Canon announces 4 RF lenses: 85mm f/2 Macro, 100-500mm tele-zoom and a pair of f/11 super-tele primes
posted Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 7:01 AM EST
Alongside the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 cameras, Canon has announced four new lenses and a pair of teleconverters for its mirrorless RF system. The new lenses are an interesting mix! Canon has announced the RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS, RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM telephoto zoom, alongside the RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM. Let's take a closer look at each of these new lenses, including the very interesting f/11 super telephoto prime lenses.
Canon's latest mid-telephoto prime lens has been designed for macro photography, although Canon also believes it will be good for portraits due to its fast aperture and good bokeh performance. The RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1.14 feet (0.35 meters), which results in a maximum magnification of 0.5x.
The 85mm f/2 lens has a dozen elements across 11 groups, including one UD lens. The rounded aperture diaphragm includes nine aperture blades.
The lens is not too large, measuring 3.56 inches (90.5 millimeters) long with a maximum diameter of 3.07". (78mm). The lens weighs approximately 1.1 pounds (500g) and includes a 67mm filter thread.
Equipped with optical image stabilization, the lens promises shake correction of up to 5 stops. The lens is also Hybrid IS compatible, allowing for correction for angular shift and camera shake when capturing macro images.
The Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS lens is expected to be available in October with a suggested retail price of $599 USD.
The Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM lens is similar in style to the company's 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens for DSLR cameras but opts for an all-new design. As part of this new design, the 100-500mm lens opts for a rotational zoom design, rather than the push-pull design seen in the Canon 100-400mm lens.
When zooming, the weather-sealed 100-500mm lens extends from 8.17" long (207.6mm) to 11.71". (297.6mm). The maximum outer diameter remains unchanged, of course, at 3.69" (93.8mm). The telephoto zoom lens weighs approximately 3 lbs. (1,365g) without its tripod mount, which when attached adds another 0.35 lbs. (160g). The RF 100-500mm lens has a 77mm filter thread.
Internally, the lens includes 20 elements in 14 groups. Of these 20 elements, there is a single Super UD element plus a half dozen UD elements. The lens includes 9 aperture blades.
Autofocus is driven by a pair of nano USM motors which offer floating focus control. The lens incorporates small focusing groups and uses the two motors to deliver swift autofocus speeds, which we are excited to use in the field as soon as possible. Image stabilization promises up to 5 stops of shake reduction.
The lens has different minimum focus distances as the focal length changes. At 100mm, the minimum focusing distance is 2.95' (0.9m). As you extend the lens to 300mm, the minimum focusing distance shifts to 3.28' (1m). Finally, at 500mm, the distance is 3.94' (1.2m). At 500mm, the maximum magnification is a pretty impressive 0.33x.
The Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM lens is expected to arrive in stores by the end of September with a suggested retail price of $2,699 USD.
The two most distinct new members of the Canon RF lens family are the RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM telephoto lenses. These fixed-focal length, and fixed-aperture, lenses are designed to offer super telephoto focal lengths in very compact form factors. You read that correctly, neither lens allows you to change the aperture as neither lens includes moveable aperture blades at all!
Looking first at the RF 600mm lens, it has a minimum focusing distance of 14.76' (4.5m), which results in a maximum magnification of 0.14x. The lens incorporates 10 elements in 7 groups, including a special gapless double-layer diffractive optic lens.
Due in part to its fixed aperture design and DO optic, the RF 600mm f/11 IS STM lens weighs a mere 2.05 lbs. (930g). Further, it features a retractable design, which allows the lens to compress to a minimum length of 7.85" (199.5mm). When in use, the lens is 10.61" (269.5mm) long. The maximum outer diameter is approximately 3.66" (93mm) and the lens includes an 82mm filter thread.
The IS-enabled lens promises up to 5 stops of correction when using a Canon EOS R camera. Speaking of specific cameras, the maximum aperture of f/11 has some implications for how this lens – and the RF 800mm lens yet to be discussed – will perform. The autofocus area on both the new EOS R5 and EOS R6 cameras is reduced when using the new f/11 prime lenses due to the f/11 aperture. The resulting autofocus area covers a 60 x 40 grid, which is similar in overall autofocus area coverage to the autofocus system in the Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR. This is to say that it is a dramatic reduction in overall focusing area when compared to a more traditional lens on the EOS R5 and R6 cameras. Interestingly, both lenses maintain autofocus capabilities even when using the new RF 1.4x and RF 2x teleconverters, which we will discuss shortly.
The RF 800mm f/11 IS STM lens shares a similar collapsible design as the RF 600mm lens, although it is unsurprisingly larger overall. When shooting, the 800mm lens is 13.85" (351.8mm) long. When retracted, the lens is 11.09" (281.8mm) long. The maximum diameter is unchanged at 4" (101.6mm) and the lens weighs a mere 2.77 lbs. (1,260g). The filter thread diameter is a rather large 95mm.
Optically, the 800mm lens has 11 elements in 8 groups, including a gapless double-layer diffractive optic. It too includes image stabilization, which is rated at four stops rather than the five stops with the RF 600mm f/11 lens.
Both the Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and RF 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses will be available for purchase by the end of the month at suggested retail prices of $699 USD and $899 USD respectively.
RF 1.4x and RF 2x teleconverters
In addition to the four new lenses, Canon has also announced a pair of teleconverters for RF lenses. The RF 1.4x and RF 2x teleconverters are compatible with the new RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1, RF 600mm f/11 and RF 800mm f/11 lenses.
The RF 1.4x teleconverter includes seven elements in four groups and weighs 7.93 oz. (225g). The RF 2.0x teleconverter includes nine elements across five groups and weighs slightly more at 11.9 oz. (340g).
Available by the end of this month, the RF 1.4x and RF 2x teleconverters will cost $499 and $599 USD respectively.