The Canon RF 28-70mm f2L USM is a general-purpose zoom for Canon’s EOS R full-frame mirrorless system boasting an industry-leading f2 focal ratio. Announced in September 2018, it’s one of the first four RF lenses that launched the system, the other three being the RF 50mm f1.2L USM, RF 24-105mm f4L IS USM and the RF 35mm f1.8 IS Macro STM.
The RF 28-70mm f2L USM arguably attracted more attention than the other three native lenses thanks mostly to its unusually bright f2 focal ratio, one stop faster than the more typical f2.8 of pro zooms, not to mention two stops faster than the RF 24-105mm f4L IS USM. It also literally attracted more attention thanks to being the largest model of what was already a fairly hefty foursome. Indeed measuring 139mm in length, 104mm in maximum diameter and weighing a considerable 1430g, it’s one of the most substantial general-purpose zooms around.
Canon’s optical design aims to match the quality of primes throughout the range, employing 19 elements in 13 groups, nine diaphragm blades and a closest focusing distance of 39cm. The 28-70mm range misses out on the slightly wider 24mm coverage of more typical 24-70mm f2.8 professional zooms, but of course boasts that extra stop in aperture, making it a unique proposition in the market. The absence of optical stabilisation coupled with the sheer heft means you need to hold it carefully and choose sufficiently fast shutters to avoid shake, but portrait and event shooters will love the chance to deploy that extra stop of light gathering power to work in dimmer light, deploy lower ISOs and enjoy shallower depth-of-field effects. It’s a truly exotic lens and one that’s justifiably drawn a lot of interest to the EOS R system. Ahead of my full review, check out my sample images and videos!
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