Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4x Lens Now Official, Will Set You Back $11,799


Canon today officially announced its new 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4x extender lens. No, that’s not two products mistakenly smashed into one name — the lens features a built-in 1.4x extender that can be activated with the flip of a switch.

The lens was first introduced back in February 2011. It wasn’t a launch, though, but rather an “in development” announcement in which Canon officially informs the world of a future product that’s being developed.


Then things went quiet. For more than a year afterward, it was as though the lens had disappeared from Canon’s plans. In November 2012, a rumor emerged, saying that the 200-400mm had been delayed due to design flaws. Canon reportedly had to start over with the lens’ design when a problem was discovered during testing stages.

In 2013, the lens started making appearances in the wild. In addition to leaked photos, at least one photographer who was lucky enough to test a pre-production 200-400mm published a video review to share his thoughts on the lens.

Now the speculation all comes to an end. The 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4x became an official Canon lens today, and we’re finally hearing final details and specs.

The new 200-400mm will come in a fancy hard case

The new 200-400mm has an option hard case that costs $649

Canon has designed the 200-400mm f/4 to be a lens geared toward photojournalism, wildlife photography, and sports shooting. It’s built out of magnesium-alloy, and is sealed against both dust and moisture.

It’s naturally a 200-400mm f/4 on a full frame camera, but flip a switch on the side of the lens, and you suddenly find yourself with a 280-560mm-equivalent lens on your hands thanks to the 1.4x extender.

The built-in extender appears as a sizable bulge on the side of the lens, which is where the special teleconverter glass lives when it’s not being used.


The lens also has an Image Stabilizer that allows you gain the equivalent of four stops of light, and takes 52mm lens filters (you drop them into the lens body rather than screw them on the front).

Here are a few official sample photographs shot using the lens (click them for full-res versions):




The new Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4x will hit store shelves at the end of May, and will carrying a rather hefty price tag of $11,799. The lens is also already available for preorder through retailers such as B&H.

  • Le Hoang

    I will buy two and become a drug dealer .,,

  • Oh_boy

    One, one, seven, nine, nine

    Let it sink it for a bit…

  • Jordan

    Think the US price is high? It’ll retail at £11,999 in the UK. That’s $18,350!

  • SwedishKiwi

    In Sweden, it’s currently listed at 118,000 SEK. That’s $17,900, so for once, Sweden is cheaper than the UK. :)

  • agour

    fly to america, buy lens. Pay import tax on return to UK (about 20% iirc).

    Price difference? $4200. (Minus cost of flights, ~$800 to new york).

    Spend $1000 on a little holiday, and you’ve still saved $2600 :D

  • Sky

    One downside: warranty.

  • Jeff

    EEEP !! Two headed Giraffe!!

  • 9inchnail

    Why not buy 500 and resell them in the UK, become filthy rich and breed an army of genetically enhanced super chimps and terrorize Europe? You need some longterm-goals, dude.

  • Mansgame

    You’d have to come to the US for service then too.

  • Lutz K.

    it´s a lens for pros.
    and it´s worth every penny.
    my friend had a prototype and i was given the chance to shoot with it in australia.
    pros will LOVE it.
    nobody complains about 30000+ $ cinema lenses.
    you need good tools for a pro job… that´s life.

  • Lutz K.


    i was for 9 month on a job in canada. do you think canon canada has said to me we won´t service your lenses?

    canon will service any canon lens, no matter where it was bought.

  • Bartosz Jan Mikołaj Twaróg

    Go to Switzerland. The prices match what you have in USA and with good exchange rate they are lower!
    Claim your VAT back at the airport at Swiss customs (approx 8%).
    Claim this lens in your hand luggage as your private one bought back UK.
    Do not declare it in UK upon arrival.

    Get the USA price with VAT back + EU warranty.

    It works I did it while travelling, I bought 70-200 2.8 IS.

  • Bartosz Jan Mikołaj Twaróg

    and if you’re lucky you will get mail-in rebate.

  • Thomas Hawk

    I wonder if CPS will ship loaners of this thing down the road.

  • Mark Dub

    I live in the US and I’m now seriously considering this plan! But maybe with rabid man-eating 2 headed giraffes instead.

  • SwedishKiwi

    Or sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

  • Rick

    Any chance they’ll kit that with the next Rebel?

  • Jim A.

    When Lens Rentals gets these…I’m in!

  • Halfrack

    When Roger does a tear down, we will all drool.

  • Matthew Neumann

    They’ll service it, for money. Just not for warranty.

  • Andreas

    In Germany its also listet with 11.799,- but EURO… Thats about 15.300 $, so in USA you get one Lens with a 5D Mark III for free compared to Germany’s lens only price…

  • Matt Collins

    oh so very true! those white-boxes from hong kong end up being pricey if need servicing

  • agour

    Damn, I’m always forgetting about those pesky chimps

  • Gan Eden