Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 USM L - Full Format Review / Test - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

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Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 640
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/4000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/3200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 320
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/1600s

Verdict

The EF 400mm f/5.6 USM L is one of the oldest lens in the Canon lineup and it's a little bizarre that Canon didn't really bother to upgrade it during all these years. After all there're many users interested in wildlife or sports photography and few amateur can actually afford a behemoth like the EF 500mm f/4 USM L IS. Admittedly most users will probably vote for the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS due to its extra zooming flexibility. However, the prime lens has some advantages. It is capable of achieving an evenly high resolution across the image frame combined with very low lateral CAs. Vignetting is not an issue even on a full format body. There's also only a minimal amount of image distortions. The quality of the bokeh is generally very fine with the exception of "onion-like" out-of-focus highlights.

The build quality of the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 USM L is up to pro standards, of course. It is worth mentioning that the centering quality is superior to most lenses out there - that's thanks to its small number of lens elements and the lack of IS. The AF is very fast and reliable. If you can live without IS and don't bother the rather long minimal focus distances it remains one of the better choices.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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