After debuting them in February, Canon has launched its Extender RF 1.4x and Extender RF 2x teleconverters (opens in new tab) for the EOS R family of cameras. However, their reception has been somewhat dampened by their compromised compatibility with current RF lenses.
Teleconverters are a great way to shoot at longer focal lengths, by extending the reach of your existing telephoto lenses, without the extra cost of investing in a whole new lens. This is especially useful with a young ecosystem like Canon’s full-frame mirrorless lineup.
These two new Extenders are compatible with three RF optics; unfortunately, however, none of them is the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM (opens in new tab), which is a lens that many photographers would want to use with a teleconverter with.
The only lenses that are compatible with the Extenders are the trio of super telephotos that have just been announced: the Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM (opens in new tab) and Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM (opens in new tab) and Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7/1 L IS USM (opens in new tab).
Again, however, there are compatibility caveats. Such is the physical construction of the latter lens that both teleconverters can only be used at focal lengths between 300-500mm. While the adapters are smaller than their EF counterparts, the interior parts protrude and prevent them working below 300mm.
The full compatibility and focal length / aperture conversion is as follows:
|RF lens||with Extender RF 1.4x||with Extender RF 2x|
|Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM||840mm f/16||1,200mm f/22|
|Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM||1,120mm f/16||1,600mm f/22|
|Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7/1 L IS USM||420-700mm f/8-10||600-1,000mm f/11-14|
|Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM||Not compatible||Not compatible|
|Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM||Not compatible||Not compatible|
While it’s obviously disappointing that the 70-200mm won’t work at all with the teleconverters, and the 100-500mm only half works, both the 600mm and 800mm primes are fully compatible – and the prospect of a 1,600mm focal length on an R-system camera remains incredibly exciting.
Scheduled to go on sale from the end of July, the Extender RF 1.4x will cost $499.99/ £559 (AU$1,010) while the Extender RF 2x will carry a $599.99 / £699 (AU$1,263) price tag.