Best Canon RF Lenses for Video in 2023

The Canon RF lens lineup includes a range of lenses designed for different purposes. Some are ideal for landscape photography, while others are perfect for portraits. But what about video? The best Canon RF lenses for video are those that offer superior performance and features that cater to the needs of videographers.

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the best Canon RF lenses for shooting video. We will be examining the features of each lens, the type of videos they are best suited for, and the overall performance of each lens.

Whether you’re a seasoned videographer or just getting started, whether you’re looking to capture vlogs, documentaries, interviews, or action-packed sports events, there is a Canon RF lens that will meet your specific video needs.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the best Canon RF lenses for video.

Best Canon RF Lenses for Video

1. Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens

Best Standard Prime RF Lens

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.2
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.31′ / 40 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.19x
  • Optical Design: 15 Elements in 9 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 77 mm
  • Dimensions: 3.54 x 4.25″ / 89.8 x 108 mm
  • Weight: 2.09 lb / 950 g
  • Store Links: $2,099 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Outstanding build with advanced weather sealing
  • Very bright aperture
  • Edge-to-edge clarity
  • Fabulous optical performance
  • Good contrast
  • Lovely bokeh
  • Minimal distortion
  • Fast, dependable autofocus
  • Dust and splash protection
  • Fluorine lens coat

Cons:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Big and heavy
  • No image stabilization
  • High vignetting

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens is a popular choice among photographers and videographers alike, and is considered to be the best RF lens for video. This lens offers several features that make it an ideal choice for video, including a fast f/1.2 aperture, which helps create stunning images and videos in all situations, as well as a sumptuous and smooth bokeh, making the subject stand out from the crowd.

The lens has a 77mm filter and a minimum focusing distance of only 1.3 ft, which makes it ideal for macro shooting. It has three aspherical elements and a UD element that eliminate chromatic aberration and distortion.

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens is particularly fast and great for video, and it works best on a Canon EOS R body. It has an outer control ring that allows for easy adjustments while shooting, and the 12 pin communication system enhances the speed of autofocus and image stabilization to improve image quality. The 54mm diameter mount delivers remarkable sharpness from edge to edge.

One of the standout features of the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens is its incredible resistance against vibration shock, which helps maintain settings and focus even in harsh conditions. The lens also has a sturdy body with a fluorine coating to minimize dust and dirt, and it delivers consistent and great performance in turbulent weather as it is dust and weather-resistant as well.

One of the only drawbacks of the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens is that it is a very expensive lens, just like most RF lenses. However, many users believe that this lens is worth the investment due to its brilliant image and video quality.

User reviews of the lens have been largely positive, with many praising the lens’s excellent performance in low light, beautiful bokeh, minimal chromatic aberration and distortion, and remarkable sharpness from edge to edge. The lens’s very fast autofocus, resistance against vibration reduction, and dust and weather resistance have also been highlighted.

In addition, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens has received positive reviews from experts in the field. One expert stated that “the RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens is not only a consummate low-light performer, it also enables you to isolate the subject in an incredibly cinematic way”, while another expert praised the lens’s overall performance and stated that it is “one of the best standard lenses around, a joy to shoot with”.

However, it should be noted that this lens isn’t for everyone, as it is a unique lens in more ways than one. While the bright maximum aperture allows depth of field to be reduced creatively, isolating subjects from the background, and renders the background incredibly smoothly, sharpness is good from maximum aperture in the center of the frame, but performance towards the edges isn’t in the same league. Therefore, if your intended use requires good center sharpness and the ability to reduce depth of field to the minimum, not much else comes close. However, if you’re after superb edge-to-edge clarity and low distortion for general-purpose use, or more critical applications, there are other options to consider.

Overall, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens is an excellent choice for video production, thanks to its fast aperture, beautiful bokeh, and minimal distortion. Its weather resistance and resistance to vibration shock make it suitable for use in harsh weather conditions, and its outer control ring and 12-pin communication system enhance its performance further. While it is an expensive lens, its remarkable sharpness and excellent image and video quality make it a top pick for those looking for the best RF lens for video.

