Canon Europe today announces the launch of two new super-telephoto lenses, the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and the RF 1200mm F8L IS USM. Pushing the boundaries of the RF lens range, these lenses set new standards for the category, with extreme magnification that offers unrivalled shooting of distant subjects. With a staggering 800mm and 1200mm focal lengths – the world’s longest AF focal length lens for mirrorless cameras1 – these lenses have an intelligent design, achieving incredible optical performance and portability. Featuring an impressive Optical Image Stabilizer and wide apertures, these premium L-series RF lenses support a diverse range of photographers, from sport and wildlife to news gathering and surveillance – giving them kit that captures the action from far away, under exceptional circumstances and in extraordinary detail.
With the launch of the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM, Canon has created an unparalleled line-up of super-telephoto lenses to offer greater choice, meeting the needs of professional photographers. The two new lenses expand the capabilities of the RF lens range, by adding 800mm and 1200mm telephoto capabilities – the longest focal length on the market that isn’t a telescope. On top of their incredible reach, photographers can increase the focal length up to double when coupling the lenses with the RF 1.4 x or RF 2 x extenders, with AF shooting and IS function. With the RF 1200mm F8L IS USM this gives photographers the ability to capture incredible detail of subjects over 400 metres away.
The intelligently and newly designed optical system enables Canon to achieve these incredible focal lengths in a design that is smaller and lighter weight than traditional super telephoto lenses of this type. Significantly reduced in size from their EF counterparts, the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM is Canon’s lightest and shortest 800mm L-series lens yet weighing just over 3.1kg, while the RF 1200mm F8L IS USM is the smallest lens of its size ever released1 – at 3.34kg it is 1/5th of the weight and more than 13kgs lighter and 30cm smaller than its legendary predecessor the EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM.
Both the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM are built to impress. Working in tandem with the powerful Image Stabilization, the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM provides up to 4.5 stop benefit and the RF 1200mm F8L IS USM up to 4 stops to reduce shake and produce crisp detailed images. The 800mm lens also offers a large maximum f/5.6 aperture for this focal length, delivering excellent performance and image quality. In both models the 9-blade circular aperture can move in 1/8th steps, achieving smoother transitions between apertures during video recording.
Alongside the intelligent lens design, the RF range of lenses benefits from Canon’s industry-leading optical technology. Featuring Fluorite, Super UD and UD elements, the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM offer impeccable image resolution and excellent correction of chromatic aberration. ASC coatings combine with the improved lens design to minimize ghosting and flare. Even with the extra optics in these lenses, Canon has managed to reduce the focusing distances to a class leading 2.6m in the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM – less than half the distance of other 800mm f/5.6 lenses – and 4.3m in the RF 1200mm F8L IS USM, allowing subjects to be tracked over a great range of distances.
With their super-telephoto capabilities and light weight, these lenses are the perfect companion for the EOS R3 – Canon’s powerhouse for sports photography. Working with the camera, the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM work with the AF system in the EOS R3 to keep track of subjects up to 30fps. With a Ring USM Drive, Dual Power Drive, high-speed CPU and optimised AF algorithm, these lenses provide fast, yet quiet autofocusing – perfect for capturing fast moving wildlife. The customisable AF stop buttons on the lens also give photographers enhanced control when focusing on subjects. As part of the RF lens range, photographers receive the added benefit of being able to use the same components, such as filters and hoods, across the range, for enhanced flexibility.
The RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM are built to withstand a range of challenging shooting scenarios, from high temperatures to wet or dusty environments. A dust and drip proof structure is used for mounting, switch and focus rings to prevent dirt or water getting into the lens. To prevent oil, water or dust from sticking to the front of the lens, the front element is applied with a fluorine coating. Enabling photographers to shoot for long periods of time, even in hot climates, the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM also feature a highly reflective infrared heat shield coating. This white coating offers excellent UV weather resistance and helps reduce the temperature of the lens body to maintain optical quality.
With superb Canon engineering and an advanced optical design, the RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM lenses offer uncompromised performance in all conditions to ensure photographers can capture distant subjects from further away than ever before.
1 Based on Canon research, correct as of 23rd February 2022