A look at the Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM MTF

Canon has announced the Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM, the first super telephoto zoom that reaches 800mm. Canon also kept the price to a surprisingly low $1900. In this article, as much as I’d love to compare the MTFs against other notables from the other camps, the methods used for MTFs for Sony, Nikon et all are all different and you should never really use them for comparison. So for this lens, I’m going to go the practical way and compare this lens to the Canon RF 100-500L + extender.

First of all, after looking at the MTFs.. the first thing that grabbed my attention was, why didn’t this lens have a red ring? Its performance is excellent on the telephoto end. The Canon 200-800mm has slightly higher contrast and resolution than the Canon RF 100-500 F4.5-7.1L IS USM with the RF1.4x extender. This is with the cost being nearly $1000 lower if you include the price of the extender. If you are reach limited, the 200-800 becomes really a no-brainer, as a matter of fact, I see a lot of used sales of the 100-500L occurring after the RF 200-800mm lens hits the market.

image 3 - A look at the Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM MTF

Now to be fair the 100-500L is a little more balanced, and better in the corners than the 200-800 on the wide end, but I’d argue that no one buys either of these lenses to be shooting much at 100 or 200mm respectively. The 100-500L is also a more demanding lens to make as it’s a 5x zoom, which is always hard to maintain optical quality throughout the zoom range as 3-4x zoom seems to be the sweet spot.

Of course, the Canon RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM kicks both to the curb, but we are talking about the difference between $1,900 and $17,000 and a weight difference of 2050g versus 3140g.

This lens is one of the three that Canon released today, and like the others, it simply hits it out of the park for its target market. It’s hard to complain about a lens that is just as optically good, without a weight compromise, and actually far cheaper than the lens it’s competing with.

This is another lens that I’d strongly suggest preordering quickly if you really want it, I suspect this lens will have a high demand and be stuck on backorder for a while. I’m expecting a “preorders were greater than we anticipated” press announcement in a few weeks or less.

Preorder the Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM

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