The Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM begins shipping this week

Bdbtoys

R5
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2020
272
208
Just imagine a travel bag with the two cans of soda and a nice fat sandwich. Only the sandwich is an RF mount camera, and the cans of soda are a 24-105 F4L IS AND 70-200 F4L IS. Maybe you're a little worried you'll need a night time snack, so you throw a pack of cookies in the bag. Only the cookies are actually an RF 35 F1.8.

One lusty, compact, lightweight situation you'd have going on there. For me, that's the draw of this lens. Smaller, lighter, better. I'm looking forward to the reviews. I have the 70-200 F4 L IS V1 and it is great. So if this is better, I may not be able to resist for too long. I'm looking forward to seeing some reviews hit.

-Brian

Although not using a snack reference... I mentioned a similar loadout. For me the entire draw to it is size/weight/quality, and the cons are price and aperture (the aperture is reasonable for size, but I think they could have done a bit better on the price). However I don't know that I would want it over the 2.8 if I could only chose one. Then again, I might be self justifying holding off on it ;) .
 

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
821
913
Kentucky, USA
I am going back and forth on whether I should get this lense. Lately and thanks to COVID, I've really gotten into hiking. I carry my 24-105mm and my 100-400mm (plus adapter) around which is quite heavy....therefore, I'm looking at the 70-200mm as a hiking/ easy to carry around lense. It would also make sense to use on school trips or indoor sports...(do I need F2.8 here? )
But does it make sense to own a 70-200mm and a 100-400mm (one day I'll upgrade to 100-500mm)? Isn't it just too much money spend? Every time when I finally come to a decision, I start overthinking it again When traveling: 100-400mm AND 70-200mm or just one of them? I just can't decide...
If I were you, I wouldn't want a RF 24-105 f4L, RF 70-200 f4L and RF 100-500 f4.5-7.1L. I'd see not enough benefit in carrying around the RF 70-200 f4L in that case. The difference between f4 and f4.5 (or slightly higher at 200mm) is (to me) negligible and I'd be quite happy with just the 24-105 and 100-500 alone to minimize lens changes. The 100-500 is my favorite lens and I wouldn't take it off to put on a 70-200 f4, but I would take it off (and indeed do so) to put on a 70-200 f2.8 as the f2.8 makes a big enough difference in background blur!

Now if you want to go out with just the 24-105 f4 and 70-200 f4 then I can see a benefit in having just 2 smaller & lighter lenses. But if you're already carrying around the 100-500 then I'd use it instead of the 70-200 f4.
 
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SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,047
1,904
If I were you, I wouldn't want a RF 24-105 f4L, RF 70-200 f4L and RF 100-500 f4.5-7.1L. I'd see not enough benefit in carrying around the RF 70-200 f4L in that case. The difference between f4 and f4.5 (or slightly higher at 200mm) is (to me) negligible and I'd be quite happy with just the 24-105 and 100-500 alone to minimize lens changes. The 100-500 is my favorite lens and I wouldn't take it off to put on a 70-200 f4, but I would take it off (and indeed do so) to put on a 70-200 f2.8 as the f2.8 makes a big enough difference in background blur!

Now if you want to go out with just the 24-105 f4 and 70-200 f4 then I can see a benefit in having just 2 smaller & lighter lenses. But if you're already carrying around the 100-500 then I'd use it instead of the 70-200 f4.

Good reasoning here.

I'm actually thinking about this 70-200 f/4 L to go with the 24-105 f/4 L. If I ever thought I'd want to go longer than 200, I'd take my (EF) 100-400 L II instead of the 70-200.

The big money option, of course, would be to get the the 24-70 and 70-200 in f/2.8 instead of this. (Edit: Apparently one of those is f/2.0. Nevertheless they seem to be a matched pair.)

But at the moment, I'll probably do nothing at all, and stick with what I have.
 
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jd7

EOS R
CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
867
229
Just imagine a travel bag with the two cans of soda and a nice fat sandwich. Only the sandwich is an RF mount camera, and the cans of soda are a 24-105 F4L IS AND 70-200 F4L IS. Maybe you're a little worried you'll need a night time snack, so you throw a pack of cookies in the bag. Only the cookies are actually an RF 35 F1.8.

