Patent: Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
7,580
311
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
Another patent for the already announced Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM has been spotted. This should further confirm that the lens is telescopic and isn’t an internal zoom. This is a slightly different than the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS patent posted back in January.
Japan Patent Application 2019-045555

Focal length: 72.00mm~ 134.99mm ~ 194.94mm
F number: 2.91 ~ 2.91 ~ 2.98
Angle of view: 16.73° ~ 9.11° ~ 6.33°
Image height: 21.64mm
Lens length: 172.73mm ~ 219.96mm ~ 231.71mm
Back focus: 14.37mm ~ 18.40mm ~ 28.12mm

When looking at the length of a lens in a patent, you need to remove the flange distance from the equation. In the case of the RF mount, that is 20mm. This makes the RF 70-200mm...
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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,515
325
Germany
Different patent especially, when you look at the long end.
Here this patent is shorter (231.71 vs. 242.86) and has a slightly narrower aperture (2.98).
At 70 mm the lens has the same length.

Honeslty, I'd vote for the one with the better IQ.
The rest of differences, esp. when telescoped out at 200 mm, have a minor priority to me.
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,515
325
Germany
what are your thoughts on internal zooming vs not? any serious pros and cons? I don't think weather sealing is an issue. anyone?
Internal zoom could be easier protected from dust getting in.
But having had both the 100-400 V1 and V2 with different types of telescoping zoom I never had any problems with dust.
 

edoorn

EOS 80D
Apr 1, 2016
184
70
I dropped my 24-70 once in very fine sand in Botswana. Killed the AF motor (about 300 euro's repair) but I have no idea if an internal zoom would have prevented that. The 100-400 II I've taken to many dusty wild places too and that's doing good so far.
 

tiggy@mac.com

Pentax K-1000
Jan 20, 2014
480
152
Thetford, VT
www.ForestMetrix.com
The only lens I've ever had to send in to Canon because it got too "furry" inside was the 100-400 II, a telescopic model. It's about due for another trip now. And, just to be clear, I'm not worried about a bunch of sensor-invisible dust between lens elements far from the sensor. This level of fur was changing the T value very slightly and under certain conditions causing glints. But that was after exceptionally hard and frequent use over three years. CPS, by the way, opted to not charge me for it. Perhaps they too were impressed by the amount.

I also found that the barrel extension, when exposed to rain, would not keep 100 percent of the water out when retracted without when I didn't have the opportunity to first dry the barrel before retracting. It did a pretty good job of removing almost all water, but not all of it. Here's a fun exercise you can do at home. Take a spray bottle of water and lightly spritz your extension barrel. Move it into the main barrel. Wipe off any water that was squeegeed to the edge. Then extend the barrel again. You'll see some remnant moisture still on the barrel, even after going in and out of the moisture blocking mechanism twice. At least on mine.

I think the answer is likely that it does make a difference, but it would take long, hard use for it to be noticeable. My assessment is that the shorter length would be worth it, but you do need to be careful about too much moisture. For my 100-400 II, I will put a cloth on the top, sometimes grip taping it there. It works partially by absorbing water, but mostly by reminding me to use the cloth before retracting.
 

H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
228
27
what are your thoughts on internal zooming vs not? any serious pros and cons? I don't think weather sealing is an issue. anyone?
Similar reply to what I've written before on here, but honestly I've started to feel maybe external is a bit better. My 70-200 has gone through hell and now most of the barrel segments are loose. The thing I noticed the most is that, when external zooming, any impact on the front of the lens will just push the zoom in instead of directly shocking the lens barrel, which acts like a bit of a cushion, whereas internal zooming is just a rigid barrel that takes the whole force.

Also, weather sealing doesnt seem to be an issue, my 24-70 and my 100-400 has been through the same as my 70-200 without problems. And no matter the lens, in a bad enough downpour you better have a weather cover.

