Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens Sample Pictures

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens
Roseate Spoonbill Roseate Spoonbill

It was -4° F (-20° C) this morning and the wind was howling. The meteorologist was warning of frostbite occurring to exposed skin within 15 minutes.
I can take cold weather, but wind chills approaching -30° F (-34° C) are getting uncomfortable enough to keep me and a large majority of other photographers indoors. What is the answer for someone wanting to photograph outdoors when weather conditions reach this extreme? Wait until warmer weather arrives or go somewhere that is warm. The latter is of course my preference. Where to go? Closer to the equator, of course. Or, cross the equator to find summer.
One example of a winter photography location is southwest Florida. This location is renowned for its bird photography and the weather here is very comfortable most of the time including the middle of winter. Take you long lens and migrate with the birds.
This Roseate Spoonbill was found at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida in late winter. The spoonbill was standing in place for a long time and I had taken plenty of shots of various standing poses – and insurance shots of the same. I was waiting, looking for a new and hopefully more interesting behavior. A preening session provided just that.

800mm  f/8.0  1/400s  ISO 100
Rufous-sided Towhee Picture Rufous-sided Towhee Picture

A Rufous-sided Towhee about to take flight. I like how the tail angle matches the angle of the log it is perched on. A 25mm Extension Tube was mounted for this shot (though maybe not needed) - corner darkening is from the ET.

800mm  f/6.3  1/80s  ISO 400
Monster White-tailed Buck Monster White-tailed Buck

I shot this monster White-tailed deer buck picture for a breeder. The deer was in a large enclosure, but still a great challenge to photograph as it was far more intolerant of humans than any deer I've come across in a national park. The original background was not acceptable, so, just over 1 year later, after the folliage turned fall-like again, I recreated a new background using the same camera, lens and focus distance. After painstakingly removing the original background in Photoshop, I tried various options for the replacement. This is the one I settled on.

800mm  f/7.1  1/500s  ISO 500
Assateague Island Sitka Deer Picture Assateague Island Sitka Deer Picture

This small herd of Sitka Deer are being bothered by an incredible number of mosquitoes in this Assateague Island wetland. I was bothered as well. My Deep Woods Off repellent ran out in the afternoon on my last day of this trip. A lessor spray did not work so well - I had 55 mosquito bites on one arm after my evening shoot. It was worth it.

800mm  f/8.0  1/250s  ISO 100
Family on Bay Dock - Chincoteague Island Sunset Family on Bay Dock - Chincoteague Island Sunset

A small family watches the abundant birdlife from this Chincoteague Island bay dock at sunset.

800mm  f/10.0  1/125s  ISO 100
White Ibis with Shrimp White Ibis with Shrimp

This shrimp-hunting White Ibis was in a tidal pool at JN (Ding) Darling National Widlife Refuge in Sanibel Island, Florida. Bird photography at Ding Darling is hit or miss with tidal schedule being a key factor. Due to visitor restrictions, getting down to the bird's level is not possible at many of the better shooting locations in the refuge.
This White Ibis was looking forward with what I thought to be a not-pleasing eye position. A little Photoshop magic resulted in a centered eye.

800mm  f/8.0  1/500s  ISO 125
Snowy Egret Picture Snowy Egret Picture

A Snowy Egret stands on a stump in the water at Assateague Island National Park.

800mm  f/8.0  1/400s  ISO 160
Great Egret with Dragonfly Picture Great Egret with Dragonfly Picture

This Great Egret struggled to get this large dragonfly down its throat for several minutes. It just couldn't get those big wings past its beak.

800mm  f/8.0  1/320s  ISO 100
800mm Portrait 800mm Portrait

An 800mm lens is not what you normally grab for your portraits, but anything works. Feature compression is the result. Lighting is from a late-day sun.

800mm  f/5.6  1/500s  ISO 200
Little Blue Heron Picture Little Blue Heron Picture

A Little Blue Heron searches for breakfast in Assateague Island National Park.