One lusty, compact, lightweight situation you'd have going on there. For me, that's the draw of this lens. Smaller, lighter, better. I'm looking forward to the reviews. I have the 70-200 F4 L IS V1 and it is great. So if this is better, I may not be able to resist for too long. I'm looking forward to seeing some reviews hit.

-Brian
I certainly see the attaction in the set up you are talking about. However, for a similar size and weight to your set up, and less money, you could have an A7III, a Sigma 24-70/2.8, Tamron 70-180/2.8 and Samyang 35/1.8. I realise that is talking about a totally different system, and obviously there are other factors to consider (such as build quality, ergonomics, how important 200mm verses 180mm is to you, how much you value f/2.8 over f/4, etc), but all the same I think it is worth being aware of, to keep what Canon is offering in perspective.
 

bbasiaga

Canon Shooter
Nov 15, 2011
412
437
USA
I certainly see the attaction in the set up you are talking about. However, for a similar size and weight to your set up, and less money, you could have an A7III, a Sigma 24-70/2.8, Tamron 70-180/2.8 and Samyang 35/1.8. I realise that is talking about a totally different system, and obviously there are other factors to consider (such as build quality, ergonomics, how important 200mm verses 180mm is to you, how much you value f/2.8 over f/4, etc), but all the same I think it is worth being aware of, to keep what Canon is offering in perspective.

And of course you have to deal with all the downsides (and upsides, depending on your perspective) of that kit as well.

The point is, I believe Canon was thinking in this direction as they created these lenses. There are third party options for Canon starting to show up as well, and sounds like more on the way so in the future that will be an option as well. But as to the question of 'why this lens' aimed at the Canon 70-200 F4 L IS...I believe my original answer is one reason why.

-Brian
 
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bbasiaga

Canon Shooter
Nov 15, 2011
412
437
USA
Although not using a snack reference... I mentioned a similar loadout. For me the entire draw to it is size/weight/quality, and the cons are price and aperture (the aperture is reasonable for size, but I think they could have done a bit better on the price). However I don't know that I would want it over the 2.8 if I could only chose one. Then again, I might be self justifying holding off on it ;) .

2.8 is nice for sure. But $$$ and weight are factors. Somehow over time I've ended up with a kit that mostly has F4 zooms, and the older I get the more I appreciate the weight savings. But I do have a couple of faster lenses, mostly primes, that I can go to when I want to do more subject isolation work.

-Brian
 

Rivermist

Mirrorless or bust.
Apr 27, 2019
75
109
Houston
If I were you, I wouldn't want a RF 24-105 f4L, RF 70-200 f4L and RF 100-500 f4.5-7.1L. I'd see not enough benefit in carrying around the RF 70-200 f4L in that case. The difference between f4 and f4.5 (or slightly higher at 200mm) is (to me) negligible and I'd be quite happy with just the 24-105 and 100-500 alone to minimize lens changes. The 100-500 is my favorite lens and I wouldn't take it off to put on a 70-200 f4, but I would take it off (and indeed do so) to put on a 70-200 f2.8 as the f2.8 makes a big enough difference in background blur!

Now if you want to go out with just the 24-105 f4 and 70-200 f4 then I can see a benefit in having just 2 smaller & lighter lenses. But if you're already carrying around the 100-500 then I'd use it instead of the 70-200 f4.
I have the RF 24-105L and RF 100-500, together with legacy EF wide zooms. For travel, the 2 RF lenses + either the EF 16-35 f:4 or EF 11-24 (depending on the type of travel) comes along, together with the 35mm 1.8 for low-light or candid street pictures. I am eying the 70-200 for a different purpose, portrait photography mostly at or close to home. For that purpose the 24-105 always ends up being a bit short, and the 100-500 is both heavy and intimidating, and I find I often need to go below 100 mm. The only hesitation (apart from which bank to hold up to get the necessary funds) is between the f:2.8 and f:4 versions. I had the EF 70-200 f:2.8 IS for many years and it was my go-to portrait lens, will f:4 still provide the bokeh for occasional outdoor pictures, knowing that indoors with studio flash I shoot at f:5.6 anyway.
 
