Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM (w/ Built-in 1.4x Extender) Under Development [UPDATED]

Canon is in the process of developing a new 200-400mm f/4L IS lens that features a built-in 1.4x extender.  With the built-in extender, the lens will have a maximum focal length of 560mm.

This is great news for Canon DSLR shooters who have been clamoring for a lens equivalent to the highly-regarded Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR lens.

While Canon has not provided a release date or pricing info for the new lens, a prototype of it will be on display at CP+ in Japan this week.

Here’s a couple of photo of the new beast-of-a-lens:

You can read more about the new lens in the official press release below.

Canon Press Release

Canon Will Exhibit The Prototype Of A New Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens At The CP+ Event: The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x Lens

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 7, 2011 – Canon Inc. today announced the development of a new super-telephoto lens, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER l.4x, for use with all EOS SLR cameras. A prototype of the new lens will be exhibited at the CP+ tradeshow, held in Pacifico Yokohama, from February 9 – 12, 2011.

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER l.4x is being developed as an L-series super-telephoto lens with an integrated 1.4x extender and high-performance Image Stabilizer technology. The new lens will offer exceptional flexibility by incorporating a built-in 1.4x extender that increases the maximum focal length to 560mm for sports and wildlife photography. High-quality images with high levels of resolution and contrast will be possible through the use of advanced optical materials such as fluorite crystal. The new lens will also include dust- and water-resistant construction designed for extended usage under harsh conditions.

Canon will continue to respond to the needs of various users ranging from beginners and advanced amateurs to professional photographers, in an effort to enrich their photographic expression with SLR cameras by continuing to develop attractive new lenses with improved optical technology.



  1. Jan Fowler says

    Why doesn’t Canon have the option of a 2 X extender that will fit EF S lenses? My search has led me to the sad fact that none exist.

    • Jeff Tigey says

      APS-C sensor cameras. for which EF S lenses were designed already have a 1.6x factor, so why would you need a 2x extender? EF s lenses already offer a light weight advantage for zoom lenses like the 18-300mm models available. That 300mm is already equivalent to a 480mm lens. Add a 2x extender t0 be a slow 960 lens? That would also nullify the “3 stop” IS rating. But, it would give you a light weight long lens. Be aware that Canon’s L 2X extenders do not work with several EOS L series lenses when used on APS-C cameras. That, and you can get an 800+ mm equivalent lens on the SX30 IS. That is longer than any lens that I have had on an SLR even as a motorsports photographer. It is only possible because of the small sensor in that camera. So think of what a 480mm lens for a full size SLR would weigh and cost and be grateful for the marvelous benefit of a 1.4X extender that take a 300mm lens out to 420 x 1.6=672mm equivalent lens. Pretty impressive specs for under $500.


  2. says

    It’s heartening to know Canon is developing state of art gears for the pros who can compete favorably against any setup on the field.

    However, sadly there’s hardly anything in the offering for the prosumers and entry level Canon DSLR system users other than a couple of bodies announced recently wherein users are not experiencing any dearth . It is the lenses that these groups are looking for. But no new lenses have been announced for these groups in the recent past other than the EFs 18-55mm IS II kit lens that does very little for enthusiasts. Come on guys, wake up.

  3. Shixing Wen says

    It would be indeed great if a 2.x extender could be added to this new lens. That would give us 800mm focal length.

  4. says

    I’ve written Canon a couple of times to develop a 200-400 to compete with Nikon. It looks like they ‘one upped em’ with the built in extender. Thanks Canon, I’m a buyer.

  5. says

    Probably cannot have the 2x without losing clarity and without going to at least 5.6. Canon is trying to offer this lens to photographers that shoot both indoor and outdoor and going to 5.6 ruins most indoor sports. I think it sounds great. It allows you to shoot indoor sports at 4.0 without too much noise going to high ISO like 2500, 3200 or maybe a bit higher and at the same time go outside, making use of the 560mm capabilities for big field sports. Sounds like a fantastic lens. Now, if the price isn’t too prohibitive, we might have a top quality winner here!

  6. Syd says

    I’m already in love with this monster !!! Though I may never have her in my hands if the price is over USD 2500 (which it tends to be).
    This is a dream lens for sport and wildlife shooters and is its gonna be in the sub 3K price range, I’m surely in ! If not, the only alternative would be the old EF 400 f5.6 which is still a great lens specially considering the price tag !!! Like many other things in this world, these should be for the higher society :(

  7. Leo says

    I own a 1.4 and 2 extenders, which are small and easy to carry. Use them when I need them. With this lens you always carrying the extender, makes the zoom bigger and heavier. Not really something I have been waiting for. A 200-400 mm zoom could be a nice zoom, looks impressive.