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Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS Review (solid lens for the money, D. Abbott)

RF 100-400mm F/5.6-8 IS Review

Here is another Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS review, by one of our favorite gear reviewer. Although it is not an “L” tier lens, the Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS gets a lot of very positive reviews.

At a glance:

  • RF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/5.6 to f/45
  • One UD Element, One Aspherical Element
  • Super Spectra Coating
  • Nano USM AF Motor
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.41x at 400mm
  • Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Customizable Control Ring
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

Dustin Abbott posted his exhaustive Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS review. From Dustin’s conclusion:

[…] a truly portable lens that brings this incredible focal range into the kind of size and weight combination that many more photographers can cope with.

[…] For the money, this is a solid lens. It definitely has its limitations, but it pulls off this challenging focal range in a pretty convincing faction…and that small size might mean that even those with deeper pockets might pick one up just for the sake of its portability. This is a solid move for Canon, and the RF 100-400 IS is a lens I suspect will sell very well for them.

[…] it will also work fine for those that shoot action, birds, or wildlife in reasonably good light. The autofocus is quick and quiet, and I had no problem locking onto subjects. Just be realistic about the kinds of lighting situations that you’ll be able to get enough shutter speed to stop action, and you’ll be fine. I can see this lens being a “bridge” lens for many – the telephoto option they can afford now while they save (or hope) for a more premium option in the future. For the money, this is a solid lens.

As usual Dustin Abbott’s reviews come with sample images, comparison charts, and all the information you might want to know. Dustin’s reviews are what I look for when I am about to purchase new gear. As usual Dustin Abbott also releases a complete video review. See below.

More gear reviews by Dustin Abbott are listed here. You can follow Dustin Abbott on Twitter, YouTube, or on his website.

More Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS review stuff is listed here.

Canon RF 100–400mm F5.6–8 IS:

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Canon DE, Canon UK

Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM Overview

A versatile telephoto-zoom with a portable form factor, the Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM is a nimble lens perfect for wildlife, sports, and travel shooting. With extended range, this zoom packs super-telephoto reach into a relatively sleek, lightweight design along with support for Coordinated IS to help control up to 6 stops of camera shake and Nano USM AF to promote faster focusing performance.

Optically, the lens uses specialized elements to control a variety of aberrations and produce images with high sharpness and clarity throughout the zoom range. Close-focusing performance is also possible, with a maximum magnification of 0.41x at the 400mm position, for close-up shooting of subjects as small as a credit card.

  • Long-reaching telephoto zoom lens is designed for use with full-frame Canon RF-mount mirrorless cameras.
  • Modest f/5.6-8 maximum aperture range promotes a relatively compact, lightweight form factor.
  • One Ultra Low Dispersion element is featured toward the front of the optical design and helps to reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing throughout the zoom range.
  • One aspherical element helps control distortion and promotes a high degree of sharpness.
  • Super Spectra Coating has been applied to minimize flare and ghosting for improved contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions.
  • An Optical Image Stabilizer helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by 5.5 stops to better enable working in low-light conditions and with slower shutter speeds. Also, when working with select cameras, up to 6 stops of stabilization may be available with the Coordinated Optical Image Stabilizer and In-Body Image Stabilizer.
  • Nano USM system utilizes both a ring type USM and an STM mechanism to realize quick and accurate focusing that is also smooth and near silent to suit both photography and video applications. This focusing system also affords full-time manual focus control when working in the one-shot AF mode.
  • Close focusing capabilities are available throughout the zoom range, with a maximum magnification of 0.41x available at the 400mm position and a minimum focusing distance of 2.9′ possible at the 200mm position.
  • Rounded 9-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality.
  • Configurable Control Ring can be used to adjust a variety of exposure settings, including aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation.
  • Compatible with optional Extender RF 1.4x and Extender RF 2x teleconverters to further increase the effective focal length.
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