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01Spino94

CR Pro
Sep 7, 2020
1
0
Reston, VA
I just picked mine up, but it's gray and dismal in the Washington DC area today. Saturday promises to be a nice, sunny, but chilly day so it should be a good time to test it out. I'm especially looking forward to using it on longer landscape shots--I did a lot of that with the EF version.
 

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
821
913
Kentucky, USA
I have the RF 24-105L and RF 100-500, together with legacy EF wide zooms. For travel, the 2 RF lenses + either the EF 16-35 f:4 or EF 11-24 (depending on the type of travel) comes along, together with the 35mm 1.8 for low-light or candid street pictures. I am eying the 70-200 for a different purpose, portrait photography mostly at or close to home. For that purpose the 24-105 always ends up being a bit short, and the 100-500 is both heavy and intimidating, and I find I often need to go below 100 mm. The only hesitation (apart from which bank to hold up to get the necessary funds) is between the f:2.8 and f:4 versions. I had the EF 70-200 f:2.8 IS for many years and it was my go-to portrait lens, will f:4 still provide the bokeh for occasional outdoor pictures, knowing that indoors with studio flash I shoot at f:5.6 anyway.
I have the RF 70-200 f2.8L and it is a wonderful lens. Also compact and relatively light. Since you want to add a 70-200 for portrait use, I would strongly suggest you get the f2.8 version instead of the f4 version as that's the most useful reason IMHO to get the bigger aperture in that focal range. But if you shoot your indoor portraits at f5.6 then you won't be getting the f2.8 benefit. For anything outdoors where you do want a nice background blur, I'd strongly suggest the f2.8 version as well, but that's just my opinion. But if you mainly want outdoor landscape shots instead of portrait shots then the f4 version would be fine and more portable. Also f4 at 200mm will still give you enough background blur where you'd probably be happy, but just not as much as f2.8.
 
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mangobutter

EOS 90D
Dec 11, 2014
176
86
www.e46mango.com
Some of my favorite and most grand photos have come from a 70-200 F4. They're so much fun and so versatile and so high quality (only the Canon versions)

I own the EF 70-200 F4L V2 (version II) and I'm seriously debating ordering the RF version. I know only I can decide yada yada... but what do you guys think... dumb decision? The EF V2 is already triple platinum in terms of optical quality. Nothing on this planet from any brand with same range and aperture touches it in any category whatsoever. nothing. So very excited to see how this RF version performs. Canon promises the same or better.
 

mangobutter

EOS 90D
Dec 11, 2014
176
86
www.e46mango.com
EOS RP + 70-200 F4L Version II.
49484840121_909c213080_b.jpg
 

bluezurich

5D3 Curmudgeon
Dec 17, 2013
4,340
2,435
Like a LOT of Canon shooters, the OG 70-200 f/4 was my L glass gateway drug. Tremendous value. This was long before the whining about stabilization began and we just shot with solid gear and technique, not a reliance on wizardry( ok, it was film as well but that's neither here nor there). These lenses have continued to be in s special class, and let's not forget, 2.8 to 4 is only one stop. If it's not portraiture, it's a no brainer.
 

-pekr-

EOS R5
CR Pro
Why on earth Canon could not place the control ring the same way on the RF 70-200 f2.8? Something tells me, that the second edition will correct this design oversight ....

Well, I should be happy, just few hours ago, we have ordered R5, RF 24-70 and RF 70-200, but I already kind of hate its reversed design. This new 70-200 f4 speaks the RF lens language, not so f2.8. Once the version 2 is out and corrects that, I'll immediately exchange that! :)
 
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usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
821
913
Kentucky, USA
Why on earth Canon could not place the control ring the same way on the RF 70-200 f2.8? Something tells me, that the second edition will correct this design oversight ....

