Canon RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon has announced the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, their latest super telephoto lens with a constant aperture.  

The new lens is being squarely targeted at professional photographers and enthusiasts specializing in sports photography, the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM offers all the flexibility of a zoom lens, with the claimed performance of a prime lens.  

While it is being targeted at photographers, this would be a fantastic lens for video shooters for certain applications such as documentary, wildlife, action sports, etc.

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Key features

  • 100-300mm focal range 
  • f/2.8 constant zoom 
  • 5.5 stops of Optical Image Stabilizer, with 6.0-stops when combined with a camera which features an In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) 
  • Silent, fast autofocus, using Dual Nano USM motor 

The 100-300mm has a minimum focusing distance of 1.8m with a 0.16x maximum magnification, constant aperture, robust construction and it is claimed to offer stunning image quality.

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The RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM has a compact design and it weighs 2.59kg / 5.7 lb, which makes it only approximately 190g heavier than the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM. The compact size and performance have been made possible thanks to the RF mount which allowed Canon to maintain a constant f/2.8 fixed aperture throughout the zoom range whilst offering fast and accurate autofocus and tracking.

The lens is fully compatible with the range of Canon RF extenders. The RF 1.4x extender can be used throughout the zoom range to produce a 140-420mm f/4 lens, while the RF 2x extender can be used to produce a 200-600mm f/5.6 lens. This positions the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM as a good option for sports, news and wildlife photographers who want to avoid switching between lenses during a shoot.

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A control ring allows users to assign often used functions like aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation, plus a new customizable Lens Function/Focus present button (L.Fn) within reach, adds elements of enhanced customzsation and greater manual control.

The f/2.8 fixed aperture makes it a good solution for shooting in low light conditions and controlling depth of field, while the 9-blade circular aperture also creates nice bokeh characteristics.

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The new Image Stabilizer mechanism is based on the IS systems found in Canon’s L-series super telephoto lenses. When used by itself, it is capable of 5.5 stops of stabilization, which increases up to 6.0 stops when combined with a camera body with In-Body Image Stabilization, thanks to the high-speed RF communication. This stabilisation, on top of the ability to shoot in lower light at lower shutter speeds, is ideal for handheld photography and videography when capturing fast-moving subjects. The system can even detect when a tripod is used, turning off the IS automatically.

The lens features a Dual Nano USM motor that is claimed to ensure high-speed focusing and high image quality throughout the zoom range as two focusing groups are controlled independently. The use of one fluorite lens and four UD lenses corrects chromatic aberration for incredibly sharp images with little colour blurring, while a moulded glass aspheric lens is used to ensure high resolution from the centre to the edge of the image.

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The RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM offers durability and reliability for daily professional use. Its construction features dust and weather seals to provide resistance to adverse weather and harsh environments, as well as fluorine coatings to allow the outer element to be easily cleaned. The same heat-shield coating introduced on the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM has been used for the exterior of the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM – this is now standard for all RF super telephoto lenses, reducing the temperature of the lens when shooting in hot conditions. The lens hood ET-124, lens soft case LS100-300 and E-122 lens cap which come bundled with the lens also provide additional support and protection.

Price & Availability

The lens is now available to pre-order for $9,499.00 USD.

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