Sooooo, f/11 you say? What’s Canon up to with these upcoming supertelephoto lenses?


Dec 27, 2011
If this is true then it would sell to people who can only afford to spend ~$2,000 on a lens.

As Sigma, Tamron and Tokina and other 3rd party lens makers proved there is a market for cheap lenses even if they dont work as well or as reliably as 1st party lenses.
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CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
Davidson, NC
The advantage that a mirrorless has over the DSLR is the viewfinder brightness when using lenses of apertures of f8-f11. The DSLR will be dim making it more difficult to manually focus or track a subject, while the mirrorless EVF will have the brightness level of a fast lens. I put my 100-400 plus a 2x extender on my M5 and was able to manually focus quickly on birds at my pond. So, an f11 super telephoto will be just as usable as a faster lens but the only drawback is the higher ISO required. There are a few great noise reduction software packages out there that can make moderate high ISO noise a mute subject.
But it won't mute the complainers.
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EOS M6 Mark II
Feb 22, 2019
As I said yesterday, a 500mm f5.6, f6.3 or even f7.1 DO, for use with extenders would make more sense. Although I can see a use for this. With my type of photography, you could shoot perched birds with it, and anything much wider aperture at 800mm is going to be pretty big and expensive. Although I'm a bit puzzled about f11 at 600mm, because I'd have thought you could make it f8, and it would still be possible to make it a fairly compact and relatively expensive lens, given that f6.3 600mm zooms aren't massive.

You have to think the aim is to make these lenses very compact. My first thought when seeing the parameters is that these would be mirror lenses. If they're DO lenses, then Canon must have got the manufacturing costs down, or I can't see the point as these would be too expensive. If a long lens is f11 wide open, there will be very little need to stop the lens down.

Yes, these maximum apertures are going to be a bit limiting to say the least. To use any sort of fast shutter speed to capture action you're going to have to use pretty high ISOs, even in bright light. Anything more than a clear sunny day and you're going to have to use very high ISOs for any sort of higher shutter speed. A large proportion of long lens photography is of action, with only landscapes and stationary wildlife being contexts where you can use slower shutter speeds.
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CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
Davidson, NC
And the shots you want are irrelevant if you can't afford the gear needed to get them. ;-)

I'm not in the target audient either, but Canon usually does its homework. If I was a person that had a 70-300 consumer zoom (that usually don't take TCs), I'd look into the 600 f/11 if it was under 1500. It would be even more interesting if it telescoped to the in-use length. At f/11, the lens diameter could be similar to a mid-range/short tele zoom, and if it collapses when stored, then it won't necessarily have to be that much longer.
When I bought my first Rebel, I could get a 75-300mm zoom thrown in for $100. I was never very happy with the results. While I was still waiting for the 6D2 to come out, there was a total eclipse of the sun viewable less than two hours away from here. So I went on line and found tests of that particular lens in one or more of its incarnations, and it appeared from the charts that f/11 was the optimum setting for the lens. So I took it, my T3i, a tripod, and of course a solar filter along and shot pictures for around 3 hours, taking the filter off during totality. At that opening almost all of the chromatic aberration went away, and my pictures look as good as any I have seen.

My point, however, is not about dealing with such a rare event, but rather that if I had done my research much earlier, I could have made decent pictures over many years with this lens shooting in Av mode at f/11 or f/8, rather than just deciding that the lens is horrible and leaving it on the shelf most of the time. Stopping down would have introduced more diffraction effects in a Rebel, and even at f/8 the lens becomes marginal. I might still have taken shots with it open wider, and had more rejects, and there would have been times I wouldn't have bothered to shoot. But the net effect would have been that I would have made more and better shots than I did until I could afford something better. The moral also was that I knew after I got the 6D2, my next big splurge (for me) would be the 100-400mm II.

So I can easily imagine that there are people for whom one of the f/11 lenses could easily make the difference between having a lens that long or not having one.


The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
If the patent that was linked to yesterday in the other thread is accurate then we know about how long the lenses are going to be.
600/11: 335mm
800/11: 389mm
But those measurements will be to the sensor and not the mount so the physical lenses will be a little shorter...if someone knows the mount to sensor distance for the EOS R you can figure out the exact length (assuming the design didn't change from these patents).
Mount to sensor distance of Canon lenses (AFAIK):
  • RF: 20 mm
  • EF-M: 16 mm
  • EF/EF-S: 44 mm
You're welcome ;)

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
The lenses will be long. The patent explains why. There is a trade off of length versus number of lens elements needed to correct distortion that happens when you make the lens shorter. The lens is designed to be low cost with relatively few lens elements which reduces weight. Length, not so much.

