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Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM

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Along with the EOS R5 and R6, canon has also unveiled a range of new RF mount lenses, the first being the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM.

The RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM is being touted as a high performance, versatile, super-telephoto L series zoom. It has an impressive focal range of 100mm to 50mm and a variable aperture of F4.5-7.1.

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A variable aperture of 4.5-7.1 hardly sounds impressive, and it is not really a lens you will be wanting to use indoors or in low light situations, at least for video. For still photography, if you combine it with the new R5 or R6 you will get up to 8 stops of shake correction. Even without utilizing the IBIS in the R5 or R6, you can still get up to 5.5 stops of shake correction through the use of optical image stabilization.

Speaking of image stabilization, the 100-500mm offers three versions:

  • Standard
  • Panning
  • During exposure only

Canon claims the lens has high speed, smooth, silent autofocusing performance. The lens features two Nano USM motors to help with auto focussing speed and response. The minimum focus distance is 2.95′ (0.9m). This is pretty good for a lens with this focal range.

The use of UD lenses and optical design is claimed to successfully suppress color aberration from blurring in the defocus region.

The lens features L series build quality and it is dust and weather resistant. The lens does extend, so this would make it unsuitable to use with any type of rod-based matte box.

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Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM

You may well be thinking that this is just a recycled Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM with a bit of extra reach, but that is not the case. This is a brand new lens design.

The RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM is also compatible with Canon’s new RF 1.4x and 2x extenders.

This really is a lens where trade-offs have to be made. To get the long focal range, while keeping the size and weight to a minimum, compromises had to be made. In this case, they come in the form of a slower variable aperture.

Price & Availability

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The RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM is scheduled to be released in September 2020 for a price of $2,699 USD. This does make it $500 USD more than the Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM.

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