Canon recently announced RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM telephoto lens, the first RF series telephoto zoom L lens to the RF lenses family. For photographers who have invested in the Canon EOS R and RF lenses system, this would be great news!

The 70-200mm focal length range is one of the most popular lens used by both professionals and leisure photographers around the world. It’s versatile and can be used in a number of photography genres including landscape photography. From events, portraiture, sports and wildlife photography, the 70-200mm lens is a “staple” lens for many photographers. For commercial photography work, the f/2.8 does make a difference, one of the reasons that made me changed from my EF70-200mm f/4 L USM to EF70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM a few years back.

The Canon 70-200mm L series lenses are really good, excellent quality and optics, for both the f/4 and f/2.8 series. One of my favourite lenses, the EF70-200mm f/4 was actually my second L lens and I used it for 10 years before upgrading to EF70-200mm f/2.8 for my commercial photography work. Canon has many years of professional experience and manufacturing quality in the L lenses, I am confident that this new RF70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM telephoto lens would continue on Canon’s 70-200mm L lenses legacy. 

With the announcement of the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, I would have options to add this to my Canon EOS RP setup or continue using my EF70-200mm f/2.8L lens with the adaptor. How I would want to build my Canon EOS RP and RF lenses setup, it’s still a work in progress (and a lot to strategise and plan) since I have my existing Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR inside my setup.

For those who have just started/concentrating on the Canon EOS R and RF lenses system, you have less headache and can start to welcome the new RF lenses being announced and arriving into the market. The new RF L lenses announcements showed Canon’s commitment to the Canon EOS R and RF lenses lineup, I am looking forward to more lenses on their RF lenses roadmap!

Let me share with you more information and details on the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM telephoto lens:

“The RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM completes Canon’s Zoom Trinity Lenses, the other two lenses  being the RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM,” said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore. “The shooting range of the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is incredibly diverse with its ability to shoot from still portraits to fast-moving sporting activities. Together with its lightweight and compact body, the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM truly makes for an ideal partner in producing high quality images.”

Reduction in Overall Length and Weight

Compared to the well-established EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM lens (the existing EF mount model), the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is approximately 27% shorter and 28% lighter. In shooting situations, the lens and camera body combination is about 30% lighter compared to the existing EF lens and DSLR body combination. This would significantly help to lighten the load for shooting over a long period of time.

By using an extending zoom type design, coupled with the large diameter mount, short back focus and effective use of aspherical lenses, there is a significant reduction in the total length of the lens when it is at its shortest.

With a length of approximately 170.2mm when stored with its lens and dust cap, the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM can be easily stored in a camera backpack, leaving room for other lenses or equipment.

New Optical Design with Electronic Floating Focus System

With the large diameter and short back focus of the new EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera system, this significantly increases the degree of freedom in lens design compared to conventional EF lenses, while maintaining high image quality.

The new optical design of the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM consists of 17 elements in 13 groups, with two aspherical lenses, four UD lenses and one super UD lens. For the very first time, Canon is using an electronic float focus control in the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM that drives the two lens groups individually. This feature makes the lens more compact and reduces the minimum focusing distance from 1.2m to 0.7m. With electronic floating focus control, ‘breathing’ due to focus movement can also be reduced so movies can be shot with a stable composition.

The RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is designed with Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC), a special coating that enables excellent anti-reflectivity. This coating effectively suppresses reflections in situations where the light source appears on the screen, reducing flaring and ghosting.

High Speed and Smooth AF for Still and Movie Shooting with Two Nano USMs

For the very first time on a Canon lens, two thumb sized ultrasonic motors known as Nano USM are included in the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and used for the floating focus control. By using two Nano USMs for lens driving, a high degree of quietness, power saving, and high-speed operation are achieved while retaining the compact size. This also achieves high-speed, high-precision still image AF and smooth movie AF in combination with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF in the EOS R series cameras.

The RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is equipped with an IS (lens-based image stabiliser) with a CIPA standard of five stops for still images. There are also three IS modes which are optimised for subject movement – IS mode 1 for still subjects, IS mode 2 for panning and IS mode 3 for irregular movement such as sports. 

Durable and Built to Last

As an L-series lens designed for professional use, the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM adopts unique extendable design that allows air to pass through but not dust and moisture. This ensures water and dust resistance which makes it an ideal companion even during unfavourable weather conditions.

The RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is the first RF lens designed with a white heat shield coating, which suppresses the rise in temperature, especially when it is used during hot weather. A lens

hood in the same colour as the RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is also included, with a sliding window for easy operation of polarising filters with the hood attached.

Canon has also newly developed a compact tripod mount that can be easily removed with a simple operation. The easy-to-read index allows users to quickly change the vertical and horizontal framing when using a tripod.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing and availability will be advised at a later date.

Product Specifications RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM



Focal Length

70-200 mm

Maximum Aperture


Minimum Aperture


Minimum Focusing Distance


Maximum Magnification

0.23 x

Lens Construction

17 elements in 13 groups

Aspherical Lens


Special Low Dispersion Glass

One super UD, four UD

Special Coating

SWC, fluorine coating

Water/Dust Resistance


Aperture Blades

9 (circular)

IS (CIPA Standard Correction Effect)

Yes (5 stops)

Filter Diameter

Φ77 mm

Maximum Diameter and Length

Approx. 88.9 mm x 146.0 mm


Approx. 1,070 g (tripod mount separate)

* Information and pictures courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy *

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