Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens

Product summary

Key features & specs

  • Built-in 1.4x extended, the first time for any commercially made lenses
  • 4-stop Optical Image Stabilization plus IS ‘Mode 3’
  • Fast f/4 aperture available throughout the focal length range
  • Magnesium alloy body complete with weather sealing
  • Fluorite and UD coating to reduce Chromatic aberrations and blurring
  • Advanced anti-reflection SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Super Spectra Coating to reduce ghosting and flares
  • Ring-type Ultra-Sonic Motor for faster yet quieter auto-focusing
  • Full-time Manual focusing
  • Fluorine coating on the front and rear lens elements to prevent dirt
  • 33 elements arranged in 24 groups


With the addition of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x to Canon’s L series range of lenses Canon has thus opened a new dimension for its lens line-up. The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x features a 200-400mm focal length range with a fast f/4 constant maximum aperture throughout its focal length. But the most striking feature is the built-in 1.4x extender for the first time. Apart from that it also features, what Canon claims, is a 4-stop image stabilization. Canon has provided a magnesium alloy body complete with weather sealing and the essential lens coating to ensure that it has packed everything that a professional photographer demands out of a tele-lens.

The good

For the first time in any commercially available lens Canon has provided a built-in 1.4x extender. The lens thus automatically becomes a sought after tool for professional sports and wildlife photographers looking for that really tight composition. Just with a flick of a switch the lens extends from 200-400mm to a 280-560mm giving photographers that extra amount of reach that makes all the difference. Additionally, the use of superior quality optics the effect of the extender on image quality is minimum to non-existent when engaged.

Weather sealing is an essential aspect that most wildlife photographers look for in their equipment. A part of the respected Canon L-series line-up of lenses the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x comes with weather sealing. It is made out of tough magnesium alloy.

The glass optics features fluorite and Ultra-Low Dispersion (UD) elements. This drastically reduces color fringing and blurring at such high ranges. Additionally to reduce ghosting and flares Canon has provided Advanced anti-reflection SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Super Spectra Coating.

Canon has provided IS ‘Mode 3’ which engages only when the exposure is made. This has critical advantages especially when the photographer is panning for fast moving subjects without the image stabilization system trying to compensate for that movement.

Canon has provided the Power Focus (PF) Mode which when used with selected models of Canon DSLRs will allow the photographer to achieve an accurate ‘pull-focus’ effect.

The Bad

When the teleconverter is engaged you do lose a bit of shutter speed as the maximum aperture comes down to f/5.6.

The lens weighs about 3.6 kg making it quite a behemoth to lug on your shoulders.

It is pricy too coming with a RRP of just under $12 K.

Similar Products

Perhaps, Nikon 200-400 f/4 VR II lens. There are currently no other lens that has a built-in extended. As such it is in a league of its own.

Should I buy it?

Essentially Canon claims that the lens is mobile and perfect for use on any sports and wild-life photography assignments. Reading the specifications of the lens it seems like a great purchase for professionals looking for a versatile lens for sports/wildlife photography. Aavailable @ $11,799 (Amazon | Adorama | B&H)

Sample images by Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM on Flickr

Product Images

Canon EF 200-400mm f:4 L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens

Canon EF 200-400mm f:4 L IS USM Extender 1.4x

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Lens Specifications

Release Date14 May 2013
Angle of view (h-v-d)10° – 5°10′, 7° – 3°30′, 12° – 6°10′
with extender 7° 20′- 3°40′, 4° 55′- 2°25′, 8° 50′ – 4°25′
Lens construction (e/g)25/20 (33/24 with extender)
No. of diaphragm blades9
Min aperture32(45 with extender)¹
Closest focussing distance2 Meter
Max magnification (x)0.15 (0.21 with extender)
Distance InformationProvided
AF MotorRing USM²
Dust/moisture resistance*Yes
Filter diameter (mm)52 drop in
Max. diameter x length (mm)128×366
Weight (g)3620
Lens CapE-145C
Lens hoodET-120 (WII)
Lens case/pouch200-400
Extension Tube EF12 II0.20-0.03 (0.36- 0.02 with extender)
Extension Tube EF25 II0.26-0.07 (0.52- 0.05 with extender)
Extender CompatibilityCompatible
Other AccessoriesLens wide strap B
Focal Length280-560 (392-784 with built in extender)
Max Aperture5.6-45¹ (8-64 with built in extender)
Max Magnification0.21
AF PossibleYes
Focal Length400-800 (560 -1120 with built in extender)
Max Aperture8-64 (11 -91 with built in extender)
Max Magnification0.31
AF PossibleYes² (No with built in extender)
Minimum aperture¹ Minimum aperture if using 1/3stop increments
AF actuator² Full time Manual focus
AF Possible² AF only possible with EOS-1 series Cameras and 5D Mark III with Firmware update
IS³ IS will not work with EOS film cameras with the exception of the EOS-1v when used with Mark III Extenders
*Lenses with dust/moisture resistance are fitted with a rubber ring on the lens mount which may cause slight abrasion of the camera mount. This in no way effects either the lens or camera performance.


Purchase options

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM available at Amazon | Adorama | B&H