Canon RF 70-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM to be announced this year [CR2]

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,441
1,266
The state of affairs:

Customer: I would like to shoot up to 400mm with a new Canon lens that does not require crop or teleconverters to get there.
Canon: Of course! Here are six lens options, starting at $1,199. All of them are pretty terrific -- you really can't go wrong.
Customer: You know what? I actually need 401mm.
Canon: Ooh. That's bad news for you. We at Canon believe that crossing The 401mm Barrier requires $8,999 solutions.
Customer: WHAT?! Nikon has a 200-500 f/5.6 for under $1,400!
Canon: [Nervous laughter] I'mmmmmm pretty sure that's not a thing. [Ninja smoke bomb, exit stage left]

I'm happy for current EF White Unicorn users with this news, but:
  • EF needs a 200-500 f/5.6 IS offering
  • RF people should be able to get up to 600mm with no EF f/5.6 requirement
One might argue that the RF -600mm option is in greater need than an RF 70-400 as RF folks can adapt their various -400mm lenses already.

- A
 
Last edited:
Interesting.

The reported size (similar to f/2.8 70-200) makes sense, as the current EF 70-200mm f/2.8 is quite similar in size to the EF 100-400mm v.2 lens.

If it is optically as good as the existing EF 100-400, this should be a popular lens. It would also mean that a lot of photographers not needed f/2.8 in zooms could forego the 70-200mm lenses and work with this new lens plus either a 24-105 or (future) 24-70 f/4.

Going a bit further with that idea, landscape photographers could end up with a fine three-lens kit where four used to be required — for example, something along the lines of RF 15-35mm f/4*, 24-70mm f/4*, and this new 70-400mm lens.

Dan

* These focal length/aperture lenses don't yet exist in RF, though they do in EF.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,441
1,266
The reported size (similar to f/2.8 70-200) makes sense, as the current EF 70-200mm f/2.8 is quite similar in size to the EF 100-400mm v.2 lens.

You might want to read the OP again:
"to be about the same size as the recently released Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM."

The sexy take of this rumor is that it might be as big collapsed (shortest FL, the 'bag size') as the RF 70-200 2.8 is when it is collapsed. The EF 70-200 2.8s and the EF 100-400L II are only about the same size today becuase the 70-200s are internal zooming / do not change in external length. The RF 70-200 2.8 rather famously changed all that.

As things currently stand between the EF 100-400L II and the new RF 70-200 2.8, some sort of dark arts telescoping witchcraft would be required to pull that off. To cover that much of a length difference, one could imagine a 'multi-tubed' telescope barrel a la the cheaper non-L larger FL multiplier zooms out there.

Screen Shot 2020-01-08 at 9.22.28 AM.png


- A
 
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Optics Patent

Former Nikon (Changes to R5 upon delivery)
Nov 6, 2019
310
248
No, this is a great way to satisfy a "photographer's dream" :)
100mm end of 100-400 is a bit too long at time for sports.
70-400 is your 100-400 with a wider end. Just perfect.
I was delighted to find that the RF 70-200 handles at 70mm like any one kilo midrange zoom. It acts like a long normal lens for daily life grab shots. 70 is a very handy focal length for a lens that happens to be on your camera when you need to grab a shot.
 
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RobbieHat

EOS T7i
Feb 4, 2015
60
45
54
Rocklin, CA/The Sea Ranch, CA
Been beaten pretty soundly above, but I will voice my desire for more reach at the far end in exchange for the expanded width at the short end. I am good with the speed and size of the lens, but as I use the 100-400 today I find I am in need for more reach way more often then I am in need of more width.

As stated, will make a great outdoor sports lens but is still lacking as a wildlife and intimate landscape lens. Would like to see Canon take this market seriously and not rely on third parties to fill this niche. Nikon and Sony both have very nice offerings in this arena. I have shot side by side with them and the reach and quality is quite useful.
 
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FramerMCB

Canon 40D & 7D
Sep 9, 2014
439
113
52
I wonder what an RF 180-480 f3.5-5.6L IS DO or a 200-500 f4.0-6.3L IS DO would run? ...$1,599 or $2,299 at intro? Higher?

What if Canon stuns the photo world and when introducing a more PRO oriented R also introduces an RF 600mm f4.0L IS DO that is 3/4 the weight of the current EF version III and 3/4 the length of that lens? What would any of you PROs and/or well-heeled Enthusiasts pay for such a lens? $8,999?
 
