The Canon RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM lens is a telephoto zoom lens optimized for APS-C sensor size cameras. It provides a 35mm coverage equivalent of 88–336mm lens and allows for telephoto photography and videography with 4.5 stops of optical image stabilization and close-focusing capabilities.
The Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM’s second lens is a compact standard zoom lens for full-frame EOS R-series cameras. This lens offers coverage ranging from wide-angle to standard and will be available in a bundle with the Canon R8 for around $1,700. When used on an APS-C sensor Canon camera, the lens provides a 35mm full-frame coverage equivalent of 38–80mm.
Both the Canon EOS R8 and the Canon EOS R50, also announced today, lack image stabilization and require optically image-stabilized lenses to reduce shake and motion blur. That’s where both these lenses step in.
Canon RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM
The 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM is constructed of 11 elements arranged into eight groups, which includes two UD lenses, and features a seven-bladed aperture diaphragm.
The focus is driven by a screw-type STM motor and it has a minimum focusing distance of 0.7 meters (2.4 feet) at 210mm and one meter (3.3 feet) at 55mm. The onboard optical stabilization provides 4.5 stops of shake reduction and the front filter size is 55mm.
Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
The 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is constructed of eight elements arranged in eight groups, which includes two aspherical elements. Like the 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM, it features a seven-bladed aperture diaphragm.
The focus system is driven by a screw-type STM and if features a minimum focusing distance of 0.3 meters (11.8 inches) at 24mm and 0.35 meters (13.8 inches) at 50mm. The optical image stabilization provides up to 4.5 stops of shake reduction and the front filter size if 58mm.
Better than Expected Performance
In PetaPixel’s review of the R50 and R8, both lenses were used and the RF-S 55-210mm produces a reasonably good image and gives the R50 and Canon’s other APS-C cameras some added reach without needing a full-frame telephoto lens.
The RF 55-210mm provides telephoto reach without needing a massive lens. The aperture of f/4.5-6.3 limits the usefulness of this lens for things like birdwatching, but it offers more than adequate coverage for school sports, portraits, and close-up photography.
The RF24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is a well-rounded travel and light portrait lens. It produced much better images than is usually expected of what is basically a high-end kit lens. There was minimal flaring with backlighting, excellent resolution, and color fidelity in portrait tests.
On the R8, the lens and camera combo could detect and focus on the hawk perched in the trees and nail eye detect autofocus when the bird was on the grass.
Harsh backlighting causes flaring on the RF24-50mm lens, but that is both reasonable for a lens at this price and sometimes useful for creative effects.
Pricing and Availability
The RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens will be available for an estimated retail price of $300, while the RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM lens will have an estimated retail price of $350. Both are expected to be available in “early spring.”