Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens Review

The Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is a remarkable telephoto lens that was developed for both professional photographers and photography lovers who want the greatest degree of performance from their equipment.

This lens has an incredible focal length of 1200mm, which enables you to create photographs beautifully detailed even from a distance. Because of this, it is great for capturing images of animals, sports, and other topics that are further away. Let’s have a look at all the many capabilities and features that come with this lens.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 1200mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/64
  • Lens Mount Type: RF Mount, metal
  • Compatible Cameras: Canon EOS R-series
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 4.3 m / 14.1 ft.
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.29x
  • Field of View (at Minimum Focus Distance): Approx. 241 mm × 161 mm / 9.5 x 6.3 in.
  • Angle of View (Diagonal): 2° 05′


When it comes to its overall performance, the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens really distinguishes out from the competition. The optical design of this device contains cutting-edge features, which together provide an image of excellent quality that is also notable for its clarity and sharpness.

Because the lens has low levels of distortion, aberrations, and chromatic aberration, the photographs you take will have a high level of detail and will be accurate representations of real life. The lens also has Canon’s Super Spectra Coating, which effectively suppresses ghosting and flare to produce photos that have a high contrast ratio and colors that are bright.

Autofocus System

The autofocus technology of the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is extremely sophisticated, which enables the lens to achieve rapid and precise focusing in a variety of shooting scenarios. The lens makes use of a ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) that operates at a fast speed, which enables the autofocus performance to be both precise and quiet.

It has a full-time manual focus override, which enables you to make precise changes manually even when the autofocus feature is active on the camera. When shooting in difficult lighting situations or when you want to obtain fine focus on specific areas, this function is very helpful since it enables you to acquire accurate focus more easily.

Vibration Reduction

The Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens has an excellent optical Image Stabilization (IS) system that is built-in. This IS system adjusts for camera shake and decreases blur when shooting handheld. This function is extremely useful when utilizing such a long focal length since even minute movements can lead to a substantial decrease in the quality of the image.

Even at slower shutter speeds, you’ll be able to take photographs that are clear and steady thanks to the image stabilization technology built into the lens. This technology gives up to X stops of stabilization. While shooting in low-light circumstances or while using the lens handheld without the assistance of a tripod, this feature proves to be quite helpful.

Build Quality

The RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens lives up to Canon’s stellar reputation for producing lenses with great build quality, and this lens is no exception. The barrel is made of a tough magnesium alloy that offers great protection against dust and moisture. Its construction ensures that it will last.

Because of its sturdy construction, the lens is able to meet the rigorous requirements of professional use in a wide range of environmental settings. Additionally, the front and back parts of the lens are coated with fluorine, which acts as a repellent for water, oil, and dirt. This makes it much simpler to clean and maintain the lens during its lifetime.

Handling and Ergonomics

The Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is surprisingly lightweight and well-balanced, making it pleasant to wield for lengthy periods of time. This is despite the fact that it has an outstanding focal length. When the lens is mounted on a tripod, the tripod collar may be rotated to smoothly and easily swap between horizontal and vertical positions. This function is made possible by the lens’ rotating tripod collar.

The collar also has a foot that is compatible with Arca-Swiss, which provides extra stability and ensures that it is compatible with a diverse selection of tripod heads. In addition, the lens features a manual focus ring as well as a control ring. These rings provide a smooth as well as accurate level of control over the focus as well as other functions that may be customized.

Image Stabilization

When working with such a long focal length, having a lens that integrates an efficient optical Image Stabilization (IS) system is very necessary. The Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is equipped with such a system. Even while shooting handheld, the IS system will allow you to take photos that are clear and distinct without any blurring, since it will adjust for camera shake.

This capability is especially helpful in circumstances when the use of a tripod is either impractical or impossible. The image stabilization feature of the lens offers up to X stops of stabilization, allowing you to take photos at slower shutter speeds without compromising the picture quality.

Shooting Experience

The experience of utilizing the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is one that is wholly engrossing and extremely gratifying. It is possible to take magnificent photographs of animals with this lens, as well as action-packed moments from a distance during sporting events. The lens offers a diverse variety of shooting options. Because of its long focal length, it enables you to bring distant subjects closer to the camera, therefore revealing details that would otherwise be challenging to capture.

Because the focusing function of the lens is both quick and precise, it will ensure that you will never pass up an important opportunity. The Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens helps photographers to unleash their creativity and produce spectacular photographs because to its superb image quality and reliable performance.

