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

L Series telephoto zoom lens for Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras

Item # 280RF70200

Canon has made one of their most popular zoom lenses smaller and lighter — a powerful combo for EOS R shooters.

Canon has made one of their most popular zoom lenses smaller and lighter — a powerful combo for EOS R shooters.

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About the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon's best-ever 70-200mm lens

I try to not be hyperbolic about product debuts, but Canon's new RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM looks to be an optical masterpiece. As a longtime shooter of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, I find this lighter, shorter, and more capable RF-mount telephoto zoom lens deeply appealing. 

Canon's best-ever 70-200mm lens

I try to not be hyperbolic about product debuts, but Canon's new RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM looks to be an optical masterpiece. As a longtime shooter of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, I find this lighter, shorter, and more capable RF-mount telephoto zoom lens deeply appealing. 

If you shoot weddings, portraits, sports, wildlife, or events, this versatile lens will likely be a frequent go-to choice. Let's take a closer look at what makes this lens so special.

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM L Series telephoto zoom lens

An all-new zoomable design makes this the smallest and lightest 70-200mm f/2.8 lens Canon has ever made.

It all starts with image quality

If you own an EOS R or RP, you're probably hip to Canon's exceptional lineup of RF-mount lenses. The RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM complements the other high-end glass in the L Series lineup, offering superb image and build quality. You'll enjoy razor-sharp focus, vibrant, punchy colors, and beautiful out-of-focus elements.

This lens features a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 that lets in lots of light. That makes it ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects at an indoor basketball game or evening soccer match where you may not have much light to work with.

Bigger isn't always better

This lens's larger sibling for DSLR cameras, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, is used by professional photographers around the world — virtually every pro and collegiate sporting event has at least one on the sidelines. It's a brilliant lens, but it's massive. That's not so bad if you're shooting on a tripod, but handholding a heavy lens for long periods of time takes its toll.

The RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is two inches shorter than its predecessor when zoomed out, and nearly a pound lighter. That's a huge difference maker in terms of handle and strain, all without sacrificing any image quality.

The change in length is due in part to a zoomable lens barrel on this new model, which extends outward at longer focal lengths. This is Canon's shortest and lightest 70-200mm f/2.8 lens to date, and I expect it to have broad appeal for enthusiasts and pros alike.

Outstanding focus and image stabilization

One of the big improvements this lens offers over previous 70-200mm models is a new type of ultrasonic motor technology called Nano USM, which uses two independent but highly synchronized focusing motors — a first for Canon autofocus lenses.

That means you'll enjoy lightning-fast focusing on your subject, along with quiet, buttery smooth focus transition when shooting video. This is also the first Canon 70-200mm lens to offer three different image stabilization modes, which are selectable with a barrel-mounted switch.

Built-in image stabilization is part of what makes this lens so magical — at 200mm you can slow your shutter speed down without the traditional lens shake that a non-IS lens might suffer from. I've shot extensively with both types of 70-200mm lens, and believe an image-stabilized zoom lens to be one of the best purchases I've made.

No matter what you shoot, this lens is up for the task. Sure, it doesn't exactly come cheap. But like all RF L Series lenses, it's an investment that will yield gorgeous images for many years.

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Product highlights:

  • ideal for sports, wedding, event, wildlife, and portrait photography
  • lens type: RF mount full frame
  • compatible with Canon EOS R series mirrorless cameras
  • "zoomable" lens barrel extends outward at longer focal lengths
  • optical image stabilization with up to 5 stops of shake correction
  • three selectable image stabilization modes (single-shot, panning-optimized, and exposure-activated) with barrel-mounted switch
  • vibration resistance in the lens barrel helps to maintain focus and settings in turbulent situations
  • dual independent Nano USM (Ultrasonic Motor Technology) focus motors for fast, silent autofocus
  • dust- and water-resistant construction for shooting in adverse weather conditions
  • smudge-resistant fluorine coating repels dirt and dust for easy cleaning
  • SWC (Subwavelength Structure Coating) coating minimizes ghosting and flare
  • customizable control ring on lens barrel allows direct adjustments to settings like shutter speed, aperture, and more
    • control ring produces audible clicks for feedback when looking through viewfinder; clicking mechanism can be removed by a Canon service provider for a fee
  • constant f/2.8 maximum aperture for outstanding low-light performance throughout the zoom range
  • removable, rotating tripod collar for use with a tripod or monopod
  • minimum focus distance: 2.3'
  • minimum aperture: f/22
  • lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
    • 1 super UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) element
    • 2 glass-molded aspherical elements
    • 4 standard UD elements for outstanding contrast and clarity
  • 9-blade circular aperture for rendering beautiful of out-of-focus background elements
  • filter diameter: 77mm
  • lens is 5-3/4" long at 70mm, and 3-9/16" in diameter
  • weight: 2.36 lbs.
  • includes front and rear lens caps
  • includes lens pouch
  • includes lens hood with a sliding opening for filters
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 3792C002

