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Canon releases $299 ultra-wide prime lens for the EOS R camera line

Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM
(Image credit: James Artaius)

Canon has announced its first ultra-wide prime lens in the EOS R line-up, the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM – a super-small, super-fast, super-light and super-affordable lens for its full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Announced alongside the Canon EOS R3 and Canon's new budget telephoto zoom Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM, the versatile Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM aims to meet the growing demand for vlogging, as well as being a perfect lightweight lens ideal for landscape, architectural and astrophotography.

• Read more: Best Canon wide lenses

The 16mm f/2.8 prime benefits from the EOS R’s wide diameter mount and short flange distance – enabling Canon to create high-quality lenses with new focal lengths and a compact size – and will be the perfect partner for the compact-yet-powerful Canon EOS R6 or the entry level Canon EOS RP mirrorless bodies.

Following in the footsteps of the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM and Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM (and using what appears to be an identical chassis to the former), the RF 16mm f/2.8 is a prime lens tailored to content creators, giving you a full-frame ultra-wide-angle lens to take your videos to the next level.

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Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM

(Image credit: James Artaius)
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Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM

(Image credit: James Artaius)
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Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM

(Image credit: James Artaius)
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Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM

(Image credit: James Artaius)

Offering a wide angle and wide aperture, the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM is a versatile lens that is well suited to vlogging as well as group photos, environmental portraits and interior architecture. And with a wide aperture of f/2.8 this lens is great when shooting in low light, such as astrophotography, and for high shutter speed photography subjects

For vloggers, this enables you to capture higher quality footage in low light and create a shallow depth of field, even at wide angles, so that subjects pop against a softened background. 

When you're looking for a narrower angle when shooting video, you can pair the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM with EOS R cameras to shoot in APS-C crop mode to effectively turn the lens into a 25.6mm lens. Employing Canon’s STM focusing motor, the lens affords smooth, near-silent focusing during video recording. With a minimum focusing distance of 0.13m, photographers and content creators alike can capture sharp images even when shooting from close range.

It's a featherweight lens at only 165g, with a filter size of 43mm, and 69.2 x 40.1mm dimensions – great for shooting footage on the go or landscape photographers wanting a portable, yet powerful wide-angle lens for their pocket. It also has Canon’s  Super Spectra Coating to reduce ghosting and flare for crisp, detailed images, as well as a single aspherical lens for high image quality and reducing aberrations. 

The Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM will be available from 14 October for $299.99 / £319 / AU$549, with a EW-65C lens hood available as an optional extra.

Read more: 

Best Canon RF lenses
Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM
Canon EOS R3 review
Canon EOS R6 review

Peter Travers

The editor of PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Peter 14 years of experience as both a journalist and professional photographer. He is a hands-on photographer with a passion and expertise for sharing his practical shooting skills. Equally adept at turning his hand to portraits, landscape, sports and wildlife, he has a fantastic knowledge of camera technique and principles. As you'd expect of the editor of a Canon publication, Peter is a devout Canon user and can often be found reeling off shots with his EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR.