Canon recently announced new medium and super telephoto RF prime L lenses together with the announcement of the development of the Canon EOS R3 full-frame mirrorless camera that is designed to provide the high-level basic functionality required to meet the needs of professional and enthusiast photographers. The three brand new RF lenses are Canon RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM.

For Canon sports and wildlife photographers, the announcement of the RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM lenses will be of great interest and excitement to you. Along with upcoming Canon EOS R3 announcement, they would usher in a new era of Canon EOS R and RF sports and wildlife photography setup. As for the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, this medium telephoto macro lens is going to attract not just wildlife photographers, product shoot photographers will be just as keen too!

The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM is the world’s first(1), medium telephoto macro lens with a maximum shooting magnification of 1.4x. The RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto lenses provide professional and advanced amateurs with extra reach that comes with a high level of image quality, reliability and durability.

Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore said:“Since we released our first full-frame mirrorless EOSR camera in 2018, we have remained committed to expanding the RF lens ecosystem for our new generation of EOSR series cameras. To date, 20 lenses have been developed for the RF mount. Canon is always looking to push the boundaries of what the native RF lenses can achieve, and have come up the world’s first 1.4x magnification medium telephoto macro lens.”

World’s First Medium Telephoto Macro Lens with 1.4x Magnification

Canon’s RF lenses have the rear element of the lens closer to the image sensor, allowing a new floating method and this enables the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM to have a maximum shooting magnification of 1.4x, which is 40% higher magnification than the typical macro lens (1x). The high magnification on the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM expands the possibilities of macro photography.

RF100mm f2.8L IS USM w/ Tripod Ring

The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM features 1x magnification at just 11.2cm from the front of the lens and offers 1.4x magnification at even closer working distance(2) of just 8.6cm. This close focusing ability makes the lens macro ability even more appealing.

Choose Your Bokeh

The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM is equipped with a spherical aberration (SA) control ring, giving users the ability to toggle between soft and hard depiction of bokeh by turning the SA control ring. Bokeh is the quality of the blur produced by the out-of-focus areas, this would be very interesting and useful feature for photographers to use, giving them more flexibility in their shooting as they can choose which type of bokeh suits their shooting best, regardless of whether they are shooting portraits, flowers or insects.

How the SA control ring works is by employing electronic cams and two Nano USMs, that makes it possible to drive the focus lens group and floating lens group independently.

Smoother focusing, Sharper images

The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM features an improved optical IS when compared to the 4-stop IS capability of its EF equivalent lens, the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. When the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM is attached to an EOS R system camera that does not have in-body IS, the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM provides up to 5 stops of IS. The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM can achieve up to 8 stops of IS through the coordinated IS feature when attached to an EOS R system camera that has in-body IS.

The hybrid IS on the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM also helps to suppress the angular camera shake (rotational) and shift camera shake (linear) during handheld shooting, enabling photographers to capture sharp images.

The high speed and accurate AF allows quick and agile focusing of moving subjects for still images, while the smoothness of the AF makes the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM suitable for shooting movies as well. The suppression of subjection magnification fluctuations (focus breathing) in the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM reduces the changes in the angle of view during the adjustment of focusing distances.

As the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM is an L lens, it is both dust and water resistant, which is especially useful during outdoor shooting situations. The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM is also compatible with the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EXII and Macro Twin Lite MT-26EXII accessories (both accessories sold separately) that provides more diverse photography expressions by using light to create or reduce shadows in the images captured.

High Quality Native Support

The RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM provide native super telephoto capabilities to the RF system, allowing photographers to reach 400mm and 600mm respectively. Sports and wildlife photographers who are sitting on the fence and thinking whether to switch to mirrorless cameras, the arrival of the long awaited RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto lenses will address their needs with the native RF mount, while delivering the proven performance of its EF equivalent counterparts.

The RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM inherit the strong foundations, capabilities and optics found in all Canon L lenses, delving high image quality while offering the advantages of the RF mount. For example, the minimum focusing distance (3) for the RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM is reduced to 2.5m and 4.2m respectively.

