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

RobbieHat

EOS T7i
Feb 4, 2015
64
49
54
Rocklin, CA/The Sea Ranch, CA
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.
That why I shoot with the 5DSR! Crappy focusing and low light capability but in the right conditions it give you croppable reach and resolution that far exceeds other Canon offerings.
 
There’s always the Sigma 150-600 option was well. But I agree; a 500 or 600 mm long end that doesn’t break the bank would be welcome.
I tested the Sigma 150-600 last July on an RP and on my M50 body, and found it problematic. Severe focus hunting on both bodies, but worse on the RP. Subject was fast-moving racing boats similar to my profile pic. Frequently in servo focus, the lens would wander off the subject and pick something in the background or foreground to focus on for a few frames. Also run away chromatic aberration that was bad enough that I had trouble correcting it in Lightroom. And from about 225mm down - especially on the full frame camera - there was a lot of vignetting. That went away on the crop sensor camera except at the bottom end. To validate what I found, I rented a 100-400 and a 1.4x for another event in September, and the results were superior, even with the teleconverter on. For my part, I’ll take a pass and wait to see what this lens has to offer. I get that it costs more, but I’d rather save up and spend the money and get a lens that won’t frustrate me with its results.

To be fair, the Sigma 150-600’s worst faults can be corrected with careful post-production processing. But I’d rather spend my time shooting. I think a lot of it has to do with my being an older dog learning newer tricks, too. I have been shooting with a Canon SLR since high school, which was a LONG time ago. I am still programmed to shoot with the final results in mind, not what I can correct in post. So I still look at extensive precessing work as correcting what I did wrong rather than enhancing things. That part of my thinking hasn’t changed with the times, and that makes me part of the weak spot.
 
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Architect1776

Defining the poetics of space through Architecture
Aug 18, 2017
585
563
118
Williamsport, PA
Suggesting it might be about the same size as the RF 70-200 would be quite a exceptional little lens to always have on you.

Edit: While I am super excited about this, would be lovely to have a 200-500 f/5.6. The 70-200 range is covered by so many other lenses but getting past 400 is currently expensive or Nikon.
For birders perhaps the 200-500. But as an excellent all around telephoto lens 70-400mm is a dream come true. That 30mm wider is huge.
 

Codebunny

EOS RP
Sep 5, 2018
300
233
For birders perhaps the 200-500. But as an excellent all around telephoto lens 70-400mm is a dream come true. That 30mm wider is huge.
I am more foxes and similar sized animals that don't want to be close to me than little birds. 200mm onwards is my domain, I would be happier with a 200-400 once that comes to RF. But if they could make a cheeper 200-500 f/5.6 then that would be the killer lens.
 
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Architect1776

Defining the poetics of space through Architecture
Aug 18, 2017
585
563
118
Williamsport, PA
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.
And many of us would like and could use a bit wider as this lens is designated.
 

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,492
5,120
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.
It's increase in sensor resolution that is the factor that corresponds to an increase in focal length, providing the lens is up to it. Image quality has important contributions from acutance, noise, dynamic range etc which make the image look good without necessarily increasing resolution.
 
May 4, 2017
1
0
I too would like to see something closer to the 600 end. I have the original Tamron 150-600 which was great on my older bodies, but is fairly useless on my R, even after updating the firmware. I might try renting the newer 60-600 to see if that's any better, but I don't want to run into the same issue down the road where the lens doesn't work on a new body. I do lots of birds and other wildlife, so 90% of my shots are at 600
 

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,492
5,120
That why I shoot with the 5DSR! Crappy focusing and low light capability but in the right conditions it give you croppable reach and resolution that far exceeds other Canon offerings.
The 90D (and M6II) exceeds the 5DSR for croppable reach and resolution. I use and like both bodies (90D and 5DSR).
 
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AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,492
5,120
I tested the Sigma 150-600 last July on an RP and on my M50 body, and found it problematic. Severe focus hunting on both bodies, but worse on the RP. Subject was fast-moving racing boats similar to my profile pic. Frequently in servo focus, the lens would wander off the subject and pick something in the background or foreground to focus on for a few frames. Also run away chromatic aberration that was bad enough that I had trouble correcting it in Lightroom. And from about 225mm down - especially on the full frame camera - there was a lot of vignetting. That went away on the crop sensor camera except at the bottom end. To validate what I found, I rented a 100-400 and a 1.4x for another event in September, and the results were superior, even with the teleconverter on. For my part, I’ll take a pass and wait to see what this lens has to offer. I get that it costs more, but I’d rather save up and spend the money and get a lens that won’t frustrate me with its results.

