Canon has today unveiled the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, trumpeted as a high-performance zoom lens ideal for sports and wildlife photographers.

Canon claims the lens, which replaces the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, delivers better image quality and ‘sets a new benchmark for performance from a compact super-telephoto zoom lens’.

The ‘lightweight’ zoom has been redesigned after feedback from photographers.

Tweaks include a traditional twist-action zoom, in line with other EF zoom lenses. ‘The new mechanism allows you to adjust zoom torque via a dedicated Zoom Touch Adjustment ring, which provides a smooth action for fast zooming, as well as the ability to lock the zoom at your desired focal length, preventing image composition from changing by accidentally touching the zoom.’

Features on the 21-element lens include a ‘4-stop’ optical image stabiliser, to help reduce camera shake.

In a first for an EF lens, the newcomer uses Canon’s Air Sphere Coating (ASC).

‘The new advanced anti-reflection coating is constructed of tiny nano particles of trapped air, which create an ultra-low refractive index layer, to help reduce visible ghosting and flare.’

A new lens hood (ET-83D) is designed to allow users to rotate polarising filters without removing the hood, thanks to the inclusion of a new access window.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM costs £1,999.99 and is due to go on sale in December.