Canon announced RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM and RF50mm f/1.8 STM, two new lenses that will be added to the RF lens mount family, expanding Canon’s offerings and commitment to the EOS R full frame mirrorless camera system, following the highly successful launch of its two latest full-frame mirrorless cameras, the EOS R5 and EOS R6 that were announced earlier in July 2020.
The 70-200mm focal length lens is a lens that is highly coveted by many photographers, a workhorse and versatile lens. Having both f/2.8 and f/4 models in the 70-200mm series, it caters to both professionals and enthusiasts alike. I previously owned a EF70-200mm f/4 L USM lens before moving to my current EF70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens, both f/4 and f/2.8 lenses are excellent in optics and quality. For photographers into commercial work, the f/2.8 lens would be highly recommended. I am currently reviewing the RF70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens, I am hugely impressed by its quality and focus speed. With the announcement of the RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM lens, photographers (who are current Canon EOS R system users or those who are thinking/planning to embark on the EOS R system) can be assured of the excellent optics and quality of the RF70-200mm L series lenses are built upon from Canon’s strong foundations and proven excellence in their EF70-200mm L series lenses.
The RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM is the world’s shortest and lightest (1) 70-200mm f/4 interchangeable lens, bringing a host of new features that will entice advanced amateurs and professionals who are particular about image quality and performance. Going towards the other end of the focal length spectrum, the RF50mm f/1.8 STM is Canon’s latest 50mm prime lens that is fast yet affordable.
“Beyond expanding Canon’s mirrorless line up with standout camera bodies like the recently launched EOS R5 and R6, we are committed to complementing them with native RF lenses to enhance the shooting experience,” said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore. “Photographers know that using prime lenses can inspire more creativity, and the affordable RF50mm f/1.8 STM provides a similar field of view as the human eye, which makes it very versatile. For those interested in shooting wildlife or sports, the RF70- 200mm f/4L IS USM is a capable telephoto zoom that gives you extra reach and sharp images in a lightweight package. With the addition of both new lenses, it strengthens the appeal of the EOS R system to all photographers.”
RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM – Small, Light and Far
The 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens is a versatile lens, very ideal and especially important if you like to shoot sports or wildlife. In other photography genres such as portraiture, events, the 70-200mm telephoto lens is a lens that most commercial photographers would have in their photography setup. For those who into travel photography, the RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM lens is going to be a great addition, top quality telephoto lens yet lightweight and portable in size. While a telephoto lens usually comes with a cost due to the extra weight and size, the new RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM bucks the trend by being the world’s smallest and lightest 70-200mm f/4 lens.
With most 70-200mm lenses weighing 800g and measuring an average of 176mm in length, the RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM comes in a lighter and slimmer body that weighs 695g while achieving a 32% reduction in length at just 119mm long. In fact, the RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM is only marginally longer than the RF24-105mm f4L IS USM lens.
With its weight and length, making it easy to handle and carry around, it can be stored in a bag while still attached to the camera, unlike other conventional telephoto lenses that have to be removed from the camera before it can be stored away. Having the camera and lens attached inside your camera bag, allows you to start shooting right after taking the camera out from your bag, thus you will not/never miss the priceless movements and opportunities that you always strive to capture on your camera.
RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM – Quiet and Sharp Shots All The Time
The RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM is able to deliver high image quality throughout the entire zoom range. Even when shooting at the longest 200mm end, the lens elements are arranged to reduce vignetting, chromatic aberration and ghosting. Conversely, the 9-blade circular aperture in the RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM maximises bokeh even at the edges of the image for soft, blurry backgrounds.
The lens is also equipped with a Nano USM, Canon’s latest lens motor which has excellent high-speed performance. Focusing is highly accurate at any focal length even if the subject is standing at a distance. The Nano USM is also incredibly quiet, smooth, and suppresses focus breathing, which helps to produce fluid video shots.
Not everyone shoots with a tripod and trying to keep a camera outfitted with a telephoto zoom lens steady can be a challenge, often resulting in blurry shots. RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM comes with an in-built Image Stablizer (IS) that provides up to 5-stops image stabilisation to ensure sharp images even when shooting handheld. The image stabilisation can go up to 7.5- stops when paired with either EOS R5 or EOS R6, allowing you to casually capture sharp images handheld when shooting dark scene even at the longest 200mm end.
While commonly overlooked, a lens’ minimum focusing distance is an important specification. Regardless of the genre of photography you are interested in, the ability to focus at a much closer distance provides more flexibility when it comes to composing a shot. The RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM comes with a minimum focusing distance of 0.6m, which is much closer compared to the average distance of 1m for similar lenses. The reduction in minimum focusing distance also allows the RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM to achieve a maximum of 0.28x magnification.
The RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM’s robust construction ensures that it is dust- and water-resistant with the extended part of the lens barrel possessing vibration and shock resistance as well. Coated with a heat shielding paint, the entire lens will perform optimally even in hot weather while the surface of the lens’ front element has a fluorine coating which repels oil and water.
RF50mm f/1.8 STM – Getting the Prime Shot
One of the most popular focal lengths to shoot at, the humble 50mm prime lens is usually one of the first upgrades from a kit lens. The new RF50mm f/1.8 STM adds a large aperture of f/1.8 for low-light performance and those sought-after dreamy backgrounds in portrait shots. Compact and lightweight, it is ideal for street photography and snapshots without having to lug around a bulky lens.
Offering a similar field of view as the human eye, the RF50mm f/1.8 STM is also suitable for many types of photography such as portraits, landscapes, and food photography. The minimum focusing distance of 30cm means you can get closer to the food, small items, and products that you are shooting.
Despite being an affordable single focal length lens, the RF50mm f/1.8 STM has outstanding image quality due to the combination of its large aperture, the short back focus of the RF mount and the use of the PMo aspherical lens. Flaring, ghosting and coma aberration are all reduced, which results in clear, high-resolution images.
Pricing and Availability
Both new lenses will be available in December 2020 from Canon authorised dealers and pricing will be advised at a later date.
|RF70-200mm f/4 L IS USM
70 – 200 mm
|RF50mm f/1.8 STM
|Minimum Focusing Distance
|0.6 m (throughout zoom range)
|0.28x (at 200 mm)
|16 elements in 11 groups
|6 elements in 5 groups
|Special Low Dispersion Glass
|Filter Size Diameter
|IS (CIPA Standard Correction Effect)
|Yes (5 stops)
(1) As of November 3, 2020. Based on Canon’s research.
* Information and picture of Canon Singapore and GLOO PR *