The Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM were inspired by lenses from the 1960’s

Canon Rumors Guy

Canon EOS 40D
CR Pro
  • Jul 20, 2010
    9,720
    2,395
    Canada
    www.canonrumors.com
    Two of the strangest and surprising products Canon announced this year were the Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM super-telephoto lenses. There really isn’t any other lenses like these on the market, and reviewers have been pleasantly surprised by how useable these lenses are.
    DC Watch had the chance to interview the Canon engineers responsible for these lens designs, and it’s kind of cool where the idea for them came from.
    Top to bottom: The Canon R 600mm f/5.6, Canon R 800mm f/8 and Canon R 1000mm f/11 lenses...

    Continue reading...
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    Joules

    doom
    CR Pro
    Jul 16, 2017
    1,801
    2,240
    Hamburg, Germany
    Are these F/11 lenses useful for anything other than bright daylight shooting?

    cayenne
    They can be used in all situations a Sigma 150-600 mm 5.0-6.3 can be used on an APS-C body, or cropping an EF 100-400 mm L IS II on a FF body to 50% horizontal and vertical size yields acceptable results. From experience with the former, that is a lot of situations, although of course good light conditions are preferable.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 users
    Upvote 0
    Sep 17, 2014
    804
    1,060
    Are these F/11 lenses useful for anything other than bright daylight shooting?

    cayenne

    Yes. Cameras like the R5 and R6 can be used at ISO 12800 or 25600 with very good results and still print big. I would say these lenses are good for situations when there is decent light, not necessarily sunny.
     
    Upvote 0

    degos

    EOS RP
    Mar 20, 2015
    428
    371
    They can be used in all situations a Sigma 150-600 mm 5.0-6.3 can be used on an APS-C body,

    Err no, the flux reaching the sensor pixel through a 600mm f/6.3 doesn't care one jot about 'crop' or not.

    You can't carve-out some imaginary central light-tube and say "aha! It's f/11 now". That's not how exposure works. Otherwise the very central 1% portion of a full-frame image could be said to be f/352 or something daft.
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user
    Upvote 0

    amorse

    EOS R
    Jan 26, 2017
    844
    1,166
    www.instagram.com
    Are these F/11 lenses useful for anything other than bright daylight shooting?

    cayenne
    That depends on what you're taking pictures of I guess? If shutter speed and shallow depth of field isn't limiting to what you're trying to capture, then these can likely play a pretty useful role. I keep coming back to the ultra-long distance shots of people against things like the sun or the moon. Petapixel did an article on these sorts of shots at 800mm for context. I'll admit - I was curious to try landscapes at 800mm too.

    Also the massive weight/size/price reduction has value if you can get past its limitations - obviously not everyone can. I mean, at 1260g and small enough to go in a carry on, the 800mm f/11 is pretty easy to add to a bag as an after thought. On the other hand, the 800 f/5.6 is 4500g and requires some forethought and planning to bring to distant locations.

    I probably wouldn't suggest either the 600 or 800 f/11s will do the same job as their f/4 or f/5.6 counterparts, but for someone going on a family holiday to somewhere exotic, adding an 800mm f/11 means being able to get some neat pictures of wildlife in bright light without planning the trip around it.
     
    Upvote 0

    Joules

    doom
    CR Pro
    Jul 16, 2017
    1,801
    2,240
    Hamburg, Germany
    Err no, the flux reaching the sensor pixel through a 600mm f/6.3 doesn't care one jot about 'crop' or not.

    You can't carve-out some imaginary central light-tube and say "aha! It's f/11 now". That's not how exposure works. Otherwise the very central 1% portion of a full-frame image could be said to be f/352 or something daft.
    The question was about usability. It was probably raised due to concerns about the limitations an f/11 lens has in terms of light gathering. So I'm talking about equivalency in terms of the amount of light gathered:

    The f number just gives you the light per area. So you have to consider the area that your image is based of if you are interested in the total light captured. Which is what you should be interested in, as it determines signal to noise ratio and therefore how noticable noise is in the image. A Canon APS-C sensor has about 39 % the area of an FF one. And f/11 is about 33 % the amount of light per area compared to f/6.3. So you get comparable levels of total light gathered when comparing f/11 on FF (uncropped) to f/6.3 on an 1.6 crop sensor.

