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Products >> All Products Key Features of RF Lenses- Part

RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM: Canon’s First Telephoto Zoom to Reach 800mm

2023-11-03
9
5.29 k

On 3 November 2023, Canon announced the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM, a new super telephoto zoom lens for the RF mount. Reaching from 200mm to 800mm, it is not only Canon’s first telephoto zoom lens to reach as long as 800mm, but also the first of its kind in the world with its focal range. Designed to be compact and lightweight, the lens promises to make longer super telephoto focal lengths accessible to even more users.

In this article:

Non-L but white

Non-L but white: Bringing the super telephoto perspective to more

The EOS R series cameras encouraged more photography enthusiasts to photograph action with features such as deep learning-based subject detection and tracking, which improved action shooting performance. Wildlife and action photography also usually requires longer, super telephoto focal lengths, and the release of lenses such as the RF600mm f/11 IS STM, RF800mm f/11 IS STM, and RF100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM provided enthusiasts with more accessible options. As the latest addition to the super telephoto RF lens lineup, the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM further expands possibilities, providing users with a long 800mm reach combined with the convenience of a zoom.

Combining the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM with an extender increases its reach to up to 1600mm (with the Extender RF2x). Around 314mm long (at the 200mm end) and weighing approximately 2050g, the lens is designed for portability and mobility, making it easy to move when shooting action handheld.

The RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM is also the first non-L lens to feature a white lens barrel, which was traditionally a signature of Canon’s professional L-series telephoto lenses. The white coating prevents heat buildup within the lens barrel when shooting outdoors under the hot sun, safeguarding image quality. Of course, it also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the lens!


EOS R3/ RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM/ FL: 800mm/ Shutter-priority AE (f/9, 1/3200 sec)/ ISO 6400/ WB: Auto

Although the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM is not an L-series lens, it boasts excellent image quality. Effort was also made to ensure AF performance that delivers even during action scenes: the lens employs rear focusing with the tiny, high-speed Nano USM, which provides fast, precise AF during still shooting and smooth, seamless AF tracking during video shooting.

Up to 5.5 stops’ image stabilisation, along with support for Coordinated Control IS when the lens is combined with cameras with In-Body IS, rounds off the features that ensure greater convenience during both still and video shooting, even with the lens’ extremely long focal range.

 

Zoom up to 800mm, or longer with an extender

Long focal range: Up to 800mm; or even longer when combined with an extender

With its 200mm to 800mm focal range, the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM provides a 4x zoom. This gives users greater flexibility to change the composition in response to unpredictable moving subjects such as sports and wildlife, especially when compared with the RF800mm f/11 IS STM. It is the first zoom lens in the world to reach as long as 800mm.


Focal range coverage on full-frame cameras

The RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM is compatible with extenders throughout its entire focal range, so users can enjoy the same degree of zoom flexibility with a longer reach. The focal ranges when an RF extender is attached are as follows:

  • With Extender RF1.4x: 280mm to 1120mm
  • With Extender RF2x: 400mm to 1600mm


Focal range coverage on 1.6x crop mode/on APS-C cameras

On APS-C EOS R cameras, as well as with the 1.6x crop mode on full-frame EOS R series cameras, the lens offers a coverage equivalent to 320mm to 1280mm. With the Extender RF2x, coverage of up to 2560mm equivalent is possible.

 

Autofocus: Fast focusing with Nano USM

Fast focusing with Nano USM

The autofocus on the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM is driven by a Nano USM, which enables a compact, lightweight lens design while delivering speed, accuracy, and precise control. This enables fast, accurate AF during still shooting and quiet, seamless tracking and AF transitions during video shooting. The lens also supports Focus Breathing Correction, which corrects the small but potentially jarring changes in angle of view that occur when changing the focus position during video shooting.

