Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM (Multi-layer Diffractive Optical Elements), Image Stabilizer USM AutoFocus Lens - Refurbished

Canon 400mm F/4L: Picture 1 thumbnail Canon 400mm F/4L: Picture 2 thumbnail

About Canon 400mm F/4L

Canon's breakthrough multi-layer diffractive optical lens technology provides photographers with superior super-telephoto performance in a smaller and lighter design with enhanced correction for chromatic aberrations. Canon also added their highly effective Image Stabilization system that gives the equivalent effect of a shutter speed two stops faster. And, it's built it to Canon's professional standards with fast AF, full-time mechanical focus and dust and water-resistant construction.

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Fast / accurate auto-focus (8),Lightweight (8),Strong construction (7),Consistent output (5),Fast auto-focus (5),Superior build quality (4),Super-sharp images (4),Durable (3),Easily interchangeable (3)
Best Uses:
Sports/action (6),Wildlife photos (4),Wildlife (3)

Canon 400mm F/4L Specifications

13 groups / 17 elements
Angle of view
6° 10'
F stop range
Closest Focusing Distance
3.5m / 11.5 ft.
Maximum Magnification
Filter Size
52mm Drop-In
Dimensions (Length x Diameter)
5.0" x 9.2" / 128.0 x 232.7mm
4.3 lbs. / 1,940g
Mfr #

Canon 400mm F/4L Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 15 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Great lens

I use this lens for wildlife photography. Beautiful Bokeh.

Reviewed by 15 customers


Powerful, Lightweight & Ultra Fast


from NYC

My review of the Canon EF 400mm F/4 DO IS USM Super Telephoto Lens. This is such a high quality super telephoto lens that I feel deserve a lot of praise. Here are some the reasons why I decided to acquire this lens. FIXED FOCAL LENGTH - I have used other zoom telephoto lens for action, wildlife and adventure shots and I realized that I do not like to adjust the focal length when preparing to shoot pictures. My personal preference is that the time it takes to adjust the zoom ring takes too long and I tend to miss more great shots when my subjects are constantly moving. Learning how to spot my subjects through the 'tunnel vision' of my viewfinder has trained my eye to quickly subjects quicker than viewing my subject at lower focal length and then adjust to get the closest shot possible. In addition, in most instances, I almost always prefer to shoot at the maximum focal length anyway. I felt that 400mm was a great medium focal length between 300mm (Not willing to lower standard down to 300mm or less) or 500mm (Lens cost way more) or more. With my APS-C crop sensor (1.6x) with my 7D Mark II, I effectively already have 640mm and with my 1.4x Mark II, I can already reach 896mm. WEIGHT - The EF 400mm F/4 DO IS USM is the best Canon lightweight lens with a maximum aperture of F/4. Although I have owned the legendary EF 400mm F/5.6, I feel the DO version is in a way the successor and provides better performance despite concerns about softness. At a little over 4lbs, you can practically hand hold your camera and lens for extended periods of time compared to the bigger 500, 600 and 800mm lens. But to compare apples to apples, when you stack EF 400mm F/4 DO vs. the EF 400mm F/2.8 L version, the latter is a heavier beast weighing nearly 9lbs, instead of 4lbs of the former lens mentioned. This weight difference was a critical reason why I choose the F/4 DO version. Although some will say that the L version is optically better, (I don't disagree) It also hard to say the F/4 is inferior. This lens can be sharp as a tack with the right AF system with the right camera body. DESIGN & QUALITY The design and quality of this lens like many other Canon Super Telephoto Lenses are built far ahead of their time and built to last a very long time. This lens is built like a NASA spaceship, not a tank; the quality is really that superior. The original inception of this lens is from 2001 and the particular version I own still works flawlessly. Every time I hold this beauty in my hands, I am always reminded of how happy to own such a superior piece of optical technology. I do like that fact that the 400mm F/4 has reinforced 'hooks' on both sides to attach straps when you prefer to wrap the lens around your shoulders when lens is not in use. The lens also comes with 52mm lens filter which is inserted at the back end instead of the front like most smaller lenses with frontal diameters of 82mm (EF 24-70mm II USM) or less. A tripod collar is included and it comes with a giant lens hood (ET-120) when attached makes the EF 400mm F/4 looks like the 'little big brother' of the famous EF 500mm IS II USM. Thank you for reading!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great first impression


