One of Canon’s most popular sports zoom lenses is getting a refresh today. The 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM is the successor to its predecessor that came out back in the late 1990’s. In our meeting with Canon’s Chuck Westfall, he states that Canon Japan assures that this lens will be every bit as sharp as the company’s 70-200mm f2.8 II L IS–which is also one of the company’s most popular lenses after being released a couple of years ago. The new lens features two new big features: tripod detection in the image stabilization and a new lens coating called the Air Sphere Coating. The tripod detection is built in and that means that you won’t necessarily need to turn off the IS when using a tripod or a monopod. The IS otherwise has the standard three modes, normal, panning, and shooting only.
The new Air Sphere coating is designed to prevent backlight flaring and ghosting. But for what it’s worth, many portrait photographers that tend to backlight a subject using natural light love the look of lens flare. We have yet to see examples of this in action though.
The new 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM features weather resistance and a magnesium exterior. The elements inside feature one fluorite element and one super UD element; but the cooler thing is that they’ve been arranged to allow the lens to focus as closely as 3.2 feet. While that doesn’t sound like such a large accomplishment, it really is quite considerable if you factor in the focal length range. Canon also promises up to four steps of image stabilization.
Another key feature of the lens is the nine aperture blades; which will help deliver some beautiful bokeh. It comes with a brand new lens hood that allows photographers to to remove a lens filter even while the hood is still attached.
Come this December, you’ll be able to get yours for $2,199.00. More images of the new Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM are after the jump.