Amazing Video Breaks Down One of Canon's Best Lenses

The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens is nothing short of remarkable. With an internal 1.4x teleconverter matched specifically to the lens' optics, it's a unique piece of gear known for its stellar quality. Now, Canon has released a video showing just what goes into making one of their top lenses.

I have two sets of gear: my actual gear and my "dream gear." The former is simply the gear I own and work with, the latter is the gear I would own if I had unlimited funds, gear such as the EF 400 f/2.8L IS II USM. The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM is definitely on that list as well. Alas, things like owning a car are important to me, so I'll have to be satisfied with salivating at videos like this. It's remarkable to see just how much resides inside that lens barrel. With 25 elements in 20 groups, fittings, an AF motor assembly, teleconverter assembly, electronics, and more, it's a great insight into just how much goes into making world-class optics. Particularly striking is the closing shot, which shows all the parts laid out separately. Excuse me while I purchase a few lottery tickets. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Is it official Canon video? Company in the industry based on precision and quality, released marketing video that is made only in 95%... Disappointing.

Are you talking about the stop-motion?

yup. Especially shots with camera movement. It doesn't look intentional, just sloppy. Little planing would resolve that.

Roman I agree it doesn't look as polished as it could. It is an official Canon vid - see their original upload on the Youtube channel "Canon Imaging Plaza".

The Youtube version plays slightly better on my phone compared to the embedded Fstoppers one, but it still has that 70's Star Wars stop motion feel to it.

Having said all that, I also find it a fascinating insight into just how much goes in to the lens. Incredible vid, despite it lacking that final 5% polish.

I'm no expert in stop-motion exploded view videos, but I would hazard a guess there was some planning involved in this.

That's the worst part. It was done in some 95%... It ruins all the hard work it went into this. I wouldn't criticise it, if it wasn't contradicting with what it takes to produce such equipment...

I noticed the slightly off movement and felt it was intentional.


you forgot sucks !


hehe just messin with'ya!

Because the larger L lenses have considerably more glass, and when they heat up, that glass expands enough to push the design tolerances of the lens. That white finish helps to reflect heat.