(P)review Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM

The Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM is a new, compact telephoto zoom for the RF system. It is the successor of the legendary EF 70-200 mm F4L lenses for the SLR cameras. What is striking about the RF version is that it is even smaller and lighter than the EF version.

Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.

TEST RESULTS Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM:

PROS

CONS

  • Compact build

  • Light

  • Weather resistant

  • Lens Control Ring

  • Hefty price

The Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM is the most compact 70-200mm F4 zoom for full-frame cameras.

The Canon EF 70-200 mm F4L lenses for the SLR cameras have been offering top optical quality for a long time. Looking at the excellent lenses that Canon has recently released for the RF system, we expect nothing less from the new Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM. What is special about this new lens is that it is a retractable zoom, just like its bigger brother, the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM. This makes the new Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM the smallest 70-200mm F4L for full-frame cameras with interchangeable lenses on the market. Not only is it significantly smaller in the retracted state than the EF 70-200mm F4L IS USM II for the SLR cameras, it is also lighter. At 695 grams, it almost saves an ounce. It is also almost 5.5 centimeters shorter, and that means that you have more space in your bag for an extra lens.

Of course, the Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM is equipped with all the trump cards of the RF system. For example, the lens has a programmable Control Ring to which various functions can be assigned. The lens has 5 stops of OIS image stabilization, which in combination with the image stabilization of the EOS R5 and R6 can be increased to 7.5 stops of Dual IS. The lens uses a Dual Nano USM motor for focusing. The only disadvantage of all this beauty is that the lens has become more expensive than its predecessor, with a price just below €1830.00.

BUILD 

The Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM is an L-series lens. This guarantees very solid construction. Where extendable zoom lenses are sometimes seen as dust magnets, because extending and retracting the lenses would act as a kind of pump that could suck dust inwards, you don’t have to worry about that with this Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM. Even though it is only the second 70-200mm of Canon in the L series with such a sliding system, Canon has sufficient experience with the construction to ensure that the seal works well. The entire lens is dust- and moisture-resistant and designed to perform properly even in poor conditions. Of course, it also has a gasket on the mount and a fluorocoating on the front lens so that dust and dirt stick less easily. It is only 12 centimeters long, but a fraction thicker than the old EF 70-200mm F4L IS USM II. The filter size is also larger, at 77mm instead of the 72mm found on the EF version. The lens has a programmable control ring on the front. Behind it is the fairly narrow focus ring, followed by the wide zoom ring.

There are several switches on the section between the mount and the zoom ring. One is for locking the lens so that it cannot inadvertently slide out. Another is for limiting the AF range (full or infinity to 2.5m), and a third is for switching between autofocus and manual focus. Furthermore, there are two switches for turning the image stabilization on and off and selecting the position of the image stabilization (1, 2 or 3). So there is a lot to adjust on this lens. The lens has a lens hood that can also be stored backwards over the lens.

FOCUS

For autofocus, the Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM uses a Dual Nano USM motor. This not only ensures a very fast focus, it also makes the autofocus very quiet. That’s nice if you also want to film with this lens. The shortest setting distance is only 60 cm. That is 40 cm closer than was possible with the EF version, and that increases the application possibilities. Think of very close portraits or better shots of small details.

IMAGE QUALITY

We hope to have the Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM in our test lab soon and will then publish a full review. The Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM has a bigger filter size and therefore a larger diameter of the front lens. Canon claims that partly as a result of this, the sharpness has improved to the corners. That is something that we like to investigate.

 Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM
 specifications
  
field of view (diag)

34° – 12°

sensor formatFull frame
min. setting distance60 cm
filter diameter77 mm
diaphragm blades9
image stabilizerja
dimensions (dxl)83×120 mm
weight695 gr
mountCanon RF
particularsretractable
importerwww.Canon.nl/be
list price€ 1829.99
  
resolution
contrast
chromatic aberration
distortion
vignetting
autofocus
flare
finish
  
final score

ConclusiON: REVIEW Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM oN Canon EOS R5

As soon as we have a copy in our test lab, we will publish a full review.

The Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM will be available starting in December for a suggested retail price of €1829.99.