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Canon RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM

Super telephoto prime lens for Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras

Item # 280RF1200

Canon's longest RF lens offers a unique perspective that's ideal for photographing distant wildlife and sports.

Canon's longest RF lens offers a unique perspective that's ideal for photographing distant wildlife and sports.

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About the Canon RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM

An unrivaled telephoto perspective

Canon has introduced a number of high-performance mirrorless lenses since they debuted their RF-mount lineup. The RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM is among the most impactful, offering an unparalleled telephoto perspective of distant subjects. 

An unrivaled telephoto perspective

Canon has introduced a number of high-performance mirrorless lenses since they debuted their RF-mount lineup. The RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM is among the most impactful, offering an unparalleled telephoto perspective of distant subjects. 

Pair this exceptional lens with your Canon EOS R Series mirrorless camera for spectacular shots of the action on the field, animals in their natural environment, and dramatic long-range perspectives. You'll enjoy razor-sharp focus, vibrant, punchy colors, and beautiful out-of-focus elements.

Canon RF1200mm f/8 L IS USM super telephoto prime lens for Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras

This exceptional lens is ideal for professional-grade shots of distant athletes and wildlife.

Versatile image stabilization

Built-in image stabilization makes this lens a particularly good match for photographers who primarily shoot handheld. It even offers three different image stabilization modes (single-shot, panning-optimized, and exposure-activated) to best match your shooting scenario, which are quickly selectable with a barrel-mounted switch.

Extend your reach

The RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM is compatible with Canon RF extenders for even greater reach. (An extender reduces the lens's maximum aperture by one or two stops of light, depending on which model you use.) 


Product highlights:

  • lens type: RF mount super telephoto prime
  • compatible with Canon EOS R series mirrorless cameras
  • 1200mm fixed focal length
  • f/8 maximum aperture
  • ideal for wildlife, motorsports, and aviation photography
  • built-in image stabilization for sharper images at slower shutter speeds compared to non-stabilized lenses
    • three selectable image stabilization modes (single-shot, panning-optimized, and exposure-activated) with barrel-mounted switch
  • two focus presets let you quickly jump back and forth between two separate focus distances
  • customizable electronic manual focus ring for fine-tuning your subject's focus
Design and construction:
  • lens construction: 26 elements in 18 groups, including 1 super UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) element to reduce chromatic aberration
  • 9-blade circular aperture for rendering beautiful of out-of-focus background elements
  • dust- and water-resistant construction for shooting in adverse weather conditions
  • Super Spectra Coating (SSC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) minimize ghosting and flare
  • smudge-resistant fluorine coating repels dirt and dust for easy cleaning
  • supports 52mm drop-in screw filters (filter holder included)
  • integrated tripod collar for use with a tripod or monopod
  • minimum focus distance: 14.1 feet
Included accessories:
  • front and rear lens caps
  • LS1200 soft case
  • ET-160 (WIII)
  • lens wide strap B
Dimensions and warranty:

What's in the box:

  • RF1200mm F8 L IS USM super-telephoto lens
  • Front lens cap E-185C (installed)
  • Rear dust cap RF (installed)
  • Tripod mount (installed)
  • Drop-in Screw Filter Holder 52 (WIII)
  • 52mm Protect filter
  • Lens Hood ET-160(WIII)
  • Lens Soft Case LS1200
  • Lens Wide Strap B

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More details on the Canon RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM

Mark G.

Product Research


Overview: The Canon RF1200mm f/8 L IS USM is a super-telephoto lens made for Canon's EOS R Series cameras. The lens is ideal for sports, wildlife, and other long-distance photography. Its Optical Image Stabilization works with EOS R series cameras to provide up to 4 stops of stabilization. The lens comes with a removable tripod mount, a lens hood, and a lens case.

Canon L Series: The RF1200mm f/8 L IS USM is part of Canon's L-series lenses, which can be quickly identified by the red stripe around the end of the lens. Many L-series models also have white bodies. Canon L lenses typically have wide apertures and a rugged build quality. Image quality is quite good, with excellent contrast, sharpness, color, and bokeh (background blur).

Lens Construction: The lens is constructed of 26 lens elements in 18 groups, including one Super UD, one UD (Ultra-low Dispersion), and two large-diameter Fluorite elements. The lens features Canon's Super Spectra Coating (SSC) which helps maintain overall image quality and color fidelity. In addition, its has an Air Sphere Coating (ASC) for reducing the occurrence of lens flare and ghosting. The front and rear elements also feature a specially-designed fluorine coating. The coating prevents water, oil, and other surface residue from sticking to the lens. RF-series lenses have a large 54mm lens mount, with large diameter elements to give you brilliant images with minimal light fallout.

