A 70-200mm the size of a beer can? Canon's new zoom is tiny!

Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Canon's newest 70-200mm lens has finally arrived for the RF mount system – and it's positively tiny, only barely bigger than a beer can! 

Thanks to its telescoping mechanism, the Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens is the shortest 70-200mm lens in the world. It's only slightly larger than a 330ml can of suds, and it's even shorter than a 440ml drinks can. 

• Read more: Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM review

The RF 70-200mm f/4L measures just 83.5 x 119mm when collapsed – and at just 695g, it's the world's lightest 70-200mm lens as well as the shortest. To put that in perspective, compare that to its direct DSLR equivalent; the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM II is 32% longer at 176mm, and weighs a heftier 780g.

Of course, Canon already makes a telescopic 70-200mm lens – the faster Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. Yet the new f/4 version is even smaller and lighter, measuring 18% shorter and 35% lighter than its 146mm and 1,070g big brother. 

This incredibly compact size enables you to pack the RF 70-200mm f/4 in your bag standing up, or even to mount it on your camera body and keep it in a small sling bag over your shoulder – which is unheard of, for a zoom lens of this focal length. 

However, while the size is undoubtedly a huge benefit in this respect, there is one significant drawback: like the f/2.8 version, this f/4 lens is not compatible with Canon's RF teleconverters

This means that one of the main appeals of a 70-200mm lens – being able to make it even more versatile by transforming it into a 98-280mm (with a 1.4x converter) or a 140-400mm (with a 2x) – is not available here.  

There's plenty still to love about this lens, though, from the maximum 7.5 stops of image stabilization to the stunning center sharpness across the zoom range (even at 200mm) – though corner sharpness could be better, and it's still a pricey optic for an f/4 zoom. Check out our review for the full verdict, with lab tests. 

Read more: 

Best Canon RF lenses
Best Canon lenses
Best Canon telephoto lenses
Best 70-200mm telephoto lenses

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.