On September 14, 2021, on the sidelines of the final presentation of the EOS R3 sports hybrid, Canon unveiled two new lenses for its RF mount. Two optics at the antipodes of each other, since on one side, we have the RF 16mm F2.8 STM, a very wide compact angle, and on the other, the RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM, a long telephoto zoom.
A compact wide angle
The 16 mm is therefore a small footprint lens which takes the shape and size of the RF 50mm F1.8 STM, i.e. 69 mm in diameter and 40 mm in length, for a weight of 165 gr. Regarding the optical construction, the 16mm uses a formula of 9 elements divided into 7 groups. Its diaphragm has 7 blades, and the minimum focusing distance is 12 cm.
If the optic does not have tropicalization, it is not devoid of all control. Thus, there is a multifunction ring at the front, which after being activated via the switch located on the side gives access to about twenty different commands.
A long accessible telephoto zoom
At the other end of the optical spectrum, we therefore find the RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM. This is Canon’s second long telephoto zoom lens in an RF mount after the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM. This new model is distinguished by a lightweight construction, since it weighs “only” 635 g, against more than 1.5 kg for the 100-500 mm. This relative lightness has several explanations.
First of all, the zoom is mostly built with plastic. Then, it has a rather limited sliding maximum aperture, especially at full zoom. The lack of brightness at f / 8 is quite significant, with Canon indicating that the good stabilization and sensitivity performance of modern sensors compensates for this shortcoming.
For the optical formula, the 100-400 mm is based on 12 elements divided into 9 groups. The diaphragm has 9 blades and an interesting fact, the minimum focusing distance of 88 cm is only possible at 200 mm. Indeed, at the most “wide angle”, the focus will only be from 120 cm, while it will be 105 cm at 400 mm.
With a diameter of 80 mm, the objective is, folded, 16.5 cm long. The telephoto zoom is also equipped with optical stabilization, which is a good point for those who have a Canon EOS RP or an EOS R, which do not have mechanical stabilization of the sensor.
For the various controls, we therefore find the multifunction ring, those for zoom and focus, as well as two switches. One to switch between automatic and manual focus, the other to turn optical stabilization on or off. Note that this 100-400 mm does not have tropicalization.
Pricing and availability
The Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM and RF 16mm F2.8 STM will be available from October 2021. The 100-400mm will be sold for 749 €, while the 16mm will be marketed for € 349. These are therefore two rather accessible lenses intended for those looking to complete their optical fleet in RF mounts without breaking the bank.
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