12 lenses of Christmas: Canon brings out great white monsters in February 2022

Canon RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM and Canon RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM
(Image credit: Canon)

Two great whites were spotted from the news desk in February, as Canon announced a brace of RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM lenses, with a combined selling price of $37k. The $20k 800mm was the more newsworthy, becoming the world’s longest autofocus lens for mirrorless cameras and being 1.3kg lighter in weight than its EF-mount forebear. 

Canon RF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8 L IS USM

The RF 800mm F5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm F8L IS USM were announced as the latest in Canon’s range of big white telephotos. (Image credit: Digital Camera Info)

In comparatively tiny news, Sigma launched a new wide-angle I-Series lens in the diminutive, featherweight shape of the 20mm f/2 DG DN. It became the fourth in the series, measuring just 72mm in length and tipping the scales at a mere 370g, ideally suiting svelte E-mount and L-mount mirrorless cameras.

Sigma wasn’t losing focus on the APS-C market either, launching three Fujifilm X mount f/1.4 prime lenses. The Sigma 16mm f/1.4, 30mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.4 lenses give effective focal lengths of 24mm, 45mm and 84mm on Fujifilm cameras, all with the same bright aperture rating.

See other installments in our 12 lenses of Christmas series

Sigma I series Sony E lenses image

If Sigma’s new Fujifilm X-mount 16mm f/1.4, 30mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.4 lenses are giving you a sense of déjà vu, it’s probably because all three lenses have already been around the block in Canon EF-M and Sony E mount options. (Image credit: i-rumors.com)

With an eye on beating inclement winter weather, we also ran a story on camera lenses that have the all-time best weather-sealing. The starring attractions were from OM Digital Solutions, boasting the best weatherproofing of any camera lenses, namely the OM System M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro II and OM System M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4 Pro, both rated at IP53.

In other news, Tokina announced an SZ 8mm f/2.8 fisheye lens for Fujifilm X and Sony E mount cameras. Voigtländer said that a 23mm f/1.2 lens for APS-C Fujifilm X and Nikon Z mount cameras would be coming soon and Irix launched sets of cine lenses with hefty price tags.

Irix Cine production kit

Irix launched three sets of cine lens with either 4 or 5 lenses in each, covering a wide range of focal lengths from 11mm to 150mm, and coming complete with custom protective cases. (Image credit: Irix)

And finally in February’s news, Meyer Optik Görlitz launched Canon RF and Nikon Z-mount versions of its Trioplan 100mm f/2.8.

The highlight of February’s lens tests was the Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD, a mighty super-tele zoom for Sony full-frame E-mount cameras. It’s a strong performer and, at 1,725g reasonably lightweight for a lens with such powerful reach.

Tamron 150-500mm F/ 5-6.7 Di III VC VXD

The Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD launched as the company’s first super-telephoto zoom for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras. (Image credit: Tamron)

At the other end of the focal length scale, we reviewed the Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine for Micro Four Thirds cameras, delivering an effective 12mm focal length with a remarkable lack of aberrations, but also lacking in any electronic communication with the host camera.

Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine

Unfeasibly small and lightweight, the MFT-mount Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine measures 61x55mm and weighs just 180g. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

We also tested the Olympus M.Zuiko 14‑42mm f/3.5‑5.6 EZ and crowned it king of pancake lenses.

Back to basics
• What are the best camera lenses to buy?

Lenses for photography genres
• Best lenses for astrophotography
• Best lenses for bird photography
• Best lenses for landscape

Lenses for your camera
• Best Canon lenses
• Best Fujifilm lenses
• Best Nikon lenses
• Best Olympus lenses
• Best Panasonic lenses
• Best Pentax lenses
• Best Sony lenses

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.