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

Sep 5, 2018
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My issue with these lenses is big price difference between base model + extender and these models. If that difference is purely about manufacturing, I guess Canon said something like "The new tooling costs us $1M USD, let's divide that over the 200 units we're going to produce."

But the weight, focal length and price point are all things that put these lenses in the "not for me" category, so what I think is very irrelevant :)
You don't have other options to get to 2400mm or 1600mm. These are very niche lenses that most will rend for that one special occasion they know they'll be used. This to me looks very much like they aren't expecting to shift a lot of them so it is special tooling. By using the 400 and 600 as base lenses it has likely drastically reduced the cost while also making sure of parts availability.
 

john1970

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I really hope that Canon does something more interesting and innovative with the 500 mm f4 and 300 mm f2.8 RF lenses. I am hoping for DO elements to make them very compact and maybe even built in TCs. The recent batch RF super telephotos while great lenses are not up to par with Nikon releases.
 
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privatebydesign

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It would be fun to have the 800mm for my bird photography but the reality is there is no substitute for getting close to your subject. Magnification/distance delivers diminishing return.
That depends entirely on what your are trying to do. If you are trying to illustrate the individual breast feathers of a small songbird then maybe. On the other hand if you are trying to shoot environmental portraits of wild animals, particularly where there are distance regulations, then nothing beats focal length. From what I see more and more pro wildlife photographers are chasing the latter.
 
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tiggy@mac.com

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Someone pointed to a source of the RF lenses with 2xTC MTFs. So here is an update from my earlier post with those MTFs instead of the MkIII MTFs....

I think these do show some improvements with the performance. Although one would hope for more when spending so much. The old 800L has a better MTF than this new 800.

Thanks for these. Very informative. The 1200 vs 600x2 difference appears to be unnoticeable if both configurations were to be equally close to the resolution suggested with their respective theoretical MTF charts.

The 800 appears to be perhaps noticeably better, but not even as much as the old EF 800 f/5.6 was better than either of them.

I keep waiting for my EF 600 f/4 II to be beaten by something, as I'd LOVE to get me something as light as the Sony 600 f/4 I used to shoot. I just can't justify the expense to shed a few pounds. If Canon would give me something additional, I'd probably rationalize it. The extra magnification might have done it. DO/shorter almost certainly would have. Better IQ definitely. Guess it's all for the best.
 
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Dragon

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Even if you pay the full 8.875% NYC sales tax and full UK import duty/VAT on the RF 800, it will be £3000 cheaper. You can find UK-USA return flights for £300-400. That still leaves more than £3,600/$4,900 to spend on holidays in the US. I would order one in advance in NH if I could where they have 0 tax.
Uh, 3,000-400 is 2600, not 3600 . In case you haven't checked out prices in the US lately, that won't get you very much travel time (my original point).
 

Del Paso

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You don't have other options to get to 2400mm or 1600mm. These are very niche lenses that most will rend for that one special occasion they know they'll be used. This to me looks very much like they aren't expecting to shift a lot of them so it is special tooling. By using the 400 and 600 as base lenses it has likely drastically reduced the cost while also making sure of parts availability.
"drastically reduced the cost"...
Shouldn't it rather be: "drastically raised the price"???
Price of RF 1200 in France and Germany is $26436...:rolleyes:
 
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AlanF

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Uh, 3,000-400 is 2600, not 3600 . In case you haven't checked out prices in the US lately, that won't get you very much travel time (my original point).
Typo. My last birding trip didn't waste any cash on internal flights, we rented a car and had a great time circumnavigating Florida, and I have had great holidays driving around NH. But, that's not the point. The point is that the price of the RF 800mm f/5.6 in the UK is £3000/$4000 more expensive even if the American pays full NYC taxes, and they don't have to pay these taxes if ther live in some states and buy from N and H with a PayBoo card.
 
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Dragon

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Typo. My last birding trip didn't waste any cash on internal flights, we rented a car and had a great time circumnavigating Florida, and I have had great holidays driving around NH. But, that's not the point. The point is that the price of the RF 800mm f/5.6 in the UK is £3000/$4000 more expensive even if the American pays full NYC taxes, and they don't have to pay these taxes if ther live in some states and buy from N and H with a PayBoo card.
Yup, I live in OR, so no sales tax. I wonder if Canon is forward discounting the pound due to Brexit. Always easier to discount in the future than to raise prices (not that discounts on big whites aren't rarer than hen's teeth). BTW, the CPI of 7 and something % is BS. Real inflation here has been closer to 30 or 40% in the last year. Metal and building materials are nearly double. In that light, I can understand the higher base prices on these lenses, but that doesn't directly account for the UK difference.
 
