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Canon releases firmware to fix the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L's focusing issues

Firmware to correct the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L's focusing issues is now available
(Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

UPDATE 08 JANUARY: Canon has now released corrective firmware for the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens, making good on its promise to deliver a fix in early January. 

Firmware Version 1.0.6 for the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L incorporates a correction for "a phenomenon when performing AF shooting to capture a subject at close-range with the focus distance approximately set to the Tele-end (200mm), the image may become slightly front-focused."

UPDATE 02 DECEMBER: Canon has confirmed that corrective firmware for the faulty Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens will be released early this month. 

"It has been confirmed that when using the RF70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM to perform AF shooting to capture a subject at close-range with the focus distance approximately set to the Tele-end (200mm), the image may become slightly front-focused.

New firmware with improved focus accuracy is scheduled for release in the beginning of January 2020, and once the preparations are completed, we will post the information on our website.

Note: New firmware being released at this time is for lenses equipped with firmware version 1.0.5 or earlier. The lens firmware version can be checked in the camera’s menu."

ORIGINAL STORY: The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L, the much-anticipated final ‘trinity' zoom lens for the EOS R system, has now been released. Unfortunately, it has been released with a focusing defect.

Fortunately, the manufacturer has acknowledged the issue and will be releasing corrective firmware for the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L as soon as possible.

• Hands on: Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM review

The lens, which completes the lineup of f/2.8 trinity zooms for the Canon EOS R system, seems to exhibit the fault when close focusing with the optic at a 200mm focal length. If you are not working at minimum focusing distances, you will not experience the issue. 

According to Canon's official response, courtesy of DP Review: "Canon has become aware of this phenomenon, which occurs when focusing on a close subject at 200mm, and is preparing a firmware update that will be released as quickly as possible."

The company's acknowledgement of the issue comes after a user claims to have sent the lens to Canon's service center to be looked at, only for it to be returned as having nothing wrong with it. 

Now that the focusing is fixed, the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is an engineering marvel

Now that the focusing is fixed, the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is again an engineering marvel (Image credit: Canon Rumors)

Reports first began emerging last week that the optic appeared to be front focusing by as much as 3mm when used at minimum focusing distances. However, contrary to the Canon statement, user feedback suggested that the phenomenon was not limited to 200mm. 

"Tests carried out by users report the fault is most pronounced at the longer ends of the focal range and that it gradually reduces as the lens is brought back to the 70mm setting," wrote DP Review.

While it is something of a black eye for such a prestige lens to make it all the way to market with the issue, the good news is that Canon is on the case and is fast-tracking a software solution. For now, if you own the lens, the best advice is not to use it at minimum focusing distances. 

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