Guy often uses a Canon RF 600mm F4L IS USM lens with a Canon Extender RF 1.4x to photograph wildlife, but he was impressed by the 800mm reach of the RF 200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM. "In terms of locking on, the RF 200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM did a really good job tracking, even in low light," he says. "But the great thing about shooting at that distance is the quicker autofocus. Imagine photographing a bird flying towards you with an 800mm lens. It's going to be a long way away and the autofocus is only having to move a small amount to track it. To get the bird the same size in the frame with a 300mm lens, it's going to have to be a lot closer to you. That means the lens element must move further and faster to keep it in focus. In essence, the longer the focal length, the easier it is for the focusing to work and the more effective it is."
The RF 200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM's 800mm focal length also had added benefits for Pete. "The biggest frustration I have is not being able to get close to subjects," he says. "If I'm on a footpath or track, I'm physically limited to that space. If I go off the track, there's a chance I could fall out of my chair, so having that focal range is incredible. I can get closer than I ever have before."
Pairing the RF 200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM with an APS-C camera such as the EOS R7 is of particular benefit as the smaller sensor effectively crops the image, increasing the reach of the lens. At the 800mm end of the lens's range, the APS-C sensor gives you the same field of view as shooting with a 1,280mm telephoto lens on a full-frame camera.
Guy adds that another great thing about the lens is its zoom range. "If you're trying to find a bird in the sky, and you're zoomed all the way to 800mm, you're going to find it difficult to pinpoint," he explains. "Start with the lens zoomed back to 300 or 400mm, so that you can find your subject, then zoom in to 800mm to get a frame-filling shot."