EOS R3/ RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM/ FL: 800mm/ Manual exposure (f/9, 1/3200 sec)/ ISO 500/ WB: Auto

With the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM provides 100% AF coverage on recent EOS R series camera models when a subject can be detected. The AF coverage for the different camera models with and without an extender is as follows:


AF coverage with the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM

Camera
Without Extender
With RF1.4x
With RF2x
Horizontal
approx.
Vertical
approx.
Horizontal
approx.
Vertical
approx.
Horizontal
approx.
Vertical
approx.
EOS R / RP 88% 100% 40% 60% 40% 60%
EOS R5 / R6 90% 100%* 90% 100% 40% 60%
EOS R3 /
R6 Mark II / R8
90% 100%**, ^ 90% 100% 40% 60%
EOS R7 / R10 /
R50 / R100
90% 100%**, ^ 90% 100% 40% 80%

* With Face + Subject tracking priority AF: Approx. 100% (horizontal) x 100% (vertical)
** With all-area AF: Approx. 100% (horizontal) x 100% (vertical)
^ When subject can be detected with AF other than all-area AF: Approx. 100% (horizontal) x 100% (vertical)

 

Image stabilisation: Up to 5.5 stops' Optical IS

Image stabilisation: Up to 5.5 stops’ Optical IS; compatibility with Coordinated Control IS

Look forward to capturing impactful closeups handheld with the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM, which is relatively small and lightweight compared to most super telephoto lenses. While one concern might be camera shake, which usually becomes more prominent at longer focal lengths, the lens is equipped with an Optical IS (Optical Image Stabilizer) that provides up to 5.5 shutter speed stops’ equivalent* image stabilisation. Enhanced results are possible through Coordinated Control IS when the lens is combined with a camera body that features In-Body IS.

The benefits of image stabilisation don’t just apply to the final image, but also the shooting experience: it stabilises the viewfinder display image, providing a sharper, more comfortable view. EOS R3 users can also enjoy more success with panning shots, challenging even for professional photographers, as the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM supports the camera’s Panning Assist function.

*With the EOS R. At focal length 800mm, in the yaw/pitch directions.

Both images: EOS R3/ RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM/ FL: 800mm/ Manual exposure (f/9, 1/30 sec)/ ISO 102400

High image quality: Clarity and beautiful resolution throughout the whole zoom range

Clear, beautifully resolved images throughout the entire zoom range

Although not a professional-grade lens, the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM was designed to ensure superior edge-to-edge image quality across the entire zoom range. Its 17-element, 1- group configuration includes three UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) lenses. These correct the longitudinal chromatic aberration that tends to become more prominent at long focal lengths. The result is image clarity with minimal colour bleeding throughout the entire zoom range.

The lens also adopts a multiple zooming group mechanism where all the lens groups other than the IS group move during zooming. This structure reduces the changes in optical properties that occur when the focal length changes, ensuring that image quality is consistently high throughout the entire focal range.


Lens configuration

A: UD lens elements

Operability and reliability

Operability and reliability

Various control features make the lens easier to operate when shooting at long focal lengths.


Focusing/control ring
This knurled ring, a staple on RF lenses, can be assigned to control a designated exposure setting such as aperture or ISO speed. It can also be used as a focusing ring during manual focusing. On the RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM, it is located near the base of the lens for easy access.


Lens function buttons
These buttons can be customised as shortcuts for AF or exposure control. They are located on the top and left side of the lens within easy reach of the left thumb.


Zoom ring
The torque of the zoom ring can be adjusted via the adjustment ring. You can make the ring lighter during still shooting by turning the adjustment ring towards “SMOOTH”. When shooting videos, turning the adjustment ring towards “TIGHT” makes the ring heavier to turn, enabling finer control and more consistent zooming speed.

 

White coating

The lens bears a white coating that is similar though not the same as that found on the L-series telephoto lenses. The coating reduces heat buildup inside the lens, helping to maintain image quality even when shooting outside on a hot day.

Dust- and drip-proof design

The lens is designed to prevent dust and water droplets from entering, with weather sealing on the rings, switches, and other joints and controls. This further increases the durability and reliability.


 

 


Key specifications

RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM: Key specifications

Lens construction: 17 elements in 11 groups
Closest focusing distance: 0.8 to 3.3m
Maximum magnification: 0.25x (at 200mm)
No. of aperture blades: 9 (circular blade)
Filter diameter: 95mm
Size: φ102.3×314.1mm
Weight: approx. 2,050g


Bundled accessory

Lens Hood ET-101

 

Sample images

Sample images


EOS R3/ RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM/ FL: 800mm/ Manual exposure (f/9, 1/2000 sec)/ ISO 1250/ WB: Auto


EOS R3/ RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM/ FL: 800mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/9, 1/250 sec)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto


EOS R3/ RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM/ FL: 800mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/13, 1/8000 sec, EV -2.3)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto


EOS R3/ RF200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM + Extender RF2x/ FL: 1600mm/ Manual exposure (f/18, 1/640 sec)/ ISO 3200/ WB: Auto

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