Canon announces the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and the RF 1200mm F8L IS USM

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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.
Preorder the new Canon Lenses at Adorama
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...

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Chaitanya

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Didn't see any price being announced, so it's quite odd. 1200mm lens has unusually long tube at towards mount .
 

dolina

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Looking forward to the first bird photos of the 1200mm :)

I estimated that you'd need $35,000 to complete a basic birding setup from scratch.
 
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ncvarsity3

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I'm not sure how even professionals afford these lenses. It must be a crazy tax write off. If $17k is the actual price for the RF 800mm f5.6, that's a $4k increase over the EF version.
 

DanCarr

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I had to go digging for it because Canon USA didn’t publish them, but eventually I found the lens designs on the Canon Japan website. They confirm that the 800mm is the same as the RF400mm with a few extra elements at the back. The 1200mm is just the Rf600mm with those same “doubler” elements at the back.

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.
 
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privatebydesign

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I can easily see the 800 becoming the new 600 for many EF 600 owners.
 
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Here is everything I dug up on Canon Japan including the MTFs of these lenses and the EF Mark III/2xTCIII (no MTFs exist for the RF 2x and the RF 400/600).
1200:
spec-lens-construction.png
600:
canon-rf-400mm-f-2-8-l-600mm-f-4-l-is-usm_2125-18.jpg
800:
spec-lens-construction (1).png
400:
canon-rf-400mm-f-2-8-l-600mm-f-4-l-is-usm_2125-16.jpg
RF 2xTC:
spec-lens-construction (2).png

1200:
spec-mtf (2).png
600III/2xTCIII
ef600-f4l-is-iii-usm.png
800:
spec-mtf (1).png
400III/2xTCIII:
ef400-f28l-is-iii-usm.png


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.
 
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Chaitanya

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Unless you live beside a rookery or a national park I'd stick to renting.
what I said was renting these lenses won't be cheap either compared to renting 600mm/400mm with TC. At some point I want to go to Himalayas for Snow leopards, Lynx, Pallas cat, Tibetan wolves, Himalayan wolves and Brown bears and given how shy those animals are(except for Pallas cat for some reason) both 800mm and 1200mm are perfect candidates to be rented for 7-8 day long trips.
 
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I can easily see the 800 becoming the new 600 for many EF 600 owners.
The MTF of the 600/1.4TC is slightly better than this 800 except in the far edge of the frame (which is essentially the MTF of the 400+2xTC). (RF600/RF1.4 is likely even better). I don't see why anyone would waste money on this 800 over buying the 600/1.4TC or the 400/2.0TC UNLESS they want to add more TCs to these lenses and push out even further.

600III/1.4TCIII:
ef600-f4l-is-iii-usm (1).png

RF 800/5.6:
spec-mtf (1).png
 
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tiggy@mac.com

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Thanks for digging up the MTF charts. Exactly what we needed.

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.
 
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john1970

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Thank you for posting the MTF charts. Frankly, I see little difference between the 400 mm f2.8 with 2x TC and the straight 800 mm f5.6 so I will be sticking with my 400 mm f2.8 + 1.4x +2x TC combo for wildlife photography.

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.
 
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privatebydesign

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The MTF of the 600/1.4TC is slightly better than this 800 except in the far edge of the frame (which is essentially the MTF of the 400+2xTC). (RF600/RF1.4 is likely even better). I don't see why anyone would waste money on this 800 over buying the 600/1.4TC or the 400/2.0TC UNLESS they want to add more TCs to these lenses and push out even further.

600III/1.4TCIII:
View attachment 202597

RF 800/5.6:
View attachment 202598
That is the point! Show me an EF super tele owner that doesn't also have TC's. Ethical wildlife photography is becoming more and more prevalent, images that show natural behavior where those animals are 100% comfortable with the un-natural photographer are the direction I keep on hearing about.

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.
 
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