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Lens review

Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM

26 August 2017
Maciej Latałło

8. Vignetting

First let’s check how the Canon 400 mm DO II deals with vignetting on the smaller sensor of the Canon 50D – appropriate thumbnails for the lens itself and the combo with the TC 1.4x III are shown below.

Canon 50D, 400 mm, f/4.0 Canon 50D, 400 mm, f/5.6
Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting
Canon 50D, 560 mm (TC), f/5.6 Canon 50D, 560 mm (TC), f/8.0
Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting


You don’t encounter any problems at any combination. The vignetting is 15% (−0.47 EV) for just the lens and the maximum relative aperture; then it decreases to an imperceptible level of 7% (−0.20 EV) on stopping down the aperture by 1 EV. An even better situation you see after attaching the converter - by f/5.6 the brightness loss amounts to just 12% (−0.38 EV), decreasing to 4% (−0.12 EV) on stopping down the aperture to f/8.0.

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Now let’s see how the situation changes on passing to full frame – thumbnails we got with the help of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III are shown below.

Canon 5D III, 400 mm, f/4.0 Canon 5D III, 400 mm, f/5.6
Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting
Canon 5D III, 560 mm (TC), f/5.6 Canon 5D III, 560 mm (TC), f/8.0
Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting


In this case the lens fares very well too. At the maximum relative aperture you can notice the light fall-off effect but it reaches just a moderate level of 23% (−0.76 EV). The problems end by f/5.6 and f/8.0, where the values, measured by us, were, respectively 14% (−0.45 EV) and 8% (−0.24 EV).

After attaching the teleconverter the situation even improves. By f/5.6 the vignetting is barely perceptible, reaching 17% (−0.55 EV), and on stopping down the aperture to f/8.0 it decreases to an invisible value of 5% (−0.16 EV).

Canon 5D Mk III, JPEG, 400 mm, f/4.0
Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting
Canon 5D Mk III, JPEG, 560 mm (TC), f/5.6
Canon EF 400 mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Vignetting