In addition to announcing a new $6,000 pro-grade sports camera yesterday (the EOS R3), Canon also unveiled a pair of affordable new RF lenses, specifically a 16mm f/2.8 prime, and a 100-400mm f/5.6-8 telephoto. While you likely won’t be mounting either on the R3, both seem like a perfect match for the budget-friendly Canon EOS RP mirrorless camera.
Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM
First up, among the two new RF lenses, we have the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM ($299), a compact and lightweight wide-angle prime, similar in design and form-factor to Canon’s $200 RF 50mm f/1.8 lens. These two lenses, along with the RF 35mm f/1.8 ($500) and RF 85mm f/2 ($600), make up Canon’s budget-friendly RF prime line.
So, if you’re looking for a wide-angle field of view, but don’t want to break the bank on the RF 16-35mm f/4 L IS ($1699) or the RF 15-30mm f/2.8 L IS ($2,299), this nifty little 16mm could be a great option.
Like the RF 50mm f/1.8, a stepping motor drives focus and should provide smooth, silent AF acquisition—something video shooters will surely appreciate.
The optical construction consists of 9 elements, including one aspherical element. And Canon’s Super Spectra Coating should help minimize instances of ghosting and lens flare. The minimum focus distance is just 5.1 inches for a 0.26x maximum magnification.
Build quality & features
In terms of features, a customizable control ring adorns the lens barrel, along with a switch to toggle the function of said control ring between its custom setting and focus control. The front of the lens accepts 43mm filters; a lens hood is not included.
Canon isn’t claiming any dust/moisture-sealing, but given our positive impressions of the RF 50mm f/1.8 STM, we still expect a reasonably solid build quality.
The RF 16mm f/2.8 STM will be available in October for $299.
Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM
Next up is the Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM telephoto lens. Though it doesn’t offer the fastest aperture range in town, the lens is impressively lightweight (1.4 pounds) and compact (6.5 inches long at 100mm), given its reach.
Canon is comparing it to the well-regarded EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM DSLR lens, in terms of optical performance and build quality. Like the 70-300mm, a Nano USM motor drives autofocus and should be ultra zippy, yet silent.
Optically, the lens has 12 elements including both aspherical and ultra-low dispersion elements. And like the RF 16mm f/2.8, the 100-400mm features Canon’s Super Spectra Coating to fend off ghosting and lens flares. A 9-blade aperture should provide pleasant-looking bokeh.
The minimum focus distance is 35 inches for a maximum magnification of 0.41x. The front accepts 67mm filters and the unit ships with a lens hood.
Build quality & features
There’s no weather-sealing, but again, we expect a solid build quality if the RF 100-400mm is anything like the EF 70-300mmn. Like the RF 16mm f/2.8, the RF 100-400mm offers a customizable control ring around the front of the barrel. There’s also a sizable zoom ring (the lens telescopes outward when zoomed) and a dedicated manual focus ring. The barrel also offers an AF/MF toggle, as well as an IS on/off toggle.
Lens stabilization provides up to 5.5-stops (CIPA rated) of shake reduction on its own. And you’ll get an extra 0.5-stops when mounted on a Canon mirrorless camera with in-body IS.
Also noteworthy: This is Canon’s first non-L-series telephoto lens to be compatible with the RF 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.
The RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM will be available in October for $649.