Canon today announced the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM, their intended replacement of the EF 11-24mm F4L USM and the third L-series RF lens that covers the UWA 14-20mm range. What sets this lens apart from its EF predecessor is its small size (112mm vs 132mm in length) and lighter weight (570g vs 1180g).
Besides the inherent portability, the new RF lens has IS and features ‘peripheral coordination control’ when used with supported cameras. Currently, this is limited to the EOS R5, however, when used handheld at slow speeds it’s claimed the algorithm-based ‘peripheral coordination control’ mitigates areas of blur (image deformation) in the periphery.
I’m assuming here that the higher-res sensor of the EOS R5 is the reason for the limited support as there are more pixels to manipulate – the new lens appears to combine a high-grade optical construction with advanced digital correction, sometimes referred to cheekily as a ‘digital element.’
While the Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM is a well-respected lens, with an F4 maximum aperture, a tripod is mandatory when used indoors. Quite large and a bit cumbersome in use, it is also front-heavy, even on an EOS-1 type body.
With the new RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM and others, it shows Canon is doing a lot more than simply replacing EF lenses with like-for-like RF versions.
As history shows, there was little in the progression of optical construction from FD to FDn over the short term, but AF (crucially with dedicated internal actuators) and new optics accounted for the success of the EF range.
Now we’re witnessing the benefits, notably improved handling and IQ from combining optical correction and digital processing in the RF models. Being somewhat cynical, I suspect it’s a policy to make it difficult for independents and to limit RF lenses from seeing their full potential when mounted on rival bodies (something Nikon did mechanically with the Z-series by adopting the shortest flange-distance) but few can deny how appealing smaller, lighter-weight lenses are in use.
The RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM lens is priced at £2579.99 / €2939.99 and will be available from late October.
Pre-orders now open at the following:
From the press release:
See more, do more: Canon launches the widest auto focus zoom lens ever made for a full frame camera[i]
London, UK, 11 October 2023 – Canon Europe today announces the launch of the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM, a new addition to the L-series range for photo and video professionals. Offering limitless possibilities by enabling an extreme ultra-wide shot, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM provides unrivalled image quality, all in a compact size.
The ultimate ultra-wide shot
The lens builds on the capabilities of the existing wide-angle RF range as the widest AF zoom ever made for a full frame camerai, with an angle of view of up to 130°. Featuring a zoom that ranges from 20mm wide-angle to an exceptional and unique ultra-wide 10mm focal length, users can now achieve a shooting area more than twice that of a 16mm focal length.
Fitting more in the frame allows for fresh perspectives when it comes to capturing dramatic panoramas. Photographers can add extra foreground interest, capture tight interiors and architecture, and add depth to landscapes, and filmmakers can be more creative with awe-inspiring establishing shots.
Every detail, just as it should be
The new lens delivers unparalleled image quality in a wide-angle lens, achieving incredible sharpness and clarity with virtually no distortion.
Engineered to the highest standard, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM incorporates the latest Peripheral Control Image Stabilisation (IS) technology which ensures crystal-clear, shake-free images even in challenging shooting conditions or without tripod access. The new IS ensures shake free images from centre to the edge of the frame and offers five stops of optical stabilisation or six stops in combination with an in body stabilised camera. Its advanced rectilinear optical design means you can expect a crisp and accurate outcome – so straight lines remain straight, even at the edges of the frame, all thanks to an advanced optical formula. A constant f/4 maximum aperture provides consistent exposures at every zoom setting, and state-of-the-art optical coatings minimise ghosting and flare which can be common with ultra-wide shots.
The advanced tech comes at no expense to ease-of-use. The RF mount allows outstanding image quality from a compact design by enabling hugely increased communication speed and bandwidth between camera and lens.
Weighing just 570g, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM deserves a permanent place in your kitbag. It’s less than half the weight (610g lighter) and 2cm smaller in width and length than the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM – in fact, the new lens paired with an EOS R8 weighs less than the older EF lens alone. All this despite offering a wider angle of view and addition of IS technology – so shooting with limited space not only becomes easier, but your bag will be lighter too.
Built for professionals
Due to its superior image quality, greater capacity for wide-angle stills and video, and lightweight design, the RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM is an essential upgrade for photographers and videographers looking to push their capabilities to the next level. While it’s ideal for landscapes or architecture, the lens can also capture a different perspective on sports or documentaries.
The RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM can withstand even the most challenging weather conditions, as it is resistant to dust and moisture for professional use.
Key features and attributes include:
- The aspherical, Super UD, and UD lens elements (including one Aspherical UD element) which help to achieve high image quality appropriate for an L lens
- Highly durable dustproof and waterproof qualities, to withstand rigorous conditions faced by professionals
- SWC (on 2 lens surfaces) and ASC (Air Sphere Coating) reducing ghosting caused by light sources within the image, a phenomenon often seen in wide-angle lenses
- First L series lens to feature STM motor and full time manual focus capability, thanks to compact lightweight focus group
The RF 10-20mm F4L IS STM lens is priced at £2579.99 / €2939.99 and will be available from late October. To find out more, please follow the link: https://www.canon.co.uk/lenses/rf-10-20mm-f4l-is-stm/