Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM Review

The Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens is a high-performance telephoto lens that was developed for use by both professional photographers and amateurs who like photographing animals. It is a member of Canon’s illustrious L-series portfolio, which is famous for its superior picture clarity, superb build quality, and sophisticated feature set.

This lens is great for photographing distant images with exceptional clarity and detail because of its amazing focal length and wide aperture. In this review, we will go into a variety of elements of the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens in order to offer you an in-depth overview of its capabilities and how well it performs.

$11,999.00 3 used from $10,569.95 9 new from $11,999.00
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Canon RF400mm F2.8 L is USM

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 400mm
  • Maximum Aperture: F2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: F32
  • Lens Mount Type: RF Mount (Canon RF mount; Exclusively for Canon EOS R-series cameras)
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 8.20 ft. / 2.5m
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.17x (Fills frame with subject 7.9 x 5.3 inches / 202 x 135mm in size)
  • Angle of View: Diagonal: 06°10′
  • Lens Construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
  • Special Elements: Two Fluorite, One Super UD
  • Lens Coatings: Super Spectra, Fluorine (front & rear elements), ASC
  • Filter Size: Diameter Ø52 mm (Drop-in filter — Drop-in Screw-type Filter Holder 52 [WIII] included, with 52mm clear Protect Filter)
  • Aperture Blades: 9
  • Dust/Water Resistance: Supported (Rubber ring on lens mount, focus/playback rings, switch panel and switches)
  • IS Mode Selection: Provided: mode 1, 2, 3
  • Optical Image Stabilization: CIPA standard: 5.5 stops (using an EOS R / EOS R5)
  • Maximum Outer Diameter x Length: Approx. 6.4 in x 14.4 in. / 163mm x 367mm
  • Weight: Approx. 6.37 lbs. (102 oz.) / 2890g

Performance

Outstanding performance is provided by the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens, which is characterized by high picture quality and pinpoint accuracy. Because it has such a large maximum aperture of f/2.8, it provides exceptional performance in low light, allowing photographers to create spectacular photographs even while working in difficult lighting circumstances.

The lens has elements made of fluorite and Super UD (Ultra-Low Dispersion) glass, both of which successfully eliminate chromatic aberrations and ensure that the image is crisp and contrasty to an exceptional degree. In addition to that, Canon’s innovative Air Sphere Coating (ASC), which helps to cut down on ghosting and flare, has been included into the lens. As a consequence, the produced photographs have great clarity and rich color.

Autofocus System

The Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens features high-speed autofocus technology that provides rapid and precise subject tracking so that photographers can get the most out of their equipment. The lens is equipped with Canon’s Dual Nano USM (Ultrasonic Motor) technology, which combines a ring-type USM and STM (Stepping Motor) for high-speed as well as smooth and silent AF performance.

Because of this, it is ideally suited for photographing things that are in motion, such as animals or sporting events. In addition, the autofocus system features programmable focus presets and focus limiters, which provide photographers the ability to fine-tune their focusing settings according to the preferences they have on the sorts of subjects they like to capture.

Vibration Reduction

A sophisticated image stabilization mechanism is integrated into the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens. This helps to reduce the negative effects that are caused by camera shake. The lens contains Canon’s extremely effective Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, which compensates for up to 5 stops of camera shaking.

This technology enables photographers to take photos that are clear and blur-free even while shooting handheld or in tough settings. The IS system also has dedicated settings for panning and tracking subjects, which further enhances the lens’s adaptability when used in a variety of shooting circumstances.

Build Quality

The Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens has a solid build quality that is built to resist the rigorous use that is required in the photography industry. The lens has a sturdy structure made of magnesium alloy, which not only gives the lens outstanding durability but also helps to maintain the lens’s weight to a bearable level.

Because it has a weather seal that prevents dust and moisture from getting in, you may use it for taking pictures outside even when the weather is poor. The lens also has a fluorine coating on the front and back components, which makes it resistant to dust, moisture, and fingerprints. This makes the lens easy to maintain and ensures that the image quality is at its best.

