Will Canon Replace Another Supertelephoto Prime Lens With a Zoom?

Will Canon Replace Another Supertelephoto Prime Lens With a Zoom?

One of Canon's most exciting lenses is the new RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, which takes the popular 300 f/2.8 supertelephoto prime and replaces it with a far more versatile zoom option at essentially the same price. Now, it appears the company may be planning a second major supertelephoto zoom lens. 

Canon Rumors is reporting that Canon is likely replacing the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM II lens with a zoom lens, the RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM 1.4x. So far, the RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM has been received with a lot of praise, replacing the EF 300mm f/2.8L with a much more flexible zoom. It would not be surprising to see a similar strategy deployed for the 500mm f/4L, and an RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM 1.4x would be even more versatile with a built-in teleconverter, which would instantly turn it into a 280-700mm f/5.6 lens. 

There is precedence for this type of lens. The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x has long been one of the company's most respected lenses, and Canon has increased the zoom range of other lenses when bringing them from the EF to the RF mount. No doubt, given the intended audience and the prices of all the aforementioned lenses, this will be a very expensive device, but for wildlife, birds, and sports photographers, it may become a very popular tool. Hopefully, we'll hear more in the coming months. 

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Imo this isn't really revolutionary as lenses go. Nikon has had a 120-300 2.8 for a while. I think for the right shooter this thing is a god send and worth every penny so it def has a solid place in the market but I don't think it "replaces" a 300 2.8 prime per see as it is bigger, heavier, and a lot more expensive.

The EF 300mm f/2.8L II was launched at the equivalent of $8,500 in 2010, while the RF 100-300mm f/2.8L was launched at $9,500. The EF model weighs 5.3 lbs, while the RF weighs 5.7 lbs. The EF model is 9.8 inches long, while the RF model is 12.7 inches. I doubt most photographers care about the length, but the price and weight increases are only on the order of about 10% and are mostly negligible. And yes, the 100-300mm model does replace the 300mm model. There's no way Canon will make a 300mm f/2.8 prime in addition to the zoom model.

Real question now is if they'll release a 300mm f/4 prime as a cheaper alternative, or a 300mm f/2.0 as a new telephoto holy grail

Photographers do not decide on the basis of arithmetic only…Yes, Nikon has the 120-300 f2.8
for some time..So the 100-300 Canon is not an entirely new concept-

Well, well, well, I'd rather have a RF 100-300/4 IS L, as replacement of the EF 300/4 IS L, or simply a new, lighter RF 300/4 IS L, which would also do. The EF lens is quite good, but rather old, and I guess, they could do some serious improvements, at least the IS and the weight.

I'm getting older and I don't want to carry a ton.

And here I am, waiting for a replacement of my old Sigma 100-300 f/4. Smaller and cheaper than the f2.8, and f/4 aperture throughout the range. But I guess between the 100-400mm Sigma and Tamron and the Nikon 300mm f/4 FP, there no much place for this.

It makes perfect sense for Canon to hit various EF lens segmenrs with zooms. They sell better. Eventualky, perhaps tgey have primes as well. If today's new tech gets you a 120-300mm f/2.8, maybe they have a heto lens at 300mm and f/1.8-2.0 at some point. Right now Canon has to build out the system to make it viable vs Sony or Nikon for DSLRs expatriats. Dinner before dessert.

You are right about the zoom lenses. I was simply complaining a bit that something less heavy (1,4 kg vs 3,4kgs !) and huge than the 120-300mm f2.8 existed, and had never been really replaced or updated, with stabilization for example. The question is : can third party lens manufacturers have the same plans as camera brands ?