The Canon 500mm f/4L IS II and 600mm f/4L IS II lenses were announced in February 2011, with availability initially set for May and June for the respective lenses. In May, the availability date for these lenses was pushed back to December 2011.
Canon dropped a press release yesterday to simply say that availability is “yet to be determined” for these lenses – presumably to make it official that Canon will miss the December ship date. As for the 200-400mm f/4L IS lens, it’s TBD as well.
Official word from Canon is in the press release below.
Canon U.S.A. Provides Updates on EF Lens Availability
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced updated availability information for three of its EF lenses:
- Canon EF 200‐400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x lens availability yet to be determined
- Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens availability yet to be determined
- Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens availability yet to be determined
Additional information regarding the shipping date of each lens will be made available as soon as possible.
Canon EF 200‐400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER l.4x lens
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 EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens for Sports and Nature Photography
The Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM offers professional photographers a lighter weight option for those situations that require a long focal length with improved image quality and enhanced durability over its predecessor. Great for a wide range of applications, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens is ideal for professional photojournalism, sports photography and nature and wildlife photography. The optical formula of the new lens has been enhanced to include two fluorite lens elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by 18 percent from 136.5 oz to 112.5 oz.
The Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens is expected to be available for an estimated retail price of $10,499.
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens for Wildlife and Photojournalism
The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM is the successor to the current EF 600mm IS lens first introduced in 1999. This new lens has been engineered for outstanding optical performance and durability and includes two new fluorite lens elements for improved quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Helping photographers in the field, Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by a substantial 27 percent from 189.1 oz to 138.3 oz.
The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens is expected to be available for an estimated retail price of $12,999.