Handling and Ergonomics

In order to ensure that the RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens is easy to use and pleasant to handle, Canon dedicated careful attention to its handling and ergonomics during the design process. The lens possesses a large manual focusing ring that has a smooth and accurate operation, which enables fine adjustments to be made whenever they are required.

In addition to this, it features a control ring that is fully programmable and can be used to adjust a variety of camera settings. This enables users to have quick and easy access to tasks that are typically employed. The lens comes with a tripod collar that can be removed and used for sturdy installation on a tripod or monopod. Additionally, the lens is readily adjusted so that it may flip between horizontal and vertical positions in a smooth and seamless manner.

Image Stabilization

A sophisticated optical image stabilization system is integrated into the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens. This technology counteracts the effects of camera shaking to provide photos that are crisp and stable. The lens is equipped with Canon’s extremely effective Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, which delivers up to 5 stops of stabilization.

This enables photographers to shoot handheld with confidence, even in low-light settings. When shooting with a long focal length lens, when even the smallest movements can be amplified, this is a very helpful feature to have. The image stabilization system further features specific settings for panning and tracking subjects, greatly boosting its adaptability in a variety of shooting circumstances.

Shooting Experience

Because of its extremely long focal length and large maximum aperture, the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens provides a remarkable shooting experience. This is especially true for photography of sports, wildlife, and other types of action. It is possible for photographers to take clear and well-focused photographs of moving subjects because to the lens’s quick and precise focusing technology, which, when paired with the lens’s outstanding image stabilization, makes this possible.

Not only does the large aperture make it possible to achieve remarkable background separation and bokeh, but it also makes it possible to shoot in low-light circumstances without compromising the image quality. The exceptional optics of the lens produce images with remarkable sharpness and contrast, which in turn results in images that are exceptionally clear and detailed.

Image Quality

Image quality is greatly improved when using the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens, which performs quite well in this regard. Its optical design comprises components made of fluorite and Super UD glass, both of which successfully limit chromatic aberrations and ensure that the entire frame is very crisp and contrasty.

The lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which results in a small depth of field, stunning background blur, and great performance in low light. Because the picture quality is so constant, even when shooting with the aperture wide open, this lens is an excellent choice for a broad variety of photographic applications.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Because it is compatible with Canon’s RF Extender 1.4x and RF Extender 2x teleconverters, the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens may have its focal length effectively increased to 560mm or 800mm, depending on which teleconverter is used. Photographers benefit from enhanced versatility and reach thanks to this compatibility, which enables them to record distant scenes in even better detail than before.

It is essential to be aware that although teleconverters lengthen the focal length of a lens, they also have the potential to slow down somewhat the focusing speed and maximum aperture of the lens. Even when teleconverters are added to the equation, the lens continues to deliver remarkable results in terms of both picture quality and performance.

Comparison with Competitors

The Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens stands out as a high performer when compared to other lenses in its price range and category. It stands out from the competition because to the great image quality it captures, the speed with which it can autofocus, and the efficient image stabilization it provides. The large maximum aperture of the lens, which is f/2.8, is very helpful in low-light circumstances. This gives photographers the freedom to shoot in demanding environments.

In addition, the lens is long-lasting and dependable thanks to Canon’s well-known construction quality and meticulous attention to detail, making it appropriate for use in professional settings. Even though other companies may provide lenses with focal lengths and apertures that are comparable to those of the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens, this particular model remains the most popular option among professional photographers due to its excellent overall performance and well-earned reputation.

