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First Impression - Canon RF70-200mm f2.8L IS USM

Thanks to Mr. Alric Goh from Canon Malaysia, and Canon Ambassador Mr. Edwin Lay for your kind arrangement for me to test out this Canon RF70-200mm f2.8L IS USM lens over the weekend.

I'll share my first impressions and personal experience using this lens for 2 portrait sessions for the past few days.

First Impression:

Trust me, anyone who owns the EF70200 f2.8 lenses will probably feel its weight and bulkiness. Nevertheless, I've been shooting with the 70200 for a decade.

As soon as you hold the new RF version, you will feel surprised in a few ways.

For me, the lens is ultra lightweight, compact, and feels solidly built. The matte texture on this lens makes it comfortable to touch and hold for long periods of shoot.

Comparing with the older EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM I, the new lens is slightly thicker in radius, but much smaller and lighter, much easier on the wrist. Both comes with 77mm filter thread.

When both lenses are mounted, the total system weight makes a huge difference. You'll never want to go back to DSLR system anymore if you have wrist or back problem.

From top to bottom angle, you can see the difference in total length and the space both systems take to be stored in your camera bag. For the RF version, you can easily carry around in a small shoulder or sling bag.

Comparing side by side with the RF24-70 f2.8L IS USM, both are identical in length and weight. When mounted on camera, I could hardly tell the difference in total weight and size, making them the perfect lightweight combination for portrait, event, wedding, street, landscape, and travel photographers.

Image Quality:

Disclaimer: I am not a pixel peeper, and I don't do extensive image quality tests for a living. You can easily find better image quality tests on Google. If you own the EF70-200 f2.8L IS USM I like I do, you may find this helpful in your purchasing decision later.

Let me demonstrate how big of an improvement the RF over the EF version here:

Both the images above are shot wide open, f2.8 at 200mm focal length, with 5D III and R6.

At 100% crop, you can see the amount of details, sharpness, and resolving power the RF version has over the EF version. Outstanding improvement!

So, what do you think?

Sample Images:

Photos below are taken with the EOS R6 + RF70-200mm f2.8L IS USM in my studio.

Final Verdict:

Though I only had it for 2 days, I can already tell this is an amazing lens that comes with many surprises. Hopefully I'll have it again for a longer period and test it for events and wedding shoots in the short future.

If size, weight, image quality, focusing speed, accuracy, weather sealing, ergonomics, and portability are important features to your needs, you will not go wrong with this lens.

For me, I'll definitely be upgrading (progressively) to the RF lenses.

I am selling my EF70-200 f2.8L IS USM I for either this or the f4L version. Still waiting for f4L to be available in Malaysia.

If you're interested in getting the EF version, kindly drop me a message.

Well done to the guys at Canon, and thank you!

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