Amid its full-frame mirrorless announcements, Canon has also made room for some L-series lens updates. Canon has focused on reducing weight and so its EF 400mm F2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm F4L IS III USM both lay claim to the title of "world's lightest" in their respective focal lengths. The 400mm F2.8 has shed 1kg / 2.2lb and the 600mm F4 is 0.86kg / 1.9lb lighter. Both lenses feature advanced coatings, improved image stabilization and circular nine-blade apertures.

The Canon EF 400mm F2.8L IS III USM will sell for $12,000 and the Canon EF 600mm F4L IS III USM is priced at $13,000. Both lenses will ship in December 2018.

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.

Canon EF 400mm F2.8L IS III USM / EF 600mm F4L IS III specifications

 Canon EF 400mm F2.8L IS III USMCanon EF 600mm F4L IS III USM
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length400 mm600 mm
Image stabilizationYes
CIPA Image stabilization rating5 stop(s)
Lens mountCanon EF
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8F4
Minimum apertureF32
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements17
Groups13
Special elements / coatingsSuper UD + fluorite elements + Air Sphere + Super Spectra + fluorine coatingsSuper UD + fluorite elements, Air Sphere + Super Spectra + fluorine coatings
Focus
Minimum focus2.50 m (98.43)0.15 m (5.91)
Maximum magnification0.17×0.15×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodRear
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Focus distance limiterYes
Physical
Weight2840 g (6.26 lb)3050 g (6.72 lb)
Diameter163 mm (6.42)168 mm (6.61)
Length343 mm (13.5)448 mm (17.64)
MaterialsMagnesium alloy
SealingYes
Filter thread52 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarYes