While prototypes were on display at the PhotoPlus Expo last fall, Canon has finally made the massive EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM and EF200mm f/2L IS USM lenses a reality. Both lenses carry Canon's L moniker and sport the putty colored finish that demark the cream of Canon's crop. Both lenses include Canon's optical image stabilization, as well as fluorite and UD (ultra low dispersion) lens elements to combat chromatic aberration, and includes moisture and dust resistant seals.
Compared to Canon's old EF200 f/1.8L USM, the new EF200 f/2 sacrifices a negligible amount of its maximum aperture while adding optical image stabilization. For such a long lens, it has an impressive close-focusing distance of 6.2 feet and includes a circular aperture system so that out-of-focus portions of the image should be nice and smooth.
The super tele EF800 f/5.6 IS USM looks quite large, and it certainly is, but it weighs less than Canon's EF600mm f/4L IS USM and is about the same size. Canon says that the new EF800's lightweight magnesium alloy lens barrel helps keep the weight down. Canon is also touting it as the longest focal length lens available with optical image stabilization, with the caveat that the claim is based on published competitive data as of today.
The EF200mm f/2L Is USM is expected to hit stores this April with a price tag of about $6,000, while the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM is slated for May availability with a hefty cost of about $12,000. Start saving up now kids.