Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM review

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM delivers impressive performance in an impossibly small size… with some caveats

Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM is almost a miniature marvel – it's so small that it can fit into a sling bag while still mounted on a camera. Center sharpness at 200mm is as good as at 70mm, and with up to 7.5 stops of stabilization it delivers rock-solid performance for both stills and video. Unfortunately, the price of its compactness is incompatibility with teleconverters, and corner sharpness isn't what it might be – both of which come as a sting in the tail, when it costs as much as 50% more than the EF equivalent,


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    Shortest (FF) 70-200mm ever

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    Great center sharpness

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    Quick, quiet autofocus


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    Teleconverters not supported

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    Pricey for an f/4 lens

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    No tripod foot

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The Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM arrived with far more fanfare than traditional f/4 zoom lenses. For starters, it's the shortest and lightest 70-200mm f/4 in the world – it's only slightly larger than a soda can when collapsed! 

Yes, it's even shorter (by 18%) and lighter (35%) than the already tiny Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM – small enough to slide into a small sling bag. And it delivers an astonishing maximum of 7.5 stops of stabilization, making it truly formidable for handheld shooting.

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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.