Canon 600mm f/4 DO on the Way


Image: pophoto

I don’t often post about rumours on my blog, but I’m too excited about this to let it pass, and it’s also not that much of a rumour since since Canon have already shown a working prototype of this lens… the EF 600mm f/4 DO IS.

Canon have been working on diffractive optic technology for about 20 years, and it initially received a lukewarm reception when the first lenses were launched. The technology allows a lens to be physically much smaller and lighter than a regular lens, but it used to come at the slight cost of some image quality. Fast forward a few years and we get to the much newer Canon 400mm f/4 DO II, which has received rave reviews, and remained hard to get hold of as sports and wildlife photographers scramble to add them to their kits.

I own the 400mm f/4 DO II, and I freaking LOVE it! Every time I pick it up, I can’t believe how small and light it is! Don’t believe me? Check out my unboxing video here.

Every since I first started to dabble with wildlife photography a few years ago, I’ve wanted to own a 600mm lens. I mostly use my Canon 200-400 f/4 L IS 1.4x for this purpose, but there are times when I need more reach, and a 600mm would be most welcome. Patents for the 600mm f/4 DO have been floating around for some years, and last year Canon showed a prototype of the lens, and a mock-up of the final size and shape – quite an unusual move for them, so they are clearly proud of it.

When they did this, I decided to hold off buying the current 600mm f/4 because I think the DO version will really sink the second-hand value of the current one. There’s no doubt that travel with a standard 600mm f/4 is a pain in the ass. You typically have to go to a bag that’s larger in size than one that accommodates a 500mm or 200-400mm, and these bags sometimes stretch international airline travel regulations to the absolute limit. The massive reduction in size and weight from the diffractive optic technology will be a game changer for sports and wildlife photographers!

This week, the Canon Rumors website is reporting that the Canon EF 600mm f/4 DO will launch in the second half of 2017. Given that we’ve seen a prototype last year, this isn’t too surprising, but it was certainly a reminder for me to start stacking my pennies up so that I can place an order on launch day!

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Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

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