Is the Portable Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens the Best Wide Angle for APS-C Cameras?

Canon's RF lenses have received a lot of acclaim for their high performance and image quality and boundary-pushing designs, but with all those things come high price tags. At $299, the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM is a breath of fresh air, and on an APS-C camera, its 26mm equivalent focal length makes it a potentially interesting option for a variety of needs. This great video review takes a look at the lens on the EOS R7 and if it can provide the performance and image quality you need. 

Coming to you from Christopher Frost, this excellent video review takes a look at the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lens. The idea of using a lens like this on the EOS R7 is that lenses normally exhibit their strongest image quality near the center, and as such, when you use them on a crop sensor body, you are essentially only using the best areas of the image circle. Beyond that, the RF 16mm f/2.8 offers a range of appealing features, including:

  • One aspherical element for reduced distortion and increased sharpness 
  • Minimum focusing distance of 5.1 inches (maximum magnification of 0.26x)
  • Super Spectra Coating for reduced flares and ghosting and improved contrast 
  • STM autofocus motor for smooth and quiet autofocus suitable for both photo and video work
  • Customizable Control Ring
  • Rounded seven-blade diaphragm for smoother bokeh
  • 5.8 oz (165 g).

While the RF 16mm f/2.8 will not compete with top-shelf options, it looks like a portable and versatile lens. Check out the video above for Frost's full thoughts. 

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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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Was "portable" really the best adjective to describe this lens? With very few exceptions, I think it's safe to assume that almost every modern camera lens would qualify as being "portable" to at least some extent.

Yes. It's much easier to carry a 5.8 oz on a multi-hour hike than a two- or three-pound option.

Would you prefer "compact"? :P

The details matter. Kind of odd title IMHO.

Best ..portable, um..wide angle on (canon) crop.. well, it doesn't exactly have competition at 16mm.

It's not a good lens on FF, this is known. Bad place to start.

On crop... well.... 16 is not very wide either. It would need to be wider.

Its a poor lens proposition. RF crop is in a very bad place. Shame on canon.

But its definitely portable ;)