Canon Lens News

Canon officially announced the RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF 600mm f/4L IS USM

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Canon has officially announced the first professional super-telephoto lenses with the RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF 600mm f/4L IS USM. Both of these lenses are pretty much identical to to their EF mount brothers.

Press Release:

The Canon RF400mm F2.8L IS USM and Canon RF600mm F4L IS USM are both designed to be optically identical to their EF counterparts. The RF400mm and RF600mm weigh in at 6.37 and 6.81 pounds with a minimum focusing distance of 8.2 and 13.8 feet, respectively. Both lenses share many of the same critical features that help professional high-end super-telephoto lenses stand out from the crowd. Those features include:

  • Ideal for a wide variety of shooting situations, including sports, aviation, trains, automotive, and wildlife, such as birding.
  • Optical Image Stabilization with up to 5.5 stops6 of shake correction. Including three IS Operation Modes — still subjects, panning, and irregular movement.
  • Proprietary Canon lens coatings, Super Spectra Coating (SSC), and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) help minimize ghosting and flaring. Lens placement and coatings are optimized to provide users with clear, high-contrast images even when there is a bright light source.
  • Lenses include fluorite and super UD lens elements arranged in such a way to help correct chromatic aberration and make the models more compact. Like the latest Canon EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF600mm f/4L IS III USM lenses, released in the fall of 2018, weight on these RF-series super-telephotos has been significantly reduced vs. previous-generation Canon super tele designs.
  • Compatible with Canon RF 1.4x and 2x extenders, and feature a customizable electronic focus ring, with manual focus capability during SERVO AF.
  • A nine-blade circular aperture provides users beautiful bokeh and ideally blurred backgrounds when the aperture is stopped down.
  • For added convenience when on a shoot, two focus presets are available. Users can instantly return to one of two memorized focus distances.
  • Rugged Canon L-series dust and water-resistant design with vibration and shock resistance. The front element has been dressed with a fluorine coating for easy cleaning.
  • Infrared reflective pigments with high reflectance and titanium oxide lens barrel coating with silica provide excellent UV weather resistance and heat reduction.

Canon RF Lenses Pricing and Availability
The Canon RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM and Canon RF 600mm f/4L IS USM are scheduled to be available in July 2021 for an estimated retail price of  $11,999.00 and $12,999.00, respectively.

antolalto

I'm New Here
Jan 29, 2020
9
18
Despite being a fan of this decision, it seems absurd to me that Canon decided to produce two lenses that are identical to the versions released in 2018, with no substantial difference.

It would have had more sense to develop a much needed updated version of the 500 f/4, IMHO.

I will wait to see, for the time being I'll keep my 300 II.
 
Aug 29, 2020
3
5
Interesting. "Optically identical" to the EF 400 and 600 and actually weigh just a fraction more, despite Canon stating, "weight on these RF-series super-telephotos has been significantly reduced vs. previous-generation Canon super tele designs." Same price as EF too.
The pictures do more or less look like the 600 F4 III with an RF mount attached. This is a relief - can stick with my 600 F4 II - which has the same if not slightly better resolution / optical quality than the newer lens. Can save my pennies for the R3 instead.
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,471
2,296
Germany
Rough dimenson comparison leads to same than EF lenses + RF adapter.
Internally they might differ, of course...

Canon RF 400mm F2.8L IS USM
163 x 367 mm
2.890 g
MFD 2,5 m

EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM
163 x 343 mm
2840 g
MFD 2,5 m


Canon RF 600mm F4L IS USM
168 x 472 mm
3.090 g
MFD 4,2 m

EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM
Ca. 168 x 448
3.050 g
MFD 4,2 m
 
  • Like
Reactions: Billybob
Aug 12, 2014
6
8
One of the advantages of the RF mount is improved communication between camera and lens. I would think that will improve AF speed ?
 
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Reactions: SwissFrank

Codebunny

Elil
Sep 5, 2018
839
827
Scotland
They aren't bad lenses, it is just disappointing there wasn't something more to them. The cynic in me says that they are holding back/banking tech for a bigger upgrade for the next Olympics with the R1.
 
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Reactions: rinamiele

Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
1,292
425
Despite being a fan of this decision, it seems absurd to me that Canon decided to produce two lenses that are identical to the versions released in 2018, with no substantial difference.

It would have had more sense to develop a much needed updated version of the 500 f/4, IMHO.
Look at it another way: considering it makes no financial sense to redesign the optics, making an RF 400mm f/2.8 with the same optical design as the EF is a low hanging fruit, why wait until the 500mm f/4 is redesigned?
 

bichex

EOS M50
Dec 9, 2014
37
53
It seems logical to me what canon does. On the one hand they are discontinuing the EF lenses so it is logical that they replace them with the same or better lenses with an R mount. On the other hand Canon seems to be behind Sony. Sony already has 600 F4 and 400 2.8 and already has alpha 1, so Canon wants to avoid bleeding and says we will now have the same lenses and camera as the R3, equivalent or better to alpha 1.
Finally, there are always new buyers of a lens, who will want it with the new frame.
It is clear that it was Sony who promoted the change in technology
 

JordanCS13

EOS R5 | R6
Aug 1, 2020
25
74
www.admiringlight.com
I think it's a bad look to not even bother incorporating a control ring into it. I'm fine with the decision to re-use the optics, as they really didn't need updating, but it basically being a mount swap (and then making the whole extension silver looks awful) is a bad look. At least offer some mild exterior redesign, with the consistent mount end like every other RF lens, and add a control ring. Right now, this is less functional than the EF version with the control ring adapter.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,020
3,327
67
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
...why wait until the 500mm f/4 is redesigned?
When the EF 600 III and 400 III came out, there were expectations that the 500 III would follow shortly. Never happened. I suspect that Canon had the lens already designed and then held back to concentrate on RF lenses. I also suspect that the RF 500 will simply be that EF 500 III in an RF mount just like these lenses.
 
Aug 7, 2018
247
190
I wonder if they will produce a 500mm lens again. Are there really enough people who want 500mm, because 400mm are too wide and 600mm are too narrow for them. 500mm would only be interestng for more people if there was a f/2.8 version, but that one would be very heavy. I expect the 200-500mm f/4 to be a good alternative to a 500mm prime.