More mentions of a replacement to the longest lens in the Canon lineup. We’re told the new 800mm will be announced once the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x has begun shipping. There’s a possibility we’ll see at least a development announcement some time this fall. There was no mention of the EF 200 f/2L IS, a lens that was announced alongside the original 800mm only 5 short years ago. Beyond a new build type in materials, the lens will be a “nearly identical” optical formula, although improvements in vignetting and sharpness are probable.
Announcement timing could also depend on stock levels with retailers, not so much with Canon itself. I don’t imagine too many of these are made and warehoused.
I have had communication from a few other anonymous people that the next 800 would have a built-in teleconverter, which is not something I think will happen.
Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS at B&H Photo
New white lenses?
There has been some talk in the last little while about these two lenses possibly being replaced sooner than later. From personal experience, I know that Canon has discontinued the lens hood for the EF 800 f/5.6L IS, this hood also worked with the 400 f/2.8L IS. Another lens that has become quite hard to get is the EF 200 f/2L IS. I have talked to Canon Canada and they’ve been out of stock for a while with no ETA. That’s not always a perfect way to measure replacement of a lens, but with the more expensive ones, it usually is (I’d say 90%).
We’ve been told both lenses would be replaced after the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x is officially announced and production has started.
Current stock levels on the EF 800 f/5.6L IS remain good, but how many $13,000 lenses do they sell? Replacements for both would make sense as Canon could use the same exterior materials that they’re using in the 200-400, EF 300 f/2.8L IS II, EF 400 f/2.8L IS II, EF 500 f/4L IS II & EF 600 f/4L IS II lenses.
Replacement of the big one?
I have been told on a few occasions that a replacement of the EF 800 f/5.6L IS is coming. An announcement could come as early as late Q1/Q2 of 2013. The new lens would incorporate Canon’s new weight saving technology.
Nikon has an 800 f/5.6 VR coming down the pipeline, and I spoked with someone that had a chance to handle the lens in London during the Olympics. He mentioned that the lens barely felt heavier than the new Canon EF 500 f/4L IS II which weighs in at a hair over 7lbs. If true, that would be pretty great, as the current Canon EF 800 f/5.6L IS weighs in at 9.9lbs.
Another sign that a new 800 may be on the way is the lens hood ET-155 has been discontinued by Canon. This hood was also used on the Canon EF 400 f/2.8L IS, and that lens has since been replaced. I know of the discontinuation as I have had one backordered from Canon for nearly 6 months. B&H Photo just informed me today that the lens hood is no longer available. Canon still lists the ET-155 as the lens hood for the 800. I will try the ET-155WII, which comes with the new EF 400 f/2.8L IS II and see if it fits.
I received a suggestion that Canon is currently developing a new EF 800 f/5.6L IS to take advantage of the new weight saving technologies in the newest supertelephoto lenses.
No mention of timeline, or if the EF 200 f/2L IS is also on the replacement cycle. If you remember, the 200 launched with the 800 back in January 2008.
Red AF Point Illumination…..
…. sort of.
Canon did a great thing and listened to the wishes of their customers, and spent some considerable time changing the way the AF point illumination worked on the EOS-1D X in AI Servo. Instead of a solid red illumination like the EOS-1D Mark IV, we now get a blinking AF point. Why does it blink instead of being solid? It probably has something to do with metering. While the blinking AF point is a new thing for all of us, I think we’ll get used to it in no time. I may actually take this camera over the 1D4 for lowlight shooting and birding.
My preferred new settings for the EOS-1D X
Menu > AF5 > AF Status in viewfinder > Show outside of frame
I do this because the blinking “AF” graphic in the viewfinder is quite distracting
Menu > AF5 > VF Display illumination > Enable: On > Q > Illuminated: Normal
I found the “Brighter” setting to be a bit distracting this AM while shooting some avian creatures. I will probably add this setting to “My Menu”, just in case there’s a situation where the brighter point is needed.
I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet, I have an EF 800 f/5.6L IS at home, however there are no teleconverters here. I hope to get out this evening in the yard and do some shooting with a 1.4x TC.
EF70-300 f/4-5.6L IS supported with a teleconverter?
f/8 support with the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS! Yes, Canon has put this lens on the list of lenses that are supported now. As most of you know, mounting a TC to the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS is mostly not possible. However, if you zoom the lens to about 250mm, the rear element retracts enough inside the lens to mount a 1.4TC. I would only recommend doing this as a last resort. If I did put a 1.4TC on the 70-300L, I would put it right to 300mm and not move it from there. I’ll give that a go tonight and see how it goes. As most of you know, I love the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS.
What about my EOS 5D Mark III?
It may not be as simple as just updating the firmware in the same way. If you remember the story about getting f/8 to work on the EOS-1D X with a Kenko teleconverter, Arthur Morris was unable to make the EOS 5D Mark III do the same thing with the exact same teleconverter. The fact that Canon hasn’t updated both cameras at the same time tells me there are indeed differences in the AF systems. I am reminded only the EOS-1 line has ever had f/8 autofocus, so it may not be something that gets added to the 5D Mark III anyway.
The red AF points in AI Servo mode, I’d wager we’ll be seeing it in the EOS 5D Mark III in the near future.
From Arthur Morris
Arthur has written a great article about getting f/8 autofocus with the new Canon EOS-1D X. A lot of birders used the EF 800 f/5.6L IS with the Canon 1.4x TC & EOS-1D Mark IV for example. The biggest complaint with the EOS-1D X has been the inability to get f/8 autofocus.
However, with the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4 teleconverter you can give the EOS-1D X the ability to autofocus at f/8 with the EF 800 f/5.6L IS. Another plus of using the Kenko teleconverter is you’re able to move the AF point at f/8. With the Canon teleconverter on say, the 1D Mark IV, you only had the center AF point active.
Arthur has posted lots of images to show the image quality that is possible with the Kenko 1.4x TC.
From Arthur Morris
Once I got down in the mud I discovered that AF with the the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter was fast and sure and accurate. I have been out every morning and afternoon since then and have totally fallen in love with the 1DX. That first afternoon I managed to get a huge gob of black, sticky, gooey much all over my brand new camera. It was a proper baptism.
Read the entire article
Kenko 1.4 TC at B&H $259 | Canon EOS-1D X at B&H $6799
….. because you can
A friend of mine had a chance to play around with the new Canon EOS M. He did what I would have done the second I got my hands on the camera…. mount it to the lovely EF 800 f/5.6L IS.
Here’s what it looks like. I must say this looks like an extremely comfortable setup for general walk around birding.
Canon EOS M with the EF Adaptor & EF 800 f/5.6L IS – Click for larger