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Summary

The Canon RF 5.2mm f2.8L Dual Fisheye is Canon’s first interchangeable lens for 180 degree VR capture and designed for the full-frame EOS R mirrorless system, and at the time of writing, only compatible with the EOS R5 body. The unusual looking lens employs two fisheye lenses to project a pair of circular images onto a single sensor side-by-side. The lenses actually capture a 190 degree field of view and have a baseline distance of 60mm. Canon’s new EOS VR utility or a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro can then convert the circular fisheye footage into a equi-rectangular 180 degree VR format ready for editing. By recording both images onto a single frame, Canon’s solution eliminates the sync or mismatching issues of dual camera VR systems, while the 8k resolution of the R5 means there’s plenty of pixels devoted to each lens.

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Check prices on the Canon RF 5.2mm Dual Fisheye at B&H, Adorama, WEX UK or Calumet.de. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!

Canon RF 5.2mm f2.8L Dual Fisheye

The Canon RF 5.2mm f2.8L Dual Fisheye is Canon’s first interchangeable lens for 180 degree VR capture and designed for the full-frame EOS R mirrorless system. Announced in early October 2021, it’ll only work on the EOS R5 and the body will need a special firmware update. Hopefully other bodies will follow, albeit at lower video resolutions.

The unusual looking lens employs two fisheye lenses to project a pair of circular images onto a single sensor side-by-side. The lenses actually capture a 190 degree field of view and have a baseline distance of 60mm. Canon’s new EOS VR utility or a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro can then convert the circular fisheye footage into a equi-rectangular 180 degree VR format ready for editing.

Capturing 180 VR content normally requires two cameras positioned close together, with subsequent challenges in perfectly syncing and matching their footage. By recording both images onto a single frame though, Canon’s solution eliminates any sync or mismatching, while the 8k resolution of the R5 means there’s plenty of pixels devoted to each lens.

As for the lens itself, it measures 121x84x54mm, weighs 350g, is manual focus only, allows rear-mounted gelatin filters, and is weather-sealed at the mount. It won’t work with sensor stabilisation, but then most of this content is captured from a tripod.

And that’s all I know for now! By streamlining the capture and editing process, Canon’s new lens should make high quality 180 VR content easier to create than before, so if you’re into generating 3D content, I’d love to hear what you think and whether Canon’s on the right track. 

Check prices on the Canon RF 5.2mm Dual Fisheye at B&H, Adorama, WEX UK or Calumet.de. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!
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