How Flexible is the Canon 200-400mm lens?


Canon has just announced the new 200-400mm f/4 with built-in 1.4 extender for USD 11,799. With the extender switched on the lens goes from 280-560mm.

There are already plenty of reviews and just as many comments on the lens out there in the Internet. The lens should be perfect for wildlife photography and one of the reasons for that was the flexibility the lens gives. Lets look at that in particular.

People who have been on
photographic safaris, wildlife photography courses or team building photographic safaris will know, that a good zoom is very important in wildlife photography. With the extender switched on the lens offers 560mm, witch is great and very helpful when you just need that extra zoom, but don’t want to carry a 500mm or 600mm fixed lens with you around on safari. The Canon lens gives you this flexibility without an extra lens or changing/placing the extender when you think you will need it. In wildlife photography you won’t have the time to do that. The moment will be gone. So, the instantly switched on extender is really great. Another point on safaris is the dust. When you have to change or mount the extender, you have to expose the sensor to the environment and you should try to avoid that when being on a game vehicle in the bush.

A little downside are the 200mm limit. Wildlife often comes quite close and the 200mm will be too much to photograph them. I love to use my Nikon 80-400mm, but even the 80mm can sometimes be too much. Out of my own experience I would love to get an 80-400mm with a built-in extender and a f/2.8 and still easy to handle, but this might be impossible, at least now.

Read more about the lens in a B&H

Happy snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for