Just my experience though. The most important thing I'd say is that size reduction. This means you can basically fit the 70-200 almost anywhere you could fit a 24-70 now. That's huge for me and a lot more important than losing internal zoom. Saves me 2 extra slots in my Airport International, and could easily make it possible to have an EOS R, 24-70 and 70-200 in a small-medium sized sling bag. The 70-200 is one of my most important lenses, so making it convenient is a big plus.
 

yinzer

I'm New Here
Feb 25, 2019
14
23
I'd take the exact patent measurements with a grain of salt. Especially since it has already shrunk compared to the last patent post. When at 70mm, it definitely does not appear to be only less than 2 inches shorter than the EF 70-200 v3. Also, these numbers show the RF lens being longer that the EF when fully extended. That raises my eyebrow a bit.

That said, considering that the display mockup of the lens has a zoom ring lock switch, I don't think there's really much use for holding out hope for a purely internal zoom. But, my assumption is that it's no less weather sealed than any pro-grade lens that zooms like this. The space savings when stored alone make this an upgrade worth considering.
 
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aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
296
62
what are your thoughts on internal zooming vs not? any serious pros and cons? I don't think weather sealing is an issue. anyone?
Internal zoom/focus pros:
  • Easier to fully seal up.
  • Easier to optimise focus motors for speed.
  • Usually results in better balance.
External zoom/focus pros:
  • Usually cheaper to design and produce, which is a saving often passed on to the consumer.
  • Usually lighter.
  • Though often longer at maximum length, can often be much shorter at minimum length.
  • Easier to optimise focus motors for precision.
  • Easier to avoid focus breathing and get closer to the stated focal lengths (e.g. '200mm' is often something like 185mm with internal zoom, but might be 198mm with external zoom) .
  • Usually better optical quality at minimum and maximum focus distance.

For most regular uses, external zoom is the better option. People seem to often overestimate how much sealing is required for standard use in a typical city or town (or even for travel) and focus speed of modern lenses is also often overkill for the purposes of the average working professional. To put it simply, unless you're a wildlife photographer trying to hunt down birds of paradise in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, you're unlikely to need as much sealing and AF speed as you think.
After all, people have lenses which are decades old without any dust or moisture leaks in them, and for most purposes getting accurate shots is more important than fast shots; speed means nothing if your shot is out of focus.

The average wedding photographer, portrait photographer (studio or location), product photographer, and all but the most extreme landscape, sports, and wildlife photographers, would be better off with external zooming lenses (and external focusing!) where you can more easily and cheaply get the best possible optical quality and you can save some space and weight in your camera bag.

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who asked me what lenses I would recommend he bought for general day-to-day shooting, and a little bit of travel, with his new Fuji system. I suggested the little and cheap 18-55 f/2.8-4 OIS kit lens, for stability and size, and a 23mm or 35mm f/1.4 for when he really wanted more light than f/4 would allow and OIS wasn't enough. (Bearing in mind the Fuji system is APS-C, so those are 35mm and 50mm equivalents.) He disregarded this advice and insisted he needed weather sealing, so bought the expensive and large 16-55 f/2.8 instead. Three months later he sold the 16-55 and bought the smaller lenses.


Internal zoom and focus looks slicker and more high-tech, but from my experience with both my own work, a wide variety of pros, and contacts within the manufacturing and sales side of the industry, I'd say 9/10 pros and 19/20 amateurs would be better off with external zoom and focus. Very few people need that higher degree of sealing and AF speed, while many, many people would benefit a lot from the savings in weight, price, and consistency in optical quality that external zoom and focus allow.


To put it really simply, if the RF 70-200 zooms and focuses externally then it has a better chance of being as optically good as possible.

Since the R line isn't yet ready for heavy-duty extreme weather like the 1D or 7D cameras are, nor are they ready for the extreme speed demands of professional sports and wildlife, I don't think the lower degree of weather sealing and potentially slower AF matters. Saving weight, keeping the minimum size low, and maximising optical quality are far more important for this particular lens for this particular system as it currently is. Maybe in 5-10 years we'll want a slicker lens to match whatever R bodies are available then and we'll get an internally zooming/focusing 70-200 to match, but for now, external is definitely the smarter way to go.
 

degos

EOS 80D
Mar 20, 2015
196
121
External zoom/focus pros:
  • Usually better optical quality at minimum and maximum focus distance.
...

