According to multiple sources, Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS lens will be announced on November 2, 2023. Jan Wegener said Canon would announce the RF 200-800 three weeks ago and shortly after that Sony Alpha Rumors said it would be announced in early November according to a source in retail. Now Canon Rumours is saying that we will get three lenses announced. Once of them is sure to break the internet said Canon Rumours, one can only wish that the third lens would be a Sigma lens. A third party lens, a sigma lens would definitely break the internet.
Sony Alpha Rumors said that the RF 200-800mm would have an aperture range of f/6.3-9, but not be an L series lens, but the ordinary Filmmaker says the 200-800 is definitely a big white, but doesn't believe it is an L series lens. Canon rumours also says that multiple sources indicate the lens gets the white paint treatment, but doesn't mention anything about being an L series. While there has been some conjecture on this, we can confirm through our own sources that the 200-800 won't be an L series lens despite being a white painted lens.
Canon has released a few lenses that are painted white, but not L series: the 400mm f/4 DO and the special edition EF 400mm f/2.8. Previously all Canon L series lenses had USM motors until the RF 10-20mm f/4 so Canon might be shaking things up. While information on the RF 200-800mm appear to be coming together, the pieces don't seem to make sense: a big white, but not L series costing around $2,000. The European price is expected to be 2500 euros.
This begs a few questions: 1) will the lens be weather sealed?; 2) Will it work with Canon's RF extenders; and 3) will the autofocus be fast enough for sports and wildlife photographers.
Most canon lenses above $2000 are usually weather sealed, but they are also usually L series. The only non-weather sealed L-Sereis is the EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM II. It's plausible that the lens will be weather sealed, but not get the same level of protection as L series's lenses. It all comes down to seals. If the construction is precise and using good materials, it will provide some protection, all canon RF lenses do this. being L series gives it a much better sealing than non.
The Canon RF 800mm f/11 works with Canon's RF extenders so it will likely work with the RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9. The only remaining question is will the focus system be fast enough for sports or wildlife photography, or slow like the 800mm f/11. If the lens has an STM motor, it won't be as fast as the RF 100-500, but should be faster than the 800mm f/11, but this will turn away any pros of wildlife photographers than need to cover fast moving subjects. with a 2x extender, the 200-800 f6.3-9 becomes a 400-1600 f12.6-18. a 1.4 extender will effectively provide 280-1120 f/8.8-12.6.
We are working behind the scenes to validate this rumor. We hope to have some specs and photos soon. Either way, we should know by next week as this is when the announcement is supposed to be held. The Canon RF 10-18mm is also rumoured to be announced, will it be announced at the same time as the RF 200-800mm f6.3-9? Stay tuned.
UPDATE: October 24, 17h48 EDT – another source validated that the lens is real but could not remember if it was a 200-800mm or a 300-800mm.
UPDATE: October 25, 12h00 EDT – this will be a big white, DO lens, but no mention if it will be an L series.
UPDATE: October 26, 08h20 EDT – the 200-800mm will be an extended zoom
UPDATE: October 28, 09h02 EDT – The 200-800 will NOT be an L-series and is unlikely to be weather sealed, but we are waiting for confirmation on not being weather sealed.