Making of Canon L Series 500mm F4L IS USM

Making of Canon L Series Lens

Canon Lens Production – Ever wonder why camera equipment costs so much? Much of it hand assembled and the technology required to make optic quality glass requires a lot of steps and a highly control production process.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

Canon L Series 500mm F4L IS USM
Canon L Series 500mm F4L IS USM

In this series of videos we can see the production of the Canon L Series 500mm f4L IS USM from raw material to final assembly by a technician.  In part one we see the glass being made from the raw material, going through a series of heating and cooling.

” L Series” is Canon’s Premium lens line featuring fluorite lenses. IS refers to Image Stabilzation build into the lens, and USM refers to Ultrasonic Motor drive that makes focusing faster and less noisy than older systems.  L Series lenses have a red band to differentiate them from the standard line of lenses sold by Canon and the larger versions have the white outer bodies.

In part two we see the final lens shaping as the rough lens are ground and polished down to the specified dimensions needed in the final product.

In part three we see the lens technician assemble all of the pieces of the lens.  Its not an assembly line process.   These expensive, high end lenses are built completely by a single trained assembler from the mounting of the lens elements, to the testing and outer shell assembly.

Worthy successor to the lauded Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, the EF 500mm f/4.0L IS II USM Lens features completely redesigned Fluorite optics that deliver sharper images with less chromatic aberration and has a lighter weight thanks to magnesium and titanium construction elements. Because image stabilization technology in super telephoto lenses may inadvertently over-compensate and interfere with composing and framing distant or moving subjects, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM includes an advanced third Image Stabilization mode (Mode 3) that activates IS only when the shutter button is fully pressed.

This allows users to pan fast-moving subjects and then activate IS only when it is precisely required. Additionally, all three IS modes give the equivalent effect of a shutter speed four stops faster, ideally positioning the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM for professional action photography, from sports to nature. The addition of the Power Focus mode enables smooth focus change when shooting video. Buttons and switches are redesigned for intuitive, deliberate operation, and dust and water sealing keeps the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM functioning flawlessly in even the most challenging environments.

This Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens will set you back about $9K