When the Canon EOS R System was being developed, the design of the RF lenses came first. Canon's engineers set out to create the ideal lens, and the new RF mount combined with the EOS R System's full-frame mirrorless architecture allowed them to realise their goal.
The RF mount enables a new freedom in lens design, where large apertures, high resolving power and cutting-edge components are combined to create unique optics for shooting video and stills. It's not just the exceptional image quality of RF lenses that leaves a lasting impression – they are beautiful to use, too. The 12-pin RF mount expands the quantity and speed of communication between the lens and the camera, bringing an enhanced level of autofocus, image stabilisation and customisable control that make RF lenses the perfect choice for video capture.
Four RF lenses were available at the launch of the Canon EOS R System in 2018 and the range of RF zooms and primes has grown exponentially since then. Revolutionary lenses such as the Canon RF 600mm F11 IS STM and RF 800mm F11 IS STM super-telephotos, and the RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE virtual reality lens have opened up new opportunities for creative filmmaking.
With its game-changing 8K video and 45MP photo resolution, the Canon EOS R5 set a new benchmark for full-frame hybrid camera performance. But it wouldn't have been possible to realise some of the EOS R5's uncompromising capabilities if it wasn't for the RF mount. The EOS R5 C and Canon EOS C70 have refined that successful formula, bringing RF capabilities to the Cinema EOS line of video cameras.
The RF lens range has also expanded to cover professional video production. The Canon RF Cine Prime lenses mirror the EF-mount Cine Prime series, but they're bolstered by the benefits of native support for the RF mount. The seven RF Cine Primes, which together span 14mm to 135mm, share the same exceptional image quality, bright T-stop values, geared rings and focus throw as their EF stablemates, and also offer the advanced communication between lens and camera that is only possible with the RF mount.
Here, we look at some of the benefits that RF lenses can bring for videographers.