Monday, February 7, 2011

Canon: New L Lens Announcement

Canon Europe today announced the introduction of the EF 200-400mm f/4.0L IS USM 1.4 Extender to the venerable L-lens line-up, which looks to be a welcome addition to the arsenal of the wildlife and bird photographer.  The lens uses a mouthful of a title because it has a 1.4X TC integrated into the unit that will provide a focal length of 280-560mm when activated via a locking switch on the barrel, presumably while maintaining a relatively fast 4.0 aperture.  Otherwise, I don't see why it would be labeled as a constant aperture lens.  Regardless, a 560mm f/5.6 lens with Image Stabilization is one mean birding lens.  If you bird by kayak like I do during the summer, this lens is a dream come true.  

The price has yet to be announced, but we should know when the lens is formally introduced on February 9.  It's not going to be cheap.  While the 4.0 aperture won't allow for indoor use at concerts and sporting events, it's certainly fast enough for any wildlife and bird photographer.  The combination of aperture and IS should make the lens useful even in low outdoor light.  If I had to guess, I'd put the MSRP between $3,999 and $4,499.  

It was also announced today that the 500 f/4.0L IS and 600 f/4 IS have been overhauled and given Mark II designations.  No prices are yet available for these lenses.

UPDATE:  The 500 Mark II has an MSRP of $9,499 which is almost $3,000 higher than the original version.  The 600 Mark II clocks in at $11,999.  The differences?  The lenses are lighter, can be better used for HD video, and will reportedly resolve images at up to 40 megapixels. Looks like I will be way off in my prediction concerning the price of the 200-400 w/ 1.4X.  I'd now expect an MSRP in the $7,000 range.  It will not be accessible to the serious hobbyist except to rent or if your day job affords you a significant income.      


No comments:

Post a Comment