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Chig

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Even if you pay the full 8.875% NYC sales tax and full UK import duty/VAT on the RF 800, it will be £3000 cheaper. You can find UK-USA return flights for £300-400. That still leaves more than £3,600/$4,900 to spend on holidays in the US. I would order one in advance in NH if I could where they have 0 tax.
In NZ the price is NZD$35,498.99 (USD23,860) which is pretty steep but I can buy the lens through a local shop if I'm going on an overseas trip "Duty Free" and they send it to the airport to collect in which case the price is only NZD$30,868 (USD20,747) which is still quite a lot higher than USA price of $17,000 but at least I get a full 5 year local warranty whereas if I buy one in USA I would get no warranty at all back here in NZ and I would have to pay GST on it which would bring the price back up to USD$19,550 which is nearly the same as the Duty Free price
 
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AlanF

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Yup, I live in OR, so no sales tax. I wonder if Canon is forward discounting the pound due to Brexit. Always easier to discount in the future than to raise prices (not that discounts on big whites aren't rarer than hen's teeth). BTW, the CPI of 7 and something % is BS. Real inflation here has been closer to 30 or 40% in the last year. Metal and building materials are nearly double. In that light, I can understand the higher base prices on these lenses, but that doesn't directly account for the UK difference.
The pound bottomed out after Brexit and has steadily climbed against the Euro. It's been basically constant against the Yen for the last year. Canon Europe gouges 11% in GBP price against the € despite having the same warranty etc. The R5 costs £4200 here, but I can get one for £3000 from very reliable importers.
 
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AJ

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Sep 11, 2010
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Note sure if it's been mentioned yet, but here in Canada the rf 800 is listed at 21,099 CAD (Vistek) and the rf 1200 is listed at 25,999 CAD (thecamerastore)
 

dcm

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This commonality has been the same since Sony started with the A7 and A7R, maybe a lot earlier than that, but what year was that, 2013? xD
I was looking at Canon. In my field it started much sooner, 80s and 90s.
 

sanj

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One factor we won't know for a while is what sort of "real" price the lenses will get, once supply constraints ease. It may make sense for Canon to have a very high suggested retail price at a time when shortages allow it to sell at exaggerated prices, which could then be converted to perpetual discounts later. The "real" price for the 600mm f/4 II was closer to $11.5k new (vs $13k list) in the US prior to the Mark III being released. Perhaps the real price for the 800 f/8 will be $14k rather than $17k once the parts shortages ease.

The advantage of putting out effectively-teleconverted older lenses is probably production efficiencies. This would work great for a company whose strategy is to gain share based in part on price. But Canon hasn't acted like a company trying to drive prices down (costs, yes).

This leads us to a showdown of sorts. Assuming that the MTF charts are somewhat accurate, knowledgeable supertele buyers aren't going to pay an extra $5-$7k for a less flexible lens of same or lower image quality. Most people dropping ~$15k on a lens are knowledgeable. Maybe nuts, but knowledgeable, usually. Which means one of the following are true:
1 - These will sit on the price lists to flesh out the comprehensiveness of the RF line, but won't be actually bought/used much
2 - Canon will lower the prices significantly
3 - There is some sort of special image quality magic that makes these better than teleconverted lenses, and we're all a bunch of geeks jumping to early conclusions

I'm betting on #2 for now. I think Canon sees a small market where people don't like using adapters and/or teleconverters, and they're ripe for exploitation, and then they'll lower prices eventually to make the comparison versus the base lenses less dramatic.
As far as I know, Canon has never reduced the prices of its premium lenses (especially significantly)
 

Del Paso

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As far as I know, Canon has never reduced the prices of its premium lenses (especially significantly)
Might depend on the markets (countries) and on what you call "premium lenses".
I got some nice discounts on a few lenses, like EF 1,4/85, EF 100-400, EF 2/135, EF 16-85 etc...usually discounts plus cashback.
 

takesome1

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Aug 23, 2013
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None your business Alaska
I wonder how much wildlife photographers are aware of their impact on the wildlife they're attempting to photograph.

