I always thought that my appeal was solely based on having an accent so british it could colonize your computer, but anyway, this week, ive had the pleasure of testing out one of canons newest, most desirable and also most expensive, super telephoto lenses, the rf 400 millimeter f. 2.8 l is usm is basically their latest 400 millimeter f, 2.8 lens for digital slr cameras, except this time with a built in rf mount adapter. So this version will only work for canons, mirrorless, esr system cameras. It wouldnt really have made much sense for canon just to completely redesign the air ef mark iii lens from the ground up for mirrorless cameras, as it was already quite new and telephoto lenses dont really benefit much from the shorter flange distance of a mirrorless camera system. Having a built in adapter means, the lens fits slightly more securely onto your camera and youre less at risk of losing your adapter. If youre a bit clumsy like i am, and also the design allows you to use canons, rf tele converters, which you couldnt do before. With the ef to rf, mount adapter in this review ill be testing canons 1.4 times and two times converters, as well as the lens, so lets take a closer look: the lens costs 12 and a half thousand pounds here in the uk or when copies of it. Finally, become readily available or 12 dollars in the us id like to thank canon uk for learning me this lens and some teleconverters for a couple of weeks for testing, although, as usual, this is a totally independent review.
This lens has port and wildlife photography written all over it. A bright 400 millimeter lens is absolutely ideal for all kinds of sports photography, combining a long telephoto reach and a bright aperture of f 2.8 for getting amazing subject. Isolation and fast shutter speeds to stop the action in all kinds of light condition. For example, these pictures taken in the relative darkness of the magic hour and stopping action with a fast shutter speed would require huge iso levels on a lens with a darker aperture. The brightness of f 2.8 also tends to help your cameras auto focus system to work. A bit more efficiently, this is also one of the bread and butter lenses of many professional wildlife photographers, while its not exactly compact and lightweight for easy transportation. The f 2.8 aperture can be particularly useful for isolating your subject and for shooting in the dimmer morning and evening light where wildlife activity is higher. 400 millimeter can also be used for extreme portrait. Photography if you dont mind having to shout instructions over to your subject. It can even be used for landscape photography reaching into your landscapes to capture details. You might never have thought to focus on. As i mentioned, canon were also kind enough to. Let me borrow their rf mount teleconverters, which are sold separately. The 1.4 times converter will turn the lens into a 560 millimeter f4 optic and the two times teleconverter into an 800 millimeter, f, 5.
6 and well see how they affect image quality later on in this video, the build quality of this lens is, as youd expect completely Spectacular canons older 400 millimeter, f, 2.8 lenses, weighed over 5 kilograms or nearly 12 pounds, making them a nightmare to carry around this one weighs under three kilograms or just over six pounds, which is an astonishing progression and while its not exactly lightweight still, it is at Least hand holdable: you can see in this chart how theyve done it over the years. Technological advances in glass materials means that canon could shift those glass elements rearwards where they can be smaller, which also contributes to the lens feeling less front heavy and a bit better balanced on your camera. Well lets take a closer look at the lens itself. Now, as i mentioned, the lens is hand holdable, but using a good quality tripod will be advantageous. If you dont have very strong arms, it is advertised as being extensively weather, sealed and so are the teleconverters. If you choose to purchase them the front and rear elements are flooring, coated making them much easier to clean. Should anything get on them. There are a whole bunch of focus controls at the rear of the lens. You can switch it between autofocus manual focus and power. Focus mode the power focus is for slow, focusing during video work gently turn the focus preset ring in order to control it. You can also preset your focus, which some people find useful for wildlife photography and you can control the manual focus.
Speed too, if you like, lets, take a look at the lenses autofocus in action. As expected, it truly is lightning fast on my canon, eos r5 and very accurate too. Occasionally, the camera will send it going the wrong way, though, but it quickly snaps back into the right place here. You can see its just as fast with the 1.4 times teleconverter attached and the two times teleconverter. That performance is just a dream, come true and shooting animals with the cameras eye, autofocus detection mode was particularly awesome. There is the typical slot at the back for canons standard drop in filters and then comes the manual focus ring which turns extremely smoothly and works electronically. With the focus motor, as i mentioned, its speed is adjustable, as you can see here, the lens exhibits a little focus, breathing zooming in a little as you focus more closely. Just in front of that comes the spring loaded focus preset ring turn it left or right to go to your focus presets if youve set them or it can be used for the power focus feature too, as i mentioned, this lens, of course, has its own image. Stabilization here is some footage with it turned off and now turned on on this rf mount version of the lens canon claim that the stabilization is marginally improved over the ef version, if youre using a camera which has in body image stabilization due to its direct coupling Through the rf mount, but as you can see, along with the in body image stabilization of my canon eos r5, its working very very nicely indeed, although it should work virtually as well with an unstabilized camera, you get the common three stabilization modes here mode, one for General use mode two for panning and mode three kicks the stabilizer, in only when you take the shot, which can be useful if youre trying to follow an erratic subject.
