The Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 lens is a favorite zoom lens among the Photographer staff. Editor-in-chief Chris Gampat gave it our Editor’s Choice Award. With an ability for vibrant hues, plenty of details, and a true-to-life perspective, it’s easy to see why it’s often dubbed as the quintessential wedding photography lens. And the latest firmware update makes it even better.
The gorgeous lens offers a versatile focal length. It’s great for portraits, landscapes, wildlife, weddings, detail frames, and commercial photography. How could Canon improve this lens?
- Improved image stabilization
- Corrects focus breathing
Previous updates added improved image stabilization when paired with the EOS R5 and R6. The most recent V1.0.8 firmware update corrects focus breathing.
Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 Lens review Update
I added the following to our Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 lens review:
Lensrentals shipped out the Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 lens with the updates installed alongside an R5 and R6 Mk II. It’s one of Canon’s larger RF zoom lenses. The heavy hitter is often utilized for capturing life’s most precious moments when details matter.
The most recent updates have added image stabilization when attached to the R5 and R6 camera bodies. V1.0.8 takes it a step further and corrects focus breathing. The update makes it easier to capture longer exposures without a tripod.
Videographers are more concerned with focus breathing as they often zoom in and out as a measure of creativity. Although, fashion and event photographers will appreciate the swiftness and immediate accuracy on either end as they recompose. V1.0.8 does a fantastic job correcting it with these camera bodies. In video mode, the lens zooms in and out seamlessly. The Canon RF 70-200mm quickly achieves autofocus at both ends of the focal length without delay.
Commercial, portrait, and wedding photographers who depend on finite details will notice a boost in performance with focus stacking. It’s more user-friendly than ever when paired with the new EOS R5 and R6 renditions.
Improved Image Stabilization
I tested the image stabilization with both the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 Mk II. It’s safe to say that longer exposures without a tripod isn’t my specialty. I naturally shake a little, especially when I haven’t eaten for a while. Longer lenses are typically more challenging for me when utilizing slower shutter speeds.
Canon’s IBIS is impressive. I captured usable frames with shutter speeds of up to two seconds. A fast moving creek was pacified. Being able to achieve success while handholding this lens in -20 degree weather was impressive.
The trail lights of a passing car was captured in front of the downtown movie theater. Another frame captured the exhaust of a restaurant in the alleyway. I was surprised that I had the most success with long shutter speeds with the RF 70-200mm f2.8 lens than the other two lenses I received for updates.
Canon’s image stabilization also made it easier to capture indoor images of my rambunctious new kitten. Pip is always on the move. In this example, I was squatting down on my tippy toes and not perfectly balanced.
Corrected Focus Breathing
I attached the RF 70-200mm f2.8 lens to the EOS R5 and EOS R6 Mk II bodies. Video functionality was up first. I took short videos while focusing. Canon has done an excellent job with the correction. Users will appreciate how minimal the focus breathing is and fast it is corrected.
I quickly zoomed in and out while focusing on my cats and kitchenware. The 24-70mm f2.8 lens didn’t disappoint and never hiccuped on either end of the focal length. It also did a fantastic job of focus-stacking.
A simple example of a perfume bottle shows potential for high-end commercial images and wedding details.
And here is an example of using the stacking to get sharpness from corner to corner. Image stacking is easier than ever now. Set it up in the camera and press the shutter button. It’s possible to line up the frames in Photoshop and paint in layer masks, even without auto-aligning the layers. And so, while Photoshop automates it, the Canon features make it error-proof.