Why should not you purchase a brand new Canon lens?


I am as huge a fan of Canon lenses as anybody; I resisted the temptation to modify manufacturers for years as a result of they provide some lenses I am unable to think about. In terms of the brand new RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM lenses, you need to actually suppose twice earlier than shopping for them.

Canon’s newest lenses, the RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM, proceed to spherical out its RF line and push it to new extremes. Nevertheless, at $17,000 and $20,000 respectively, they’re a number of the most costly shopper lenses ever made, and even professionals for whom such lenses are a every day necessity ought to suppose twice. Nevertheless, the value is greater than what ought to offer you pause. Earlier than we leap into this, let’s set up all of the related costs.

Costs of Canon Lenses, Teleconverters and Combos

  • Extender RF 2x: $599
  • Canon RF 400mm f/2.8L USM IS: $11,999

  • Canon RF 600mm f/4L USM IS: $12,999

  • Canon RF 800mm f/5.6L USM IS: $16,999

  • Canon RF 1200mm f/8L USM IS: $19,999

Similarities With Current Lenses

Including a 2x teleconverter to a lens doubles its focal size, at the price of decreasing its most aperture by two stops. For instance, a 100mm f/2.8 lens would develop into a 200mm f/5.6 lens with a 2x teleconverter connected. As such, you possibly can see that the brand new RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM are, a minimum of by numbers, the equal of 2x teleconverters with 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4 lenses. , The RF 400mm f/2.8 L IS USM and RF 600mm f/4 L IS USM exist already, as is the extender RF 2x.

After all, simply because the numbers go up, does not imply Canon shunned the 2x teleconverter inside present lenses and known as it a day. Producers particularly adapt designs of assorted focal lengths to deal with their distinctive challenges and points; In any other case, we’d all have too many teleconverters and too few distinctive lenses. Nevertheless, it’s value noting the next:

Canon lenses, teleconverters and a great deal of mixtures thereof

Extender RF 2x: 12 oz / 340 g

Little question, the mixtures of teleconverters and the related brief focal lengths are fairly near lengthy focal lengths, although not fairly the identical.


There are rumors that these lenses are nothing greater than 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4 which embody 2x teleconverters. Let’s have a look.

RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM Plus Extender RF 2x vs RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM

As you possibly can see, the variations are close to Mt. The 800mm f/5.6 has a complete bunch of frequent components that function further magnification. Nevertheless, there’s an extra tremendous extremely low dispersion aspect in entrance of the mentioned group, which most likely corrects for the chromatic aberration that usually will increase with teleconverters. So, in equity to Canon, the 800mm is not only a 400mm with a teleconverter slapped inside. Is it well worth the exorbitant worth hike for the additional components, although?

RF 600mm f/4L IS USM Plus Extender RF 2x vs RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM

The story is analogous right here as effectively. The entrance design stays the identical. Nearer to the mount, we see a magnification group with a brilliant extremely low dispersion aspect designed to right chromatic aberrations from extra magnification. So, once more, it isn’t simply the 600mm f/4 with the interior teleconverter, however is it value the additional $6,000 in case you use the 600mm with only a teleconverter? Let’s have a look under.

mtf chart

That is what you need to take note essentially the most. All of the arguments about design and weight are fascinating, however on the finish of the day, how good are the pictures from every lens and mixture? let’s have a look.

RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM Plus Extender RF 2x vs RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM

We will see that the 400mm and 2x extender supply nearly similar distinction efficiency in comparison with the 800mm f/5.6. There is a slight drop within the meridian measurement in direction of the corners of the body, of about .05, however the distinction is so slight, I am hard-pressed to imagine it could be noticeable to all however essentially the most discerning eye and simply corrected in put up.

For decision measurements, the sagittal orientation is functionally similar, save for a really slight dip close to the extremes of the body. There’s a marked drop within the meridian measurement, with the hole ranging from the middle of the body and reaching a most spacing of about .15 cm from the middle. Nevertheless, it is nonetheless a reasonably sturdy show, and fairly near middle concurrently the 800mm f/5.6.

Is the distinction $4,401? It is your name, but when it have been me, based mostly solely on MTF charts, the reply could be a tough no.

RF 600mm f/4L IS USM Plus Extender RF 2x vs RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM

We will see that the 600mm and 2x extenders ship nearly similar distinction efficiency in comparison with the 1200mm f/8. There’s little distinction within the meridian close to the corners, however the hole is rarely bigger than .03 and is unlikely to have any noticeable impact on the true world.

In terms of decision, there’s a steady hole of about .02 within the sagittal line till about 17 cm, the place it widens to about .05 on the peak. The meridian reveals a considerably large hole of about .07 at 10 cm, widening to a most of .12 on the extremity. Nonetheless, each present spectacular performances.

So, I will ask once more: is the distinction $6,401? I don’t suppose so.

Different Ideas


It is value noting that each one different issues being equal, a lens probably supplies higher weather-sealing than a lens and a teleconverter, such that the previous have a decrease seal and level of entry for cover. That being mentioned, all optics on this comparability are a few of Canon’s finest, and I think weather-sealing goes to be a significant challenge in all however essentially the most excessive situations, regardless of which setup you select.


Historically, teleconverters have an effect on autofocus efficiency, particularly with 2x extenders. That being mentioned, teleconverters have come a great distance, and the RF Extender 2x’s autofocus efficiency has been typically praised.

elevated versatility

A 1200mm lens is a 1200mm lens. A 600mm lens with two teleconverters is a 600mm, 840mm and 1200mm lens. Sure, in fact, you could possibly add a teleconverter to a 1200mm lens to extend it, and it could most likely outperform a number of equal teleconverters to transcend 1200mm by stacking them as much as 600mm, however final you get 1680mm Or when was the 2400mm lens wanted? Certain, they sound neat on paper, however their real-world purposes are few and much between. Comparable logic applies to the 800 mm place.

what must you spend your cash on as a substitute

If it have been me, I might save 1000’s of {dollars} and get shorter focal lengths and teleconverters with out hesitation. The elevated versatility and important financial savings are outweighed by the comparatively small good points in distinction and determination. In the event you go together with the 600mm mixture as a substitute of the 1200mm, you may get an EOS R3 with extra modifications!

Actually, I will not even discover RF lenses. I have been adopting the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS Mark I USM in my EOS R5 for nearly two years now with none complaints. Autofocus is flawless (even higher than my 1D X Mark II), and picture high quality is excellent. Canon has utterly improved picture high quality in all variations of those lenses, however they’re excessive sufficient that even my eye of selection is completely proud of the Mark I. The true profit you get when transferring to newer variations is the burden financial savings. There’s completely one thing to be mentioned for him (preserving that factor round at all times makes me suppose twice), however I at all times take into consideration the 1000’s of {dollars} I’ve saved, after which, I’ll bulk up. Completely comfortable to take care of.

your ideas

What are your ideas? Is the picture high quality value the additional tens of 1000’s of {dollars} for the 800mm and 1200mm lenses, or are you higher off saving your cash and utilizing a teleconverter?


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