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

GMCPhotographics

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lol...."Super-Telephoto" isn't a scientific optical term...it's a made up hyperbole. A telephoto lens in one that has a focal length longer than it's physical length. This measurement means that it's very dependant of the type of camera. Medium format SLR cameras have shorter lenses...so more lenses are classed as telephoto. On 35mm SLR, weird lenses like the 24mm pancake can actually classed as telephoto. The ef 50mm f1.8 is telephoto where as the ef 50mm f1.2L isn't. Due to the RF's shorter distance between the mount and sensor, less lenses are classed as telephoto because the lenses generally require a design that occupies the mirror box space. An ef 300mm f2.8 would be physically shorter (for the same optical formula) than an Rf counterpart.
In the venacular we have labelled wide lenses and standard lenses...and then we added the term "telephoto or tele" to mean long. However...that's NOT what the definition actually means. The concept of super-telephoto is just even more weird...it's just a made up nonsense.
My definitions of the lenses in my lens bag are ultra wide, standard and long. I also have a wildlife lens...which is long, big, heavy, f2.8 and very white. But it is NOT a super-tele.....ok rant over...feeling purged....
 
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Sharlin

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lol...."Super-Telephoto" isn't a scientific optical term...it's a made up hyperbole.
Language is not a thing set in stone. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that "telephoto" has come to mean "long focal length" in common usage, and "super telephoto" is commonly accepted to mean focal lengths >=400mm or so. Everyday use is distinct from rigorous scientific usage.

And a 24mm DSLR lens cannot be a telephoto lens because "lens length" in formal terms includes the flange distance. Indeed, any <~40mm DLSR lens must be reverse telephoto to account for the flange distance.
 
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mdmphoto

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I like that the AF is fast and accurate, and I particularly like being able to handhold this lens; I couldn't get this shot with my Tamron 150-600 G2:
ISO 6400, 1/1600:
_Q1A5968-Edit.jpg

...maybe this one, - just maybe, at ISO 3200, 1/1600:
_Q1A6019-Edit.jpg
 

Joules

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I like that the AF is fast and accurate, and I particularly like being able to handhold this lens; I couldn't get this shot with my Tamron 150-600 G2:
ISO 6400, 1/1600:
View attachment 193137
...maybe this one, - just maybe, at ISO 3200, 1/1600:
View attachment 193138
Nice shots. On the first one, I'd advice to keep the distortion corrections turned off, as it shows a really unnatural pattern in the noise of the background.
 
Feb 6, 2020
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I have both the RF 600 and 800 on the R5 and they work great in the right situation. I have mostly only used the RF 800. The AF and tracking works really well even though you are limited to the middle of the sensor for AF area.
In certain situations without enough background separation the bokeh can be distracting and unpleasant as expected with an f11.
I have the fairly expensive 400mm DO II that I often use with the 2x TC III and feel like the sharpness between it and the RF 800 are very similar and can't declare either one the winner yet. The RF 800 tracks better than the 400 DO II with the 2x TC and my only complaint would be the bokeh at times. I fell like the RF 800mm might even have faster AF and tracks better than the bare 400mm DO II. The RF 800 has better IS in images as well as better stability in the view finder.
I love the 400mm f4 DO IS II and loved the version one before that. The DO II is not on the list for lenses that get the full 12/20FPS which I would agree it doesn't achieve or can't keep up at 12 FPS. The RF 800 is really good and seems to be able to take full advantage of the R5. I really need to get the the RF 100-500 so I can really compare it to my A9 and FE 200-600 side by side. The R5 no doubt smokes my a7RIV for speed, AF, tracking and ISO performance.
 

Rivermist

Mirrorless or bust.
Apr 27, 2019
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lol...."Super-Telephoto" isn't a scientific optical term...it's a made up hyperbole. A telephoto lens in one that has a focal length longer than it's physical length. This measurement means that it's very dependant of the type of camera. Medium format SLR cameras have shorter lenses...so more lenses are classed as telephoto. On 35mm SLR, weird lenses like the 24mm pancake can actually classed as telephoto. The ef 50mm f1.8 is telephoto where as the ef 50mm f1.2L isn't. Due to the RF's shorter distance between the mount and sensor, less lenses are classed as telephoto because the lenses generally require a design that occupies the mirror box space. An ef 300mm f2.8 would be physically shorter (for the same optical formula) than an Rf counterpart.
In the venacular we have labelled wide lenses and standard lenses...and then we added the term "telephoto or tele" to mean long. However...that's NOT what the definition actually means. The concept of super-telephoto is just even more weird...it's just a made up nonsense.
My definitions of the lenses in my lens bag are ultra wide, standard and long. I also have a wildlife lens...which is long, big, heavy, f2.8 and very white. But it is NOT a super-tele.....ok rant over...feeling purged....
Not sure I follow your drift here. A lens is labelled standard if the focal length is in the ball park of the measurement of the diagonal of the film or sensor it is covering. For full-frame (24x36mm) this is 43mm, and 50mm is generally considered to be in the "close to" = standard. For your 645 film, it is 75mm, for 6x6 film, 85mm, etc.. Wide is, well, anything wider than standard, e.g. 35mm in full-frame, telephoto is anything longer, e.g. 60mm or 70mm in full-frame, etc..
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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I have both the RF 600 and 800 on the R5 and they work great in the right situation. I have mostly only used the RF 800. The AF and tracking works really well even though you are limited to the middle of the sensor for AF area.
In certain situations without enough background separation the bokeh can be distracting and unpleasant as expected with an f11.
I have the fairly expensive 400mm DO II that I often use with the 2x TC III and feel like the sharpness between it and the RF 800 are very similar and can't declare either one the winner yet. The RF 800 tracks better than the 400 DO II with the 2x TC and my only complaint would be the bokeh at times. I fell like the RF 800mm might even have faster AF and tracks better than the bare 400mm DO II. The RF 800 has better IS in images as well as better stability in the view finder.
I love the 400mm f4 DO IS II and loved the version one before that. The DO II is not on the list for lenses that get the full 12/20FPS which I would agree it doesn't achieve or can't keep up at 12 FPS. The RF 800 is really good and seems to be able to take full advantage of the R5. I really need to get the the RF 100-500 so I can really compare it to my A9 and FE 200-600 side by side. The R5 no doubt smokes my a7RIV for speed, AF, tracking and ISO performance.
Thanks for that - you have laid to rest any regrets I might have had on selling my 400mm DO II.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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No but Science is. Telephoto is a definition, not a phrase. You can call your lenses anything you like...but scientifically, a telephoto lens is a lens whose focal length is longer than it's actual length.
Science is not set in stone but evolves with increasing knowledge. Newtonian physics seemed pretty absolute until Einstein and others came along, for example.
 

