Lensrentals.com: Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM Teardown

Canon Rumors Guy

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By Roger Cicala Published August 24, 2020
Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM at Lensrentals.com starting at $37 for a 7 day rental
Here I sit, the guy who gets poetic writing about tiny resolution differences in high-priced wide-aperture lenses, having just bought this lens. Its aperture is in the diffraction- softening range. The manufacturer’s (pronounced ‘better than reality’) MTF charts aren’t very good.
600mm f/11 compared to 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 at 500mm, Canon.com
So why did I buy this pig? Because it could fit a need, of course. Despite the religious fervor with which some worship certain lenses and brands, despite my complaints about this lens’ astigmatism or that lens’ corners, it always comes down to...
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Colorado

EOS M6 Mark II
Dec 16, 2013
52
150
"Internet acceptable images"? This is a damn modest standard.
I think the capabilities far surpass that modest standard. Here's some samples of the 600mm + the x1.4 extender. I was pretty impressed considering the weight of the lens:

 

melgross

EOS RP
Nov 2, 2016
603
396
Actually, I’ve now seen a number of reviews of this and the 800. After downloading a number of full size RAW images, I have to agree with the reviewers. These are very good lenses. Don’t believe some of the crap you may be reading. The images look short and contrasts. In fact, they’re surprisingly goo.

Canon made some smart moves here. By limiting these lenses to the one f11 aperture, they could optimize the results for just one, and not have to use extra elements in an effort to balance performance across several f stops. As for f11 being in diffraction. Well, not quite. F11 is pretty respectable for these lengths, and allows for very good imaging.

any criticism needs to allow for the size, weight and particularly the price. When considering the value, you need to look at whether anything is comparable, and you won’t find anything.
 

Tony Bennett

EOS M50
Mar 8, 2017
33
35
I bought the 800 and love it so far. It does exactly what I bought it for, capturing wildlife. It reaches a distance I couldn't afford to be in before. A 400, 600, 800 lens never made any sense for me and my business. They were too expensive and didn't help me make money. Even the 100-400 was always put on the back burner because I always found something else to spend the money on.

I knew the 800 wasn't for capturing sports indoor or capturing a wedding. The price was right for me.
 

jcfalconer

Falconer
Sep 13, 2014
32
12
Roger,
Maybe next time you should test the lens BEFORE you take it apart and put it back together! ;)
I hope we get to see some alligator photos soon.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,606
1,455
Actually, I’ve now seen a number of reviews of this and the 800. After downloading a number of full size RAW images, I have to agree with the reviewers. These are very good lenses. Don’t believe some of the crap you may be reading. The images look short and contrasts. In fact, they’re surprisingly goo.
I'm going to assume you meant "good" not "goo" :D

Up front I'll say I have no interest in this lens...but it sounds like Canon decided to build a lens that does exactly ONE thing very well, and this is the result. For those who happen to need that one thing, it looks like a great deal.
 

Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
1,074
259
I think the capabilities far surpass that modest standard.
Looking at best selling monitors in Amazon & web statistics I've found on Google, I would take Internet acceptable to be 2MP after crop. That's enough for a 4x6 print, the common size for several decades. I would expect every EF & RF lens to surpass this standard.
 
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analoggrotto

EOS RP
Aug 27, 2016
234
129
600 is just under 15'. So if you need to shoot at 800mm a lot between 15' and 20', the 600 with 1.4x (840mm @ f/16) is pretty good.
My bad, I cited the MFD for 800mm.

It's definitely worth renting, where I usually just buy as far as I can afford and am automatically happy with practically everything Canon.
 

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,092
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600 is just under 15'. So if you need to shoot at 800mm a lot between 15' and 20', the 600 with 1.4x (840mm @ f/16) is pretty good.
Adding the 1.4xTC to the 600mm f/11 is pretty much a waste of time for increasing resolution. It pushes it too far in to the diffraction-limited region and adds lens aberration: see
 
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TMHKR

EOS 700D
Sep 1, 2018
63
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Looking at best selling monitors in Amazon & web statistics I've found on Google, I would take Internet acceptable to be 2MP after crop. That's enough for a 4x6 print, the common size for several decades. I would expect every EF & RF lens to surpass this standard.
Vast majority of monitors today are 1920x1080 (~2.07 Mpx)
And if we assume one shoots 3:2 aspect, it also includes black borders on the sides.
In this case, image sharpness comes mainly from the lens resolving power.
 

highdesertmesa

EOS R6 | GFX 50R
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Apr 17, 2017
304
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Placitas, NM
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Adding the 1.4xTC to the 600mm f/11 is pretty much a waste of time for increasing resolution. It pushes it too far in to the diffraction-limited region and adds lens aberration: see
The 1.4x on my 600 resolves fairly well. See the link someone gave above to my post on FM Forums about the combo. I don’t doubt that the 100-500 with the 1.4x will be better (I should receive my copy Friday, fingers crossed), but on the R at least, the 600 + 1.4x is better than I expected.
 
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