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Products >> All Products

Canon’s First Two RF-S Lenses Make Their Debut

2022-05-24
17
2.76 k

On 24 May 2022, Canon announced two new RF lenses: the RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM. The first in its RF-S series, the lenses are optimised for cameras with an APS-C sensor, and feature the benefits of the RF mount, such as excellent optical properties and high-speed communications interface, in a small, lightweight, and easy-to-handle body.

In this article:

Small, light RF lenses optimised for APS-C

Small and light with excellent image quality: RF optimised for APS-C cameras

Just like how the DSLR EOS series has EF-S lenses designed specifically for the APS-C cameras in the lineup, the RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM were produced to accompany the launch of the EOS R7 and EOS R10, the first APS-C cameras in the EOS R series.

Bearing the new RF mount, the lenses are able to bring out the best in the EOS R camera system, enabling fast, efficient data communications between the lens and camera body that aid features like autofocusing (AF), real-time exposure control, image stabilisation, and digital lens aberration correction. (Read about them in 6 Significant Features of RF Lenses.)

At the same time, like APS-C camera bodies, they also benefit from the size and weight advantages made possible by the smaller APS-C sensor. Therefore, they provide the perfect balance with the EOS R7 and EOS R10, allowing users to enjoy the APS-C system’s lightweight portability along with the benefits of the RF mount system.

 

Smaller diameter, longer reach

The larger sensor area on a full-frame image sensor means that the image projected by the lens onto it, i.e. the image circle, must be large enough to cover it. At around half the size, an APS-C sensor requires a much smaller image circle, making it feasible to produce lenses with a smaller diameter even with the same focal length. The edges of the image outside the image circle are cropped away, resulting in a telephoto effect.

Learn more about the difference between full-frame and APS-C cameras in:
Full-Frame vs APS-C Camera: Which Should I Choose?


The 1.6x telephoto effect

Shooting on an APS-C camera results in a telephoto effect, where images look more zoomed in or “cropped” compared to on a full-frame camera even at the same focal length indicated on the lens. With RF-S lenses, this effect is equivalent to a 1.6x zoom, which means that images shot at the 150mm end of the RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM will have the same angle of view as images shot at 240mm on a full-frame camera.

Both the RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM bear a compact, simple design. Like many recent RF lenses, both RF-S lenses feature a knurled combined focus/control ring in front. Users who shoot mostly with AF can use the lens as a control ring by assigning it exposure control functions.

As the AF mechanism on both lenses use the lead-screw type stepping motor (STM), which is capable of smooth focus movement, the lenses are also good for video shooting.

RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM: A tiny standard zoom for your everyday needs

RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM: The standard zoom that fits easily into a pocket

The RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is a standard zoom lens that covers a focal length range of 18 to 45mm, providing an angle of view equivalent to 29 to 72mm on a full-frame camera when the APS-C telephoto effect is taken into account. This is a multi-purpose lens that will cover most everyday shooting scenes, as you get:
-  The wide-angle range that is useful for scenery and snapshots
-  The standard focal range (around 40-60mm), which provides an angle of view familiar to human eyes
-  The medium telephoto range (around 70-72mm), frequently used for portraiture.

Learn about different lenses, angles of view, and how to compose shots to maximise their benefits in:
Professional Composition Techniques (3): Making Good Use of Lenses


EOS R10/ RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 18mm / Manual exposure (f/4.5, 1/2000 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto

 

When retracted for storage, the lens is extremely compact at approximately 44.3mm long—slim enough to fit into a jacket or cargo pants pocket. Weighing no more than around 130g, it is also very light, and you will barely feel it when moving it around.

Optics
The lens makes use of a hybrid of optical and digital lens aberration correction, with two aspherical lenses for lens-side optical correction combined with digital distortion correction on the camera side. Together, these correct lens aberrations to achieve clear, high-quality images. (Distortion correction on the camera side will be fixed as ‘On’.)

Image stabilisation
The Optical Image Stabilizer (Optical IS) on the lens corrects camera shake by up to 4 shutter speed stops’ equivalent. When attached to a camera equipped with In-Body IS, up to 6.5 stops’ image stabilisation can be achieved via Coordinated Control IS.

Do you know: More shutter speed allowance for sharp images at longer focal lengths
You may have heard of the shutter speed rule of thumb for avoiding camera shake, which says that if your focal length is X, your shutter speed should not be slower than 1/X seconds. In other words, on a full-frame camera, when shooting at 80mm, you must shoot no slower than 1/80 second. However, on an APS-C camera, shooting at 50mm gives you an 80mm equivalent angle of view, so you can theoretically use a shutter speed as slow as 1/50 sec. That’s a benefit of shooting with an APS-C system.

RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM: A versatile little superzoom for reaching even further

RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM: The tiny, versatile superzoom

The RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is a superzoom lens that covers a focal length range of 18 to 150mm, providing an angle of view equivalent to 29 to 240mm on a full-frame camera when the APS-C telephoto effect is taken into account.

Besides the wide-angle, standard, and medium telephoto ranges also covered by the RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM, it also covers the telephoto range, which can be used for photographing sports and wildlife. The longer focal lengths also contribute to a beautiful telephoto bokeh effect, which can be used to blur the background and make the subject stand out during portrait photography. This is a versatile lens full of creative possibilities for users to explore.

Here’s something else that would be easier to achieve with a longer focal length!
4 Easy Steps to Capture Those Elusive Bokeh Circles!


EOS R7/ RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 135mm / Manual exposure (f/6.3, 1/125 sec)/ ISO 2000/ WB: Auto

 

On this lens, you extend the lens barrel to shoot at longer focal lengths. The lens is at its shortest at approximately 84.5mm when shooting at the wide-angle end. Weighing around 310g, it is relatively small and light for a superzoom lens.

Optics
The lens incorporates 2 aspherical lenses and 1 Ultra-low dispersion (UD) lens, which effectively correct various aberrations to produce clear, high-quality images.

Image stabilisation
The Optical Image Stabilizer (Optical IS) on the lens corrects camera shake by up to 4.5 shutter speed stops’ equivalent. When attached to a camera equipped with In-Body IS, up to 7.0 stops’ image stabilisation can be achieved via Coordinated Control IS.

Cool effect: Centre Focus Macro
The RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is good for close-up shots. When using AF, it has a closest focusing distance of just 17cm (at focal lengths 18mm to 35mm), when shooting at 50mm, it has a maximum magnification of up to 0.44 times—very close to that of macro lenses which have a maximum magnification of at least 0.5 times.

Shooting in manual focus mode gets you even closer, shrinking the closest focusing distance to 12cm (at focal lengths 18mm to 35mm) and increasing the maximum magnification to 0.59x (at 35mm). This achieves the unique Centre Focus Macro effect, with a dynamic bokeh effect on the edges of the image.

EOS R10/ RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 18mm / Aperture-priority AE (f/3.5, 1/320 sec, EV +1.7)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

Compatibility with full-frame EOS R series cameras

Use them on full-frame EOS R series cameras, too!

While the RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM are lenses designed for APS-C cameras, you can also mount them directly onto full-frame EOS R series cameras. These cameras will automatically switch the cameras to 1.6x crop mode, with the APS-C field of view filling the EVF (or rear LCD) display. You won’t see any vignetting from the different image circle sizes—it’s no different from your viewing experience when shooting with lenses for full-frame cameras.

So if you own a full-frame EOS R series camera but are drawn to the compactness and portability of the RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM and RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM, you can use them too—as long as you don’t intend to crop your images heavily in post-processing! The RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is around the same size as the RF50mm f/1.8 STM, and with its 29 to 72mm equivalent focal range, you might just find it a viable alternative walkaround option to the latter.

Specifications: RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

Key specifications
Lens construction: 7 elements in 7 groups
Closest focusing distance: 0.2m (AF)/0.15m (MF)
Maximum magnification: 0.16x (AF)/0.26x (MF)
No. of aperture blades: 7 (circular blade)
Filter diameter: 49mm
Size: φ69×44.3mm
Weight: approx. 130g 

 

A: Aspherical lens

Lens Hood EW-53 (sold separately)

Specifications: RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

Key specifications
Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
Closest focusing distance: 0.17m (AF)/0.12m (MF)
Maximum magnification: 0.44x (AF)/0.59x (MF)
No. of aperture blades: 7 (circular blade)
Filter diameter: 55mm
Size: φ69×84.5mm
Weight: approx. 310g

 

A: Aspherical lens
B: UD lens

Lens Hood EW-60F (sold separately)

Sample images: RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

Sample images: RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM


EOS R7/ RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 18mm / Aperture-priority AE (f/11, 0.6 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto


EOS R7/ RF-S18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 18mm / Manual exposure (f/4.5, 1/125 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

Sample images: RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

Sample images: RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM


EOS R10/ RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 129mm / Manual exposure (f/6.3, 1/100 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto


EOS R7/ RF-S18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 18mm / Aperture-priority AE (f/22, 2 sec, EV +0.3)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

 


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