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News

August 2010

Canon has enhanced its L-series lens range with the launch of the EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses – two high quality super-telephoto lenses that feature completely redesigned optical systems, the latest Canon Image Stabilization (IS) technology, new IS and AF Modes and improved build quality.

The EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM features a completely redesigned optical system, the latest Canon IS technology, and new IS and AF modes.

Designed to meet the demands of professional photographers the lenses offer optical excellence, consistently high performance, super-telephoto focal lengths, fast f/2.8 apertures and outstanding image quality to provide photographers with exceptional results and reliability.

The lenses succeed the EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM and the EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM in the L-series range and both new models will have an obvious appeal to nature, wildlife and sports photographers. As well as featuring completely redesigned optical systems, and the latest Canon IS technology, the lenses feature an all-new magnesium alloy construction whilst titanium components ensure that the designs are both robust and lightweight.

The EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the lightest lens in its class, offering unrivalled mobility due to an incredible 28% reduction in weight in comparison to its predecessor (down by just over 1.5kg, from 5.37kg to 3.85kg), while the EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM features an 8% weight reduction compared to its predecessor.

Ultra high performance optics

Manufactured using the very best optical components, the new EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM optics mark a significant step forward for Canon’s high quality L-series lens range. Both lenses feature 16 elements in 12 different groups, and use high performance fluorite lens elements that correct chromatic aberration to deliver high resolution and high contrast shots of the best possible quality – this allows photographers to capture images that are rich with edge-to-edge detail.

The optical elements also feature Canon’s latest Super Spectra Coatings, optimised for both the position and type of each lens element. Canon’s SubWavelength structure Coating (SWC) technology, which uses microscopic cone-shaped structures smaller than a wavelength of visible light, reduces ghosting caused by light bouncing back from the imaging sensor. Fluorine coating is also used on the front and rear elements of the lenses in order to repel dust and dirt and deliver clearer shots. The coating is also water repellent, keeping the front element free of water marks and smearing by ensuring water runs off the lens quickly.

Improved IS and rapid AF

Thanks to a new construction the EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM super-telephoto lens has been reduced in weight by over 1.5kg compared to its predecessor.

Both super-telephoto lenses feature Canon’s new Image Stabilizer system to help to provide outstanding results when shooting whilst moving around and for capturing moving subjects. A four-stop advantage (compared to two stops in the first generation versions of the lenses) offers greater image quality during handheld shooting, allowing photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up for four times slower than normally required with minimal additional blur.

The operation of IS mode 2 has been improved when shooting panning motion and a new, third IS mode has been added – this assists users when quickly switching between subjects by only activating the IS unit during exposure.

Both lenses offer a constant f/2.8 aperture, allowing photographers to shoot at fast shutter speeds and capture clear shots of fast-moving subjects. The wide aperture also allows users to creatively isolate their subjects from the background, with a nine-blade circular iris creating dramatic and striking background blur.

Fast, quiet autofocus is provided by a ring-type USM, new, dedicated AF algorithms, and a new high-speed CPU, which offer quick and accurate focusing during shooting. Photographers can also utilise full-time manual focusing, which enables the adjustment and fine-tuning of focus even when the AF system is activated, providing even greater control over image capture.

A new Power Focus mode aids focusing during video shooting, allowing photographers to smoothly adjust focus during filming by twisting the focus recall ring.

All-new refined design

Both the EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM boast a refined, quality L-series design that reflects their status as market-leading, benchmark lenses. Both feature a new design layout, with carefully positioned controls that improve their operation. The AF stop buttons are now location-adjustable, improving ergonomics by allowing users to custom-select the position of the lens grip, where the AF stop buttons are located.

A choice of dedicated tripod mounts provides added flexibility, allowing photographers to use a long or short foot suitable for monopods or tripods. A new rotational mechanism for the tripod collar also provides a smoother movement when turning the lens from portrait to landscape orientation.

Both lenses also feature a new high quality exterior texture, while a new shade of white casing indicates the new advanced design and higher precision that each lens offers. A new Kensington-type wire security lock has also been added, allowing photographers to keep their lenses secure whilst on location shoots. A robust weatherproof design makes both lenses suitable for use in extreme conditions when paired with a weatherproof EOS body.

New, high quality, lens extenders

Both of the lenses are compatible with two new Canon lens extenders – the Extender EF1.4x III and Extender EF2x III – that are designed to extend the focal length range of Canon's L-series super-telephoto lenses. Manufactured to complement the new optical systems featured in both lenses, the Extender EF1.4x III and Extender EF2x III will allow professionals to instantly extend the focal length of either lens by 1.4x or 2x respectively – enabling the capture of high quality, detailed images of subjects that may typically be beyond reach.