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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-15-2013

400 5.6L IS???

I had the pleasure of renting Canon's 400 5.6L lens a while back and I really enjoyed using it. It was the first "L" lens I had the pleasure of using, and the color rendition, sharpness, autofocus speed/accuracy/silence were all really impressive. Also, I was able to handhold it without much trouble, though I did use a monopod pretty often as well. Some of my favorite wildlife shots were taken with this lens over the week that I had rented it.

My question is, why has canon not come out with an image stabilized version of this lens? If you stay with 5.6 as the maximum aperture, an image stabilizer wouldn't add that much more bulk and weight, would it? The advantage would be great - I feel like a lot of folks who use the current 400 5.6 do so on a crop sensor body, and the lack of IS means you often have to jack up the ISO to maintain an appropriate shutter speed, and most of the Canon crop bodies get pretty noisy at medium to high ISO's (I unfortunately cannot afford a 7DII).  I feel like there would be a good market for a 400 5.6L IS - is there any thinking that that is a possibility in the not-so-distant future??


Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: 400 5.6L IS???

Back in March, Canon Rumors said there is a rumor it is coming in 2016. A search of their archives, however, reveals that rumor being floated in 2015, 2011 and 2009.  Possibly earlier instances too, but I was just doing a cursory search on my phone. 


I think a lot of people would be interested.  Hard to say if it is a real rumor. Hard to say any updated model would continue to be a relative bargain, or if the price would jump to nearly $2k.  


Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,387
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: 400 5.6L IS???

Until Canon "officially" anounces something no one will know. Good options for now are the original 100-400 L IS or the 300 f4 L IS & a 1.4 Teleconverter.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Posts: 13,998
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 400 5.6L IS???

I have owned and used all the lenses in this category.  


The ef 300mm f4, the 100-400mm and the 400mm f5.6.

By far and away the ef 300mm f4 is the best buy all things considered.  Along with the 1.4x tele converter the 300mm becomes a 420mm f5.6 WITH image stabilization.

The ef 400mm f5.6 is sharp but it isn't as sharp as the 300mm f4.  The 100-400mm lags behind behind the other two in IQ but it does have IS.


The 400mm's entire reason for being is a low cost, very light basic super tele.  Adding IS will jack the price and weight considerably as it is not just a add on feature.  It will require a complete lens redesign.  If I were to bet, I think Canon will come out with one but probably keep the current lens.  It is a very popular lens.  Most likely the first big tele most first time users buy.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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