Canon Announces Redesigned EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III and EF 600mm f/4L IS III Lenses

Canon EF 400mm F/2.8L IS III

I missed this on Canon EOS R announcement day. So here it is. The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is scheduled to begin shipping in December 2018 with an estimated retail price of $11,999. The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM is scheduled to begin shipping in December 2018 for an estimated retail price of $12,999. Pre-orders are not open yet but you can get notified when they are available.

Canon press release:

Canon Redesigns Premium L-Series Super-Telephoto Lenses With Its New EF 400MM F/2.8L IS III USM AND EF 600MM F/4L IS III USM Lenses

New Compact and Lightweight EF Super-Telephoto Lenses Are Well Suited for a Variety of Photographers’ Needs

MELVILLE, N.Y., September 5, 2018 – Most professional photographers need to carry multiple lenses in their camera bags. Helping to lighten their load, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, introduces two new super-telephoto lenses, the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM. Both lenses possess a dramatic weight reduction and high-image quality, making it ideal for shooters to easily transport and capture images during action-driven scenarios, such as sports and wildlife. Both lenses now hold the title of world’s lightest in their respective focal length*. The weight of the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lenses has been reduced by 2.2 lbs. (more than 25 percent) and 1.9 lbs. (more than 20 percent) respectively.

“When developing updates to some of Canon’s most popular legacy lenses, one common question that is asked by photographers was ‘can they be lighter,’” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The significant reduction of weight in these two lenses addresses this customer need and delivers thoughtfully designed, high-quality optics .”

The new lenses are must-haves for advanced and professional photographers shooting wildlife, aviation, sports and news with Canon’s new EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera (with use of one of the three new Canon mount adapters), as well the EOS 1D and 5D series of DSLR Cameras. Both lenses feature two of Canon’s most advanced propriety lens technologies – Air Sphere Coating (ASC) and Super Spectra Coating (SSC), helping to reduce flaring and ghosting, and suppressing the reflection of light, leading to vivid images. These updated lenses inherit the excellent overall build-quality and ruggedness photographers have come to expect and admire from the Canon EF L series of lenses. In addition, the minimum focusing distance has been improved for both lenses, from 2.7m to 2.5m (8.8ft to 8.2ft) for the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and 4.5m to 4.2m (14.8ft to 13.8ft) for the EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM.

Additional noteworthy features of the lenses include:

  • Upgraded Optical Image Stabilization from three-and-a-half stops to five shutter speed stops1 of correction over the previous f/2.8 lens
  • Improved, flexible focus control with a customizable electronic-focus ring
  • Two fluorite lenses and one super UD lens, helping to provide high image quality
  • Circular nine-blade aperture
  • 17 lens elements in 13 groups
  • Heat-shielding paint helps prevent lens temperature from rising during excessive exposure to sun
  • Fluorine coating on front and rear optical elements, helps to reduce smears and fingerprints
  • Inner focusing system with Ring Ultrasonic Motor

Availability and Pricing

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is scheduled to begin shipping in December 2018 with an estimated retail price of $11,999. The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM is scheduled to begin shipping in December 2018 for an estimated retail price of $12,999^. For additional information regarding the lenses predecessors please visit, visit usa.canon.com.

The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III to be announced within a month? [CW3]

Canon EF 400mm F/2.8L IS III

The rumor mill has it that Canon might announce a new lens before Photokina 2018. The rumored lens is the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III.

No specifications are suggested, just that the Mark III version will “focus on weight reduction and updated coatings”. Along with the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III, so the rumor, Canon might announce also another “big white lens”, for which no focal length has been rumored so far. At the time of writing we can not confirm the announcement of the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III. The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II was released in 2010, so a replacement may be a bit early on schedule.

With Photokina 2018 being a month away, we should soon see serious leaks, specifications, and possibly some images of the upcoming gear. However, we still have no reasonable hints about what Canon will announce. There are a lot of speculations, and obviously everybody is hoping for the highly anticipated Canon full frame mirrorless camera (all rumors). We have been told Canon will stage a mirrorless related event in the second week of September, others seem to disagree. We too got some conflicting intel later on and at the time being we can not confirm with high confidence that Canon will indeed hold an announcement during the second week of September 2018, and that it will be related to Canon’s full frame mirrorless camera.

Announcement wise, and on top of the probability, ranking you’ll find the EOS M5 Mark II, a 32-35mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens for the EOS M system, and we all hope to see a Canon full frame mirrorless camera (at least one). Some yet unknown lenses may also be announced.

We didn’t get any new intel about the EOS 90D/EOS 80D Mark II or the EOS 7D Mark III. An announcement in 2018 is still in the realm of possibilities but appears to become more unlikely as time goes by.

Stay tuned, there is more to come in the next weeks.

Matt Granger compares Sony’s new 400mm lens with Canon and Nikon’s

FFE 400mm F/2.8 GM OSS

Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS at a glance:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Extremely Lightweight: 6.4 lb / 2.9 kg
  • Rear-Weighted Design for Better Balance
  • Dual XD Motors for Faster Focus/Tracking
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • 3 Fluorite Elements, 1 ED Element
  • Nano AR Coating, 11-Blade Diaphragm
  • Power Focus & OSS
  • Weather-Sealed; Rotating Tripod Collar

Sony just announced a very interesting lens, the Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS. It’s just natural to want to compare this lens with top tier Canon 400mm and Nikon 400mm lenses.

