Canon launches super telephoto zoom lens

Canon has announced the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM, which has minimum focusing distance of 1.8m with a 0.16x maximum magnification and constant aperture. 

The lens is pitched primarily at photographers specialising in sports photography, but is also appropriate for videographers. 

The RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM weighs 2.59kg, with the compact size and performance have made possible thanks to the RF mount at the heart of the EOS R System. This innovative mount enables the lens to maintain a constant f/2.8 fixed aperture throughout the zoom range.

Fully compatible with the range of Canon RF extenders, the RF 1.4x extender can be used throughout the zoom range to produce a 140-420mm f/4 lens, while the RF 2x extender can be used to produce a 200-600mm f/5.6 lens. Additionally, it features a control ring which allows users to assign often used functions like aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation, plus a new customisable Lens Function/Focus present button (L.Fn).

The fast f/2.8 fixed aperture is ideal for shooting in low light conditions and controlling depth of field for more dramatic shots, while the 9-blade circular aperture also creates bokeh characteristics. This is supported by the new Image Stabilizer mechanism, based on the IS systems found in Canon’s L-series super telephoto lenses. When used by itself, it is capable of 5.5 stops of stabilisation, which increases up to 6.0 stops when combined with a camera body with In-Body Image Stabilisation, thanks to the high-speed RF communication. This stabilisation, on top of the ability to shoot in lower light at lower shutter speeds, is ideal for handheld photography and videography when capturing fast-moving subjects. The system can even detect when a tripod is used, turning off the IS automatically.

Featuring a Dual Nano USM motor, the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM ensures high-speed focusing and high image quality throughout the zoom range as two focusing groups are controlled independently. The use of one fluorite lens and four UD lenses corrects chromatic aberration for incredibly sharp images with little colour blurring, while a moulded glass aspheric lens is used to ensure high resolution from the centre to the edge of the image.

The RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM features dust and weather seals to provide resistance to adverse weather and harsh environments, as well as fluorine coatings to allow the outer element to be easily cleaned. The same heat-shield coating introduced on the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM has been used for the exterior of the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM – this is now standard for all RF super telephoto lenses, reducing the temperature of the lens when shooting in hot conditions. The lens hood ET-124, lens soft case LS100-300 and E-122 lens cap which come bundled with the lens also provide additional support and protection.

RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM key features:

  • 100-300mm focal range
  • f/2.8 constant zoom
  • 5.5 stops of Optical Image Stabilizer, with 6.0-stops when combined with a camera which features an In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS)
  • Silent, fast autofocus, using Dual Nano USM motor

Pricing and availability

The RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM will be supported by Canon Australia’s 5-year warranty when purchased from an authorised Canon Australia reseller. Pricing will be set at dealers’ discretion, with the RRP to be confirmed. The lens will be available in Australia from May, 2023.