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The Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM

From £0.00

As we already use a 100-400mm Zoom IS and 600mm lens this seemed like a good choice to review early on. Jill sometimes gets frustrated as birds are often distant and needs something a bit more.

The 400mm DO IS is perfect for such occasions. The usual contenders such as 500mm and 600mm lenses are bulky and heavy - not ideal for carrying anywhere, and not all locations are convenient to get to. With this lens weighing less than 2kg (compared to 100-400mm IS 1.4kg and the 500mm f/4l IS USM 3.9kg) it can still just about, comfortably, be carried around the neck. Obviously the 400mm f/2.8 IS is a quicker lens but weighs over 5kg. 

It worked very well with our aging 1.4 converter which increased focal distance to 560mm on a 5D mark II and 896mm on a 40D or 7d (approx 18 times magnification)making this a contender for both wildlife and sport photographers who want superb quality but due to its high price tag, it is definately for serious photographer.

The two images below of a reed warbler show the full frame and cropped version of the same image. This shows the quality of the lens.

This would be ideal in a rain forest because of its weight and ease of carriage or somewhere equally inaccesable, Also for those less able it works really well using your portable hide and a bean bag (ie out of the car window).

The recommended retail price tag on this lens is a hefty eight thousand pounds but can be found cheaper with some shopping around.

 A quick round up

This is a fabulously awesome lens that we really didn't want to send back.

Perfect, particularly for travelling photographers that are worried about getting their precious lens in a plane as part of hand luggage. This can easily be taken aboard, in its small case or even round your neck. It is also for anyone who physically wants more but can't lump one of the big boys round. Ideal for everyone but particularly lady photographers and the disabled.

Sedge warbler withe the 400Do and a 1.4 converter.



The world's first multi-layer DO element for telephoto lens Small and light High image quality Image Stabilization for equivalent effect of a shutter speed of two stops faster Highly resistant against dust and moisture

Built to our professional standards with fast AF, full-time mechanical focus and dust and water-resistant construction

The EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM is the worlds first super telephoto lens incorporating "Multi-Layer Diffractive Optical (DO) Element", for camera lenses, and is considered a major breakthrough. The outstanding feature, being its superb ability to correct chromatic aberrations. By incorporating this optical element in the optical design the EF 400mm f/4 IS USM is much smaller and lighter than a comparable lens having conventional optical elements. The Multi-Layer Diffractive Optical Element developed by Canon is a milestone optical element possessing the characteristics of both fluorite and aspherical elements, which has led to the production of high-performance camera lenses.

Product Specification


Angle of view (horzntl, vertl, diagnl)

    5°10', 3°30, 6°10'  

Lens construction (elements/groups)


No. of diaphragm blades


Minimum aperture


Closest focusing distance (m)


Maximum magnification (x)


AF actuator


Filter diameter (mm)

    52 Drop-in  

Max. diameter x length (mm)

    128 x 232.7  

Weight (g)


Magnification with Extension Tube EF12

    0.16 - 0.03  

Magnification with Extension Tube EF25

    0.20 -0.07  

Lens hood


Hard case

    Lens Case 400  

Soft case


G.F.Holder III (hood III*)


G.F.Holder IV (hood IV*)


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