Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens - Refurbished

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About Canon

This high-performance lens was designed with portability and handling ease in mind. One super UD-glass element, whose characteristics are similar to fluorite, and one UD-glass element result in sharp pictures from corner-to-corner. The lens also has a built-in hood and a detachable tripod mount.

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Fast / accurate auto-focus (44),Durable (29),Strong construction (29),Lightweight (25),Rugged (23),Consistent output (23),Easily interchangeable (20),Fast auto-focus (17),Super-sharp images (16),Superior build quality (13),Nice bokeh (12),Clear glass (4) Easily mounted (3),Simple controls (3) View All
Poor in low light (10),No IS (6),Heavy (4)
Best Uses:
Wildlife photos (29),Sports/action (19),Landscape/scenery (8),Wildlife (6)
Reviewer Profile:
Photo enthusiast (19),Semi-pro photographer (11),Enthusiast (7),Professional (3)

Canon Specifications

6 groups / 7 elements
Angle of view
6° 10'
F stop range
Closest Focusing Distance
3.5m / 11.5 ft.
Maximum Magnification
Filter Size
Dimensions (Length x Diameter)
3.5" x 10.1" / 90.0 x 256.5mm
2.8 lbs. / 1,250g

Reviews about this item

Review Snapshot®


(based on 73 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



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  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


wonderful wildlife lens

I debated purchase for months, just used it 10 days and no buyers remorse at all. Photos are tack sharp and color accurate of birds and other wildlife. I love my 70-200 ISll but cropping bird shot left soft image and this lens is much sharper for far off subjects. Would it be better with IS? That adds weight, bulk and price to any lens.I like this lens just the way it is. It's easy to walk/hike/even bike with it on a monopod and it's spectacular on a tripod with cable shutter release. It rain...

View full Review

I debated purchase for months, just used it 10 days and no buyers remorse at all. Photos are tack sharp and color accurate of birds and other wildlife. I love my 70-200 ISll but cropping bird shot left soft image and this lens is much sharper for far off subjects. Would it be better with IS? That adds weight, bulk and price to any lens.I like this lens just the way it is. It's easy to walk/hike/even bike with it on a monopod and it's spectacular on a tripod with cable shutter release. It rained, I draped plastic bag on it and kept it tucked in my rain jacket,no problem. Nice integrated hood very useful.So, that's it, I highly recommend this for outdoor, bird and wildlife shooters.

Reviewed by 73 customers

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Lightweight & Quality Super Telephoto Lens


from NYC

The Canon EF 400mm (Prime) is a true delight. This is my first Super Telephoto lens from Canon, I absolutely love this lens. I will never sell this lens because it is really that good. 1) The build quality is absolutely superb and built like a mini tank. Extremely durable. The white/cream, black and red line color scheme looks like a space aged telescope; very impressive design. Absolutely no slack, every screw and mechanism is tight and right. The built-in lens hood is very convenient for a lens of this magnitude, which extends outward even further making the EF 400mm look like a 'rifle scope' of sorts. 2) The AF is very fast but can get 'confused' if you have multiple subjects like branches and trees for wildlife photography. I just switch it to MF mode, and use the focus ring. 3) Shots come out very clean and crisp even at F/5.6 even without IS 4) I even use the 2x tele-converter, despite losing two stops of light, dealing with now F/11.2 (or 12) and managing camera shake, shots still come out very good, not the best, but really good at now 800mm!!! You can use a tripod for more stability. 5) Compared to other Super Telephoto lenses, this is very lightweight, but may still cause some neck strain with camera strap. I tend to hold both camera and lenses with one hand. This is a great Super Telephoto lens to add to your collection!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


birds in flight


from boston

its fast in focus lite enough to hand carry with out a monopod. very sharp works well with my 70D rounds out my lens kit for long reach great for travel.


Superb Beyond Imagination


from Burney, CA

Just took delivery of this lens and went out to the lake for some test photos. Also with my photos of the day I used Canon's 1.4x III extender. Admittedly, BIF images are often hit and miss. However, I did manage to get some superb images at the 560mm range using a 5DIII, and hand held. Too bad I cannot include a photo for your review, but suffice to say, the lens exceeds my expectations. Its well worth the money. You won't be disappointed.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Canon's Hidden Gem


from Palmetto, Fl  -  Pro Photographer

This is my 2nd canon 400mm f/5.6 lens. I use this mainly for Bird photography. It is light, perfect for hand holding as used in Birds in Flight photography. Did I forget to say that it is sharp and the crisp AF helps also if there is good lighting. This lens also rates higher than the 100-400 lens by Canon which is also a good starter lens.


