Canon RF 100-400 Lens Review

Canon RF 100-400 Lens Review – Recently Canon released a new RF mount telephoto zoom lens for their Full Frame mirrorless camera system. I have been holding my breath to get my hands on it to see what it can do in the birding and wildlife genre and well the last 7 days have been nothing but eye opening.

I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to field test it with a Canon R5 in the famous Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve and in the Kruger National Park. Bearing in mind both the body and the lens are both samples, I was very confident it would give a great result.

To open, I want to start with this image captured on the first afternoon. I have just resized it for this post with in camera standard picture style. At the moment I can’t share the raw files as it is not final production standard.

Manual Mode, F8, @400mm, ISO 6400 and 1/1000 second shutter speed

Canon RF 100-400 Lens Review

My first impression of the Canon RF 100-400 Lens :


  • Quality solid build
  • Amazing stability hand held in low light with the 5 stops of IBIS with this lens
  • Light and great quality through the entire zoom range
  • Great addition to video component of my work
  • VERY affordable
  • Overall for me a good buy and will help anyone moving from mirrorless from DSLR to get into the system without breaking the bank.

Manual Mode, F7.1, @117mm, ISO 2500 and 1/80 second shutter speed


Manual Mode, F8, @300mm, ISO 3200 and 1/500 second shutter speed



Manual Mode, F8, @300mm, ISO 800 and 1/100 second shutter speed

Let’s look at the official specifications and information of the Canon RF 100-400 Lens .

Canon RF100–400mm F5.6–8 IS USM – variable aperture “super telephoto lens”

  • Offering superb performance and sharpness, the 100–400mm focal length provides a versatile range for all types of telephoto opportunities — be it portraits and documenting events, to sports, birding and wildlife.
  • It’s an affordable and easily hand-holdable entry into the world of super-telephoto, full-frame photography and video. 100 – 400 mm zoom range and is lighter than the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
  • The 100-400 measures just 165 x 80mm (6.5 x 3.1 in.) in size and weighs 630 g (22.4 oz.).
  • The lens’ built-in optical stabilization can reduce shake by up to 5.5 stops (per CIPA standard) and this increases by another half-stop when mounted on an R-series body with IBIS.
  • Optically, it’s made up of 12 elements, including UD (ultra-low dispersion) and aspherical glass, and features Super Spectra Coating to reduce flare and ghosting.
  • It has a 9-blade aperture, for smooth backgrounds/foregrounds
  • 67mm filter thread
  • The minimum focus distance is 88cm (35″) and the maximum magnification is 0.41x
  • The focus group is driven by a linear-type Nano USM motor for swift and silent autofocus.
  • The minimum focus distance is 88cm (35″)
  • If 100-400mm isn’t enough for you, this lens is compatible with Canon’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, with a commensurate further decrease in maximum aperture that may affect the camera’s ability to autofocus.


So this is the first thoughts on this amazing lens and I will I will record a more detailed video assessment with more images and my thoughts on the experience.

Thank you to the team at Canon South Africa for the opportunity to get my hands on this combo.

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