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Canon puts a super-telephoto zoom inside a compact body for its newest lens

Canon's new EF 100-400mm uses new lens design to deliver sharp images

Canon DSLR users: Want a long zoom, minus the long body? Well, there’s a new, second-generation compact (relatively) 100-400mm super-telephoto zoom lens that’s been 16 years in the making.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM is a weather-resistant lens made with a tough-yet-light magnesium exterior. Working with all EOS cameras (although it’s designed for pros and enthusiasts), the lens “features a completely redesigned optical formula containing one Fluorite and one Super UD lens element – a combination unique to lenses in this focal range – to help deliver sharp images with high resolution and contrast,” according to Canon, which adds that the combination of elements suppresses chromatic aberration throughout the entire zoom range.

The image-stabilized lens has a minimum focusing distance of 3.2 feet, so you can get closer to subjects. The rotation-type zoom ring allows for “precise adjustments, easier handling, and consistently excellent weight balance during handheld photography,” Canon says. “In addition, the lens features an improved zoom torque adjustment ring that allows for the easy setting of zoom tension based on personal shooting preferences. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM also features an inner focusing system, a powerful yet quiet Ring USM, a high-speed CPU and optimized auto focus (AF) algorithms for fast and accurate autofocusing in various shooting situations.”

The lens will be available in December, and cost $2,199. No, it’s not for entry-level T5-toting beginners, but those who want a compact and lighter telephoto lens will appreciate it.

Related: For $78k, Canon will sell you ‘world’s longest’ 4K ultra-telephoto cinema lens