Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM 1.4x
The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4-5.6L IS USM 1.4ex is a bit of a revelation. I'm not normally a fan of superzooms, but this particular lens won me over. Firstly, it's that lens you take when you don't have baggage for a big fixed focal length 400mm ... or when you just don't want to bog yourself down in gear. At 3620g it is very lightweight and easy to wield without a monopod (although much easier with one).
It's a long lens with a great zoom range for sports and wildlife photography, but it steps ahead once again with its built-in, dedicated 1.4x teleconverter to enable a maximum focal length of 560mm. It's easy to use – the 1.4x locks into place with a clunk, the maximum aperture drops to f/5.6 and you're back in the thick of the action.
We detected very little drop in image quality with the converter in place – we expected more as all converters have an affect. Throughout the range the quality of this lens is impressive – not EF 400mm f/2.8L sharp, but damn close for a zoom lens that weighs a lot less. It's the first of a new generation of Canon telephoto zoom lenses and we think it will find its way into many kits – even with its lofty price tag. Any travelling photographer will fall in love with this lens, but it will most likely become a go to lens for press shooters looking for versatility without the burden of weight.
- Lightweight (3620g)
- Versatile (200-560mm)
- Hand holdable
- Dedicated 1.4x
- Perfect travel lens
- Not fast enough for stadium sports at night
- Very long lens with hood in place
- Slight vignette
Buy It If
... you love having a range of lenses, but don't like carting a massive kit everywhere with you. This will spoil travel photographers who wouldn't normally get to take such a long high-performance lens on trips.