November 8, 2023

Three new Canon lenses

Canon announces three new lenses for its RF mirrorless system: two super zooms and a wide angle for cropped sensor cameras.

When Canon launched its R5 and R6 cameras, it jumped ahead of its competitors in the mirrorless market. Where they have been behind the curve is the line-up of Canon lenses. The lack of third-party options, caused by Canon refusing to license the autofocus system, has exacerbated the problem. However, three new Canon lenses were announced last week, adding some new options for photographers. At some point over the coming months, I’ll get my hands on them to try out, but for now, I’ll look at the announcements and the use case for each lens.

Canon 24-105mm F2.8L IS USM Z

I’m primarily a stills shooter. For years, the camera bag of any pro contained the holy trinity of lenses. A 16-35mm F2.8, 24-70mm F2.8, and 70-200mm F2.8. They allow a wide-open aperture throughout the entire zoom. The problem can be when using the 24-70mm or 70-200mm that you may want to shoot a couple of millimetres outside the range. The solution is usually to walk around with two camera bodies. The introduction of a 24-105mm lens with an F2.8 aperture throughout is going to be a great alternative solution. For stills photographers, we now have overlap on all three of the holy trinity of lenses. This could be time to trade in my 24-70mm F2.8 and 24-105mm F4 lens that I use for walking around on my Switch to Manual workshops.

While this new Canon lens has some real benefits for stills shooters, it is firmly targeted toward video shooters. We’ve got used to two rings on RF Canon lenses: a zoom ring and a control ring, which can be customised to change all manner of settings. The new lens has a third ring sitting close to the camera body and reintroduces an aperture ring. The benefit of the aperture ring for videographers is that it allows smoother changes of depth of field than using buttons or dials on the back of the camera. The other addition for filmmakers is the optional power adapter, launched simultaneously with these three new Canon lenses. When connected, the zoom operation can be controlled by pressing wide or telephoto buttons.

Of the three new Canon lenses, this is the one I am looking forward to trying out, and it will be a great addition to any Canon RF shooters bag. It will be priced at £3439 at launch and available from mid-December. Expect a considerable waitlist for this lens, though.

Canon RF-S 10-18mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM

The second of the three new lenses is an addition for beginner photographers who are starting to expand their kit bag. Canon has three cropped sensor cameras in the RF range: the R100, R7 and R10. They are all priced for the consumer market and offer some great features for beginners at a low price. They are usually sold with a kit lens with a zoom of 18mm–55mm, equivalent to approximately 28mm – 88mm on a full-frame camera. By introducing a 10-18mm lens for cropped sensors, the zoom range is now extended to the equivalent of 16mm at the widest angle.

Its relatively cheap price of £379, again available from mid-December, doesn’t mean it comes without features. It is super-lightweight, weighing 150g and a retracted size of just over 4.5cm. Somehow, Canon has added a control ring and a zoom ring to this thin profile. Finally, it has 4-stops of image stabilisation built into the lens. If you’re starting in photography and want to shoot wide landscapes or architecture at a low price with reasonable quality, this will be a superb addition.

Canon RF 200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM

The final one of the three Canon lenses to be launched is a real groundbreaker for wildlife snappers (and maybe sports). Early in the RF lens development cycle, Canon released an F11 600mm and 800mm lens. They are relatively cheap at around £1,000 each and give a fixed focus lens with a great reach. Alternatively, professional sports photographers could get a 600mm F4 L lens for just over £14,000 or the 800mm F5.6 L lens at nearly £19,000.

The new 200-800mm F6.3-9 IS USM lens covers the gap between the ridiculously high-cost L Prime lenses and the cheap and cheerful primes. With a zoom range from 200mm at the widest end to 800mm at the long end, it gives a great reach for an investment of £2,300. As the nomenclature of the lens suggests, the widest aperture changes as the zoom moves to the longer end. Many people will be baulking at the F9 aperture at the 800mm end, but remember that depth of field isn’t just influenced by aperture. Standing 20 metres away from the subject at 800mm with an F9 aperture gives a depth of field of just 32cm on a full-frame camera. That’s almost perfect for getting detailed photos of a lion’s head on a safari. You can then pull back and get a wider shot at the other end of the zoom.

Visually, many will think they are getting a bargain with this lens. It has the same grey/white body we see on all the high-end long-focal distance lenses in the Canon stable. Sorry, this isn’t an L lens – its colouring has been designed to keep the lens and all its internal motors cool in hot weather. Not something that I’ll be needing in Scotland!

Like the other RF Canon lenses, there is a control and zoom ring. An extra addition to the 200-800mm are two customisable lens buttons. These can be used, for example, to change the type of eye detection being used in the auto-focus system.

With such a long zoom, this will be a big lens. Surprisingly, though, it only weighs just over 2kg. This is about the same as the Sigma 150-600mm lens that could be used on the old EF system cameras. The lens has a diameter of 95mm. It can be used with the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, giving us a 1200mm lens at the widest aperture of F18. I’m unsure when I would ever want to use a 1200mm lens unless I was undercover for the military or the police. Those guys probably won’t mind paying the £22,299 to get an F8 lens version instead!


Canon may not have the width of lenses in its mirrorless stable, but it is bringing out some different choices. Of the three, I am most interested in the 24-105 F2.8 lens, and I can’t wait to try it when I have a copy in my hand. Beginners who have come to the entry-level workshops with me now have a choice for a wider lens so that they can attend my Seascape & Landscape workshop. There’s no need to upgrade to a full-frame body and buy a new set of lenses. For the bird photography enthusiast, the 200-800mm lens is a relatively cheap way to get fantastic reach. Three Canon lenses with three different uses, but all with a great use case that adds to the Canon line.

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About the author

As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions and was featured in a members-sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at