What's in the box:

  • RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM zoom lens
  • Tripod mount (installed)
  • E-77 lens cap (installed)
  • Lens dust cap RF (installed)
  • ET-83F (WIII) lens hood
  • Lens case LP1424
  • Canon Interchangeable Lens Instructions
  • Warranty card

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More details on the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Mark G.

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM telephoto zoom lens is designed to complement two other RF-series f/2.8 lenses - the RF 15-35mm and RF 24-70mm lenses. The RF 70-200mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of 2.3 feet. The telephoto zoom range makes it ideal for wildlife and sports photography, as well as portraits. The lens has separate zoom, focus, and control rings on the lens barrel for complete control. Its Optical Image Stabilization works with EOS R series cameras to provide up to 5 stops of stabilization.

Lens Construction: The lens is constructed of 17 lens elements in 13 groups, including 2 aspheric lens elements for superb image clarity from the center to the edges of the frame, as well as one Super UD (ultra-low density) and four UD lens elements to reduce aberrations and distortion. The fluorine coating on the front and rear lens surfaces protects the lens from smudges and fingerprints. The lens features dust- and weather-resistant construction from end-to-end to prevent water and dust from entering the lens.

12-pin Communication: The Canon RF-series lenses feature a 12-pin communication system between the camera and the lens (compared to 8 pins for the EF-series). This 12-pin system is the fastest available for a Canon lens and camera combination, and provides faster AF, Image Stabilization, Digital Lens Optimizer, and more. In addition, the EOS R camera can display lens information directly to the viewfinder, making it easy to confirm the lens' focal length without looking away from your subject.

Control Ring: The RF 70-200mm lens features a separate control ring on the inner portion of the lens barrel. The control ring can be programmed for a variety of adjustments, such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed, or exposure compensation. The ring features a click action that gives you a sense of how much it is being turned. The sound of the control ring may be recorded when shooting movies. The click action can only be removed by sending the lens to the Canon Service Center (fee required).

Image Stabilizer (IS): The RF 70-200mm lens features Optical Image Stabilization (IS) when mounted to a Canon EOS R series camera. The camera and the lens share data to dramatically reduce blur caused by camera shake while shooting still images and videos. Image Stabilization can be turned on or off with the switch on the lens barrel. The effect of Image Stabilization is equivalent to 5 stops.

Dual Nano USM: The RF 70-200mm lens is equipped with Canon's Dual Nano USM (Ultra-Sonic Motor) which features two small chip-shaped ultrasonic motors to give you high-speed, smooth, and precise autofocus. The Nano USMs operate in near silence, making the lens ideal for video recording.

Tripod Mount: The RF 70-200mm lens has a tripod mounting ring. With a large, heavy lens mounted, a camera can become front-heavy and difficult to control. Attaching a tripod or monopod to the lens instead of the camera helps you achieve better balance and control over the camera. The lens can rotate inside of the tripod mounting ring, which allows you to switch the camera to any desired orientation (vertical or horizontal).

Lens Hood: The lens comes with the ET-83F (WIII) bayonet-type lens hood which cuts out unwanted light and protects the front of the lens from rain, snow, and dust. When attached to the lens, the hood adds approximately 3" to the overall length of the lens. The hood has a filter adjustment window, which allows you to adjust an installed circular polarizing filter without having to remove the hood. When not in use, you can reverse-mount the lens hood for storage.

Optional Filters: The RF 70-200mm lens has a 77mm mounting thread on the front of lens for attaching screw-on type filters.

Specifications:

  • Focal Length: 70-200mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/32
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.23x (at 200mm)
  • Focal Length Scale: Graduated in millimeters: 70mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm
  • Aperture Design: 9-blade circular
  • Angle of View:
    • Horizontal: 29° to 10°
    • Vertical: 19° 30' to 7°
    • Diagonal: 34° to 12°
  • Lens Construction: 17 elements in 13 groups (2 Aspherical lens elements, 1 Super UD, and 4 UD lens elements)
  • Filter Diameter: 77mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 2.3 feet (0.7m)
  • Dimensions: Diameter 3.484", Length 6.004" (6.712" with caps)
  • Weight: 37.76 ounces (42.24 ounces with tripod mount)

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