Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens Review (by Dustin Abbott)
The Dustin Abbott has published the Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens review (tested on the 45MP Canon EOS R5): “If you can afford the cost of entry, the Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM will certainly become a lens that you reach for often…and that versatility makes it well worth the cost of entry”.
- RF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
- Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32
- Four Ultra-Low Dispersion Elements
- Air Sphere and Fluorine Coatings
- Dual Nano USM AF System
- Optical Image Stabilizer
- Customizable Control Ring
- Weather-Sealed Construction
- Significant size and weight savings over competing lenses
- Extremely fast, quiet, and accurate autofocus
- Very good tracking and action capabilities when paired with better cameras
- Highly effective image stabilization system
- Improved maximum magnification
- Very easy to use and transport
- Gorgeous bokeh and color
- Good global contrast and rendering
- Excellent optical performance across the frame
- Good control of aberrations and flare
- Not compatible with teleconverters
- More expensive than previous 70-200mm F4L lenses
Conclusion from Dustin Abbott:
The Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM is a winner. It is incredibly compact, which opens up a whole new way to use the lens and a whole new market of those who wouldn’t mind the premium optics, build, and autofocus of an L series telephoto, but who were unwilling to deal with the bulk and weight of such a lens. But Canon also has not compromised on the autofocus or image quality performance of this lens, which leaves potential buyers free to purchase this lens without having to accept any major compromises.
The only area to criticize in this new design is that you have to give up the use of teleconverters, which is unfortunate when one considers that the amazing focus systems of the EOS R bodies (particularly the R5 and R6 at the moment) theoretically should make using TCs more seamless than ever before. This is a lens that must be used solely as the bare lens, though one could enable the 1.6x crop on a camera like the EOS R5 if you wanted more crop in camera. I did utilize this at an event as I wanted the framing in camera to be able to deliver results to the client without having to do post work. Just know that this is only a cropping of the full image, however, and not actually more reach like one would get using a TC.
Autofocus performance is excellent. I really like Canon’s Nano USM tech, as it delivers fast, quiet, smooth, and accurate autofocus results. The image stabilizer is also effective even with a higher megapixel body like my EOS R5. I appreciate the solid image quality as well. But what really sets the RF 70-200 F4L apart is the incredibly compact, lightweight nature of the lens that will allow you to treat it like a 24-105mm F4 lens for transport and storage. This lens would almost certainly end up in my Canon travel kit if/when I purchase this lens. At $1599 USD, it isn’t cheap, but neither does it seem unreasonably priced. If you can afford the cost of entry, the Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM will certainly become a lens that you reach for often…and that versatility makes it well worth the cost of entry.