Well, I should be happy, just few hours ago, we have ordered R5, RF 24-70 and RF 70-200, but I already kind of hate its reversed design. This new 70-200 f4 speaks the RF lens language, not so f2.8. Once the version 2 is out and corrects that, I'll immediately exchange that! :)
Canon put the control ring in 3 different positions on different RF lenses (front usually, middle on some, back on some). It's ridiculous, and an embarassment to think that a company like Canon could have such a bad design decision green lit all the way through to production. I tried to set the control ring to a function I might want to change, and then found that it started changing that function when I didn't want it to since there are too many similar rings on a zoom that you can't help but occasionally mis-set it. I have set the control ring function to NONE - not only is it worthless to me, but it's worse than worthless as it just gets in the way.

Also, in zooms they put the zoom at different front/back positions on different RF lenses. You get used to it on one, and it's reversed on another - also ridiculous.

On the good side: The RF 100-500 f4.5-7.1L happens to be my favorite lens. Why? Because 1) it takes such beautiful photos and 2) ;) it covers the focal range (from 100) up to 500 and I use it for birding (or "cat-ing") almost always at 500mm. But on the bad side: The zoom is on the front of the long lens, where I don't want to support the weight of the long lens, and they make you have to release & re-position your hand to fully zoom between 100 to 500 - that's a lousy way to design a lens.
 

Bdbtoys

R5
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2020
272
208
Why on earth Canon could not place the control ring the same way on the RF 70-200 f2.8? Something tells me, that the second edition will correct this design oversight ....

Well, I should be happy, just few hours ago, we have ordered R5, RF 24-70 and RF 70-200, but I already kind of hate its reversed design. This new 70-200 f4 speaks the RF lens language, not so f2.8. Once the version 2 is out and corrects that, I'll immediately exchange that! :)

Canon put the control ring in 3 different positions on different RF lenses (front usually, middle on some, back on some). It's ridiculous, and an embarassment to think that a company like Canon could have such a bad design decision green lit all the way through to production. I tried to set the control ring to a function I might want to change, and then found that it started changing that function when I didn't want it to since there are too many similar rings on a zoom that you can't help but occasionally mis-set it. I have set the control ring function to NONE - not only is it worthless to me, but it's worse than worthless as it just gets in the way.

Also, in zooms they put the zoom at different front/back positions on different RF lenses. You get used to it on one, and it's reversed on another - also ridiculous.

On the good side: The RF 100-500 f4.5-7.1L happens to be my favorite lens. Why? Because 1) it takes such beautiful photos and 2) ;) it covers the focal range (from 100) up to 500 and I use it for birding (or "cat-ing") almost always at 500mm. But on the bad side: The zoom is on the front of the long lens, where I don't want to support the weight of the long lens, and they make you have to release & re-position your hand to fully zoom between 100 to 500 - that's a lousy way to design a lens.

This bugged me a bit too at first, but at first glance they are not consistent with the Zoom/Focus rings either (and the latter is not just on RF).
However I noticed that there is a consistency with the lenses up to this point (which helps me from being bugged by it, as it no longer seems random).

Lets assume all rings are place in their optimal spots according to the size & movement of the elements underneath to keep the overall size of the package as small as possible.
The 1 semi non-negotiable ring is the zoom ring, as that has a physical limitation of having to move elements... so lets say they place that first.
Next, the focus ring appears to be next to the zoom ring.
Last, the option ring appears next in line from the focus ring.

On most lenses the order from back to front is...
Zoom, Focus, Option... and without zoom it's Focus, Option.

On few of the zooms, they appear to switch it to...
Option, Focus, Zoom (so normal in reverse)
They appear to do this to keep the mechanical operation as close to the front zooming elements as possible, and I could see in this situation you really don't want the electronic rings to be in between the zoom ring and front element. Currently only the 70-200 F2.8 & 100-500 do it in reverse and I fully believe this is due to the long travel of the front element.

Last I pair the 70-200 F4 more with the 24-105 F4... which both match what appears to be their default ring layout (and are actually same size/shape to match). The 70-200 f2.8 was the outlier as described above and it would have been a shame to make the 70-200 f4 match it vs what they 'normally' do.
 
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