Canon Adds 70-200mm f/4L IS and 50mm f/1.8 STM Lenses to RF Lineup

Canon shooters with an eye towards moving in the direction of “smaller” and “lighter” will soon have access to two additional lenses for their RF (mirrorless) mounts. 

Canon has announced the addition of the 70-200mm f/4L IS, and the 50mm f/1.8 STM to their full-frame mirrorless lens lineup, which makes a total of 19 lenses. Let’s take a quick look at each lens individually: 

RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens

With the RF 70-200mm f/4, Canon said it wanted to create an advanced lens that would be useful across the skill level spectrum, but also maintaining some sense of familiarity for Canon users. 

It sounds as if they wanted to make a familiar lens that at the same time ups the proverbial ante. Did they succeed? Seems like they may have. The compact and lightweight nature of the lens makes it Canon’s shortest and lightest 70-200mm f/4 zoom lens ever.

At first glance, the 70-200mm F4 L IS USM lens looks somewhat similar to the EF (DSLR) version. However, in keeping with the idea of mirrorless systems being lighter and smaller, the success of this lens starts with just that. This new lens is approximately 32 percent shorter, and 11 percent lighter. In fact, this lens is Canon’s shortest and lightest 70-200mm f/4 zoom lens ever made! This makes the lens a bit more versatile and much more packable! 

One advancement here is that a large portion of the lens element arrangement is closer to the camera body. According to Canon, this is designed to provide users with a more balanced feel and experience even at the zoom range’s telephoto end.

The RF70-200mm F4 L IS USM features two independent Nano USM motors, providing an even greater level of high-speed autofocus for still image shooting as well as quiet and smooth autofocus for video shooting. The lens also incorporates a floating focus control that drives the two lens groups individually while using the two aforementioned Nano USM motors. The floating focus lens element shortens the focusing distance and helps reduce breathing, providing users with fast, consistent, and reliable performance.

Would this be a ‘must-have’ for your next Backcountry Journey’s wildlife-based photography tour? Honestly? Not exactly. We generally will recommend having more than 200mm of reach for capturing high-quality wildlife images. Especially when photographing say bears in Katmai or the plethora of critters we encounter in the jungles of Costa Rica. Two-hundred mm of reach will likely leave you unsatisfied if it were to be your longest telephoto lens. That does not mean this isn’t a good lens to have. Not by any means. It’s all about deciding for yourself if this lens, or any lens, takes care of a particular need with regard to your own photographic goals and style. This lens fills the gap between your medium wide (say, 24mm – 70 mm) and your longer telephoto lenses (200mm -400mm; or 150mm – 600mm). It may even be the case where this lens comes in handier with landscape photography. You might choose it in order to isolate features in the landscape, or perhaps create abstract images. The choice is yours. 

The RF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM lens will be available by mid-December for $1,599.

Additional Features of The Canon RF70-200mm F4 L IS USM Lens Include:

  • 16 lens elements in 11 groups, including four UD lenses, that help to reduce chromatic aberration
  • Optical Image Stabilizer with up to 5 Stops[i] of Shake Correction
  • Up to 7.5 stops[ii] of Shake Correction with coordinated control of Optical Image Stabilizer and In-Body Image Stabilizer
  • Three stabilizer modes
  • Customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture, or ISO
  • 12-pin communication system
  • L-Series dust and weather-resistant build with a fluorine coating
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.97 feet and a maximum magnification of 0.28x
  • Air Sphere Coating (ASC) that helps minimize lens flare and ghosting

Everyone needs a nifty fifty, right? The new 50mm f/1.8 STM is the RF version of the 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, one of its most popular lenses. While a 50mm prime might be most useful in shooting situations like portraits, and food, they certainly have a place in the world of landscape photography, too. 

Canon RF 50 mm F1.8 STM Lens

Fifty mm lenses are used a lot by photographers as it is the focal length that is most similar to the natural viewpoint of the human field of vision. We all should probably have a ‘nifty fifty’ in our camera bags. Especially since you can get one -like the RF f/1.8 –  at such a great price! 

The new RF 50mm f/1.8 STM will be a lot of what you’d expect, combined with some nice improvements. The first of note being the customizable control ring that has become synonymous with RF lenses. The control ring allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture, or ISO, and with a flip of the side switch, can adjust focus. The inclusion of a PMo aspherical lens helps to reduce chromatic aberration and provides high-image-quality even at the periphery of the image. Additionally, the combination of the lens shape and Super Spectra Coating (SSC) helps to minimize ghosting and flaring, as well. 

The Canon RF 50 mm F1.8 STM will be available early to mid-December, at a reasonable price of just $200. 

Additional Features of The Canon RF 50 mm F1.8 STM Lens Include:

  • Six lens elements in five groups
  • 12-pin communication system
  • Minimum focusing distance of 0.98ft and a maximum magnification of 0.25x
  • Up to 7 Stops[iii] of Shake Correction with EOS R Series cameras with In-Body Image Stabilizer

Kenton Krueger








Kenton Krueger has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers, and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Katmai, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands National Parks, as well as internationally in Costa Rica & Brazil. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, and spent roughly five years writing and photographing for the award-winning Omaha World-Herald newspaper, out of his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of trip leading and guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens, to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.

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