To be fair, the Sigma 150-600’s worst faults can be corrected with careful post-production processing. But I’d rather spend my time shooting. I think a lot of it has to do with my being an older dog learning newer tricks, too. I have been shooting with a Canon SLR since high school, which was a LONG time ago. I am still programmed to shoot with the final results in mind, not what I can correct in post. So I still look at extensive precessing work as correcting what I did wrong rather than enhancing things. That part of my thinking hasn’t changed with the times, and that makes me part of the weak spot.
You have tested a poor copy of the Sigma 150-600mm C. Optically, mine behaves very well on all my Canon bodies and is a match for my 100-400mm IIs at 400mm and better than them with the 1.4xTCs, and about the same at 600mm as my 400mm DO II with a 1.4xTC. The Canons have much better AF for BIF. There are lots of great shots from others in the Bird Portraits thread with the Sigma C.
 

navastronia

EOS RP + 5D Classic
Aug 31, 2018
448
528
For birders perhaps the 200-500. But as an excellent all around telephoto lens 70-400mm is a dream come true. That 30mm wider is huge.
Yes, and as others have said, you could actually walk around with just a 70-400 at large events with diverse activities (carnivals, festivals) and not feel like you would miss moments because of not having a wide enough focal length.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,455
1,282
pourriez-vous l'offrir en deux couleurs au choix? Blanc ou noir par exemple ...

Non désolé. Unlikely to be offered in more than one color. That's something they'd consider doing for a lens they would kit with a body, but that would have to be a very high volume lens (say for 24-105 standard zoom) and the market would have to have an appetite for two different colored bodies as well. Right now I thought EOS R and EOS RP are only in black.

But fear not: I'm sure the postmarket community would offer a sleeve/coating for the lens if you need it. See how many they already make for the various 100-400 lenses:


- A
 

knight427

EOS 80D
Aug 27, 2018
114
172
As a 100-400ii owner, below is what I was hoping for from this lens (which I've thought a lot about since the RF 70-200 f/2.8 came out).

In order of preference, this was my wish list:

1) More reach
200-500 f/5.6 at same size/weight as EF 100-400ii was my dream

2) More light
anything-400 f/4, even 4.5 (marketers nightmare) at same size as EF 100-400ii...I know, this was unrealistic by both physics and marketing

3) More smaller
keep specs the same, just do the magic on this that they did on RF 70-200

So obviously I got 3 plus a little at the wide end. While I haven't gone RF yet, I'm really glad I did't jump over to Fuji during the X-H1 blowout. Canon's "lenses first" strategy is working on me, keeping me in the system. At this point I wish Canon would modify the 90D into an RF mount camera, then I'd just keep my badly depreciated 6D for astro and portraits, and adapt my 100-400ii to this hypothetical camera while saving up for the RF 70-200 and RF 70-400.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,455
1,282
3) More smaller
keep specs the same, just do the magic on this that they did on RF 70-200

The RF isn't magical, it's just externally zooming. It's just a design decision. They did not cheat the laws of physics, bend light through the Tesseract or strike a bargain with the devil.

They just rethought whether the tank-like professional internal zoom build still made sense in 2020, now that the market has a nontrivial percentage of people who care about bag size.

70-200 comparison.jpg

An RF 70-400 could be smaller than the EF 100-400s, sure, but it will take more than what you see above to do that (because the 100-400 already does this).

- A
 

Daner

AE-1 Program
This looks good for many reasons, and could hopefully be coupled with the release of a RF 1.4x extender for those who feel that they need a bit more reach. (I have had good use of my EF 1.4x Mk. III with several lenses, including my 100-400 Mk. II.)
 

flip314

EOS RP
Sep 26, 2018
269
385
The 100-400 was already the telephoto lens I was most looking forward to, but that extra 30mm on the short side would be killer! 70mm sometimes saves me on my 70-300 IS II USM.

I'm not sure how I feel about multi-barrel extension though (as some people have *speculated* in this thread), those always look ugly and cheap to me.
 
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knight427

EOS 80D
Aug 27, 2018
114
172
I use magical in jest, as an engineer, I’m aware of not only physics, but design trade-offs. But part of this rumor says the RF 70-400 will be similar in size to the RF 70-200 f/2.8. Additionally, the RF lenses are exploiting optical design and body materials to save weight w/o compromising on durability. So I expect the RF 70-400 won’t end up as small as the 70-200, but it do expect it to be smaller than the 100-400ii and noticeably lighter with a shifted center-of-gravity back toward the camera body (reducing torque).
Canon-EF-100-400mm-f-4.5-5.6-L-IS-II-USM-Lens.jpg
 

efmshark

EOS M50
Jan 19, 2018
38
20
If it weighs the same as the RF 70-200 that would really be amazing. The 100-400s have always been about as heavy as the 70-200 2.8s, and I'd love to see the same weight reduction achieved on the RF version of those on this RF 70-400!

The RF system gets more and more appealing when you are talking about weight savings. Nice lightweight f4s (ultrawide/70-200) would really round out a great a versatile zoom lens line-up from 15-400mm for the RF mount.
400mm f/5.6 front element is basically the same size as 200mm f/2.8 front element, so there's no reason these two RF lenses are not comparable in weight. Canon may have to come up with some kind of a double-barrel extension if the folded length of the 70-400mm is to be as short, though.