Updated on Feb 23, 2022 at 3:31 PM
Two days early, the press release details of the coming RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM leaked, and there are a few pleasant surprises. First among them is that the lens weighs just a bit more the RF 600mm f/4 lens, which is already very light for that focal length. A person Digicame-Info believes was the author of the now-defunct Nokishita blog posted posted the press release detailing the specs.
The minimum focus distance (MFD) is 4.3m, also roughly the same as the 600mm f/4, which means its maximum magnification will be twice that of the smaller lens. Doing the math, this means that a human head would completely fill the frame at MFD.
Not noted on the release are the lens dimensions.
For those with a glutton for focal length, the 1200mm lens does take both the 1.4x and the 2x teleconverters, rendering as much as a 2400mm f/16 equivalent lens. Of course, the air column in front of that lens will chip away at sharpness. Stabilization becomes difficult at these focal lengths. At f/16, diffraction effects can rob an image of sharpness and detail.
With yesterday’s leak of product images and the details from this release, it appears Canon is putting out EF-style optical tubes, without the extra RF ring featured on other white L lenses like the 100-500 and 70-200.
Optical stabilization is rated to 4 stops (one fewer than had with the RF 600mm f/4), but that stat had an asterisk affixed to it. It has the standard three IS modes, and Canon’s most recent lens coatings.
With the weight being so similar, as well as the minimum focus distance being almost identical, one might suspect this was an RF 600mm f/4 dressed up with an attached teleconverter-like group of elements. The 1200 is to have two large fluorite elements, one Super UD element, and a single UD glass element. While the lens elements are listed and emphasized differently than was done with the release of the RF 600mm, a Canon Rumors forum member pointed out that it doesn’t eliminate the possibility that the bigger end of the lens could be largely the same as the RF 600mm f/4.
The full release, complete with weasel words and footnotes, is rumored to be coming on Thursday the 24th.