USM: The RF1200mm lens is equipped with a Ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor) auto focus motor, which quickly and quietly auto focus on fast moving subjects. Focus tracking is more accurately captured as well.

12-pin Communication: The Canon RF-series lenses feature a 12-pin communication system between the camera and the lens (compared to 8 pins for the EF-series). This 12-pin system is the fastest available for a Canon lens and camera combination, and provides faster AF, Image Stabilization, Digital Lens Optimizer, and more. In addition, the EOS R camera can display lens information directly to the viewfinder, making it easy to confirm the lens' focal length without looking away from your subject.

Focus Mode Switch: The lens has a 3-way Focus Mode switch that lets you choose between Auto Focus (AF), Power Focus (PF), and Manual Focus (MF). During Auto Focus, you can temporarily stop auto focusing by pressing and holding one of the two AF Stop buttons. To resume AF, simply release the AF Stop button. When Power Focus is selected, you can turn the playback ring to change the focus smoothly. This is helpful for changing focus when shooting movies. In MF mode, the focus is set by turning the focus ring.

Manual Focus Speed: The Manual Focus Speed switch lets you select from three speeds, labeled 1, 2, and 3. Speed 1 is the fastest, with 2 and 3 being progressively slower. Speed 3 is recommended for fine focusing. To enable switching with the manual focus speed switch, you must set the attached camera to "Linked to Rotation Degree" setting. When the MF focus ring sensitivity setting is set to "Varies with rotation speed", switching with the Manual Focus Speed switch is disabled.

Focus Preset: The Focus Preset feature lets you quickly select between one or two memorized focus distances. You can focus upon and memorize two separate distances, then choose between them by twisting the playback ring. For example, you can choose a closeup distance and a distance further away and quickly switch between them with a slight turn of the ring.

Focusing Distance Range: You can narrow the focusing distance range using the 3-way range selector switch. The available ranges include: Full 2.6m (8.5')-to-∞, 2.6m (8.5')-to-20m (65.6'), or 20m (65.6')-to-∞. Narrowing the focusing distance range can result in faster focusing by preventing the lens from focusing on a subject at an unintended distance.

Image Stabilizer (IS): The RF1200mm lens features Optical Image Stabilization (IS) when mounted to a Canon EOS R series camera, and provides up to 4 stops of shake correction. Three Image Stabilization modes can be selected using the switch on the lens barrel. The IS modes include:

  • Mode 1: Uses for shooting still subjects, Mode 1 provides excellent results in semi-darkened areas, such as indoors, or outdoors at night. It can also be used where a flash cannot be used, such as museums and theater stages. It corrects vibrations in all directions.
  • Mode 2: IS Mode 2 is best for shooting moving subjects, including panning shots of vehicles or trains. It corrects vibrations for vertical or horizontal panning shots.
  • Mode 3: Image stabilization goes into effect only when the shutter is released. There is no visible correction between shots in the camera's viewfinder.

Lens Hood: The optional ET-160(WIII) lens hood cuts out unwanted light that can cause flare and ghosting, and protects the front of the lens from rain, snow, and dust. The lens hood slips onto the end of the lens and locks into place by twisting the hood lock knob. When not in use, the lens hood can be reverse-mounted on the lens for storage.

Security Slot: The RF1200mm lens is equipped with a security slot that works with commercially-available wire-type security locks. The security slot is located on the cover for the orientation locking knob.

Optional Drop-in Filters: The RF1200mm lens comes with the Canon Drop-in Filter Holder 52(WIII), with Canon's PROTECT filter. Commercially available screw-type filters (52mm) will fit into the holder, and drop in, facing in either direction. If an optional filter is not needed, the PROTECT filter should be installed in the holder and inserted into the lens.

Optional Extenders: The lens is compatible with the Canon RF1.4x and RF2x extenders which give you the following specifications:

Extender RF1.4x RF2x
Focal Length (mm) 1680mm 2400mm
Aperture f/11 f/16
Maximum Magnification 0.41x 0.60x


  • Focal Length: 1200mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/64
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.29x
  • Aperture Design: 9-blade circular
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 2° 05'
  • Lens Construction: 26 elements in 18 groups
  • Filter Diameter: 52mm (drop-in)
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 14.1 feet (169.2")
  • Dimensions: Diameter 6.6", Length 21.1"
  • Weight: 117.8 ounces (7.4 pounds)

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