800mm  f/5.6  1/250s  ISO 100
Sunset over the Bay Picture Sunset over the Bay Picture

The sun sets over and reflects from the bay by Chincoteague Island in Virgina, USA. About 600 (just over 10%) pixels were cropped off the long end of this full-frame 800mm shot.

800mm  f/11.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Snowy Egret Showing Plumage Snowy Egret Showing Plumage

A Snowy Egret shows its beautiful plumage at the water's edge in Assateague Island National Park. The 1/1000 shutter speed was overkill, but I was shooting other action that required it - and didn't have time to change between opportunities.

800mm  f/8.0  1/1000s  ISO 400
Great Egret in Pine tree Picture Great Egret in Pine tree Picture

A Great Egret sits in a large pine tree in Assateague National Park. This is a common site in this great birding location.

800mm  f/8.0  1/320s  ISO 100
Chincoteague Wild Ponies Chincoteague Wild Ponies

Fresh from the roundup, two of the famous Chincoteague wild ponies swat mosquitoes and eat grass in Assateague Wildlife National Park.

800mm  f/7.1  1/640s  ISO 200
Snowy Egret Flying with Fish Snowy Egret Flying with Fish

The Snowy Egrets would stand around the edge of the water, then take off, catch a fish and return to the banks eat it. Assateague Island National Park is loaded with the bait fish these beautiful birds are looking for.

800mm  f/8.0  1/1600s  ISO 500
Girl in the City Portrait Girl in the City Portrait

A beautiful girl stands by a fence in the city. Even at this very long subject distance, the 800mm focal length creates a strong background blur.

800mm  f/5.6  1/800s  ISO 100
Immature Black Crowned Night Heron Immature Black Crowned Night Heron

An immature Black Crowned Night Heron perches on a large, dead pine tree over the water.

800mm  f/5.6  1/50s  ISO 200
Sunset Reflection Sunset Reflection

While most people would not pay the price of the 800mm L IS Lens just to capture a sunset reflection, if you already own it, use it for more than just your primary purpose.

800mm  f/11.0  1/500s  ISO 100
Huge Whitetail Buck Huge Whitetail Buck

This is a captive, but very elusive, huge Whitetail buck. It was moving rapidly and I cut off the left side of the antler. Fortunately, I was shooting rapidly and was able to replace the missing side by using another capture composited in.

800mm  f/7.1  1/800s  ISO 500
Great Egret with Speared Fish Great Egret with Speared Fish

A Great Egret has just speared its breakfast. Looks like a challenge to swallow.

800mm  f/8.0  1/320s  ISO 100
White-Breasted Nuthatch White-Breasted Nuthatch

A White-Breasted Nuthatch clings to a dead tree in a classic upside-down pose. The dead tree was planted by me near a feeder. the birds perch on the tree on their way to grab a seed.

800mm  f/7.1  1/125s  ISO 640
Gull Diving for Fish Gull Diving for Fish

A gull dives for fish in Assateague Island National Park.

800mm  f/5.6  1/2000s  ISO 400
Mourning Dove Mourning Dove

A Mourning Dove sits on a large, dead tree limb. The 800mm focal length completely blurs the distant background. The Ameristep Stackhouse Ground Blind I frequently use for my bird photography was employed for this shot.

800mm  f/7.1  1/160s  ISO 640
Female Cardinal Picture Female Cardinal Picture

A female Cardinal rests on the top of a log before going on her way.

800mm  f/5.6  1/200s  ISO 640
Snowy Egret Snowy Egret

This Snowy Egret is searching for fish on the shores of Assateague Island National Park.

800mm  f/8.0  1/1250s  ISO 400
Black-Capped  Chickadee 3 Black-Capped Chickadee 3

When shooting small birds like the Black-Capped Chickadee, the longest focal length you can afford is usually the best choice. In this case, 800mm of focal length nicely separated the Chickadee from the not-too-distant background.

800mm  f/7.1  1/160s  ISO 640
Male Cardinal Picture Male Cardinal Picture

A beautiful male Cardinal perches on a dead tree. A late-day sun provides warm light to this handheld shot.