from Temple, TX  -  Photo Enthusiast

I finally decided to make the next jump from my 400mm f/5.6L to the 400mm f/4DO, when a used one came up at a lower than expected price on Adorama. It came as billed, in near perfect condition, with its case. The lens works well so far, but I gave it a 4 star because I have not had a chance to really work with it much yet. Planning a photo trip this weekend. Main thing I notice is far fewer throwaways as I go through my day's shots, thanks to the faster lens and IS. I have a mild hand tremor, and even with tripod and cable release, I was keeping a very small % of my shots using the 400 f/5.6. I tried it with my 1.4x, and got similar clean shots but a bit grainier, as would be expected. The principal downside in reviews I have read is of reduced contrast, which might be there on a side-by-side comparison, but is not particularly notable. I boost the contrast in post processing on most shots anyway. The other slight downside, which I was expecting, is a near doubling of total weight of camera and lens, but the old f/5.6 is not exactly light, and the difference was not too bad on a 4 mile hike last weekend. The weight is just enough to make my wife less interested in borrowing it. It comes with a carrying case that is built like a tank but doubles the weight of the lens itself, not something for daily use. As I have seen in many reviews, the stock Canon lens cover is a heavy, bulky, essentially useless leather bag that barely attaches using a drawstring, which is OK for storage but not for daily use. The only "dust" it would keep out would be pebble-sized. Buy an aftermarket lens cap for real daily use. I attached a photo taken on the first day that I could really use the lens. Straight out of the camera except cropped to 25% of original size. ISO 640, f/13, 1/400 on a Canon 7D, with tripod and cable release. You be the judge on the contrast, keeping in mind it was taken during a brief period of late afternoon sunlight on a very overcast, windy day.


Best and most used


from New Jersey

I've worked with this lens for about 6yrs now and it does not fail to deliver. Unlike most all of the other super-tele lenses, you will just carry this around with you like a walk around lens and it's out and ready to go. It gets used a lot because you don't think much about carrying it, it's that simple. Image quality on the 1Dx is outstanding and sharp. The only con I can see is the price went up since I bought mine.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


Great Reach, Quality & Value!


from Indianapolis, IN

In my opinion, this is a fantastic go-to lens for wildlife photography. Very lightweight and easily handheld, even for longer periods of time in the field. Most of the time, however, I have this lens mated to a 7D along with a 1.4x III attached to a pano-gimbal head/tripod combination. Outstanding reach for the money, and awesome, sharp results! Again, this lens can be handheld with a good keeper rate, but the effective focal length when used with extenders on a crop sensor camera body does cut into my success rate. On the other hand, especially with moving rather than still subjects, the ability to easily handle off a tripod has come in very, very handy for sudden action. The AF is fast and accurate and the 2-stage IS is reasonably helpful, too. Again, the 1.4xIII works great paired with this lens â€" much, much better than on my 300 f4. Perhaps a bit off on contrast (maybe) but I have not noticed a major issue with this, and certainly nothing requiring more than minor post edit. Prior to acquiring this lens I read everything I could find about it on the internet, which gave me some pause prior to taking the plunge. However, my actual results have been nothing short of fantastic, and I believe much of the negative, early reporting you can find on the internet must be one rumor or bad experience compounded by frequent repeat. I can recommend this lens without any hesitation. A fantastic package for hiking, traveling, every day use â€" again, a great way to get high quality reach at a comparatively great price.


Great lens


from Glendale, CA  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I use this lens for wildlife photography. Beautiful Bokeh.


