Should You Buy Canon's RF 600mm f/11 or RF 800mm f/11 Lens?

The Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses both offer extreme reach in portable packages and at very affordable prices, but with so many similarities, you are unlikely to buy both. So, how do you choose between them? This helpful video answers that question. 

Coming to you from Christopher Frost, this great video discusses the differences between the Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses and how you might want to choose between the two. While there is a difference in price and a rather substantial difference in size between the two, another thing to consider is your ability to crop. The difference between 600mm and 800mm isn't as extreme as the difference between something like 50mm and 250mm. This means that you might be better off using the 600mm f/11 and cropping in if needed (unless you absolutely need every last bit of reach), particularly if you are using a high-resolution body, like the EOS R5, on which you have megapixels to spare. Remember that you can always crop in a bit, but if your subject is too large for the frame, you can't fix that in post. Check out the video above for Frost's full thoughts on both lenses. 

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8 Comments

YL Photographie's picture

neither of the two. it's either the 500mm F4 or the 600mm F4 not these gadgets at f11

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

I don't see either of those lenses in your profile. Not everyone can afford those high dollar lenses and you know that. These give them something they can afford. Being a gear snob is Not Cool man.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1433722-REG/canon_ef_600mm_f_4l_i...

$13,000 vs $700 for 600mm lenses. Come on man! Where's your 600mm f4?

Spy Black's picture

I say if you have an RF and need this kind of reach, I say try it. It'll either work for how you shoot or it won't.

Rick Rizza's picture

Looks like people start selling off these lenses on eBay. I wonder what's wrong?

Spy Black's picture

Good question. Maybe technical, or it may be people trying to use these like f/4 lenses. :-)

Rick Rizza's picture

Yes, but all the example pictures are quite nice actually. Might get one and keep it for a "just in case" lens

Morris Erickson's picture

George Lepp has added it to his kit and he has been around a bird or two. You can get one on ebay for an extra few hundred dollars over list - supply and demand. The 800mm plus the 1.4X extender gives you 1,120mm.

Nic Kuvshinoff's picture

Notwithstanding Christopher Frost's recommendation, I would probably go with the 800. I shoot a lot with a Canon 600 f/4, the MkII, but it is a beast and unwieldy to deploy quickly. Sometimes I end up just using the 100-400 Mk II because relatively, it is much easier to handhold and bring to bear quickly. At least for what I do, frequently 600 mm is not really enough reach, so 800mm would come in handy on nice bright days. I've never used a 600mm Mk III, so I don't know how much lighter that is, but this 800 is like a pancake lens compared to the much heavier Canon 600mm.