If you want to see an extreme example of how bringing tourists in to photograph wildlife has an adverse impact (despite only "tracks left and photographs taken"), watch "The Year the Earth Changed" (Apple TV) - narrated by David Attenborough. Pay particular attention to the section where they look at the impact on cheetahs.

In the quest to get closer to take photographs of wildlife for instabook, humans are actually making the survival more difficult for the animals they want to photograph.
Better than the old ways of viewing and collecting wildlife.
Shoot it and stuff it.
 

Dragon

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May 29, 2019
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The pound bottomed out after Brexit and has steadily climbed against the Euro. It's been basically constant against the Yen for the last year. Canon Europe gouges 11% in GBP price against the € despite having the same warranty etc. The R5 costs £4200 here, but I can get one for £3000 from very reliable importers.
I think you just hit the nail on the head. Canon, like most big companies has individual in-country operations that are usually treated as profit centers. The base transfer price from Japan will be the same independent of country, but the margin (and expenses) the in-country operation works with will vary. In the end, you can probably thank some of your fellow Brits for the exorbitant prices. In fairness, the Canon US operation probably has more business on the video side to help cover expenses. Also, as someone who had his own video equipment manufacturing company in the US marketing to the world, I can tell you that doing business in the UK is not cheap. Canon UK is also not part of Canon Europe which is very large as it covers all of EAME except the UK. Odds are you can buy stuff cheaper in Ireland than in the UK by quite a bit.
 

AlanF

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I think you just hit the nail on the head. Canon, like most big companies has individual in-country operations that are usually treated as profit centers. The base transfer price from Japan will be the same independent of country, but the margin (and expenses) the in-country operation works with will vary. In the end, you can probably thank some of your fellow Brits for the exorbitant prices. In fairness, the Canon US operation probably has more business on the video side to help cover expenses. Also, as someone who had his own video equipment manufacturing company in the US marketing to the world, I can tell you that doing business in the UK is not cheap. Canon UK is also not part of Canon Europe which is very large as it covers all of EAME except the UK. Odds are you can buy stuff cheaper in Ireland than in the UK by quite a bit.
I corresponded with Canon UK over the price. They apologised that the price is set by Canon Europe and not by the UK, and they had no choice but to charge. Canon Europe is based in the Netherlands and the Canon UK store delivers straight from the Netherlands whenever I have bought, and not from stocks in the UK. The price in the Republic of Ireland is the same as in the rest of the EU because it is a "single market". Canon Europe also price gouges Norway, which is not in the EU as well. It's not the cost of doing business in Norway or the UK that causes the price gouging, it's the price of us not having the protection of the EU single market.
 

Dragon

EF 800L
May 29, 2019
628
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I corresponded with Canon UK over the price. They apologised that the price is set by Canon Europe and not by the UK, and they had no choice but to charge. Canon Europe is based in the Netherlands and the Canon UK store delivers straight from the Netherlands whenever I have bought, and not from stocks in the UK. The price in the Republic of Ireland is the same as in the rest of the EU because it is a "single market". Canon Europe also price gouges Norway, which is not in the EU as well. It's not the cost of doing business in Norway or the UK that causes the price gouging, it's the price of us not having the protection of the EU single market.
An extra layer in the distribution channel always adds to the price, but that sounds a lot like some hidden rules in the EU slapping on some Brexit retribution. Somehow, I doubt that kind of gouging is promoted by Canon Japan, and I am surprised they don't do business with Canon UK directly, but if politics is in the mix, that may not be so easy. Our Oregon climate is fairly similar to the UK, so another alternative would be to move here. We have lots of photo opportunities.
 

AlanF

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An extra layer in the distribution channel always adds to the price, but that sounds a lot like some hidden rules in the EU slapping on some Brexit retribution. Somehow, I doubt that kind of gouging is promoted by Canon Japan, and I am surprised they don't do business with Canon UK directly, but if politics is in the mix, that may not be so easy. Our Oregon climate is fairly similar to the UK, so another alternative would be to move here. We have lots of photo opportunities.
It is nothing to do with the "EU slapping on some Brexit retribution" - Nikon and Sony do not have that mark up in the UK as I have to point out every time this comes up and some sceptic tries to excuse it. It is quite simply Canon Europe's price gouging. It used to happen when we were in the EU and before the time there wasn't enforced price uniformity.
 
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AccipiterQ

EOS 90D
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Yowch....swing & a miss....ya'all see the MTFs? Just buy the shorter lens & the extender and you get equivalent performance (plus more versatility of also having the shorter lens if you need it)