Evaluation of the Canon RF400mm f/2.8L and RF600mm f/4L Lenses

Camera Labs’ Gordon Laing was given the chance to check the 2 largest and costliest lenses for Canon’s mirrorless RF system — the Canon RF400mm f/2.8L and the Canon RF600mm f/4L — and has evaluated how they stack up in stills and video exams.

Though each lenses place on the prime in terms of their value — the RF400mm f/2.8L prices $12,000 and the RF600mm f/4L is priced barely increased at $13,000 — they’re similar to the equal Canon lenses designed for EOS DSLRs in addition to the corresponding fashions from Sony. Laing, a photographer and digital camera reviewer who had the chance to check out the 2 spectacular lenses, notes that most of these super-telephoto lenses are aimed toward professionals or sports activities and wildlife lovers who’ve an even bigger finances and those that don’t want this type of efficiency can discover way more reasonably priced different choices.

Laing paired the 2 lenses — which share the same price, optics, control, and design as the original EF designs, except built-in EF to EOS R adapter — with the Canon EOS R5.

Canon RF400mm f/2.8 L IS USM @ f/2.8
Canon RF400mm f/2.8 L IS USM @ f/2.8
Canon RF400mm f/2.8 L IS USM @ f/2.8

Visually, the distinction between the 2 lenses is noticeable in terms of their measurement and weight. The RF400mm f/2.8L measures 6.4 x 14.4 inches and weighs 6.4 kilos whereas the RF600mm f/4L measures 6.6 x 18.6 inches and is barely heavier at 6.8 kilos. Nonetheless, with the addition of lens hoods, Laing felt the RF 00mm f/4L is now noticeably heavier by comparability. Though barely lighter than the older EF fashions, after some time of dealing with these lenses it turns into clear that it’s nonetheless not a straightforward process to make use of them handheld for lengthy durations of time.

In focus exams, each lenses have quick autofocus each for stills and movies, whereas guide focus comes with three completely different speeds on each lenses and delivers an equally clean expertise. The stabilization supplied on each lenses comes invaluable — and delivers usable photographs even at 1/6 of a second and delivers considerably much less shaky video footage — as shooters can quickly discover it arduous to carry such heavy lenses with out introducing heavy shake.

The 2 should not the simplest lenses to shoot portraits with because of the lengthy distance between the shooter and the topic. As famous, the lenses are designed and excel in sports activities and wildlife the place the space is essential for the scene — be it somebody observing wildlife from afar or capturing an athlete on the sphere in motion.

Canon RF600mm f/4 L IS USM @ f/4
Canon RF600mm f/4 L IS USM @ f/4
Canon RF600mm f/4 L IS USM @ f/5

Laing factors out that shooters may make use of the older EF design lenses with an adapter, nonetheless, these two fashions with their built-in adapters have been designed with mirrorless in thoughts and supply native RF communications which help sooner burst speeds, finer aperture increments in video mode, improved stabilization, and permit shooters to make use of sooner focusing with the upcoming Canon our bodies with twin energy drive. The worth of the RF variations is similar because the older EF variations, which makes selecting the newer variations an apparent selection for Canon mirrorless shooters except they already personal the older lens fashions.

“They aren’t attempting to be reasonably priced,” concludes Laing. These lenses are for shooters who want top-end efficiency at very lengthy focal lengths.

Extra of Laing’s critiques and academic movies could be discovered on his YouTube channel and at Camera Labs, and his photographic work could be considered on his Instagram.


Picture credit: Pictures by Gordon Laing and used with permission.

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