Canon RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM First Look Canon release the longest mirrorless lenses to date

Canon announced earlier today two ultra-long prime telephoto lenses – the Canon RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM – the second being the longest production mirrorless lens on the market.

Canon will celebrate 35 years of EOS System next month and this is a good time to announce such unique mirrorless lenses which pay tribute to Canon’s classic long telephoto lens (the original 1200mm was a special design developed for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984).

RF 800mm F5.6 L IS USM

After the introduction of the R3 Canon was looking to expand its like of professional sports lenses and there is nothing like an ultra-long lens to do this. The Canon RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM is a long and fast professional mirrorless lens that comes with some advanced features and a high-end design.

The lens includes no less than 26 elements in 18 groups, these include a single UD element, a single super-UD element as well as 2 fluorite elements (by the way, the previous 800mm EF Canon lens had “only” 18 elements in 14 groups so this lens is much more complex).

The lens is pretty lightweight for its focal length/aperture at only 6.9 lb / 3.1 kg and 43cm long. It has 4.5 stops image stabilization system, a 52mm drop-in filter in the back and it will support Canon’s RF teleconverters (both the 1.4x AND 2x varients).

The lens has a 2.6m minimum close-up distance and an impressive 1:2.94 maximum macro magnification.

Official Canon RF800mm F5.6 L IS USM video with photographer Charles Glatzer

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RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM

We haven’t seen a new lens with an AF system longer than 1000mm for decades and it is so nice to see Canon bringing this type of lens back to life but this timer with completely new technology.

This lens has a similar design with 26 elements in 18 groups (same special elements). Its minimum focusing distance is 4.3m and its maximum magnification is 1:3.4. It will also support extenders which can, in theory, take it all the way up to 2400mm (with 2x extender) but with f/32 so you will need to crank that ISO way up.

What is especially amazing about this lens is its weight. It is only 3.4kg which is exceptionally light (the original lens was several times the weight).

The lens includes Air Sphere and Super Spectra Coatings for combating flare (the 800mm has those as well) and 9 aperture blades. The lens has 4 stops image stabilization system and it will also accept 52mm drop-in filters in the back.

Official Canon RF1200mm F8 L IS USM video with photographer Peter Read Miller

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Pricing and availability

Both lenses are said to start shipping in late May 2022 with the Canon RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM going for $17,000 and the RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM for just under $20,000 (making it Canon’s most expensive lens to date, in full production).

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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