Mark Goldstein of Photography Blog reviewed the Canon RF 100-300 F2.8 L USM. Spoilers! It's the best telephoto zoom on the market. Here's a recap of the review, but we invite you to check out his full review along with pics at PhotographyBlog.com. Purchase from Adorama at $9,499, or B&H
Canon RF 100-300mm F2.8L IS USM Key Points
- 2590g at 32cm. The lens barrel does not extend during zooming. Hood included
- The lens barrel is solid and dust and splash proof, giving you confidence that it will work in all conditions. Bokeh is very good
- The zoom ring is solid and of high quality. However, the sound when turning the zoom ring is loud and has a unique metallic sound. This sound may become smaller with use and may be picked up during video recording.
- The focus ring is well weighted and allows for precise focus fine-tuning.
- Autofocus is very fast and accurate in almost all cases. The accuracy rate in combination with the EOS R5 is extremely high, making it an ideal lens for capturing precise moments in moving subject photography. The AF operation noise is very quiet, making it ideal for video shooting.
- Since the front element does not move during focusing or zooming, it is easy to use a filter, but the filter diameter is quite large at 112mm.
- Chromatic aberration is corrected extremely well, and it is difficult to find examples of color shift.
- Light falloff at edges is a little noticeable at 100mm wide open, noticeable when shooting white walls, but not so much with normal subjects. At 300mm, the falloff in vignetting is considerably reduced. Also, regardless of the zoom range, if you stop down to F5.6, the peripheral light falloff is almost eliminated.
- RAW has a slight barrel distortion at 100mm and a fairly strong pincushion distortion at 300mm.
- The 100mm resolution remains high from f/2.8 to f/16, but at f/22 you can see the effects of diffraction. The edges are sharpest between f/4 and f/11, but not as sharp as the center.
- Canon has boldly changed the popular EF300mm F2.8L IS II USM to 3x zoom on the RF mount, and has achieved this without compromising image quality. The RF100-300mm F2.8 L IS USM represents the pinnacle of Canon technology, but its high price and size will definitely make it a niche lens.
- The image quality is really sharp across the entire zoom range and across the screen. The RF100-300mm F2.8L is a really convenient lens compared to the short telephoto end RF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and the dark RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1L. Also, when the teleconverter is used, there is very little deterioration in image quality in actual photography. The lens is comfortable to hold and use, but its weight of 2.6 kg means it can only be used for short periods of time. A monopod would make sense.
- The points to note are that the zoom mechanism is noisy, the 112mm front filter is expensive, the focus hold button is difficult to reach, and the tripod mount cannot be removed and is not compatible with Arca-Swiss.
- This lens is for professional use, and the RF70-200mm F2.8L and RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1L make sense for advanced amateurs, but if you can afford the price, this lens is undoubtedly Canon's best telephoto zoom and one you won't want to return for testing.