The Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM is a bright telephoto zoom for the full-frame EOS R mirrorless system. Teased earlier in 2019 and officially announced in October that year, it’s shorter and lighter than the EF version and focuses closer too, although – spoiler alert – the barrel now extends as you zoom it, and it’s also unsurprisingly more expensive than the EF Mark III version which you can of course alternatively use on an EOS R with an adapter. I had a quick look at an official Canon briefing, although wasn’t allowed to take any photos with it yet. I’ve made a video showing you around it below and will publish sample images and results as soon as I’ve tested it further.
Thanks to the shorter flange-to-sensor distance of the RF mount, the lens employs a simpler optical design with 23 elements in 19 groups including two aspherical, four UD and one Super UD element. It also becomes Canon’s first lens to employ a dual floating focus system with two Nano USM motors which allows closer focusing with sharper results. The RF 70-200mm can now focus almost twice as close as the older EF Mark III model at an impressive 70cm vs 1.2m. The image stabiliser is also improved from 3.5 to 5 stops on the new model.
That’s all I can say until I test a final production sample, but right now the new RF 70-200mm f2.8L is certainly an impressive-sounding lens with some key benefits over the EF Mark III version – you’re getting a noticeably smaller and lighter lens with much closer focusing, better stabilisation and, if the optics fully exploit the short flange distance and floating focus, the potential for superior quality too. Obviously there’s the higher price to weigh-up and the unknown impact of the extending barrel when it comes to sealing, but I’d say it looks very promising indeed. Plus EOS R owners can of course adapt the older EF model if they prefer.Check prices on the Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8L at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!