Canon Launches Impressive RF 70-200mm f/2.8 and 85mm f/1.2 DS Lenses


Months after its initial reveal, Canon is finally releasing official details for the exciting and impressive RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS lenses. Constantly innovating, these new lenses show off the possibilities of Canon’s full-frame mirrorless system. The RF 70-200mm, in particular, should be worth a look for anyone because it has a new optical design that allows it to be more compact than any other full-frame f/2.8 telephoto zoom. For the 85mm, this is an alternative option that features Defocus Smoothing for optimized bokeh.

The Ultimate Short Tele Zoom Made Smaller

Mirrorless boasts smaller sizes, but lenses have struggled to hold to this promise since the systems have gone full-frame. Optics are tough to design smaller, thanks to physics and all that. Canon has done a lot of work on the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L—it is noticeably smaller than classic and contemporary options that offer the same focal length and aperture. Compared to Canon’s own much-loved DSLR version, the RF is 1 lb lighter and 2" shorter when fully retracted. This is notable.

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Current EOS R and RP owners will appreciate this release because it completes the f/2.8 trinity for the RF system and will certainly find its way into the bags of portrait, wedding, wildlife, sports, and other photographers. It is also definitely a pro pick. Image quality is top notch and the lens incorporates Optical Image Stabilization rated for up to 5 stops of correction. It also supports IS Mode 3, which only activates the system when the shutter button is fully depressed.

Autofocus is, of course, speedy and quiet, due to the use of a Dual Nano USM. The lens can focus as close as 2.3'. A rubberized focusing ring will make manual focusing a breeze, as well. Also available is a programmable control ring for rapidly changing select settings while shooting. The lens is dust and water resistant and has a Fluorine coating.

A Portrait Prime Boasting Better Bokeh

At first glance, the new RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS looks identical to its very close sibling, the standard RF 85mm f/1.2L USM. The key difference is the “DS” suffix. This stands for “Defocus Smoothing” and will help photographers create images with smoother, more pleasing bokeh. Referred to as a coating by Canon, DS tech appears to be a type of apodization function that will help your bokeh without impacting other lens qualities, such as sharpness. It does come at the cost of 1 1/3 stops of light when shooting at f/1.2.

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS
Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS

Portrait photographers who are looking for the best possible bokeh will want to consider this lens over the standard model. It has better bokeh and all the other features that made the original 85mm f/1.2L such a success. It has a fast aperture for shallow depth of field, is a popular short telephoto focal length that is flattering for people, and uses a recent optical formula and advanced elements for sharp, aberration-free images.

This lens uses Canon’s Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR) to keep aberrations to a minimum. Also, it has fast, quiet focusing down to a minimum distance of 2.8'. It features heavy-duty construction with dust and water resistance and a Fluorine coating. And, just like all other RF lenses, the 85mm f/1.2L DS has a programmable control ring.

New Creator Kits and Accessories

Those lenses are awesome, but that isn’t all for Canon today. The company is fleshing out its systems with new kits and accessories that will help creators get started. Newer cameras are the ones receiving the kit treatment, with the EOS 90D Video Creator Kit, EOS M200 Content Creator Kit, and the PowerShot G7 X Mark III Video Creator Kit, being released today. The 90D will be bundled with a 32GB SDHC card and the just-announced DM-E100 Directional Microphone, which slides into a hot shoe and plugs into the camera’s 3.5mm input for improved audio. The compact M200 and G7 X Mark III, on the other hand, come with a 32GB SDHC card and the also recently revealed HG-100TBR Tripod Grip, which is a lightweight grip bundled with a remote control and can be folded out into a tabletop tripod whenever the situation demands.

Are you going to add either or both of these lenses to your collections? Is either one enough to make you pick up a new Canon mirrorless camera? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below!