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Canon announces $17K 800mm F5.6, $20K 1200mm F8 lenses for RF mount: Digital Photography Review


On the 35th anniversary of Canon’s EOS line, the company has announced two new RF-mount super-telephoto lenses: the RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM. While these lenses are similar in name to their EF counterparts, both lenses feature new optical constructions and weigh quite a bit less.

Starting first with the similarities between the 800mm F5.6 and 1200mm F8, both lenses feature two focus presets for quickly switching between specific focus distances, use nine-blade aperture diaphragms, offer weathersealing and feature a flourine coating on the front-most elements to help make cleaning easier.

RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM

The RF 800mm F5.6 is constructed of 26 elements in 18 groups, including one ultra-low dispersion (UD) element, one Super UD element and two fluorite elements. That’s a dramatic increase from the EF 800mm F5.6 version, which featured 18 elements in 14 groups.

Despite the additional elements, the RF 800mm F5.6 weighs 1,350g (3lbs) less than the EF mount version, coming in at 3,140g (6.9lbs). For context, that’s only 300g (10.5oz) more than Canon’s EF 400mm F2.8 II lens.

Other features include image stabilization (IS) with up to 4 stops (CIPA-rated) of compensation, three IS modes, a 52mm drop-in filter and support for Canon’s RF 1.4x and RF 2x extenders, which effectively turn the lens into a 1120mm F8 and 1600mm F11 lens, respectively.

RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM

Moving on to the RF 1200mm F8, this behemoth is less of a direct successor to its predecessor than the 800mm F5.6, considering the last 1200mm Canon released was an F5.6 lens that weighed over 16.5kg (36lbs) and could only be purchased via special order for roughly $90K (and that was back in 1993). Still, this lens manages to pack quite the focal length into a relatively compact form factor.

The 1200mm F8 lens is constructed of 26 elements in 18 groups, including one ultra-low dispersion (UD) element, one Super UD element and two fluorite elements.

Other features include IS with up to four stops of image stabilization, three IS modes, a 52mm drop-in filter and a minimum focusing distance of 4.3m (14.1ft). It too supports Canon’s RF 1.4x and RF 2x extenders, which turn it into a 1680mm F11 and 2400mm F16 lens, respectively.

Pricing and Availability

The RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM lenses are scheduled to be available in ‘late May 2022’ for $16,999 and $19,999, respectively.

Press release:

Go Long: Canon Introduces the RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM 
and RF1200mm F8 L IS USM Super-Telephoto Lenses

The Newest RF Lenses are Ideal for Outdoor Sports, Motor Sports, 
Wildlife Photography, Photo News Journalism, and More

MELVILLE, NY, February 23, 2022 — Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce that the Canon RF lens family is growing by two, with the addition of the Canon RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM, and the longest focal length RF lens yet, the RF1200mm F8 L IS USM. Both super-telephoto fixed focal length lenses are quite light for their considerable abilities, and share many of the same features such as Super Spectra Coating (SSC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to help minimize ghosting and flaring, compatibility with both the RF1.4x and RF2x extenders and a customizable electronic focusing ring with manual focus capability during Servo AF.

Additional features shared by both lenses include:

  • Two focus presets, with the ability to instantly switch between memorized focus distances
  • Circular nine-bladed aperture providing photographers with exceptionally beautiful and soft blurred backgrounds and bokeh
  • Renowned Canon L-Series durability and construction with dust and water resistance, plus fluorine coating on the front element for easy cleaning

Canon RF800mm F5.6L IS USM

The RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM weighs in at just 6.9 lbs and features a minimum focusing distance of 8.53ft/2.6 meters — maximum close-up magnification is a superb 0.34x, allowing wildlife image creators to fill the frame with small subjects, such as birds, at its minimum focusing distance. Optical image stabilization is up to 4.5 stops* of shake correction and includes three IS operation modes. When using the RF1.4x or RF2x extenders, users can experience enhanced effective focal lengths of 1,120mm and 1,600mm respectively.

Canon RF1200mm F8 L IS USM

The RF1200mm F8 L IS USM is the most powerful super-telephoto lens in the Canon RF lens line. It weighs in at 7.4 lbs — an outstandingly light figure for a super-tele lens of this type — and features a minimum focusing distance of 14.1ft/4.3m. Optical image stabilization is up to 4.0 stops* of shake correction and, similar to the RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM lens, includes three IS operation modes. When using the RF1.4x or RF2x extenders, users can experience enhanced focal lengths of 1,680mm and 2,400mm, respectively.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM and Canon RF1200mm F8 L IS USM are both scheduled to be available in late May 2022 for an estimated retail price of $16,999.00 and $19,999.00, respectively**. For more information please visit usa.canon.com.

Canon 800mm F5.6 L IS USM Specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 800 mm
Image stabilization Yes
CIPA Image stabilization rating 4 stop(s)
Lens mount Canon RF
Aperture
Maximum aperture F5.6
Minimum aperture F64
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Rounded blades
Optics
Elements 26
Groups 18
Special elements / coatings 2 Fluorite, 1 Super UD, 1 UD (Ultra-low Dispersion).
Focus
Minimum focus 2.60 m (102.36)
Maximum magnification 0.34×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter • 2.6m – infinity • 2.6m – 20m • 20m – infinity
Physical
Weight 3140 g (6.92 lb)
Diameter 163 mm (6.42)
Length 432 mm (17.01)
Sealing Yes
Filter thread 52 mm
Filter notes Filters screw into drop-in holder
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code ET-155
Tripod collar Yes
Optional accessories Short lens hood (ET-155B)

Canon 1200mm F8 L IS USM Specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 1200 mm
Image stabilization Yes
CIPA Image stabilization rating 4 stop(s)
Lens mount Canon RF
Aperture
Maximum aperture F8
Minimum aperture F64
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes rounded blades
Optics
Elements 26
Groups 18
Special elements / coatings 2 Fluorite, 1 Super UD Lenses, 1 UD (Ultra-low Dispersion)
Focus
Minimum focus 4.30 m (169.29)
Maximum magnification 0.29×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter •4.3m – infinity • 4.3m – 30m • 30m – infinity
Physical
Weight 3340 g (7.36 lb)
Diameter 168 mm (6.61)
Length 537 mm (21.14)
Sealing Yes
Filter thread 52 mm
Filter notes Filter screws into drop-in holder
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code ET-160
Tripod collar Yes
Optional accessories ET-160B Short hood


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