Excellent and Portable Telephoto Lens


from Denver, CO  -  Photo Enthusiast

I use this lens for wildlife photography and as my review headline states this lens is portable and excellent. The automatic focus is fast and accurate. The images are sharp at f/4. I prefer to shot at f/5.6 when possible. It is more forgiving and gives me a higher percentage of in focus images. I did my comparisons between the 400 f/4, and my 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM and 70-200 f/4L IS USM with the 1.4x EF III Teleconverter mounted to the 70-200's on my 5D MK lll. As many of you know the 70-200 f/4L with the 1.4x III converter is tack sharp with beautiful color and it was the best of the three. The pleasant surprise was the close second with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS or the 400 f/4. The 400 f/4 delivers excellent sharpness and color. In conjunction with its relatively light weight and fast accurate autofocus this makes for a great 400mm telephoto field lens. The field kit I put together is the 400 f/4 DO with the Canon T3i (600D) having a form factor of 1.6. This results in a 640mm lens and camera body weighing in at about 5.42 lb. This allows me to carry the lens and get some great hand held shots. When I get tired a monopod is perfect and keeps me going. The image quality remains excellent with this kit. By the way just to throw some numbers around if I add my 1.4x III Teleconverter to the mix I end up with 896mm of reach and the overall image quality is very good. One last comment. I have read other reviews expressing concern about this lens having a lack of contrast. I can only say that every current digital Canon EOS camera body is internally adjustable by sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color. Any refinements an image may need out of the camera can be quickly accomplished in post processing. Don't give this a second thought. I have been an L glass shooter with all of my Canon bodies (all full frame format) and pained over this decision for years. Don't hesitate to try the Diffractive Optics (DO) glass. It delivers excellent images and you can carry it with you and that means you get the images the guys on the road side or in the parking lot never saw.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Incredibly comfortable for BIF


from Allentown, PA  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I was concerned with the many reviews noting limited contrast and questions on use with teleconverters. I had the lens calibrated at a Canon repair facility and mated to my 7D. Images are sharp and use with a 1.4 TC is excellent. You'll be amazed how short and lightweith this is, making it easy to handhold and pan for birds in flight and other wildlife.

(36 of 37 customers found this review helpful)


Fantastic lens


from Omaha, NE

I use it on a 7D often with a 1.4x converter. This is a splendid piece of equipment and this lens is very consistent, dependable and accurate when used hand held. I have adjusted a little more contrast and sharpness on camera and have achieved stellar results.Wonderful lens, just a pleasure to use.

(17 of 18 customers found this review helpful)


Go-To Lens


from Whitefish, MT

I've used this lens for several years, and in my opinion it is flawless. Whether hand held, tripod mounted, prime or with 1.4x or 2x extenders the performance has been superb. To my eye the sharpness and autofocus system compare to the 500 F/4 or 20-200 F/2.8, all stabilized.

(31 of 32 customers found this review helpful)




from Carlisle, MA

I bought this lens for an African photo safari. I've used it there and in many other places over the past 5 years. This is the lens I carry mounted on the camera whenever I'm doing any kind of nature photography. Walking on a boardwalk behind 3 people equipped with 600 mm lenses, tripods, cameras etc. we all saw a hawk swoop into a pond catch a frog, land on a nearby branch , and proceed to eat it. I got the photo (handheld) with this lens, they got nothing...couldn't set up in time.


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  I've read great reviews about this lens, but what about the refurbished lens? Is it "good lens" quality????
MICHAEL D  The lens I received looked brand new, with outstanding sharpness even when using the Canon EF 1.4X III extender which still allowed me to shoot at 5.6. My only complaint was that it only has a 90 day warranty, so I opted to pay for the 3 year extended warranty which still made this lens significantly cheaper than purchasing a new one.
Glenn S  Can I use this lens with my Canon 60d?
GERALD L  It should work quite well. On the 60D the Magnification factor is 0.6 which makes the 400mm a 640mm f4.0 lens. This lens is one of the sharpest I own and handles really well.
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