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New Canon supertelephoto ship dates 'yet to be determined,' says Canon USA  
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | by Rob Galbraith
Canon USA has given notice that ship dates for three previously-announced lenses, the EF 200‐400mm f/4L IS Extender l.4x, EF 500mm f/4L IS II and EF 600mm f/4L IS II, are "yet to be determined," which presumably means the trio won't reach store shelves anytime soon, and not before the end of this year, as was once planned.

The EF 200‐400mm f/4L IS Extender l.4x (shown at right) was originally unveiled in February of this year, and slated for release before the end of 2011. Today's notice suggests the new supertelephoto zoom won't materialize until 2012 at the earliest.

The EF 500mm f/4L IS II and EF 600mm f/4L IS II were revealed back in August 2010, and had also been pegged to ship before the end of 2011. In May, Canon USA said that both would ship in December; that schedule appears to have now slipped, and likely means the two longest lenses in Canon's supertelephoto arsenal won't ship until some time in 2012 as well.

While there may be multiple reasons for Canon stepping back from its original plan to ship these lenses in 2011, one certain factor is the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March, which caused manufacturing disruptions at the company's Utsunomiya lens factory while also wreaking havoc on parts suppliers.

When it ships, the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II will have an expected street price of US$10,499. The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II will be US$12,999.
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