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Don’t get us wrong – it’s not that we don’t think the original version is great. It is. But this one weighs an amazing 3 pounds less than its predecessor. (That’s 20% lighter). It’s even sharper than the version I, which took some doing because the original was superb.
Improvements include a markedly improved IS system that provides 4 stops of stabilization (including a Mode 3 that only activates IS instantly when the shutter button is depressed fully), and a faster autofocus CPU with dedicated algorithms that increase autofocusing speed and accuracy significantly. There’s also a new “power focusing” mode for video that focuses smoothly to a preset recall position.
When someone tells you that something defies description, you can be pretty sure he’s going to have a go at it anyway. It’s hard to imagine how much lighter this lens actually feels than any other 400mm f/2.8. All I can say is I never, ever shot with 400mm f/2.8 lenses before this. Just too heavy to lug around. This is still a big lens, but the difference is amazing. I can hoist it to my shoulder for a hand-held shot if needed. Maybe even a couple of shots. More importantly, I don’t have any problems hoisting it up to mount it on a tripod.
Image quality is, of course, absolutely spectacular, even with a 2x teleconverter mounted. Which makes me wonder, now, why I would particularly take the 800 f/5.6 when I have that option with the 400, which isn’t much heavier.
A little known fact: this big huge lens gathers so much light you can set ants on fire with it — by moonlight.
- Filter Size
- 8.5 lb
- ET-155 (WII)
- Minimum Focusing Distance
- 8.8 feet
- Maximum Magnification
- Angle of view: (full frame)
- 6 degrees
- Zoom method
- Image Stabilization
- 4 stop, tripod sensing, 3 mode
- Focusing System
- Internal focus, Full time active, USM motor, focus limiting switch, Power Focus mode
- Aperture Blades
- 8, curved, octagonal
- Low Dispersion Elements
- Fluorite Elements
- Aspherical Elements
- Weather Resistant
- Canon EF
- Crop, Full frame
- Lens w/ tripod foot and rear cap
- Hood w/ front cover
- Soft lens case
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