A Look at the Impressive Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM Lens

Supertelephoto zoom lenses have made remarkable strides in recent years, and the kind of image quality that used to be exclusive to the most expensive professional prime models is now available at much more affordable prices and with the added versatility of variable focal lengths. One such example is the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM, and this great video shows just how well it performs, even in low light and with teleconverters. 

Coming to you from Jan Wegener, this awesome video takes a look at the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens, particularly when used in low light. No matter how good the image quality of the lens is, that f/7.1 maximum aperture at 500mm certainly gave some photographers pause when the lens was announced, as it forces one to use an ISO two to three stops higher than they might with a top-shelf supertelephoto prime and also significantly reduces the light available for the autofocus system to work. And yet, with a modern body like the EOS R5, those issues are nowhere near as significant as they might have been a decade ago, making such a lens a viable (and sometimes superior) alternative for a lot of work. Check out the video above for Wegener's full thoughts. 

Alex Cooke's picture

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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The best part of Jan’s videos are seeing the birds. What an enviable setting. Anyhow, I agree with a lot of his observations and the best aspect of this lens apart from the versatility is the flexibility and ease of carrying. Interestingly, he shoots with the foot down whereas many prefer the foot up as it makes a nice carrying handle, and is out of the way for handholding (some remove it entirely). While Jan doesn’t mention it, proper exposure - shooting to the right - is even more important at high iso as DR declines. I wonder how the images held up to printing?

I tried this lens in a rental and found that that 300mm limitation while using an extender was a wee bit annoying too. I hope Canon comes up with a RF super zoom without such a limitation and a constant aperture throughout the zoom range.