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Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L

L series super telephoto prime lens for Canon EOS SLR cameras

3 Reviews | 1 question - 2 answers


Our take on the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L

At first glance, this L-Series Canon lens seems to be a bit less distinguished than some of its telephoto brethren. It doesn't have image stabilization, and at f/5.6 for a maximum aperture it's a bit slower than some alternatives, better suited to daylight in the outdoors. But you'd be so wrong to judge it without taking a second look.

Sharper telephoto images await

At first glance, this L-Series Canon lens seems to be a bit less distinguished than some of its telephoto brethren. It doesn't have image stabilization, and at f/5.6 for a maximum aperture it's a bit slower than some alternatives, better suited to daylight in the outdoors. But you'd be so wrong to judge it without taking a second look.

If you're a nature or news photographer, we defy you to get better, sharper image quality across the aperture range out of a lens in this class. Canon makes some terrific zoom lenses that cover this range, and while they'll deliver great shots time and again at this focal length, if you're shooting with a pro camera body with a high pixel count, you're going to appreciate the optical resolution this lens deliver to your sensor. Plus, it's lightweight for its class and reach, thanks to the fewer glass elements necessary for its design.

The glass that is there is of impeccable quality, as you'd expect from a Canon L series lens. One super-ultra-low dispersion (SUD) element and one UD element ensure a minimum of color fringing. That means every nuance of color and texture on the wings of that bird on the tree limb across the field will be clearly visible and reliably recorded.

Product Highlights:

  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM telephoto lens
  • compatible with Canon EOS film and digital SLR cameras
  • effective focal length:
    • 400mm with full-frame digital or film cameras
    • 520mm with APS-H sensor cameras
    • 640mm with APS-C sensor cameras
  • Canon pro-quality L Series lens for superior image sharpness and durability
  • one UD (ultra-low distortion) element delivers sharper images with less chromatic aberration
  • ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast, silent autofocus
  • lightweight and durable
  • dust-proof and water-resistant design
  • available full-time manual focusing
  • minimum focus distance: 11.5 feet
  • lens construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
  • filter size: 77mm
  • lens is 10-5/16" long, 3-5/8" in diameter
  • weight: 2.76 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • tripod mounting foot
  • built-in slide-out lens hood
  • front and rear lens caps
  • carrying case

What's in the Box:

  • EF400mm f/5.6L USM
  • E-77 II Front lens cap (installed)
  • Rear lens cap (installed)
  • Tripod Mount Ring A II (W) (installed)
  • Zippered storage case (LZ-1132)
  • Case strap
  • Instructions on CD-ROM
  • EF Lens Quick Guide
  • Warranty/Product Registration card

Love this lens!! Have been able to get close to nature. Took a bit to get used to weight but no issues now.

Angie, Dover, DE


Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Brand Compatibility Canon
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 400mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.6
Weight 44.1 ounces
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Overview: The Canon EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens is a high-performance super-telephoto lens for use with Canon EOS cameras. The lens features a built-in Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for quick and quiet autofocusing. The lens is constructed of 7 elements in 6 groups, including UD (ultra-low dispersion) and super UD elements for excellent imaging capability.

Focus Modes: The EF400mm lens is equipped with a two-way switch for setting the Focus Mode. You can choose from AF (auto focus) or MF (manual focus). In Manual Focus mode, you can focus on your subject by turning the focus ring. The focusing ring always works, regardless of the focus mode.

Focus Range Switch: You can switch between two focusing ranges using the two-way switch on the barrel of the lens. You can choose from a range of 3.5 meters (11.5') to infinity, or a range of 8.5 meters (27.9') to infinity. Depending on your subject matter, the correct choice of focus range can reduce the auto focusing time.

Lens Hood: The built-in, non-detachable lens hood cuts out unwanted light and protects the lens from rain, snow, and dust. Extending the lens hood adds almost 3 inches to the overall length of the lens.

Tripod Mount: The included tripod mount ring allows you to mount the camera onto a tripod by the lens instead of the camera body. You can loosen the orientation lock knob on the tripod mount and rotate it as needed for switching between vertical and horizontal positions.

Display Window: The EF400mm lens has a display window on the barrel near the focus range switch that provides the following:

  • Infinity Compensation Mark: The lens provides an "L" infinity mark to compensate for shifting of the infinity focus point that results from changes in temperature. The infinity position at normal temperature is the point at which the vertical line of the L mark is aligned with the distance indicator on the distance scale.
  • Infrared Index: The infrared index corrects the focus setting when using monochrome infrared film.
  • Depth-of-Field Scale: The depth of field is the distance in front of and behind the plane of focus on the subject that appears sharp. The depth of field is indicated by the area between the depth-of-field scale lines below the distance scale.

Optional Lens Extenders: The lens is compatible with EF1.4x II and EF2x II lens extenders (sold separately). The extenders will increase the focal length to 560mm (EF1.4x) and 800mm (EF2x).


  • Focal Length: 400mm
  • Minimum Aperture: f/32
  • Maximum Aperture: f/5.6
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11.5 feet
  • Filter Diameter: 77mm
  • Angle of View:
    • Diagonal: 6° 10'
    • Vertical: 3° 30'
    • Horizontal: 5° 10'
  • Dimensions: 3.577" Diameter, 10.307" Length, 44.1 Ounces

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Great Canon image quality and online reviews [ JOHN  Jul 31, 2016 ]
I photograph wildlife and landscape and think this lens will be good for this. [ Jill  Dec 31, 2015 ]
Reviews, Fitment and Price [ Sam  Dec 09, 2015 ]

1 question already asked

Thanks. [ Sridharan  Apr 18, 2014 ]
We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question. [ Jeff  Apr 16, 2014 ]  Staff

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