Gear Tech

Canon goes wide and long with two new RF lenses

RF lens range expands with the launch of RF 16mm F2.8 STM and RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM optics…

Canon has beefed up its RF lenses line by adding two value-for-money options at either end of the focal length spectrum so that photographers using mirrorless cameras like the R6 or even the new R3 can shoot wide and long without breaking the bank. The new lenses are the RF 16mm F2.8 STM and the RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM and both feature a lightweight design.

Let’s start with the wide-angle lens and the RF 16mm F2.8 STM, which when paired with a full-frame body will allow photographers to capture a vast field of view, making this lens suitable for landscape and architecture photography. Canon’s EOS R cameras also offer a crop mode and when used in this set-up, the lens will return an effective focal length of 25.6mm. 

With a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8, the RF 16mm will help keep shutter speeds fast as well as offering users the ability to capture images with a shallow depth of field. The lens also has a closest focusing distance of just 13cm, enabling photographers to get in close and stretch the perspective of foreground interest in the frame, which will work especially well for landscape images. 

Along with the wide focal length and fast aperture, the RF 16mm also boats Canon’s STM motor technology for fast and quiet autofocus and as the lens only weighs 165g and measures just 40.1mm, the RF16mm could be an excellent choice to pair with a camera when shooting on a gimbal where the aim is to keep weight down.

Joining the RF 16 F2.8 STM in the RF range is the RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM – a versatile focal range that covers everything from portraiture and long lens landscape work right through to travel and wildlife photography. Amazingly, for the focal length on offer, the RF 100-400mm tips the scales at only 635g, which is very lightweight compared to rival lenses.

Packing a Nano USM focus motor for smooth, fast focus, the RF100-400mm offers photographers a closest focusing distance of 88cm (at 200mm), which will enable photographers to shoot frame-filling photos of smaller subjects. Unlike the RF16mm, the RF100-400mm features Optical Image Stabilisation, giving users 5.5-stops of compensation. This figure increases to 6-stops when paired with a camera such as the R6 that also has In Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS).

Image captured using RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM / Canon

The RF 100-400mm is compatible with Canon’s RF 1.4x and 2x extenders to take the focal length right up to 800mm at the long end and other features include a 9-blade aperture and a filter thread side of 67mm. The RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM carries a price-tag of £699 / $649 while the RF 16mm F1.8 STM will cost  £319 / $299 with both expected to ship in October.

Image captured using RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM / Canon