    Similarly, cropping the FF image from a 400 mm 5.6 lens to match the FoV of an 800 mm lens reduces the image area to 25 % of the original image. f/11 is 25 % the light per area of f/5.6. If you want to think about it in terms of physical aperture, like it is the norm for astro photography purposes, both have very similar apertures: 400/5.6 = 71.4 ~ 72.3 = 800/11
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 2 users
    Upvote 0

    bbasiaga

    Canon Shooter
    Nov 15, 2011
    583
    740
    USA
    Are these F/11 lenses useful for anything other than bright daylight shooting?

    cayenne
    I think these are mainly statement lenses - 'look at what our mirrorless system allows us to do - AF at f/22! Small compact super telephotos"!

    But yes they have an audience and a use. Look at some of the reviews on YouTube. A lot of people who were skeptical at the announcement seemed to find themselves surprised by the size and weight, and affordability of that kind of reach. That said, serious event photographers are probably not looking at this as an alternative to their big whites! My take away has been that they feel its neat and attractive for a lot of reasons, but not for professional use. And that is how it is built and priced so I think Canon agrees.

    I want one to take to the zoo. I know some folks want one for air shows. A lot of types of bird or wildlife photography is possible in daylight conditions with this, down to maybe twilight at higher ISO. Heck, even some shots of the far side of the field at my daughter's soccer game would be cool.

    My EF glass has me covered for the most part. But honestly either of these are near the top of my list for when i switch to the RF system.

    -Brian
     
    Upvote 0

    Joules

    doom
    CR Pro
    Jul 16, 2017
    1,801
    2,240
    Hamburg, Germany
    I think these are mainly statement lenses [...] My take away has been that they feel its neat and attractive for a lot of reasons, but not for professional use.
    I don't think they are statement lenses at all. And of course they are not aimed at any sort of high end. They are non-L lenses with flippin STM AF. With higher end APS-C going the way of the Dodo apparently, Canon still needs affordable options that provide reach. These lenses are a good solution for that. The RF 28-70 mm is a statement lens. These are just the beginning of Canon's lineup of affordable RF lenses. And they are the first cheap DO lenses, possibly experimenting with a newer version of the technology that they are more comfortable rolling out in this price category. Like they often do, with tilty-flippy screens, touchscreens, DPAF, nano-USM, mirrorless in general. It will provide value to the high end in the long term as well to have a healthy set of options for low and mid range market segments.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user
    Upvote 0

    bbasiaga

    Canon Shooter
    Nov 15, 2011
    583
    740
    USA
    I don't think they are statement lenses at all. And of course they are not aimed at any sort of high end. They are non-L lenses with flippin STM AF. With higher end APS-C going the way of the Dodo apparently, Canon still needs affordable options that provide reach. These lenses are a good solution for that. The RF 28-70 mm is a statement lens. These are just the beginning of Canon's lineup of affordable RF lenses. And they are the first cheap DO lenses, possibly experimenting with a newer version of the technology that they are more comfortable rolling out in this price category. Like they often do, with tilty-flippy screens, touchscreens, DPAF, nano-USM, mirrorless in general. It will provide value to the high end in the long term as well to have a healthy set of options for low and mid range market segments.

    They're both statements, just on opposite ends of the capability spectrum. the f/2 series is about how far they can take it on the cutting edge, and the f/11s are about how much capability they can provide on the cheaper end. A lens like the 600 or 800 would have been close to useless because of lack of AF on the EF mount, and is possible now only because of the RF/mirrorless technology. That's why, to me at least, they are a 'statement'.

    -Brian
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user
    Upvote 0

    cayenne

    EOS R6
    CR Pro
    Mar 28, 2012
    2,791
    724
    That depends on what you're taking pictures of I guess? If shutter speed and shallow depth of field isn't limiting to what you're trying to capture, then these can likely play a pretty useful role. I keep coming back to the ultra-long distance shots of people against things like the sun or the moon. Petapixel did an article on these sorts of shots at 800mm for context. I'll admit - I was curious to try landscapes at 800mm too.

    Also the massive weight/size/price reduction has value if you can get past its limitations - obviously not everyone can. I mean, at 1260g and small enough to go in a carry on, the 800mm f/11 is pretty easy to add to a bag as an after thought. On the other hand, the 800 f/5.6 is 4500g and requires some forethought and planning to bring to distant locations.

    I probably wouldn't suggest either the 600 or 800 f/11s will do the same job as their f/4 or f/5.6 counterparts, but for someone going on a family holiday to somewhere exotic, adding an 800mm f/11 means being able to get some neat pictures of wildlife in bright light without planning the trip around it.

    Well, I was thinking of shooting concerts or festivals, indoors or after sunset.....?

    cayenne
     
    Upvote 0

    Rzrsharp

    EOS M6 Mark II
    Sep 8, 2020
    76
    29
    I would like to say Canon is tickled by Laowa
    Key_benefits-1.jpg
     
    Upvote 0