SteveC

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Sep 3, 2019
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Science is not set in stone but evolves with increasing knowledge. Newtonian physics seemed pretty absolute until Einstein and others came along, for example.
So what could have changed in the last few decades to alter the definition of "telephoto"?
 

Joules

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Jul 16, 2017
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So what could have changed in the last few decades to alter the definition of "telephoto"?
For the more recent decades, the rise of online forums that gave more people access to technical discussions and arm-chair engineering come to mind. Those surely have had a decent influence on vocabulary. The fan favorite 'cripple hammer' is something that I can't imagine having existed prior to forums, right? Also, calling the combination of in camera memory and card write speed buffer depth, for example, seems like a vaguely defined term that comes more from the need of people to discuss a concept rather than an actual product sheet.

It is not unusual to have a single term be useful in different contexts. I don't think it is common to have people object to using the term 'gas' to describe the fuel used in cars. Although technically speaking, that is using a scientific term for an general state of matter for a specific liquid. In the context of lens design, tele-photo should probably be used with more care. But on an internet forum, it is not the formal definition that is usually meant.
 

AlanF

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So what could have changed in the last few decades to alter the definition of "telephoto"?
I am not concerned with the definition of telephoto, only the inferred statement that "Science is set in stone", because it isn't. I thought my comment with the illustrative example was clear. However, I do agree that the definition of a "telephoto" lens being one whose physical length is shorter than than its focal length is the classical one. But, that is not science, it's terminology.
 
Last edited:

SteveC

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Sep 3, 2019
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It is not unusual to have a single term be useful in different contexts. I don't think it is common to have people object to using the term 'gas' to describe the fuel used in cars. Although technically speaking, that is using a scientific term for an general state of matter for a specific liquid. In the context of lens design, tele-photo should probably be used with more care. But on an internet forum, it is not the formal definition that is usually meant.
"Gas" is of course ridiculous as a name for a liquid automobile fuel, but it did come about as an abbreviation for "gasoline."
 

Joules

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"Gas" is of course ridiculous as a name for a liquid automobile fuel, but it did come about as an abbreviation for "gasoline."
It was just a good example that came to my mind to illustrate the point. Of course it is understandable why the term is used.

But similarly, with television meaning something like vision over a distance and telecommunications meaning something like communicating over a distance, I really don't see any issue in the fact that Tele-photo has become a term used to mean something that allows photographing things in the distance, despite having a scientific definition that sais something else.
 
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Ahmed Hindawi

CR Pro
Sep 4, 2020
3
3
These lenses are great as small/affordable options. But if these are going to be the only affordable options for the RF mount, that's not good.
They already have RF 35mm f/1.8 which is very affordable. But I agree they need more affordable glass for the entire prime and zoom ranges. Especially with the RP being such an affordable body, you need glass to go with that.
 

blackcoffee17

EOS RP
Sep 17, 2014
506
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They already have RF 35mm f/1.8 which is very affordable. But I agree they need more affordable glass for the entire prime and zoom ranges. Especially with the RP being such an affordable body, you need glass to go with that.
I was specifically talking about the 600mm and 800mm F11 primes. The gap is too big between the $700 600mm F11 and $3000 100-500.
And the 100-400 F7.1 on the roadmap is just too short and dark.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mar 25, 2011
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I was specifically talking about the 600mm and 800mm F11 primes. The gap is too big between the $700 600mm F11 and $3000 100-500.
And the 100-400 F7.1 on the roadmap is just too short and dark.
There will be more affordable lenses but not likely in the 600-1200 mm range, that's pretty specialized. The price seems to go up exponentially as the aperture becomes larger, those lenses might exceed $2.5k if they were f/8.