Canon officially announces the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and the RF 1200mm F8L IS USM, with some eye watering prices of 17K and 20K respectively.
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Canon's Press Release;
Go Long: Canon Introduces the RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM and RF1200mm F8 L IS USM Super-Telephoto Lenses
The Newest RF Lenses are Ideal for Outdoor Sports, Motor Sports, Wildlife Photography, Photo News Journalism, and More
MELVILLE, NY, February 23, 2022 — Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce that the Canon RF lens family is growing by two, with the addition of the Canon RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM, and the longest focal length RF lens yet, the RF1200mm F8 L IS USM. Both super-telephoto fixed focal length lenses are quite light for their considerable abilities, and share many of the same features such as Super Spectra Coating (SSC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to help minimize ghosting and flaring, compatibility with both the RF1.4x and RF2x extenders and a customizable electronic focusing ring with manual focus capability during Servo AF.
Additional features shared by both lenses include:
- Two focus presets, with the ability to instantly switch between memorized focus distances
- Circular nine-bladed aperture providing photographers with exceptionally beautiful and soft blurred backgrounds and bokeh
- Renowned Canon L-Series durability and construction with dust and water resistance, plus fluorine coating on the front element for easy cleaning
Canon RF800mm F5.6L IS USM
The RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM weighs in at just 6.9 lbs and features a minimum focusing distance of 8.53ft/2.6 meters — maximum close-up magnification is a superb 0.34x, allowing wildlife image creators to fill the frame with small subjects, such as birds, at its minimum focusing distance. Optical image stabilization is up to 4.5 stops* of shake correction and includes three IS operation modes. When using the RF1.4x or RF2x extenders, users can experience enhanced effective focal lengths of 1,120mm and 1,600mm respectively.
Canon RF1200mm F8 L IS USM
The RF1200mm F8 L IS USM is the most powerful super-telephoto lens in the Canon RF lens line. It weighs in at 7.4 lbs — an outstandingly light figure for a super-tele lens of this type — and features a minimum focusing distance of 14.1ft/4.3m. Optical image stabilization is up to 4.0 stops* of shake correction and, similar to the RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM lens, includes three IS operation modes. When using the RF1.4x or RF2x extenders, users can experience enhanced focal lengths of 1,680mm and 2,400mm, respectively.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM and Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM are both scheduled to be available in late May 2022 for an estimated retail price of $16,999.00 and $19,999.00, respectively**. For more information please visit usa.canon.com.
I estimated that you'd need $35,000 to complete a basic birding setup from scratch.
Unless you live beside a rookery or a national park I'd stick to renting.
Now that we know the prices, this means Canon is essentially charging $5000 for a built in 2x extender. Yes; I’m sure it’ll be better than using an extender, but… $5000 better? The prices seem steep.
Whats more, the MtF charts are not anything special. If you compare the 800mm MtF chart with the MtF of the RF600mm+1.4x TC (840mm) they are very similar. They also show quite clearly that the bare 1200mm and 800mm lenses are not as sharp as the 400mm and 600mm.
Big white lenses usually get me excited, but I’m not sure how I feel about this. These were already EF lenses with an flange adapter tacked on the back.
I do think the 800mm will be popular with the wildlife folks, but man do you ever have to be sure you want 800mm ALL the time to spend an extra $5k to not add an extender! I’ll be very curious to see someone do the tests.
One of the biggest selling points might actually be the fact that the 800mm is shorter than the RF 600mm. It appears that in many bags that can only carry a 600mm, you’ll be able to carry the 800mm with a body attached. That might actually sway some decisions for those travelling to far flung locations.
I don't know about you but these look really similar with just a slight edge for these new optics over using a 2xTC on the Mark III lenses. Probably using an RF TC on RF400/600 would be identical to these new lenses because people claim the RF TCs are a step above the EFIIIs.
These lenses are just built in 2xTCs.
I see these being used by governments, survelience or maybe wildlife videographers that would add additional TCs to these for the super long reach. But for stills photography I'd save the $$$ and buy a 400 or 600 and use the 2xTC to get these focal lengths given the price and the MTFs.
The only difference I see is that one extra UD element just ahead of the "TC" element.
The price difference between the 1200 and the 600 + 2x TC is $6,400. For most buyers they'll already have the TC, so it's really $7k.
It really does appear that the 800 has no benefit over a 600 + 1.4x TC.
It's been a long time since an 800 beat a 600. I was hoping today would be the day.
Did a spreadsheet of the lengths/widths/weights/MFDs of the EF III and RF versions of these lenses. Confirms the obvious, but some people might find some of the data handy as they argue.
Frankly, I am a bit disappointed that Canon will release the RF 500 mm f4 later. That is the one other lightweight super telephoto that I always like to carry. But these lenses do make some sense because they are basically minor changes of the 400 mm f2.8 and 600 f4 lens.
Will probably have to wait another year for the 500 mm f4.
I see the EF 600 owner that regularly uses a 1.4 TC become an RF 800 owner with a TC. Despite the MTF's, which are computer generated hypotheticals, 800 is 'better' than 600. And f5.6 with current MILC AF is considerably better than it ever was with EF.