To put it really simply, if the RF 70-200 zooms and focuses externally then it has a better chance of being as optically good as possible.
And yet the current closest approach to 'primes in a zoom-tube' is the 200-400 f4, which is internal zooming. Canon didn't hold back on cost with that lens, but chose internal mechanism.

I don't know of a reason why an external should be any sharper than internal. They both move the same optics, just in slightly different ways.
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
296
62
just in slightly different ways.
That's the key. With internal zooming and/or focusing, the amount you can move each element is obviously restricted by the fixed space. Making sure each focal length or focus position is optimised is extremely hard. With external movement you obviously can more easily make every part move around as much as it needs to arrive at the optimal position. This is why, for example, the recent Sigma 70mm macro lens and Canon's MP-E 65mm macro both focus with significant external extension, which freaks out your typical YouTube reviewer but leads those two lenses to maintain their optical quality even at absurdly close distance. Getting the same quality from an internally-moving lens is far, far tougher.

Note the 200-400 you mentioned is internally zooming but only by virtue of the outer casing basically covering up what is essentially an external-like motion. That is why it's so long (a shade under 15"; for comparison the 400mm f/2.8 is approximately one inch shorter and the 500mm f/4 is only half an inch longer), heavy (3.6kg puts it even heavier than the 500mm f/4), and how it's able to support the 1.4x converter built-in; there's a lot of what is essentially empty space inside it for all the parts to move around within. Also note that that lens is very much an exceptional piece of engineering and has the low production numbers and high price to match. Canon actually lose money on it, but they keep it going because it's such a worthwhile show-off piece to have as a loss leader. They specifically designed it to be the most unique, high-tech lens they could possibly manage. It's a bragging point, not a workhorse lens.

You'll also notice I did specifically use words like "usually" and "easier", not "explicitly only possible" or "impossible".
 
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lovelife

5D MK IV and a bunch o lenses
Dec 18, 2016
1
1
Germany
Did anyone have the zoom stuck on internal zooming lenses?

On external ones the zoom mechanism is punished more:
  • When the hood is put on and off
  • Some inexperienced users are storing the zoom lens with the zoom down thus pushing on that zoom mechanism again.
  • Resting the lens on a hard surface, like a table, also have only two points of pressure: the camera body and the far end of the lens - the zoom mechanism again (especialy if hood is on).
 
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Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
1,069
249
I prefer internal zooming myself even the 100-400 II was quite clever in how the looseness of the zoom can be adjusted. You have a higher chance of dust and water ingress with the external zoom.
I just find with the 100-400 II that when it gets wet its hard to get all the moisture off before retracting.

A short 70-200 RF lens would be great even if it was stubby.
My old 70-200 II is wrecked (one fall to the ground, and one swim in the sea).
It's not focussing very well, it seems to have lost its biting sharpness it once had.

If I move to mirrorless it will be one of the first lens I'd be looking for.
You can't beat a 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 combination
 

navastronia

5D Classic
Aug 31, 2018
105
113
Internal zoom/focus pros:
  • Easier to fully seal up.
  • Easier to optimise focus motors for speed.
  • Usually results in better balance.
External zoom/focus pros:
  • Usually cheaper to design and produce, which is a saving often passed on to the consumer.
  • Usually lighter.
  • Though often longer at maximum length, can often be much shorter at minimum length.
  • Easier to optimise focus motors for precision.
  • Easier to avoid focus breathing and get closer to the stated focal lengths (e.g. '200mm' is often something like 185mm with internal zoom, but might be 198mm with external zoom) .
  • Usually better optical quality at minimum and maximum focus distance.
For most regular uses, external zoom is the better option. People seem to often overestimate how much sealing is required for standard use in a typical city or town (or even for travel) and focus speed of modern lenses is also often overkill for the purposes of the average working professional. To put it simply, unless you're a wildlife photographer trying to hunt down birds of paradise in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, you're unlikely to need as much sealing and AF speed as you think.
After all, people have lenses which are decades old without any dust or moisture leaks in them, and for most purposes getting accurate shots is more important than fast shots; speed means nothing if your shot is out of focus.

