RF 800 F11 arrived early

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Alastair Norcross
Alastair Norcross Forum Pro • Posts: 10,515
RF 800 F11 arrived early

I jumped on the BF deal of a refurbished 800 F11 for $599, and it arrived early on Saturday (it was supposed to arrive today). I took if for a short (that became a bit long) test spin on Saturday afternoon at a local lake that has lots of geese. I wanted to see what it's like shooting it on my R7 bare, and on my R6II with 1.4X extender, which gives a similar FOV (1120 for the R6II combo, compared with 1280 FF equivalent FOV on the R7). As a result of my experience, I cancelled my preorder for the 200-800 (you're welcome, whoever is next in line). I can see that I need plenty of practice shooting at 800mm (or longer with the extender), before I can justify spending nearly $2000 for the zoom, which is almost twice the weight of the prime. I suspect that the zoom is still in my future, maybe in a future refurbished deal. The longest combo I've shot with up to now is the RF 100-400 with 1.4X extender, so 560mm. The prime is a whole different animal. It was a lot of fun, but also very challenging.

I am very impressed by the lens. It's very sharp, and eminently handholdable. It's easy to get sharp shots of stationary (or gently moving) subjects, but obviously a lot harder with birds in flight (even large ones). Here are a few samples. Some of these are full resolution (after cropping), and some are downsized for the web, because that's what I view. There are plenty of reviews of this lens, with full resolution samples, so you don't need me for that.

First, the bare lens on the R7:

Now some from the lens with 1.4X extender on the R6II:

I shot all of these in e-shutter. With birds this large, even in flight, any rolling shutter distortion is either not visible, or not distracting. I don't know, for example, whether the curved wing tips on a couple of the R7 shots is rolling shutter, or just the way the wings actually look. I don't care, because I like they way it looks.

So far, I can definitely recommend this lens to anyone who wants to try out a really long prime, without spending an arm and a leg or having to spend months in the gym.

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“When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror, like the passengers in his car.” Jack Handey
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 Alastair Norcross's gear list:Alastair Norcross's gear list
Canon G7 X II Canon EOS M6 II Canon EOS R7 Canon EOS R6 Mark II Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro +24 more
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