Image Quality

Image quality is exceptional when captured with the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens, which achieves this result owing to its cutting-edge optical design and superb glass components. Even when used at its widest aperture, the lens has the ability to generate photos with extraordinary clarity, sharpness, and detail. The photos have very little distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting, which results in shots that are extremely accurate representations of the real thing.

Because of the lens’ Super Spectra Coating, ghosting and flare are effectively reduced, which results in improved contrast and color saturation. Every image that you capture with the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens will be of the finest possible quality, regardless of whether you are capturing landscapes, sports, or other types of animals.

Teleconverter Compatibility

The versatility and range of the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens may be expanded with the use of Canon’s teleconverters, which are compatible with the lens. When combined with a teleconverter, the lens has the potential to effectively expand its focal length. This will enable you to go even closer to the subjects of your photographs without sacrificing the quality of the images.

Because it is compatible with teleconverters, cameras equipped with this feature provide photographers the ability to adjust to a variety of shooting conditions and acquire the required magnification for their own requirements.

Comparison with Competitors

The Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is unparalleled in its class in terms of both its overall performance and the quality of the images it produces. It stands out from other similar products on the market because to its sophisticated optical design, accurate focusing technology, and built-in image stabilization. The lens has an exceptionally high resolving power, and it also has very low levels of aberration and distortion.

As a result, the photographs that are taken with it have the best possible quality. Additionally, its compatibility with Canon’s teleconverters adds to its versatility and makes it the go-to pick for photographers who demand extremely powerful telephoto capabilities.


Focal Length1200mm
Maximum Aperturef/8
Minimum Aperturef/64
Lens Mount TypeRF Mount, metal
Compatible CamerasCanon EOS R-series
Minimum Focusing Distance4.3 m / 14.1 ft.
Maximum Magnification0.29x
Field of View (at Min. Focus)Approx. 241 mm × 161 mm
Angle of View (Diagonal)2° 05′

Pros and Cons

The Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens provides both professional photographers and photography amateurs with a variety of useful benefits. Because of its extraordinary focus length, superb image clarity, and durable build quality, it is a very effective instrument for photographing distant things in breathtaking detail. Because the focusing technology of the lens is both rapid and precise, you will have no trouble capturing important moments as they happen.

Handheld photography is possible even in adverse settings because to the camera’s integrated image stabilization system, which efficiently compensates for shaking. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the lens has a maximum aperture that is fixed at F8, which may necessitate the use of higher ISO settings in low-light scenarios. Additionally, the lens’s enormous size and weight may provide difficulties in terms of mobility and transportation.

Price and Availability

Because it is a premium telephoto lens, the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens carries a price tag that reflects its caliber. Its higher price tag is warranted, given the remarkable skills it possesses and the professional-grade craftsmanship it features.

In terms of its availability, it is recommended to verify with authorized Canon stores or online platforms to guarantee that it is still available and to obtain the most current price information possible.


A fantastic telephoto lens that pushes the limits of what is possible in telephoto photography, the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is a part of the Canon RF series of lenses. It is a tool that enables photographers to take spectacular photographs from a distance because of its amazing focal length, great image quality, and strong build.

The lens’ sophisticated autofocus mechanism, image stabilization, and compatibility with teleconverters further enhance the shooting experience and its already impressive flexibility. When it comes to extreme telephoto photography, the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is a top choice for professionals and hobbyists who expect the best in performance and picture quality. Despite the fact that it comes with a higher price tag and concerns surrounding its size and weight, this lens is one of the most popular options available.

Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens FAQs

Q. Is the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens compatible with all Canon RF-mount cameras?
A. Yes, the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is specifically designed for Canon’s RF-mount cameras. It is fully compatible with all Canon EOS R-series cameras, providing seamless integration and optimal performance.
Q. Can the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens be used for handheld shooting?
A. While the lens has built-in image stabilization to help reduce camera shake, it is a large and heavy telephoto lens. It is generally recommended to use a sturdy tripod or monopod for better stability and to achieve the best results, especially when shooting at such a long focal length.
Q. What is the closest focusing distance of the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens?
A. The minimum focusing distance of the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is 4.3 meters or 14.1 feet. This means that the lens is primarily intended for capturing distant subjects rather than close-up or macro photography.
Q. Is the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens weather-sealed?
A. Yes, the lens features a durable magnesium alloy construction and is designed to be weather-sealed. It provides excellent protection against dust and moisture, allowing you to use it in various environmental conditions with confidence.
Q. Can teleconverters be used with the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens?
A. Yes, the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens is compatible with Canon’s teleconverters. This allows you to extend the lens’s focal length and achieve even greater reach, although it’s important to note that using teleconverters may impact the lens’s maximum aperture and autofocus performance.


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