Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

Amateur Photographer|January 04, 2020

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM
Is the shortest and lightest 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for full-frame cameras a fine performer? Michael Topham put it to the test with the Canon EOS R
Michael Topham
The first time I set eyes on the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM was at the Photography Show last year, where Canon had its first sample on display behind glass. Waving my press pass in the right direction meant I was allowed to handle the mock-up. It was at this moment I became aware of how Canon had gone about making such a short and light 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom for interchangeable-lens cameras with a full-frame sensor.

Unlike L-series EF-mount zooms that cover the same focal length, this fast tele-zoom has an extending barrel, which measures 203mm long when extended to 200mm and a modest 146mm when fully retracted to 70mm. The questions this begs are: does this extending design in any way compromise optical quality, and has Canon been successful in delivering an exceptional multi-purpose lens for enthusiasts and professionals who use, or plan on switching to, the EOS R system?


The lens is the third member of what Canon calls its ‘trinity’ RF line-up – three RF lenses that cover ultra-wide, standard and telephoto zoom ranges for shooting in practically any situation. The other two are the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM and RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM. However, it’s the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM that’ll garner most interest from those after a workhorse of a telephoto zoom with a good reach that’s well suited to weddings, sports or wildlife as well as everyday subjects.

Working out 28% lighter and 27% shorter than the existing EF-mount model, the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM features an optical construction that’s made up of 17 elements in 13 groups, with nine diaphragm blades. Canon has used aspherical and Super UD elements within the construction to eliminate spherical aberrations and ensure optimum results are achieved across its f/2.8-f/32 aperture range. Canon’s Subwavelength structure coating (SWC) and Super Spectra Coatings are used to reduce unwanted internal reflections, which in turn reduces ghosting and flare that can be problematic when shooting directly towards the light.


You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD

Log in, if you are already a subscriber


Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines


January 04, 2020