Here’s the Canon EOS R with the four new RF lenses. The 24-105mm f/4 (third from left) lens is the most comfortable compromise between size and performance on the camera. It offers a longer zoom than the 28-70mm (first from left), and while it’s not as fast as that lens’ constant f/2.8 aperture, the 24-105mm is a more comfortable lens to carry.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the new lenses is how big they are (here’s why). Here’s the new 50mm f/1.2 RF lens (right) compared to the older 50mm f/1.2 EF lens (left). Canon maintains that the new RF mount allows them to build lenses that are higher quality than before. To match RF specifications on EF lenses, they say, would create lenses that are either too big or too expensive.
Here’s the new 28-70mm f/2 RF lens (left) compared to the older 24-70mm f/2.8 EF lens (right). The 28-70mm is so big that it significantly shifted the heft of my EOS R. I was forced to attach the optional BG-E22 battery grip on the camera when using the 28-70mm f/2. To be fair, the new 28-70mm is bigger but also one stop faster than the 24-70mm. And you can still mount the 24-70mm using an EF to RF adapter.
With the 28-70mm f/2 and battery grip attached, the EOS R quickly approaches DSLR size. Here it is next to the Canon 1D X Mark II. The 1D X Mark II with a 24-70mm f/2.8 weighs 2,335g. The new battery grip’s weight is unknown, but the EOS R with 28-70mm lens weighs 2,090g. The bulk of that is the 28-70mm lens, which weighs 1,430g.
Here’s another shot of the EOS R with battery grip next to a 1D X Mark II. It’s not a perfect comparison, but you see how the extra grip adds size and weight to the EOS R.
The other lenses are large, but the 35mm f/1.8 lens is the perfect size for the EOS R. You’ll notice that there’s no red ring; the 35mm is the only one of the four new RF lenses to not get the coveted ‘L‘ designation. But its size and 35mm field-of-view make it perfect for everyday carry, as does its ability to shoot macro.
Here’s an example of an EF lens on the EOS R camera. Canon is releasing four new EF to RF adapters, which let you use existing EF and EF-S lenses without a crop. There’s a barebones adapter to let you mount the lenses, and another with a control ring to mimic the new functionality on the RF lenses. There are two adapters with drop-in filters, one for circular polarizing filters and another for variable ND filters.
Call me sentimental, but this is something that’s stuck with me ever since I first visited Canon HQ nearly 10 years ago. The characters on the far right describe Canon’s ‘kyosei’ corporate philosophy. In their own words, “It conveys our dedication to seeing all people, regardless of culture, customs, language or race, harmoniously living and working together in happiness into the future.”
Here’s a last picture from the newly opened Canon museum in Canon’s headquarters. You might not know this, but Canon’s first camera was advertised in 1934 and named after the Buddhist goddess of mercy, ‘Kwanon.’ The company itself was called Seiki-Kogaku Kenkyusho, or Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, at the time. It wasn’t until 1947 that the company became Canon Camera Co Ltd.