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Where other camera makers have generally just replicated their old DSLR lenses for mirrorless, Canon has been consistently more innovative. Its latest telephoto zoom, the Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS STM, is a case in point. By employing a maximum aperture of f/5.6-8, it’s the smallest, lightest and most affordable 100-400mm lens yet made for mirrorless cameras of any sensor size, let alone full frame. But because mirrorless cameras don’t suffer from the same restrictions as DSLRs, it’ll still autofocus perfectly happily.

Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS STM

In essence, this lens is best seen as a budget telezoom for Canon EOS RP users, that’s a natural companion to the Canon RF 24-105mm F4.0-7.1 IS STM, and which provides extended reach compared to the 70-300mm zooms that were conventionally offered for DSLRs. At 165mm in length and 638g in weight, it’s not going to be particularly onerous to carry around all day. It includes optical stabilisation that’s rated to 5.5 stops, and employs a stepper motor for rapid, silent autofocus. A minimum focus distance of just 88cm and 0.41x maximum magnification promises to make it a useful option for tele-macro shooting.

The Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS STM extends considerably on zooming to 400mm

Like most RF lenses, alongside the zoom and focus rings there’s a third control dial on the barrel, whose function is assigned from the camera body. The lens also has physical focus and IS on/off switches, so you don’t need to dive into menus to change these settings. However it lacks many of the more advanced features seen on more conventional 100-400mm optics, with no focus limiter, IS mode switch, or weathersealing. But this can be easily forgiven considering the price, with the Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS STM set to cost just £699.99.

Canon has also announced the EOS R3 for professional sports and news photographers, and the lightweight RF 16mm F2.8 STM that’s primarily aimed at vloggers.

Read our Canon EOS R3 Hands-on First Look here.

Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS STM: Full specifications

Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS STM on the Canon EOS R6

  • Price    £699.99
  • Filter Diameter            67mm
  • Lens Elements             12
  • Groups            9
  • Diaphragm blades       9
  • Aperture         f/5.6-8
  • Minimum focus           0.88m
  • Length             164.7mm
  • Diameter         79.5mm
  • Weight            635g
  • Lens Mount     Canon RF
  • Included accessories   Front and rear caps