control, I have been astonished and greatly rewarded by the sharpness of this lens on my 1Ds, which has a reputation for "revealing" flaws in lenses due to it's exceptional detail-capture ability. I just picked up a 10D as a back-up/telephoto body, and think the lens will be awesome on this camera as well. I've used it with a 1.4x converter shooting birds, and while you must switch to manual focusing with this rig, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. This is a definite keeper. I wish it had IS, and will likely trade up if an IS version with this sort of weight and performance comes on the market. But as is, this is one of the hidden values in the Canon line-up.

Similar Products Used: 300 f/4L IS, with 1.4x converter.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Peter Chipman   Expert [Jan 31, 2003]
Strength:

Sharp through all stops, not heavy, and (so far) weather proof. Great with the d-60 1.6x factor, making it crop at 640mm. You can actually take this lens on a hike, if you're willing (any canon lens above this is simply too big for me).

Weakness:

f/ 5.6, not the best on a full frame camera for shootng birds and distant wildlife.

Suprise, Suprise. The D-60 gives this lens a rebirth. Cropping at 640mm due to the D-60's 1.6X magnification makes this an excellent feather-weight super telephoto. A 1.4X teleconverter makes it a phenomenal 900mm lens when using the D-60.

Customer Service

They're tough cookies. I had to write to the president after trouble with replacing a bad Rebel a few years ago.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 14  
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