Specifications

Focal Length400mm
Maximum ApertureF2.8
Minimum ApertureF32
Lens Mount TypeRF Mount (Canon RF mount; Exclusively for Canon EOS R-series cameras)
Minimum Focusing Distance8.20 ft. / 2.5m
Maximum Magnification0.17x (Fills frame with subject 7.9 x 5.3 inches / 202 x 135mm in size)
Angle of ViewDiagonal: 06°10′
Lens Construction17 elements in 13 groups
Special ElementsTwo Fluorite, One Super UD
Lens CoatingsSuper Spectra, Fluorine (front & rear elements), ASC
Filter SizeDiameter Ø52 mm (Drop-in filter — Drop-in Screw-type Filter Holder 52 [WIII] included, with 52mm clear Protect Filter)
Aperture Blades9
Dust/Water ResistanceSupported (Rubber ring on lens mount, focus/playback rings, switch panel and switches)
IS Mode SelectionProvided: mode 1, 2, 3
Optical Image StabilizationCIPA standard: 5.5 stops (using an EOS R / EOS R5)
Maximum Outer Diameter x LengthApprox. 6.4 in x 14.4 in. / 163mm x 367mm
WeightApprox. 6.37 lbs. (102 oz.) / 2890g

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Exceptional visual quality, both in terms of sharpness and contrast.
  • A large maximum aperture of f/2.8 allows for exceptional performance in low-light conditions and background blur.
  • A rapid and precise autofocus technology that can capture subjects that are in motion
  • Image stabilization that is effective, allowing for crisp handheld photos
  • Durability in harsh environments is ensured by sturdy construction quality and comprehensive weatherproofing.
  • Control ring that can be customized, as well as handling that is easy to understand and utilize

Cons:

  • Because of its size and weight, it is less portable and hence less suitable for prolonged handheld photography.
  • Due to its high cost, it represents a considerable commitment for the majority of photographers.
  • Because of its lengthy focal length, the camera has restricted capabilities for close-up and wide-angle photography.

Price and Availability

Because it is a lens designed for professionals, the price of the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens reflects its quality. The lens may be purchased, as of the time of its debut, at an exceptionally high cost. It is essential to keep in mind that the primary audience for this lens is comprised of professional photographers since they have a need for the superior performance, durability, and image quality that this lens provides.

The price may seem exorbitant to some people; nonetheless, it is reflective of the superior features, optical quality, and engineering that go into the production of a lens of such a high level. It is possible that the availability will vary from area to region and market condition to market condition for any product that is in great demand.

$11,999.00 3 used from $10,569.95 9 new from $11,999.00
in stock
Canon RF400mm F2.8 L is USM

Conclusion

The Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens is a beast of a telephoto lens that was developed specifically for professionals who need the highest possible picture quality and performance. Its superior optics, quick focusing, powerful image stabilization, and high-quality construction allows it to provide amazing results in a wide range of shooting conditions.

Because of its large maximum aperture and other sophisticated characteristics, this lens is particularly well-suited for use in photography of sports, wildlife, and action, all of which need a high level of both speed and precision. Despite the fact that the lens’s high price and specialized nature may prevent some photographers from having access to it, those who make the investment in the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens will be rewarded with excellent image quality and a genuinely exceptional experience when shooting with it.

Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM FAQs

Q. Is the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens compatible with all Canon EOS R-series cameras?
A. Yes, the lens is exclusively designed for Canon EOS R-series cameras and features the RF mount, ensuring seamless compatibility with these camera bodies.
Q. What is the minimum focusing distance of the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens?
A. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 8.20 ft. / 2.5m, allowing photographers to capture subjects relatively close to the lens while maintaining the benefits of its long telephoto reach.
Q. Does the lens come with image stabilization?
A. Yes, the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens features optical image stabilization (IS) technology. It provides up to 5.5 stops of compensation, helping to reduce the effects of camera shake and allowing for sharper handheld shots.
Q. What is the filter size for this lens?
A. The lens requires a drop-in filter system with a diameter of Ø52 mm. It comes with a Drop-in Screw-type Filter Holder 52 [WIII] and a 52mm clear Protect Filter.
Q. How much does the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens weigh?
A. The lens weighs approximately 6.37 lbs. (102 oz.) or 2890g. While it is not the lightest lens, its weight is manageable considering its focal length and aperture, making it suitable for professional photographers who require the reach and performance it offers.

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