Perfect item happy buyer!!


from Illinois  -  Photo Enthusiast

Great item, clean, very happy with it and it take clear crisp photos!!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Very sharp, great for birds in flight


from Grapevine TX  -  Pro Photographer

I bought this to replace another lens that failed several years ago, so I have had plenty of experience with it shooting various wildlife, primarily birds for large prints, typically up to 36 inches on a side, using a Canon 40D, then a 60D. This lens is capable of extremely high IQ images. The best aperture is wide open at f5.6, f8 still holding up for critical work for 36 inch prints, including cropping, so it will really produce a highly defined 42-48" print if you are really careful in your technique. I consider this is a much better lens for use of fast moving small objects, such as small birds in flight, over the larger and much more expensive F4 or F2.8. The advantage is that this lens can be easily used hand held and at full aperture. F5.6 means you still have some depth of field at close range. The larger siblings are best used as tripod queens which naturally makes them not as responsive to quickly changing scenes in a 360 degree field, as happens often with wildlife. If you are seriously shooting sports or large animals such as deer and elk at a distance, the larger glass has an advantage, but really only one of two f stops. The only problem I had with this lens was an annoying problem with clear protective filters when I first brought it. I didn't get to carefully test it before a shoot overseas. It produced high IQ pictures in a quick field test before the trip. So I put a high quality UV filter on to protect the lens. Every shot was dead soft when I carefully reviewed them later. (Good thing I was being paid for other photography on the trip, not the bird pictures) I was very upset, as I lost many stunning scenes due to the issue. It turned out to be the filter, but not just that filter. When I tried to find a filter that would not act like a diffusion screen, I had to try over 20 filters to find one that worked. Ironically, it ended up being a cheap filter, not a B&W, or Tiffin, exc. So my one warning is be careful with filters on this lens.It a bizarre problem. I've never seen the issue with another telephoto, but I have seen it with wide angle lenses.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great Customer Service


from Corpus Christi, TX  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Have been looking at this lens for a few months, It's fast, lightweight, and great for Birds on the wing. Will use mainly for birding and wildlife photography. My only concern was whether or not it came with the tripod mount ring. The online assistance wasn't to sure, and never couold answer outright with a yes or no, and the item description wasn't very clear, pictures showed it, but the what's in the box didn't list it. Overall, very pleased with Adorama and will continue to order from them verses anyone else.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


sleeper telephoto


from Redmond, WA

This lens has to be one of the best values at or above 300mm. My first long telephoto and I still use it. No IS and no big aperture, but in daylight you can get some great images. I've captured a number of dragonfly with this lens and honestly I wouldn't use anything else. If I asked canon to change anything about this lens it would be to have a little closer focus. I've thought about having IS on it but honestly one of the reasons it is so sharp is that it does not have too many elements. With modern high ISO/low noise bodies, I think I can live without IS on this lens - it's not too heavy and the most hand-holdable of the super telephotos.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Tack Sharp Wildlife Images


from Santa Fe, NM  -  Semi-pro Photographer

This lens is a big improvement over my previous Canon 100-400L, in that it creates very sharp images. It is also lighter to lug around, and I use it with and without a tripod. Not having a zoom is mostly OK, as I tended to use the zoom at 400 anyway. I would like this 400 to be faster and have IS, but for the price, a great addition to my imaging capabilities.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Amazing lens!


from Pennsylvania, USA  -  Photo Enthusiast

I read reviews until my eyeballs hurt on this lens, comparing it against the 100-400 and the 300 f/4L. I am so happy I decided to get the 400mm prime. It just does its job superbly. I had been worried about the f/5.6 initially but after actually using the lens my fears are totally allayed. Indeed f/5.6 is not optimal for low light but I have found surprisingly that I was able to get great shots of wildlife even at dawn without direct light. In fact, I prefer f/5.6 for the slightly deeper DOF. Also I've found the reasonable weight (it's not light by any means but it is certainly manageable) to be very helpful- getting the lens there, and weilding it properly, are very important, and both are just easier with this lens. Sharpness is absolutely fantastic, focus after 8.5m is the fastest I've used. Just a great product!

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