For all the wildlife and sports photographers that bought one of the new EOS 7D Mark II cameras last week Canon has introduced a new version of a popular favourite lens.

Say hello to the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens

My first thoughts after looking at the specifications and details; it’s good to see the end of the push-pull zoom action, and the updating of the Image Stabilizer to 4-stops.

I also like that the zoom can still be locked to any particular focal length – this stops lens creep if the lens is angled up or down.

I expect the optical performance to be several steps above the old outgoing model, though price will likely be somewhat higher too.

Key improvements

  • Minimum focus reduced from 1.8m to 0.98m
  • 9-blade aperture diaphragm instead of 5-blades on old lens
  • Twist zoom action – instead of push-pull

More capability more glass makes it a little bigger and heavier

  • Weight 1.57Kg  (old lens 1.38Kg)
  • Diameter 94mm (old lens 92mm)
  • Length 193mm (old lens 189mm)

While the dimensions are a little larger I’m sure the new lens will fit in the exact same space in camera bags as the old one did 🙂

As with the old lens the new one can be used with the EF Extender 1.4x and 2x, but will only provide AF with the 1.4x in combination with an EOS-1D series camera, EOS 7D Mark II or the EOS 5D Mark III.

Canon press release: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens

Canon today introduces the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, a new powerful, high-performance zoom lens in Canon’s acclaimed L-series, ideal for passionate sports and wildlife photographers. A successor to the hugely popular EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, the new model features a range of upgrades to improve image quality and enhance usability, setting a new benchmark for performance from a compact super telephoto zoom lens.

EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens

Exceptional optical performance and flexibility

The EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM gives you the flexibility and freedom to capture subjects, both near and far, using the incredibly versatile 100-400mm focal range. The lens’s completely redesigned optical structure now features an improved 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer to reduce the effects of visible camera shake on long-distance shots, with three IS modes tailored to most typical shooting conditions, while Canon’s pioneering ring-type Ultrasonic Motor provides fast, silent autofocusing.

Built to deliver the highest quality results with every press of the shutter, the lens’s 21 element structure uses a combination of Fluorite and Super Ultra-low Dispersion (Super UD) lens elements, and in a first for the EF lens range, Canon’s new Air Sphere Coating (ASC). The new advanced anti-reflection coating is constructed of tiny nano particles of trapped air, which create an ultra-low refractive index layer, to help reduce visible ghosting and flare.

Redesigned zoom and advanced pro operation

Enhanced following extensive feedback from Canon photographers, the lens features a number of design upgrades, including the traditional twist action zoom mechanism in line with other EF zoom lenses. The new mechanism allows you to adjust zoom torque via a dedicated Zoom Touch Adjustment ring, which provides a smooth action for fast zooming, as well as the ability to lock the zoom at your desired focal length, preventing image composition from changing by accidentally touching the zoom.

Incredibly compact and lightweight for an advanced telephoto lens, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM has been optimised to provide photographers with everything they need at their fingertips. The lens’s tripod collar is now built-in to provide smoother, seamless rotation, and when needed, the tripod foot can be removed, reducing the overall lens body size. A new dedicated lens hood, ET-83D, allows you to rotate polarising filters, without removing the hood, thanks to the inclusion of a new access window.

Designed to be used anywhere, even in the harshest conditions, the lens continues the renowned L-series lens DNA and rugged construction. You can rely on the lens to perform in vastly challenging environments, with a dust and water-resistant construction providing the durability users demand. For added endurance, the lens features fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens elements, reducing the possibility of dirt sticking to the lens surface and affecting image quality.

EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM key benefits:

  • Versatile, portable super-telephoto zoom lens
  • Superb image quality right across the frame
  • Prevent camera shake with a 4-stop Image Stabilizer
  • Customise the feel of the zoom control for different situations
  • Fast, near-silent focusing
  • Shoot confidently in tough weather conditions