RF400mm f2.8L IS USM w/ tripod ring

Steady and Light

Shooting with super telephoto lenses, camera shake is particular noticeable. In order to address camera shake with super telephoto lenses, IS for both lenses have been enhanced to 5.5 stops (5 stops on the EF equivalent models) that helps to reduce camera shake and blurry images.

The RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM both come with three Image Stabilisation (IS) modes which are optimised to match the subject’s movement. This assists photographers in shooting various types of subjects and photography:

  • IS Mode 1 – Best suited for stationary subjects
  • IS Mode 2 – Used for panning shots
  • IS Mode 3 – Suitable for subjects with irregular movements, such as during a basketball game where movements of players can be unpredictable

There is a slight reduction in the overall weight of both lenses (approximately 60 grams) as compared to their EF counterparts, in line with the reduced weights and sizes of the EOS R series full-frame mirrorless cameras.

RF600mm f4L IS USM w/ Tripod ring

Seamless Movie Shooting

Both the RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM lens provide more control over aperture settings during movie shooting. Shooting movies with telephoto lenses can be challenging in situations where subjects move between different lighting environments and the lenses have problems in capturing the right amount of brightness to get the most optimal video footage.

With the RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM, aperture control during movie shooting can be set in 1/8 step increments for both lenses (EF lens is 1/3 step). The brightness of the scene can be changed smoothly even when there is a sudden change in brightness, such as when a subject moves from a dark place to a bright place, resulting in more natural-looking images.

Durable and Flexible

The new RF telephoto lenses have the same reflective heat shield coating as the EF models, providing reliability and durability to meet the needs of professionals and advanced amateurs in the field. The reflective heat shield coating provides excellent heat shielding, scratch resistance and weather resistance quality for most kinds of shooting environment. The front and back element of both lenses also have a fluorine coating to prevent oil and water droplets from sticking to the surface.

The mount, switches, focus ring and other parts of the RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM are dust and drip-resistant to prevent any water from entering the camera.

For photographers who need the extra reach, both super telephoto lenses are compatible with the existing RF extenders RF 1.4x and RF 2x. When the RF600mm f/4L IS USM is paired with the Extender RF 2x, you can achieve a staggering 1200mm focal length.

Pricing and Availability 

The Canon RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF600mm f/4L IS USM lenses will be available in July 2021, pricing is to be advised at a later date.

Product Specifications

RF100mm

f/2.8L IS USM

RF400mm

f/2.8L IS USM

RF600mm

f/4L IS USM

Focal Length 100 mm 400 mm 600 mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8 f/2.8 f/4
Minimum Focusing Distance 0.26 m 2.5 m 4.2 m
Maximum Magnification 1.4x 0.17x 0.15x
Lens Construction 17 elements in 13 groups 17 elements in 13 groups 17 elements in 13 groups
Special Low Dispersion Glass 2x fluorite1x Super UD 2x fluorite1x Super UD
Filter Size Diameter ø67 mm ø52 mm (drop-in) ø52 mm (drop-in)
Aperture Blades 9 9 9
IS (CIPA Standard Correction Effect) Yes (up to 5 stops) Yes (up to 5.5 stops) Yes (up to 5.5 stops)
Coordinated IS Yes (up to 8 stops) NA NA
Hybrid IS Available NA NA
Maximum Diameter and length approx. 81.5 mm x148 mm approx. 163 mm

x 367 mm

approx. 168 mm

x 472 mm

Weight Approx. 730 g Approx. 2890 g Approx. 3090 g

Notes:

(1) As an autofocus interchangeable lens for full frame mirrorless camera. Canon survey as of April 13, 2021.  

(2) Working distance refers to the distance between the front end of the lens and the subject

(3) Focusing distance refer to the distance that must be between your subject and the surface of the image sensor (the focal plane) for the lens to focus

* Information and pictures courtesy of Canon Singapore and GLOO PR *

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