The lens comes with a generously sized hood, which is fairly lightweight and very expensive to replace. If you break it, and the lens cap fits directly onto it, its made of firmly padded nylon and its fairly quick to take on and off canon also make a shorter lens hood, the et155b for, if youre shooting in an area where space is limited. This lens does not have one of canons, customizable control rings, though, for adjusting your aperture or other settings. It does, however, come with a soft case for relatively easy transportation, which is fantastic to use. After my experience with the sigma 200 to 500 millimeter, f 2.8 ive come to loathe hard cases for lenses overall, though well, the quality is exactly what youd expect here, as canon have been revising and perfecting the design for this type of lens for many years now. Lets move on and look at image quality ill, be testing the lens on my 45 megapixel canon eos r5, with its full frame sensor in camera. Corrections are turned on for this test at f, 2.8. Well, youre getting 12 000 pounds worth of image quality here quite easily. The lens is razor sharp, with excellent contrast in the middle and inner corners, just a whisker softer, but still fantastic, stop down to f4 and a 5.6 for minuscule improvements that do lead to razor sharpness from corner to corner the lens stays. This sharp down to f 16, where the effects of diffraction do begin to take a toll.
Essentially, though, you cant ask for much more than this, the image quality is simply awesome. Now lets take the 1.4 times rf mount teleconverter onto the lens, turning it into a 560 millimeter f4 optic at f4, in the middle of the image sharpness and contrast take just the tiniest little hit, but theyre still pretty fantastic. The corners again look just marginally softer, but are still very, very sharp, with good contrast, nice once again stop down to f, 5.6 or f 8 for some very, very marginal improvements, but overall canons latest 1.4 times. Teleconverter is doing an excellent job here, and your images are virtually as sharp as they were without it, which is great all right, lets, go the whole hog and fit the two times teleconverter now and turn this lens into an 800 millimeter f, 5.6 optic. This should be interesting two times. Teleconverters do have a nasty habit of completely mangling the image quality of even the sharpest camera lenses. Well, we are finally seeing a noticeably softer image now with lower contrast, but picture quality is still perfectly decent here really over in the corners. We are beginning to see just a slightly soft image, but again the picture quality is still perfectly usable, stop down to f8 and the corners look about the same. However, the middle of your images look just a little bit sharper than before, with slightly better contrast. Stop down to f11 and well theres, no real difference in the middle or back in the corners, so you can use the two times teleconverter if you like, and still get very decent results, which just goes to show how unbelievably sharp the bass lens is by itself.
If you stop down to f8, then youre, probably getting just a little more detail out of the lens than if you cropped an image taken with the 1.4 times converter. Well, i hope you find that information useful now lets take a look at distortion and vignetting. The following images are taken with: in camera, corrections turned off at 400, millimeter and f 2.8. There is barely any distortion, but some pretty notable vignetting is in the image corners stop down to f4, though, and it goes away very quickly if we put the 1.4 times tele converter on, then distortion remains negligible, but vignetting is still a bit strong at f4. Again, stop down to f 5.6 and the corners brighten up quickly. And finally, here we have the two times teleconverter attached, but its essentially the same story, just a touch of barrel distortion here and notable vignetting at the new wider structure of a 5.6 which, when stopped down to f8 again quickly, brightens up. So no serious problems from the lens here, no matter what you do with it, although you will want to leave peripheral illumination turned on in your camera, at least for best results. The minimum focus distance of this lens is about 2.5 meters, so, while it wont be mistaken for a macro lens, it gets you close enough for smaller subjects. Like small birds, there are no problems at all with close up image quality, even at f 2.8. The lens is just as sharp as ever when it comes to working against bright light.
The lenses performance is beyond approach here, especially considering the challenges presented by its enormous glass element. Very little flaring is visible here, even when bright lights are directly in the picture. So a really pleasant, surprise now lets take a look at the quality of this lenses bokeh at its brightest aperture, whether you are using a teleconverter or not, it is able to get you compressed out of focus backgrounds virtually like no other lens in existence. Well, that is what 12 000 pounds gets. You, as you might expect on a lens like this. Those autofocus backgrounds look spectacularly soft in all situations. I never saw a single problem with any of my sample photos and that good performance includes longitudinal chromatic aberration im not able to see any of it here, even at f, 2.8 overall. Well, you have got the picture by now. Ive tested over 400 camera lenses on this channel, and this has been by far my favorite. It is simply the perfect lens and theres no way. I could possibly fault it. I loved having so much reach and being able to shoot at f 2.8. That is fantastically useful for sports and wildlife. Photography and the way its autofocus responded with my canon, eos r5 was just magic. What was particularly nice was its very good performance. Even when teleconverters were attached, the 1.4 times converter was particularly enjoyable. Making this a brilliantly sharp, 560 millimeter, f4 lens, adding to the versatility of the whole package, you would be a fool not to buy the teleconverter to go with this lens.
I think the price of it all is pretty horrifying, of course, but that shouldnt really surprise. You these lenses are exceptionally difficult instruments to design and develop and to manufacture with precision, but big telephoto lenses like this tend to hold their value very well. Youll still be able to sell it on for a good price. Many years down the line. Well, if youve taken good care of it for professional photographers who actually need what this lens is capable of, who have a 12 000 pound hole, burning itself in their pocket and gear acquisition syndrome. I simply cannot possibly recommend this incredible lens enough thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed this video testing. Lenses like this is a huge, huge pleasure, but its also very challenging and time consuming. If youd like to support this channel, then check out my link to my patreon page down in the description below there.