My quick take on the Canon RF 800mm f11 IS STM

My quick take on the Canon RF 800mm f11 IS STM

Posted by Paolo Capili on 2021-08-18

I asked Canon Canada if they could loan me the new Canon RF 800mm f11 IS STM lens to test out on the field and they sent me the lens together with the Canon EOS R5. I am a Landscape Photographer and have only recently started doing Wildlife photography. What’s the reason? Wildlife Photography can be quite expensive. 200mm or 300mm can be too short of a range when shooting wildlife. You also want to be far from the animals to not scare them and respect their space. For serious Wildlife photographers, lenses alone can cost a large amount.

For example:

Yes its f11, Yes its not an “L” series lens. Yes it's not weather sealed. But, the lens is very sharp and very capable, the reach is unbelievable for the price I really can't complain about. A lot of people are scared to buy it because of the aperture. but in real world situations, f11 is very useful. I have been shooting recently with the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary and when I shoot birds/ wildlife my aperture tends to be at either f8 or f11 so I know it's sharp especially when shooting birds in flight.

The other good thing about the new RF lens is how light it is and out of all the lenses that have been mentioned above, the Canon RF 800mm is the lightest of them all. You can shoot handheld without the use of a tripod or monopod. It's not a big or intimidating lens. I enjoyed using this lens and later compared it to my shots from the sigma 150-600mm lens, the extra 200mm really made a difference. It is lighter than what I'm used to and just the freedom of not using any support.

To conclude, The Canon RF 800mm f11 IS STM is a great telephoto lens combined with the new Canon autofocus system with the R5 or R6 is a killer combination. I enjoyed using the lens, it's a very capable and sharp lens to add to your collection. And for the price? There’s really no competition to it. I would definitely recommend the lens and would consider buying one for myself as well. Thanks for reading! Happy Shooting!

Your Resident Photographer at Broadway Camera

For size comparison between my favorite drink:

  • When it's “closed”, you can't use the lens. You have to extend it for you to be able to use it.

  • When it's “open” or extended the size of the lens is as big as 3 cans of coke :)