Canon RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM "confirmed" for later this year

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x
Pictured: Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x (Image credit: Canon)

A Canon RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM has been long rumored, and now the team over at Canon Rumors has managed to confirm its existence, and that we might see it as soon as the end of this year!

We reported a few months ago about the first rumors of a Canon RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM lens. Canon already makes a similar EF version of this lens – the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x. However, the latest information from Canon Rumors suggests that to reduce the overall size and weight of the lens, the new RF version will forgo the 1.4x teleconverter but will add an additional 100mm in focal length to compensate.

Wildlife and sports photographers needn't fear however, as Canon Rumors also asserts that a newly designed separate teleconverter extension is also coming soon, which will also work with the recently introduced Canon RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens.

Currently, the only huge super-zoom telephoto lens in Canon's "big white" professional range is the RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM, although many shooters prefer a constant aperture lens for consistent shots throughout the zoom range. Canon recently introduced the slightly shorter but wide aperture RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, although this has an eyewatering price of around $12,000! So something in the middle of these two lenses would be very welcome.

Canon has long offered some of the most beloved and best lenses for bird photography and wildlife as well as sports photography, which is why you will see Canon featured so frequently in nature documentaries and at big sporting events like the Olympics.

The Canon RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM is apparently due to arrive at the end of this year, or at the very beginning of 2024, and will come just before the Canon EOS R1 as photographers get ready for the Paris Olympics next summer.

It's not all about the lenses, find out more about the best camera for wildlife photography and the best camera for sports photography in our guides.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.