The average wedding photographer, portrait photographer (studio or location), product photographer, and all but the most extreme landscape, sports, and wildlife photographers, would be better off with external zooming lenses (and external focusing!) where you can more easily and cheaply get the best possible optical quality and you can save some space and weight in your camera bag.

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who asked me what lenses I would recommend he bought for general day-to-day shooting, and a little bit of travel, with his new Fuji system. I suggested the little and cheap 18-55 f/2.8-4 OIS kit lens, for stability and size, and a 23mm or 35mm f/1.4 for when he really wanted more light than f/4 would allow and OIS wasn't enough. (Bearing in mind the Fuji system is APS-C, so those are 35mm and 50mm equivalents.) He disregarded this advice and insisted he needed weather sealing, so bought the expensive and large 16-55 f/2.8 instead. Three months later he sold the 16-55 and bought the smaller lenses.


Internal zoom and focus looks slicker and more high-tech, but from my experience with both my own work, a wide variety of pros, and contacts within the manufacturing and sales side of the industry, I'd say 9/10 pros and 19/20 amateurs would be better off with external zoom and focus. Very few people need that higher degree of sealing and AF speed, while many, many people would benefit a lot from the savings in weight, price, and consistency in optical quality that external zoom and focus allow.


To put it really simply, if the RF 70-200 zooms and focuses externally then it has a better chance of being as optically good as possible.

Since the R line isn't yet ready for heavy-duty extreme weather like the 1D or 7D cameras are, nor are they ready for the extreme speed demands of professional sports and wildlife, I don't think the lower degree of weather sealing and potentially slower AF matters. Saving weight, keeping the minimum size low, and maximising optical quality are far more important for this particular lens for this particular system as it currently is. Maybe in 5-10 years we'll want a slicker lens to match whatever R bodies are available then and we'll get an internally zooming/focusing 70-200 to match, but for now, external is definitely the smarter way to go.
Absolutely top-notch contribution. Thanks for adding so much to the discussion- bravo!
 

StoicalEtcher

EOS 80D
Jan 3, 2018
125
48
Yorkshire
Did anyone have the zoom stuck on internal zooming lenses?

On external ones the zoom mechanism is punished more:
  • When the hood is put on and off
  • Some inexperienced users are storing the zoom lens with the zoom down thus pushing on that zoom mechanism again.
  • Resting the lens on a hard surface, like a table, also have only two points of pressure: the camera body and the far end of the lens - the zoom mechanism again (especialy if hood is on).
Lovelife,

I'm intrigued by your comments about "storing the zoom lens with the zoom down", and not quite following what you mean - could you expand a little exactly what you mean? (For the hard of learning, such as myself, photos of the 'right' and 'wrong' way may help).

Many thanks. Stoical.
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
296
62
Basically they mean resting the lens vertically with the front element down on the surface and all the weight of the lens (and/or body) pressing down on it.

Personally I have externally-zooming and many externally-focusing lenses which have been stored like that for years—some are many decades old—and it's caused no problem. I wouldn't do it with a really cheap plastic lens with a very heavy pro-size body on top of it, though.
 
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StoicalEtcher

EOS 80D
Jan 3, 2018
125
48
Yorkshire
Ah-ha, many thanks for the illumination aceflibble (y) Have to admit I store (temporarily only) lenses in that fashion while in use (i.e. swapping over etc on a shoot) and can't say I've noticed any issues with the few zooms I have, but was wondering.
 

vlad

EOS T7i
May 2, 2012
56
1
Tossing in my 2c regarding sealing on internal focusing lenses. My 70-200 f2.8 ii got a grain of sand caught in the focusing assembly - I could hear it grinding if I turned the focus ring. I didn't drop it in sand or anything like that, though it briefly shared a bag with a towel that had some sand on it. It actually wasn't a problem during AF, and I hardly ever use MF on that lens, but that sensation of grinding sand was too much to bear, and I ended up getting it repaired.
 
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