How Good Are Canon's New 600mm and 800mm Lenses?

Canon's new RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses are quite unique, and they offer an affordable chance for photographers to check out extreme focal lengths. If you are interested in them, check out this excellent review. 

Coming to you from Tony and Chelsea Northrup, this great video review takes a look at the new Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses. The Northrups test them out on both the powerful new Canon EOS R5 along with the budget Canon EOS RP. The RF 600mm f/11 and 800mm f/11 both caused a bit of confusion when they were first announced due to their highly unusual maximum aperture, but with modern optical designs and the powerful autofocus of Canon's new bodies, they look like they could be a very intriguing option for a wide variety of shooters who would like to work with extreme focal lengths but do not want to drop tens of thousands of dollars on top-shelf supertelephoto prime lenses. And given their performance, it looks like the company has a couple of potential winners on their hands. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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24 Comments

Deleted Account's picture

No thanks.

Robert Nurse's picture

A single f-stop?

Stuart Carver's picture

Yes, to keep the size down, pretty much point and shoot.. amazingly good results considering.

Troy Straub's picture

How much size and weight would an adjustable aperture really add? It already has electronics and an auto focus motor. I don't claim to know anything about lens design, but fixed aperture seems like a very strange decision to me.

Stuart Carver's picture

It’s hardly like they are defining their system with these lenses though is it, they are just ultra cheap (in long tele world) ways of getting people something to shoot wildlife with.

If you look at the design they are largely unextended when not in use so I’m guessing the place where the aperture blades would be cant be there because of that.

Also on Jared Polins review you can see that even with f11 hardly anything is in focus and the capabilities of ISO on modern cameras means having larger apertures is not as relevant as it once was.

Troy Straub's picture

Thanks! It DOF at 11 wouldn't worry me for blur. I just think it would be nice to be able to stop down a bit if you have 2 subjects in frame. I guess I could see the tromboning getting in the way. They are in a completely different price range I suppose they can't make them too good.

Stuart Carver's picture

I wish Fuji would do something similar, or a PF lens... our only options are the 100-400 and that cheap 200mm that we can all afford.

Troy Straub's picture

I'm a micro 4/3 shooter. I'm actually still pretty happy with it especially for the price. But still like to see what the others are doing for if/ when it really is dead. Fuji looks interesting, but I always here they need more glass. I'd like longer glass, but not sure how much deeper I should get into the system.

Stuart Carver's picture

A lot of people complain about the AF speed on the older Fuji lenses, I don’t find it too bad really. M43 is a great system but yeah it’s being negated by smaller full frame and APS-C, still has its place though I think.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

From the Northrups? God no...

Robert Nurse's picture

Why do people hate on the Northrups?

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Because they're a bunch of click-bait YouTube nobodies that have been caught red-handed lying and falsifying claims too many times to count.

Fristen Lasten's picture

Edison Wrzosek Please do cite a few examples. For us newbs.

Rayann Elzein's picture

You're stating a verifiable fact, I don't know why you're being downvoted.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Probably because some of these people are still pissed and hung up on Tony's Afghan Girl video where we calls out Steve McCurry.

Stuart Carver's picture

Culturally I would say they don’t lend themselves to British people at all, very very cheesy American, almost like Simpsons characters of the camera world, I half expect there to be a twinkle on Tony’s teeth when he makes a one liner.

Also they seem to thrive on the negatives of a camera system over the positives more often than not and it gets tiresome after a while, I end up thinking ‘just go out and f—king use the things instead of moaning about them’, but then I think that about most people who moan about gear.

Fristen Lasten's picture

Funny, because Northrup seems to be a real Mayflower-New England blue-blood name, originally hailing from Lincolnshire in Middle East England. I guess you'd refer to them as "splitters." Lol

Stuart Carver's picture

Yeah there is 100% nobody in Lincolnshire who behaves like them lol. Interestingly Rod Temperton who was a famous disco producer is from Lincolnshire too.

Nitin Chandra's picture

Just buy the books and every camera will work fine :P

Joel Hernandez's picture

They seem like cool lenses when traveling.

Mutley Dastardly's picture

Minolta used to have the 500mm f8 with AF - mirror, ultralight - only f8.

Rick Rizza's picture

So you can be a contributor just by giving a YouTube link? Wow

Teemu Paukamainen's picture

Indeed. At least write a short summary of the video so the readers wouldn't need to click on any Tony N. links.