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My thoughts on the RF 70-200 f/4 L IS

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:33 pm
by JakTrax

Thought I'd share my thoughts on the above new lens for Canon's RF mount, since it's likely going to become a staple lens in many an aviation photographer's bag. I've had it for a few weeks now so feel I am in a position to offer my opinion for anyone wondering whether to splash the cash and get a copy.

First off, it's tiny. It feels fairly solid, being constructed using engineering-grade plastic, however I must admit it doesn't feel quite as well-built as the metal EF 70-200s. Still, it's nice enough in the hand and the zoom and focus rings turn smoothly.

AF is lightning fast, to the point where it is actually noticeable when compared to EF glass. The dual nano-USM motors are no doubt helping considerably and both focus accuracy and consistency are excellent (superior to any DSLR I own).

Okay, image quality. I have thus far only tested the lens at f/6.3-f/10 (my most common aperture range when shooting) but at all focal lengths. At 70mm I noticed no edge/corner softness and no significant vignetting. Same story at 90-100mm. At 135mm — where some reviews suggest this lens is at its weakest — performance is still excellent, with no sharpness issues anywhere in the frame. At 200mm sharpness is again generally excellent, however out at the very edges I did notice the TINIEST drop in resolution, although I really was pixel-peeping! No problematic vignetting at 200mm but it is slightly more noticeable, as is to be expected.

Hope this mini-review helps someone. I obviously haven't had the lens long enough to comment on long-term durability and whether the external zoom will draw in dust after a while, but I can safely say that performance is truly outstanding.