Canon RF 200-800mm & RF 24-105 | First Look

We had the opportunity to try out some of the highly anticipated new lenses from Canon. The Canon RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens, the Canon RF 200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM Lens, as well as the game-changing Canon RF 24-105mm F2.8 L IS USM Z Lens. Needless to say, it was quite the, "stop the presses" moment when Canon said they'd be able to bring these puppies by for us to review. The 24-105 in particular is one that photo nerds have been dreaming about for years, and let me tell you, it delivered. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Now bear in mind with the RF 200-800mm and RF 24-105mm, these lenses are pre-production versions so they aren't necessarily representative of the final performance or image quality.

canon lenses rf200-800 rf24-105

RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens 

So first was the RF-S 10-18mm f4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens. Offering a full frame equivalent focal range of 16-29, this allows crop sensor users to get those super wide-angle shots. This thing was tiny, even on an R7 it seemed like the camera was too big for the lens, but I was blown away by how well it handled such an extreme field of view. We were not able to shoot any photos in raw for this or any of the lenses but the Jpegs all looked great. Distortion was well controlled and detail was abundant, even when stopped down heavily. I think it's going to make for a great companion to the kit 18-45, or 18-150, or for anyone who's dying to get the unique wide field of view.

taken with rf-s 10-18

RF 200-800mm F6.3-9 Lens

Time was of the essence so we had to move on to the RF 200-800 f/6.3-9 lens. We headed to Liberty Park to catch some birds with the R5. Now maybe it was because I had just used the 10-18, but the 200-800 is colossal. Like, watch where you're swingin' that thing colossal. The cool part is that it is much lighter than it looks. While I wouldn't want to carry it for extended periods, hand-holding wasn't as strenuous as I was expecting. Autofocus seemed fast and accurate. I had no trouble getting birds in flight and even a squirrel that was making a ruckus in the tree above me.

taken with rf 200-800

Despite not being considered an "L" lens, this still had a lot of features you see in L glass, full weather sealing, custom function buttons, and optically it looks so good. Fine detail is sharp, I don't think I saw much if any chromatic aberration. Again, I could only shoot in JPEG but looking at the photos, I feel like you can tell when a camera is compensating for heavy lens flaws, and every photo I've pulled is clean and clear and just gorgeous. I should mention too, that this does have built-in stabilization, which helped with the far-away shots. I think this lens is going to be a hit for wildlife and sports shooters of all levels. With this lens starting at under two grand, it is a lot of bang for your buck.

RF 24-70mm F2.8

Last of all is the 24-104 f/2.8 lens. This is the one I've been waiting to try and man, did it deliver. This lens in particular is so new, that the firmware to fully use this lens isn't even available, so we were not allowed to shoot video on it. But even just using it for photos, I can see a lot of people buying this lens as the one lens to rule them all. In one spot I could get a full body portrait, and just zoom to 105mm and get a perfect headshot.

taken with rf24-105 f2.8

In addition to having an extremely useful focal range and wide constant aperture, this lens features a few unique bells and whistles. It has not only a zoom ring, focal ring, and Canon's control ring, but it also has a dedicated de-clicked iris ring for smooth iris adjustments in the video. Iris is what we video people call aperture. It also has an 11-bladed aperture making bokeh nice and round even when you stop down. And coming in the Spring there will be a zoom controller attachment to give you nice smooth zooms. And to top it off it even has image stabilization.

Now this lens was everything I wanted it to be. The optical quality looks worthy of the L designation. I think a lot of photographers could pick this up and never buy another lens again. The bokeh was stellar from what I could tell, and it was very easy to get a nice shallow depth of field. Weight wise it was very comfortable on the R5. It's not a light lens per se, but it is well balanced, and could easily be carried all day. And given that this could easily take the place of two lenses, your total gear weight would significantly, or allow you to further diversify your focal options. Honestly, this is the kind of lens that makes people consider switching systems.

It's clear this lens is going to be very popular, even considering its three grand starting price. Even for crop sensor users this offers a ton of utility. It makes you wonder if people are even going to bother buying the f/4 version or even the 24-70 when at the end of the day this offers every benefit of both for less overall money.

But what do you folks think? Would you give your left kidney to have this lens in other mounts, or are you more excited about the other two lenses? Leave a comment and let us know! Also if you want to see more of these lenses in action, check out our YouTube Page to see my full breakdown and more sample images.

Huge thanks to Canon for providing the lenses, especially the 24-105, there were only three in North America at the time we used them, and they let us use them. If you want to purchase or pre-order these lenses you can do that at

Don't forget to take your camera out today.

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