Canon's EOS R mirrorless camera range gets its first true macro lens

Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS STM lens with Canon EOS R5
(Image credit: Canon)

Not only has Canon teased us with the development announcement for the EOS R3, the Japanese camera maker has also added to its RF lens catalog, introducing the first true macro lens for its full-frame mirrorless system.

The RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS STM lens will eventually replace the existing EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens for Canon's DLSRs, and comes with some nifty tricks up its sleeve.

Headlining that list of tricks is its ability to offer a 1:1.4 reproduction, making it the first macro lens to offer a maximum magnification of 1.4x, with a minimum focusing distance of just 8.6cm.

The only way its EF counterpart can offer the same 1.4x magnification is to attach a the EF25 II extension tube to the lens, while its minimum focusing distance is 11.2cm.

The Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro also features a new control ring on the barrel called the Spherical Aberration (SA) Control Ring, and this adds an extra layer of creative control for the photographer.

While the f/2.8 aperture already offers a shallow depth of field and bokehlicious blurry backgrounds to images, the SA ring can either soften the background further or soften the foreground instead, which could offer some interesting results.

The lens is rated for 5 stops of camera shake compensation which, when combined with a stabilized camera like the EOS R5 or the EOS R6, will give a combined 8 stops of compensation.

Dual Nano USM motors are onboard to promise fast and smooth autofocus performance, and Canon says it boasts improved focus breathing that suppresses the effects of stacking by up to 50% over its EF counterpart.

The Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS STM will be available from May 2021 in the UK, and from late July in the US and Australia for $1,399 / £1,479.99 / AU$2,599.

Priming to zoom in

Canon has also announced two pro-level telephoto lenses for the its RF stable, adding a 400mm f/2.8L IS USM and 600mm f/6L IS USM lenses to the ever-growing range of mirrorless glass.

Both fixed-aperture lenses have been designed for those expecting only the best optics that offer excellent results, even in low light. A 9-blade construction offers a circular aperture that, Canon promises, is capable of moving in 1/8th steps for smoother transitions from light and shadow while recording video.

The two telephotos are also stabilized, offering a combined 5.5 stops of stability when paired with a body with IBIS, like the EOS R5 and R6.

Interestingly, Canon says that both lenses will ship with a drop-in screw filter holder with a 52mm protective filter already fixed, while a drop-in circular polarizing filter will be available to purchase as an additional accessory.

Both telephoto primes are compatible with the RF 1.4x and RF 2x extenders for further reach. And, like a lot of Canon's L-series lenses, they're no lightweights – the 400mm weighs in at 2.89kg, while the 600mm is about 3kg.

Catering to the professional market, these are premium lenses with eye-watering prices. If you truly are keen on one or both lenses, they'll be available from June in the UK, while entering the Aussie and US markets a little later in July, for the staggering price of $11,999 / £12,450 / AU$21,999 for the 400mm prime and $12,999 / £13,410 / AU$23,999 for the 600mm lens.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.