Canon 400mm f/4 DO II lens review: Optical redesign offers better quality, DO optics keep weight down


posted Monday, January 19, 2015 at 8:39 PM EDT


Back at Photokina, Canon introduced a long-awaited update to one of their unique, green-ringed Diffractive Optics lenses: the 400mm f/4 DO telephoto prime. The original model was released back in 2001, and this updated "Mark II" version not only gets subtle cosmetic updates, but also a notable redesign in its optical formula aimed at increasing image quality and reducing flare. We've completed our in-depth Canon 400mm DO II review, and now it's off to face the frigid winter climate of Maine with Jeremy Gray's Canon 7D Mark II Shooter's Report!

In our lab tests, the Canon 400 f/4 DO II was another stunning, professional-level lens from the "Big C." As a significant upgrade optically compared to the original version, the 400mm DO II is an even more attractive option over the heavier, more expensive 400mm f/2.8L IS II for those who don't need the brighter aperture. For professional and serious wildlife, sports and action photographers, the 400mm DO II version offers healthy savings in both cost and weight while still providing great image quality, fantastic IS and superb build quality.

Head over to SLRgear to read our Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II review, complete with our in-depth report, final conclusion as well as our full range of test results and sample images. We also tested this lens with a Canon 1.4x II Extender and found very little negative impact on image quality.

While the new Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM might not be as pricey as the 400mm f/2.8, this new telephoto prime is a very serious lens with a retail price of $6,899. With your purchase, the lens ships with a Canon locking 400D hard case with keys, cloth lens cap, metal lens hood, tripod mount with removable foot, lens strap, strap case, and of course, a standard rear lens cap. Check out Amazon, Adorama or B&H for more info on pre-ordering. Buying this lens, or any other item, at one of these trusted affiliates helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample gallery photos shot by photographer Jeremy Gray for his Canon 7D Mark II Shooter's Report over in the 7D2's Gallery Page -- just look for images with "400mmDOII" in the filename.

400mm DO II: 400mm, 1/640, f/4.0, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Auto WB, Evaluative Metering