Canon recently added new trio of RF-mount prime lenses, the RF85mm f/2 IS STM, RF600mm f/11 IS STM & RF800mm f/11 IS STM to their their lineup, along with the announcements for the new Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras, EOS R5 and EOS R6 and first super-telephoto L zoom lens for the EOS R series full frame mirrorless camera, the Canon RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM.

“With the seamless integration of camera and lens technology in the EOS R platform, we are able to design and produce new concept lenses that were not possible before. The compact and lightweight super telephoto lenses, and the portrait lens that comes with a half macro feature are all designed to be affordable. These lenses will open up a whole new world of photography for our EOS R users,” said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore.

The RF85mm f/2 IS STM offers more flexibility with its ability to shoot both portraits and macro, while the RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF800mm f/11 IS STM offers super telephoto focal lengths of 600mm and 800m respectively at an affordable price.

Lightweight, compact and affordable super telephoto lenses

Telephoto lenses are usually associated with big aperture prime lenses and they can be pretty expensive, big and heavy in weight. The RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF800mm f/11 IS STM lenses are going to change this mindset, designed to lower the barriers of entry for photographers to own super telephoto lenses by making them more affordable, compact and lightweight.

By working together with the DIGIC X image processor and high-performance CMOS sensor in the EOS R series cameras, the RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF800mm f/11 IS STM are capable of delivering high image quality even at high ISO settings despite their affordable price. All made possible with the RF mount technology that made lenses previously impossible to design possible now. Utilising a single DO (Diffractive optical element) lens instead of the traditional use of multiple lens elements at the front of the RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF800mm f/11 IS STM has contributed to the lighter lens weight. The single DO lens not only has the optical characteristics of multiple lenses but is able to produce high image quality with reduced chromatic aberration.

High-strength plastics are used for the main construction of both lenses, contributing further to the lightweight design whereas metal parts are used on parts like the lens mount and tripod ring where strength is crucial. The fixed f/11 apertures of both lenses, which omits the need for an aperture adjustment mechanism, also helps reduce the weight. The incredible reduction in weight of the two super telephoto lenses make them possible for handheld use. In fact, the RF600mm f/11 IS STM is approx. 30% of the weight of the much bigger and heavier EF600mm f/4L IS III USM lens. Similarly, the RF800mm f/11 IS STM is approx. 28% of the weight of the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens.

On top of the significant weight reduction, both lenses have a retractable structure which makes them a lot more portable. Users can easily stow the lens away without having to get a dedicated bag just for the lens. The lens barrel can be extended when shooting, while retracting can be done by rotating the lock ring on the mount before storing the lens away.

When retracted, the RF600mm f/11 IS STM is 45% of the length of the EF600mm f/4L IS III USM lens. Meanwhile, the RF800mm f/11 IS STM is 61% of the length of the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens when retracted. With the significant downsize, it makes transportation and storage of these lenses a breeze.

The RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF800mm f/11 IS STM are also compatible with the new Extender RF 1.4x and Extender RF 2x for RF lenses, making it possible to achieve a maximum reach of 1600mm (when RF800mm f/11 IS STM is paired with Extender RF 2x).

Image Stabiliser (IS) function to assist in handheld shooting

The RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF800mm f/11 IS STM are equipped with Canon’s Optical Image Stabiliser feature. The RF600mm f/11 IS STM achieves an image stabilisation (IS) effect of up to 5 stops (based on CIPA standard) and the RF800mm f/11 IS STM achieves an IS effect of 4 stops (based on CIPA standard). The IS function significantly reduces camera shake, which is particularly noticeable in super telephoto shooting and helps to stabilise the image, making it effective to control focus.

Stunning portraits and creative possibilities with macro function

The EF85mm f/1.8 lens has been one of Canon’s best-selling EF lens line up, and the RF85mm f/2 IS STM continues that legacy with its large f/2 aperture, with macro function and Hybrid Image Stabilisation for added performance. The 85mm focal length is ideal for portraits while the large f/2 aperture results in dreamy bokeh and low light shooting capabilities.

With a minimum shooting distance of 0.35m and the ability to achieve 0.5x magnification, the RF85mm f/2 IS STM opens up more opportunities for more creative and unique images. This comes in especially useful for wedding photographers who wants a portrait lens that could double up to shoot details of rings and decorations.

When the RF85mm f/2 IS STM is used with the EOS R5, up to 8 stops of image stabilisation can be achieved in tandem with the In-Body Image Stabiliser. This feature greatly expands the possibilities of expression especially when a tripod is not available or cannot be used.

Pricing and Availability 

The RF600mm f/11 IS STM will be available at $1,169 while the RF800mm f/11 IS STM will be available for $1,509. Both lenses will be available for sale from 30 July 2020.

The price and availability of the RF85mm f/2 IS STM will be confirmed at a later date.

* Information and pictures courtesy of Canon Singapore and GLOO PR *

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