If the total length of the optical system LO becomes
so short as to exceed a lower limit of the conditional
expression (3), the spherical aberration, the coma aberration,
the on-axis chromatic aberration, and the magnification
chromatic aberration that occur in the positive lens in the
first lens unit Ll become excessively large. To satisfactorily
correct the aberrations, it is necessary to increase the number
of lenses in the first lens unit Ll, which makes it difficult to
achieve sufficiently high optical performance while downsizing
the optical system with light weight.


I'm New Here
Aug 26, 2014
f11 - nope, no matter how you spin it, I can't believe they would invest in lenses this slow. We'll see...or not, if you're looking through f11 glass ;)


CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
Hamburg, Germany
The lenses will be long. The patent explains why. There is a trade off of length versus number of lens elements needed to correct distortion that happens when you make the lens shorter. The lens is designed to be low cost with relatively few lens elements which reduces weight. Length, not so much.
Thanks for digging through the patents (y)

At 370 mm long the 800mm f/11 is indeed a good bit longer than the Sigma 150-600mm C fully extended. But I would expect the smaller diameter to make a big difference in weight and perceived bulk. The hood should also be pretty narrow, as it is a prime and does not have to be suitable for a wide end as well.

I guess there is no mention of a mechanism for collapsing the lens in the patent like somebody speculated earlier?


CR Pro
Nov 11, 2018
I have the 100-400 II and use it with an 80D and 5DIII. I can use a 1.4 TC and AF on the 80D and do sometimes, it's nice to have that option. I'm planning to get the R6 to replace both bodies. Here's my question, with EF lenses, wouldn't you have to use the RF-EF adapter and then the EF TC and then the EF lens? I don't see how it would work to use the RF TC and then the adapter. So that means the RF TCs are just for RF lenses?


I'm New Here
Jul 16, 2014
I have used my 100-400 with a 2X TC, and that is f/11 equivalent at 800mm. Obviously, it is for brightly lit objects that are not moving. With the 5 stop IS on the EOS R, it would be possible to use a relatively slow shutter speed and keep ISO's down as long as there is little or no motion. It might even be possible to get some clear BIF shots by sortng thru 8K video frames.

If the lens is reasonably priced, and smaller and light, I'd at least be interested as useful for having a long telephoto with me while traveling.

Canon has a lot of photographers on their staff who try and use prototype bodies and lenses in many different situations, that is why they seldom get it wrong for the targeted customer.

That slider thingy bar on the back of my R is a example of a big miss.
I do exactly the same on the EOS R and AF is slow but workable.
Birding ! Small birds capture requires reach and you never have enough.
For sure, I'd rather have a 600mm f/5.6 DO with a x1.4.
But, after all, 800mm f/11, why not ?
Aug 8, 2014
Well, these appear to be 2/3 the length of my 1000 f8, which is good because that thing is pretty unwieldy and around the same length as the 400 2.8 (also unwieldy, but mostly due to weight). I did a season or two of sports with the 1000 and it took a long time to get used to it. I imagine parents looking to pick something up like this are going to be frustrated pretty quickly and these will get bad press because of it.

These could also be a great starter lens for those looking to get into astrophotography. That being said, I don't think people are going to pair this with the Ra, as those who would spend the money to specifically get that are likely already looking at telescopes. On the other hand, if they are sufficiently light enough it could be used with tracking mounts. I'm not an astro person, but I've heard they make intro level ones that can mount to tripods which would be great for someone starting out.

Lastly, as others have said, wildlife presents a pretty good use case. I'm very curious to see who buys these and how well they do.


It's not the gear. But it helps.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
Colorado, USA
Early in my DSLR days when budget was more of a concern I figured the 400/5.6 with extenders might be the way to go, with a 2X to get me to 800/11. I imagine others thought similarly.

Autofocus was the major hindrance at the time so most lenses had a max aperture of f/5.6. The appearance of f/8 AF made the 1.4x possible. Maybe f/11 is the new f/5.6 in this regard which is why both the 600 and 800 are f/11. The 600 benefits from a smaller size/weight/price at f/11 rather than more light at f/8. It could very well be a marketing decision to position the lenses price wise, rather than have a 600/8 and 800/11 at about the same size and price point. Market research may have told them they'll generate more overall sales this way with two different price points, just like bodies.

The right comparison might be the 800/5.6 and the 400/5.6+2X. A native 800/11 ought do much better in this type of comparison.
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Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
The on sensor AF using the dual pixel designs (DPAF) isn't subject to the same limitations as the separate AF sensor in an OVF.

So yes, it should focus just fine.
Absolutely. I have a 3xTC which I can put on the 100-400mm II to give f/16.8 at 1200mm and it focuses fine on the 90D in liveview.
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CR Pro
Sep 6, 2011
Personally, I think they're trying to keep the professional sports market within EF for as long as possible and they want those version III 400 and 600 lenses and 1Dx camera selling for a few more years. If I had to further speculate, we won't see any fast long RF lenses for a few years.
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