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EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM – the wildlife photographer’s ultimate lens

EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM – the wildlife photographer’s ultimate lens

EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM – the wildlife photographer’s ultimate lens

The second longest lens in Canon's EF lens range, the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM a true beast of a lens that weighs in at a surprisingly light 4.5kg and has a four stop Image Stabilizer.

Who is it for?

This really is the wildlife photographer’s ultimate lens. If your subjects are a long way away or timid and shy, this lens will let you fill the frame with all of the natural wildlife action.

Key features

  • Four stop Image Stabilizer with tripod detection
  • Fluorite, UD and super UD lens elements
  • 4.5 kg magnesium alloy build
  • Super Spectra lens coatings
  • Ring USM auto focus with full-time manual focus

At 4.5kg the lens is substantially lighter than most people expect and while long-term hand-holding is not really possible for most, for short periods of time, it can be done, especially when the four stop Image Stabilizer is used to allow sharp shots to be obtained down to around 1/50sec.

The Image Stabilizer also has a Mode 2 setting to facilitate panning shots by removing camera shake at right angles to the direction of panning. A tripod detection system also ensures that you won’t end up in a positive feedback loop if you mount the camera on tripod and leave the Image Stabilizer turned on.


Side view of the Canon EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM super telephoto lens.

Utilising all four of Canon’s latest lens technologies – aspherical, fluorite, UD and Super UD elements - ensures the lens’ optical performance is excellent with properly corrected spherical aberrations and no secondary chromatic aberrations. Images taken with the lens exhibit high contrast and excellent sharpness with no distortion right to the edge of the frame.

A ring-type USM autofocus motor means you’ll be able to keep up with any subject no matter how fast they move and full-time manual focusing allows you to adjust the focus to suit without first having to switch to manual focus. The addition of four AF stop buttons allows you to halt the AF functions to avoid jumping focus to a passing obstruction, and the AF preset gives you the option to immediately jump to a specified preset focus distance.

Super Spectra coatings help to provide accurate colour balance and uniform colours and help to control flare and ghosting by absorbing light reflecting of the digital sensors.

The circular aperture provides smooth, consistent background blur to help your subjects stand out from the background for high impact images.

The lens can also be used with either the EF1.4x II or EF2x II extenders to provide a 1120mm f/8 or a 1600mm f/11 lens. With the EF1.4x II Extender, the lens will still perform AF on the central point with an EOS-1 series camera body.

  • USM autofocus

The lens ring-type USM autofocus motor means you can focus quickly, near-silently and with precision. It also provides full-time manual focus so that you can adjust the focus with the focus ring, without first having to switch the lens to manual focus. This allows you to adjust the focus accurately to ensure it is exactly where you want it to be for the most creative control possible.

  • Fluorite, UD and Super UD lens elements

The incorporation of two fluorite elements, one ultra-low dispersion (UD) lens element, and one super-UD element ensures the highest image quality by effectively suppressing secondary spectrum and chromatic aberration to provide sharp, high contrast images.

Technical product specifications are currently unavailable.