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Optics Patent

Former Nikon (Changes to R5 upon delivery)
Nov 6, 2019
310
248
That's exciting! Though I wonder if they would have to make some optical compromises in order to get the size down. I thought I'd heard the 100-400 as it currently is, is one of Canon's toughest-to-make lenses, so I feel like miniaturizing that must come with a compromise or two...
I'd speculate that the RF mount opened up some optical design options that let them add the 70-100 range to the system.
 

Optics Patent

Former Nikon (Changes to R5 upon delivery)
Nov 6, 2019
310
248
landscape photographers could end up with a fine three-lens kit where four used to be required — for example, something along the lines of RF 15-35mm f/4*, 24-70mm f/4*, and this new 70-400mm lens.
True, and I'd suggest one might well drop the middle one, or replace with a fast 50mm or pancake "bodycap".
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
6,351
4,478
The state of affairs:

Customer: I would like to shoot up to 400mm with a new Canon lens that does not require crop or teleconverters to get there.
Canon: Of course! Here are six lens options, starting at $1,199. All of them are pretty terrific -- you really can't go wrong.
Customer: You know what? I actually need 401mm.
Canon: Ooh. That's bad news for you. We at Canon believe that crossing The 401mm Barrier requires $8,999 solutions.
Customer: WHAT?! Nikon has a 200-500 f/5.6 for under $1,400!
Canon: [Nervous laughter] I'mmmmmm pretty sure that's not a thing. [Ninja smoke bomb, exit stage left]

I'm happy for current EF White Unicorn users with this news, but:
  • EF needs a 200-500 f/5.6 IS offering
  • RF people should be able to get up to 600mm with no EF f/5.6 requirement
One might argue that the RF -600mm option is in greater need than an RF 70-400 as RF folks can adapt their various -400mm lenses already.

- A
The benchmark for a longer zoom is now the 200-600mm f/6.3 a la Sony, it's a cracking lens with IQ and AF way ahead of the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6. However, both those lenses are too heavy for me, and the Sony too big. 70-400mm is the best compromise for a lightweight lens for hiking and safari. I am finding that attached to something as pixel dense as the 90D the 100-400mm II is providing a good long effective focal length as well as versatility. I, personally, want Canon to produce a really lightweight 500mm f/5.6 DO prime to rival the Nikon, as well as a 300mm DO.
 

KirkD

EOS T7i
Nov 23, 2017
73
54
Canada
kirkdurston.wixsite.com
Been beaten pretty soundly above, but I will voice my desire for more reach at the far end in exchange for the expanded width at the short end. I am good with the speed and size of the lens, but as I use the 100-400 today I find I am in need for more reach way more often then I am in need of more width.
Totally agree. My Canon 100-400 II is one of my most heavily used lenses, and at least 90% of all my shots are taken at 400mm. More reach is preferable.
 

Danglin52

Wildlife Shooter
Aug 8, 2018
147
115
The wildlife photographers trinity will now be complete - 24-70, 70-200, 100-400. If only they would realease the pro mirrorless R body! A RF 200-500/600 f4 - 5.6 w/ 1.4x TC and a weight reduction over the EF 200-400 would also be nice. I might even be happy with a 200-600 similar to the Sony as a light weight alternative for some trips. II am debating whether to replace my 1dx II with the 1dxIII or wait for a Pro R. I would like to switch out my 200-400 to something lighter, but hesitant to buy another EF lens until I know the future of the R bodies. I know, we are never satisfied!
 

Optics Patent

Former Nikon (Changes to R5 upon delivery)
Nov 6, 2019
310
248
The benchmark for a longer zoom is now the 200-600mm f/6.3 a la Sony, it's a cracking lens with IQ and AF way ahead of the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6. However, both those lenses are too heavy for me, and the Sony too big. 70-400mm is the best compromise for a lightweight lens for hiking and safari. I am finding that attached to something as pixel dense as the 90D the 100-400mm II is providing a good long effective focal length as well as versatility. I, personally, want Canon to produce a really lightweight 500mm f/5.6 DO prime to rival the Nikon, as well as a 300mm DO.
I think it bears noting that for wildlife and others subjects where cropping is the norm, a 50% improvement in image quality (with suitable camera sensor) is as good as a 50% increase in focal length.
 

hoodlum

EOS 80D
Jul 11, 2012
142
16
www.flickr.com
That's exciting! Though I wonder if they would have to make some optical compromises in order to get the size down. I thought I'd heard the 100-400 as it currently is, is one of Canon's toughest-to-make lenses, so I feel like miniaturizing that must come with a compromise or two...

But I could definitely see that in my bag should I jump on board with the R system any time soon.
Optical compromises will need to be made if they are both decreasing the size and extending the zoom range. I hope this means we will also see a high-end RF crop body.