Canon has launched a new super telephoto zoom lens, the RF 100-300mm F2.8L IS USM.

By reimagining the EF 300mm f/2.8 as a zoom lens, Canon has built on the EOS R System and RF lens range for photographers and videographers.

The RF 100-300mm F2.8L IS USM has a zoom range with a minimum focusing distance of 1.8m with a 0.16x maximum magnification, constant aperture and robust construction. The lens primarily appeals to professionals and enthusiasts who specialise in sports photography – from indoor sports to motorsports.

The RF 100-300mm F2.8L IS USM has a super-compact design and is the lightest zoom lens in its class[i] at 2.59kg – only 190g heavier than the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM fixed lens. The compact size and performance have been made possible thanks to the RF mount at the heart of the EOS R System. This  mount enables the lens to maintain a constant f/2.8 fixed aperture throughout the zoom range whilst offering blazingly fast and accurate autofocus and tracking.

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 F4 lens, while the RF 2x extender can be used to produce a 200-600mm F5.6 lens. This positions the RF 100-300mm F2.8L IS USM perfectly for sports, news and wildlife photographers who want to avoid switching between lenses during a shoot. Additionally, it is the first professional super telephoto RF lens to feature the control ring, plus a new customisable L.FN button within reach, adding an element of enhanced customisation and greater manual control that these photographers desire.


Impressive optical performance meets stunning image quality

The fast f/2.8 fixed aperture is ideal for shooting in low light conditions and controlling depth of field for more dramatic shots, while the 9-blade circular aperture also creates bokeh characteristics. This is supported by the new Image Stabilizer mechanism, 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 stabilisation, which increases to 6 stops when combined with the in-body image stabilisation, 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.

As the first ever Canon super telephoto lens to feature a Dual Nano USM motor, the RF 100-300mm F2.8L IS USM ensures 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 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.

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 as 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 F2.8L 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 also provide additional support and protection.

Canon has also released the new Neural network Image Processing Tool for Canon users. Built using deep learning AI technology and Canon’s image expertise, this tool effortlessly upscales images by 200%. Understanding the imaging process and Canon lens characteristics, the new Neural network Image Processing Tool can extract a higher level of detail than conventional upscaling processes. The tool is available as part of Canon’s Neural network Image Processing plan or as a standalone app. Users with an existing plan will be able to access this app with no extra charge. Initially, the app will be available for Windows 10 and 11 users only.


Pippa Considine

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