Matt Granger seems to be the first one to post such a comparison. According to Matt Granger, the Sony 400mm “smokes the Nikon & Canon”, and is…

Lighter, fast and optically superior – the Sony lens is damned impressive! However there are two issues…

I guess there are no issues on the Canon and Nikon 400mm lenses.

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

Canon patent for 400mm f/5.6 mirror lens (aka catadioptric lens)

mirror lens

Canon Japan filed a patent for a 400mm f/5.6 mirror lens. A mirror lens (or reflex or catadioptric lens).

I guess not everyone is informed on what a mirror lens is. So, here is what Wikipedia says:

Various types of catadioptric systems are also used in camera lenses known alternatively as catadioptric lenses (CATs), reflex lenses, or mirror lenses. These lenses use some form of the cassegrain design which greatly reduces the physical length of the optical assembly, partly by folding the optical path, but mostly through the telephoto effect of the convex secondary mirror which multiplies the focal length many times (up to 4 to 5 times). This creates lenses with focal lengths from 250 mm up to and beyond 1000 mm that are much shorter and compact than their long-focus or telephoto counterparts. Moreover, chromatic aberration, a major problem with long refractive lenses, and off-axis aberration, a major problem with reflective telescopes, is almost completely eliminated by the catadioptric system, making the image they produce suitable to fill the large focal plane of a camera.

Catadioptric lenses do, however, have several drawbacks. The fact that they have a central obstruction means they cannot use an adjustable diaphragm to control light transmission. This means the lens’s F-numbervalue is fixed to the overall designed focal ratio of the optical system (the diameter of the primary mirror divided into the focal length). Exposure is usually adjusted by the placement of neutral density filters on the front or rear of the lens. Their modulation transfer function shows low contrast at low spatial frequencies. Finally, their most salient characteristic is the annular shape of defocused areas of the image, giving a doughnut-shaped ‘iris blur’ or bokeh, caused by the shape of the entrance pupil.

Patent JP-A-2017-219642 discusses such a catadioptric lens.

  • Focal length: 400 mm
  • F No: 5.6
  • 2 ω: 1.96
  • Image height: 13.66mm
  • Back focus: 33.07mm
  • Lens length: 247.73mm

Source

These Canon cameras and lenses reached end of life cycle

canonCanon Professional Network lets members know that a list of Canon gear is no longer serviced (at least in Europe). The listed products have reached the end of their service period. As Canon Europe puts it:

As a product reaches the end of its serviceable lifetime, Canon Europe can no longer guarantee that repairs will be possible due to the supply of spare parts.

These Canon products are no longer serviced:
  • Canon EOS 50D
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM
  • Canon Extender EF1.4x II
  • Canon Extender EF2x II
  • Canon Battery Grip BG-E2

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II lenses used to discover a new “Dark Galaxy” with Dragonfly Telephoto Array

Dragonfly Telephoto Array

Do you remember the Dragonfly Telephoto Array developed by the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics? Well, there are some news.

First things first. What is the Dragonfly Telephoto Array?

Dragonfly is an innovative, multi-lens array designed for ultra-low surface brightness astronomy at visible wavelengths. Commissioned in 2013 with only three lenses, the array is growing in size and proving capable of detecting extremely faint, complex structure around galaxies. The most recent upgrade—completed in 2016—saw Dragonfly grow to 48 lenses in two clusters.

Last time I reported about Dragonfly it had 10 lenses mounted, now the lenses are 48. To build the Dragonfly, scientists used Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II lenses, because of “unprecedented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structure on optical glasses“. I guess the lenses were modified according to the scientists’ needs.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II, yours for $10,000.

Next, what is the Dragonfly Telephoto Array good for?

Dragonfly is designed to reveal the faint structure [of the universe] by greatly reducing scattered light and internal reflections within its optics. It achieves this using commercially available Canon 400mm lenses with unprecedented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structure on optical glasses.

Also, Dragonfly images a galaxy through multiple lenses simultaneously—akin to a dragonfly’s compound eye—enabling further removal of unwanted light. The result is an image in which extremely faint galaxy structure is visible.

Well, scientists discovered a previously unknown Dark Galaxy by using the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. The galaxy was named after the array. As The Atlantic reports:

Dragonfly 44 is a dim galaxy, with one star for every hundred in our Milky Way. But it spans roughly as much space as the Milky Way. In addition, it’s heavy enough to rival our own galaxy in mass, according to results published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters at the end of August. That odd combination is crucial: Dragonfly 44 is so dark, so fluffy, and so heavy that some astronomers believe it will either force a revision of our theories of galaxy formation or help us understand the properties of dark matter, the mysterious stuff that interacts with normal matter via gravity and not much else.

The discovery was made by astronomers Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University and Roberto Abraham of the University of Toronto. They did not use Canon sensors, tough. The lenses are mounted on SBIG STF-8300M CCD cameras. The array began imaging targets in 2013 from its home at the New Mexico Skies hosting facility.

If you are interested and want to know more, go for the videos below.

About the Dragonfly Telephoto Array

Below: about the newly discovered galaxy

[via The Atlantic]