800mm  f/5.6  1/125s  ISO 200
Perched Great Egret Perched Great Egret

A Great Egret stands in stark contrast to the dark green pine needles surrounding his selected perch.

800mm  f/8.0  1/250s  ISO 100
Couple on Dock Watching Sunset Couple on Dock Watching Sunset

A couple sits on a Chincoteague, VA dock watching the sun set over the bay.

800mm  f/11.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Little Blue Heron Hunting Little Blue Heron Hunting

A Little Blue Heron hunts for fish on the shores of Assateague Island National Park.

800mm  f/8.0  1/320s  ISO 250
Great Egret and a Fish Great Egret and a Fish

Well, it used to be a fish. It turned into Great Egret breakfast a few moments after this shot.

800mm  f/8.0  1/250s  ISO 100
Chipping Sparrow Chipping Sparrow

A Chipping Sparrow poses in the late-day sun from the top of a dead tree. Actually, I planted the dead tree - and am hiding in a blind (hide) close by.

800mm  f/5.6  1/320s  ISO 200
Snowy Egret Hunting for Shrimp Snowy Egret Hunting for Shrimp

This Snowy Egret is very intent on catching its shrimp breakfast. If the light is unchanging, I'm probably using manual exposure mode - especially when shooting a white subject on a dark background. I set the exposure so that there are no more than a few blinking highlights on the LCD with a Neutral Picture Style. Nearly every shot will then be properly exposed for ideal post processing image quality.

800mm  f/8.0  1/500s  ISO 125
American White Pelican American White Pelican

In the right location (such as Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge) and on the right day, the biggest challenge to photographing American White Pelicans is to keep them properly framed and in focus - at the same time of course. But, always look for something more than a simple portrait of the species (after you have a few dozen of those). In this case, a tiny fish is about to become breakfast.

800mm  f/8.0  1/800s  ISO 160
Mourning Dove 2 Mourning Dove 2

A Mourning Dove peers back over its shoulder. The 800mm focal length at f/5.6 creates a very strongly-blurred background.

800mm  f/5.6  1/250s  ISO 160
Courting Blue Heron Pair Courting Blue Heron Pair

A pair of courting Blue Herons entertain in their Venice Rookery nest. Venice Rookery is a great location for birding, but a challenging location for photography. Getting a clean background is one of the challenges as you are basically shooting a small island full of nests in the middle of town complete with various structures.
I much prefer to shoot big lenses on the Wimberley Head II, but I had already limited out what I could get on a domestic flight - had to leave the Wimberley at home.

800mm  f/8.0  1/250s  ISO 100
Anhinga Picture Anhinga Picture

One method of getting a clean background at Venice Rookery is to shoot into the sky. This Anhinga cooperated long enough for me to take advantage of the clear background.

800mm  f/10.0  1/500s  ISO 400
Pied-billed Grebe Pied-billed Grebe

A Pied-billed Grebe swims across tidal waters in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
I liked the small wake showing motion, but the frame had a lot of nothing above and below the bird and its wake. So I cropped it to a wide format.

800mm  f/8.0  1/640s  ISO 200
Snowy Egret with Shrimp Snowy Egret with Shrimp

A Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge shrimp breakfast is about to be had by this Snowy Egret.

800mm  f/8.0  1/500s  ISO 125
Roseate Spoonbill Feeding Roseate Spoonbill Feeding

A beautiful Roseate Spoonbill feeds at low tide in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida. The constantly moving back and forth head makes composition and critical focusing a challenge.

800mm  f/8.0  1/400s  ISO 125
My Recommended Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens Retailers
B&H Photo
Canon USA
Canon USA (refurbished)
Check used inventory at MPB
(Using the links on this site to make any purchase provides support for this site)
Rent the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens
(Using these links for your rental supports this site)
The Tip Jar
This site and my family depend on your support. Can you help right now?

Please share this page!

Share on Facebook! Share on Twitter! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!
Share on Facebook! Share on Twitter! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!
Subscribe! ►
Bryan Recommends Buying It Here
Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site
Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site
Help  |  TOU  |  © 2022 Rectangular Media, LLC  |  Bryan CarnathanPowered by Christ!