Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM review

The Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM is a revolutionary super-telephoto lens that's anything but conventional

Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Amazingly compact and lightweight for a super-telephoto prime, this 600mm lens for EOS R-series mirrorless cameras makes the most of ‘diffractive optics’ and a retractable design to shed the pounds. Even so, it packs in a fast and virtually silent stepping motor autofocus system and high-performance image stabilizer, helping to boost sharpness in handheld shooting. The aperture is fixed at f/11 but, overall, the lens is easy to live with and works a treat.


  • +

    Powerful telephoto reach

  • +

    Relatively compact and lightweight

  • +

    Strong all-round performance


  • -

    Aperture is fixed at f/11

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    No weather-seals

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    Lens hood sold separately

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We’ve all seen the massed ranks of off-white Canon super-telephoto lenses at sporting events around the world. Primes like the EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM are hulking beasts, nearly half a metre in length and tipping the scales at over 3kg. By stark contrast, the new brace of  Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM primes for EOS R-series mirrorless cameras offer a very different experience. They have a clever retractable design and the smaller of the two lenses shrinks to just 200mm for stowage. It’s still a relatively short at 270mm when fully extended for shooting. With DO (Diffractive Optics), based on Fresnel technology, and a relatively narrow f/11 aperture rating, it’s also a slimline lens at 93mm, and comparatively lightweight at 930g. A further attraction is that it’s much more affordable to buy. Indeed, you could buy 17 of these lenses for the price of one EF 600mm.


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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.