Way back in February 2011, Canon announced that it is developing a new EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x super-telephoto lens. Since then, there hasn’t been much news on when we might finally see the lens on store shelves, and Canon has issued a couple of press releases stating that it has been delayed. Rumors are now emerging that Canon had to go back to the drawing board with the lens in order to resolve a design flaw that had been reported during tests.
Craig Blair over at Canon Rumors writes,
The latest we’ve heard, and from a pretty knowledgeable person is that the lens has needed a redesign in regards to the “bump” that holds the built-in 1.4 TC. The person wouldn’t elaborate as to why it was an issue, but it was brought to the attention of Canon at the Olympics that some pros were complaining that the “bump”, or a function of the “bump” got in the way of something. Again, what the something was wasn’t elaborated upon.
We’re guessing this is the “bump” the rumor refers to:
It’s a special feature of the lens: there’s a built-in 1.4x teleconverter (the first of its kind) that can instantly turn the 200-400mm f/4 into a 280-560mm f/5.6. Flipping a switch definitely beats having to unmount a lens, attach an extender, and then remount the combo. You do lose a stop of light, but the extra reach will be invaluable for certain types of photographers (e.g. wildlife shooters).
The lens won’t come cheap, though: rumors are pegging the price at somewhere around $10,000. Better start saving up.