Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM review

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM showcases (almost) everything that's best about the RF system

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is a phenomenal lens. Thanks to its telescoping design, it's also 27% shorter and 28% than the DSLR version… however, it costs about 100% more and it's not compatible with Canon's RF teleconverters. In every other respect it's the clear winner; image quality is better, stabilization is far superior, it's so small that it can stand upright in your camera bag, it's light enough to swing around all day without getting sore forearms, and the autofocus is quicker and quieter.


  • +

    ¾ length, ⅔ weight of EF version

  • +

    Up to 8 stops of stabilization

  • +

    Quiet, smooth autofocus


  • -

    Pricier than EF version

  • -

    Telescoping feels 'kit lensy'

  • -

    Incompatible with teleconverters

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The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is potentially a make-or-break lens for the EOS R system. When Canon launched its full-frame mirrorless range in 2018, many pros and gear heads refused to consider the system until a) it had a professional body with two memory card slots, and b) it had the professional f/2.8 'trinity lenses'.

Of course, today we have the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6, both with dual card slots, along with some of the best Canon RF lenses we could have hoped for – including the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM and Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM trinities. However, it's the RF 70-200mm that has been most eagerly anticipated – and it's the one by which many will judge the entire system.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a 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 like 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, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. 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.