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Canon plans f/2 holy trinity zooms: is the Canon RF 16-28mm f/2L USM next?

(Image credit: Future / Matthew Richards)

Canon is hard at work on another constant aperture f/2 zoom for the RF mount system. And, according to reports, it looks set to be the Canon RF 16-28mm f/2L USM.

Rumors first started emerging last week, when it was reported that Canon had begun work on a new f/2 zoom lens to complement the formidable Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM (opens in new tab) (pictured above). 

"The focal length of this zoom lens is unknown at the time of writing this," noted Canon Rumors (opens in new tab). "However, the source did say this could end up being a 'second holy trinity' of lenses for the RF mount."

The comment about the holy trinity lenses is intriguing; the Canon RF lens roadmap (opens in new tab) already lists what have been accepted as the trinity lenses for the mount, the RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS, RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS and RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS.

The rumored Canon RF 16-28mm f/2L would complement the existing 28-70mm as part of an f/2 'holy trinity'

The rumored Canon RF 16-28mm f/2L would complement the RF 28-70mm as part of an f/2 'holy trinity' (Image credit: Future / Matthew Richards)

It seems, then, that Canon might be working on two tiers of holy trinity lenses: an f/2.8 line and an f/2 line, the latter being the kind of showcase optic that is only possible on the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab), and couldn't be achieved on the EF mount. 

Adding fuel to the fire came a second Canon Rumors report, stating that the lens currently in gestation is the Canon RF 16-28mm f/2L USM. 

"We’ve been told that the next f/2 zoom from Canon will be an RF 16-28mm f/2L USM, which will fit nicely with the RF 28-70mm f/2L USM," wrote the site (opens in new tab). "None of the f/2 zoom lenses will get image stabilization, but don’t fret, all future EOS R bodies will have in-body image stabilization."

The question then remains, what will be the final lens in the f/2 holy trinity line-up? By all reason it should be broadly equivalent to 70-200mm, but the RF f/2 optics have had slightly reduced focal lengths – could we see a holy tetralogy of lenses instead?

Read more: 

Canon RF lens roadmap (opens in new tab)
Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM review (opens in new tab)
Canon EOS R review (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web 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 as diverse as 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, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). 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.