July 1, 2022

I have touched the Canon “RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM” and “RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM”, which are super-telephoto L lenses in the 3kg range.

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Canon’s “RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM” and “RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM” are new products of the interchangeable lens “RF lens” of the “EOS R system” to be released in late May 2022. I had the opportunity to touch these two real machines before the release, so I would like to report on the features with simple impressions. Although it is a niche product with a price of over 2 million yen, it is a lens with many highlights such as being compact and lightweight through a rational design.
Achieves smaller size and lighter weight based on “RF 600mm F4 L” and “RF 400mm F2.8 L”
As for the “RF lens”, 26 lenses (including pre-launch products, excluding 2 extenders) have appeared in about three and a half years since the birth of the “EOS R system” in October 2018. .. Among them, the lens that covers the super-telephoto range with a focal length of 400 mm or more is a particularly fulfilling lineup. First, from July to August 2020, the super-telephoto L zoom lens “RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM” and the compact and lightweight super-telephoto single focus lens “RF800mm F11 IS STM” and “RF600mm F11 IS STM” Released. After that, the ultra-telephoto single focus L lens “RF600mm F4 L IS USM” and “RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM” were released on July 15, 2021. In late October 2021, the popular type super-telephoto zoom lens “RF100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM” was also added.

The two “RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM” and “RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM” featured this time are new products that further expand the lineup of ultra-telephoto lenses in “RF lenses”. The “RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM” is based on the “RF 600mm F4 L IS USM” optical system, and the “RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM” is based on the “RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM” optical system. The most distinctive feature of this super-telephoto lens with a focal length of 1200mm / 800mm is that it is compact and lightweight due to the rational design of arranging the magnifying optical system. The weight of both lenses has increased by only 250g from the base lens, and the “RF1200mm F8 L IS USM” weighs about 3340g and the “RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM” weighs about 3140g, both of which are in the 3kg range. Has been done.

“RF1200mm F8 L IS USM”
Approx. 168 (maximum diameter) x 537 (total length) mm / approx. 3340g
“RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM”
Approx. 163 (maximum diameter) x 432 (total length) mm / approx. 3140g

When I attached both lenses to the “EOS R3” and held it, I felt that it was “unexpectedly light” considering the size of the lens barrel. It’s not something you can easily take with your hands, but it’s lightweight and easy to carry as a heavy-duty super-telephoto lens. Also, I would like to report that the AF speed was practical as long as I tried it in combination with the “EOS R3”. The “RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM” was faster than the “RF600mm F4 L IS USM” with the double extender “EXTENDER RF2x”. In addition, the power focus operation, which enables smooth focus feed by operating the playback ring, also felt smoother than the super-telephoto lens of the “EF lens” for single-lens reflex cameras.

By the way, when comparing the size and weight of both lenses with the “EF lens”, the “RF1200mm F8 L IS USM” is 299mm shorter in overall length and 13160g lighter than the “EF1200mm F5.6L USM” (released in 1993). Although the open aperture value is different by one step, it can be said that it has achieved a significant reduction in size and weight. The “RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM” is 29mm shorter in overall length and 1360g lighter than the “EF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM”.

A magnifying optical system optimized for each lens is used to achieve high image quality of the “L lens”.
The lens configurations of the “RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM” and “RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM” are both 26 elements in 18 groups. The base lens “RF 600mm F4 L IS USM” and “RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM” have 17 elements in 13 groups (including 2 fluorite and 1 super UD lens), and a magnifying optical system with 9 elements in 5 groups. It is an added configuration.

The optical system of the two base lenses follows the “EF 600mm F4L IS III USM” and “EF 400mm F2.8L IS III USM” (both released in December 2018) of the “EF lens” for single-lens reflex cameras. .. The “RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM” and “RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM” extend the focal length by adding a magnifying optical system to it.

With this explanation, you may be wondering, “Isn’t the EOS R system showing its true potential because it’s not the latest optical design?” “Isn’t the image quality degraded because it’s like adding an extender?” However, according to Canon, the optical system used in the “EF 600mm F4L IS III USM” and “EF 400mm F2.8L IS III USM” of the “EF lens” is considered to be “the best as a super-telephoto lens”, which is “EOS R”. The system does not change. In addition, the magnifying optical system is also designed to be optimized for each lens, and the image quality is higher than when a 2x extender is attached to the base lens, and the quality of the “L lens” can be obtained. It is said that it is.

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