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens: $2,099 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


2. Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS Lens

Best Canon RF Lens for Bokeh

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.2
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 2.79′ / 85 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.12x
  • Optical Design: 13 Elements in 9 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 82 mm
  • Dimensions: 4.06 x 4.62″ / 103.2 x 117.3 mm
  • Weight: 2.63 lb / 1195 g
  • Store Links: $2,899 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Pros:

  • Superb image quality
  • Exquisite sharpness at f/1.2 right across the frame
  • Impeccably sharp
  • Defocus Smoothing filter improves bokeh
  • Otus levels of microcontrast
  • Customizable control ring
  • Dust, splash, and fluorine protection

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • No image stabilization
  • DS filter reduces light transmission

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS lens is an outstanding and unique lens that is designed to deliver exceptional performance and reliability with a special optical coating that provides silky smooth bokeh. This lens uses the same mechanics and optical formula as the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM, but it has a special Defocus Smoothing (DS) coating on a couple of the elements that further blurs the background.

This lens is primarily aimed at professional portrait and wedding photographers looking for that extra pizzazz in their images. The bokeh-enhancing DS effect is really only beneficial at apertures larger than f/2.8, so this is a lens that almost certainly requires ND filters when shooting video. It delivers an almost perfect performance, and it is one of the most distinctive and unique lenses on the market.

One of the standout features of this lens is the Defocus Smoothing coating, which creates an incredibly seductive bokeh effect that is hard to ignore once you’ve experienced it. The DS coating takes this beyond even f/0.95 lenses in terms of noise-free blur. This is the closest that Canon has ever come to making a Lensbaby-esque special effect optic. It renders the smoothest, creamiest, dreamiest bokeh ever experienced on a lens. If background blur is more important to you than low light performance, this Defocus Smoothing optic has the smoothest bokeh you could ask for.

This lens is a niche lens that is significantly more expensive than the standard Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM lens, which itself was already significantly more expensive than most 85mm lenses out there. The main trade-off for the buttery-smooth bokeh is the loss of light, effectively 1 1/3 stops darker when shooting at f/1.2. This means that you’ll need to slow your shutter speed or bump up the ISO to compensate, neither of which are a great option.

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS is big and expensive, but that could well be a reasonable trade-off considering the quality of the results. As a tool for a high-end professional portrait photographer or wedding photographer, this lens bestows the ability to shoot beautiful images with a unique quality. While no lens is really worth three grand, a lens that does something this special might actually justify that price tag.

When it comes to video shooting, the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS lens is an excellent choice for shooting video, especially for those who specialize in portrait or beauty videography. The lens creates a unique look that is unachievable by anything else on the market, thanks to the Defocus Smoothing coating that delivers a silky-smooth bokeh.

The lens’ wide aperture of f/1.2 allows for a shallow depth of field, which is perfect for isolating the subject and creating a cinematic look. However, as mentioned earlier, the lens’ DS coating reduces light transmission, which means that you might need to use ND filters to achieve the desired exposure settings.

The lens’ autofocus system is fast and accurate, making it easy to track moving subjects while filming. The autofocus is also quiet, which is essential when recording audio.

Overall, the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS lens is a high-quality lens that delivers exceptional performance and reliability with a unique bokeh effect. It is a lens that is highly recommended for professional portrait and wedding photographers, as well as those who want to add some extra flair to their video footage.

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS Lens: $2,899 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.


3. Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Best Affordable RF Lens for Shooting Video

Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 16mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 5.1″ / 13 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.26x
  • Filter Thread: 43 mm
  • Dimensions: 1.6 x 2.7″ / 40.1 x 69.2 mm
  • Weight: 5.8 oz / 165 g
  • Store Links: $299 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Slim, light form factor
  • Ultra-wide angle of view
  • Sharp, colorful imaging
  • Quick and accurate autofocus
  • Hybrid manual focus/control ring
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Extremely high native distortion that requires digital correction
  • Edge and corner sharpness suffer after distortion correction
  • Moderate to high vignetting
  • No lens hood included
  • No weather-seals or IS

The Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lens is a compact, lightweight and affordable option ideal for vlogging, interiors, landscapes, architecture, and astro photography. With its ultra-wide angle of view and bright f/2.8 aperture, this lens is excellent for interior and landscape photography or as a webcam lens with an EOS camera and EOS Webcam Utility on a video call. The close 5.1″ minimum focusing distance and STM AF motor make it suitable for close-up shooting, and it is lightweight, making it an enticing option for vlogging and content creation.

While the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens is not going to compete with L series lenses optically, it has a certain pop to its images that stands out when compared to images taken on other lenses. The RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens is not only worth buying because it is cheap but also because it is competent. It is a great focal length counterpart if your primary lens is a telephoto, offering the option to get a wider angle of view without adding too much size or weight.

The Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens is also an innovative lens for the RF mount. By reducing the optical complexity, the lens is small, lightweight, and affordable. In the DXOMARK Lens test, the lens performed well in certain key areas, such as similar sharpness and transmission to the larger and pricier Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm F2.8, while being much smaller and lighter.

The Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens is a convincing case for leaving a standard zoom lens out of the shooting equation and sticking to prime numbers. It is an excellent addition to any lens collection, delivering an ultra-wide viewing angle with convincing image quality and all-round performance. Despite its pocket-sized build, it delivers impressive image quality and boasts a speedy, unerringly accurate autofocus system. It is incredible value for money at just $299.99 / £319 / AU$549, making it an excellent option for those who want to explore a new field of view without spending too much money.

The Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens suffers from visible focus breathing and relies on digital corrections. If you shoot video or JPEGs, these corrections are applied automatically in-camera, so you may not even notice. RAW shooters can apply lens profiles during processing to perform the same task. The absence of optical stabilization may seem like a downfall for a lens partly aimed at vloggers, but in tests, the footage could be effectively stabilized by cameras with IBIS or even just digital compensation.

Overall, the Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens is an amazingly versatile lens that is tiny yet epic for shooting anything from architectural interiors to sweeping landscapes, and from close-ups to the starry sky at night. It ticks all the right boxes and is incredible value for money at the price.

Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM Lens: $299 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


4. Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens

Best Canon RF Lens for Macro

Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 100mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/32
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 10.2″ / 26 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 1.4x
  • Optical Design: 17 Elements in 13 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 67 mm
  • Dimensions: 3.2 x 5.8″ / 81.5 x 148 mm
  • Weight: 1.6 lb / 730 g
  • Store Links: $1,299 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • High grade build
  • Professional grade weather sealing
  • 1.4x magnification
  • Dual Nano USM delivers fast, silent focus
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Beautiful color and great contrast
  • 5.5 stops IS, up to 8 stops with IBIS
  • Chromatic aberrations well controlled
  • Minimal flare
  • Very nice bokeh and general rendering
  • Makes for an excellent portrait lens

Cons:

  • High price
  • Tripod collar is not included

The Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens is a highly versatile lens that excels in macro photography and portraiture, and is an excellent upgrade to the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS. This is the world’s first medium telephoto macro lens with a maximum magnification ratio of 1.4x, delivering detailed and highly precise images even at the minimum focusing distance of 0.86 ft. / 0.26m.

One of the most significant advantages of this lens is the Dual Nano USM actuators, which deliver fast, highly precise, and silent autofocus ideal for shooting video. The autofocus is also super sensitive on the focus tracking, making it an excellent choice for shooting fast-moving subjects, such as insects and lizards. The lens design suppresses focus breathing for smoother transitions when changing the point of focus, whether shooting macro subjects, portraits, or weddings and events.

The RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM is also equipped with Canon’s Hybrid IS system that compensates for angular and shift camera shake during macro shooting. This feature ensures that close-up shooting and video remain sharp and stable. The optical image stabilizer provides up to 5 stops of shake correction, making it possible to capture detailed images handheld without the need for a tripod.

The lens features a fixed 100mm focal length and a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture that creates blurred backgrounds and enables low light shooting. It has a high image quality, edge-to-edge, even wide open at its maximum aperture, with 17 elements in 13 groups and a 9-blade aperture system that delivers detailed images with gorgeous background blur and versatility in low light. The lens’s spherical aberration (SA) control ring allows adjustments to the shape and character of foreground and background bokeh, creating dreamlike or romantic images with a soft focus look. This feature makes the lens an exceptional choice for a wide range of creative needs, from macro photography to portraiture.

One of the few drawbacks of the RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens is its focus shift issue, which impacts image sharpness in some situations. Another downside is the SA Control feature, which may be considered a gimmick for most users. The lens is also relatively large in size compared to the EF version. Despite these drawbacks, the lens is the best macro option available on RF right now, and the images it produces are genuinely gorgeous, with rich color, excellent contrast, and fabulous detail regardless of the distance to the subject.

The price of the RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens is $1399 USD, which is expected for L series RF lenses. While the price hike may be unwelcome, you get what you pay for, as this lens is a highly versatile and excellent performer that can enhance your creative and artistic vision.

Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens: $1,299 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


5. Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM Lens

Best Canon RF Lens for Portraits and Interviews

Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 135mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 2.3′ / 70 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.26x
  • Optical Design: 17 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 82 mm
  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 5.1″ / 89.2 x 130.3 mm
  • Weight: 2.1 lb / 935 g
  • Store Links: $2,099 at Amazon, B&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Fast Aperture
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Weather Sealed
  • AF/MF Switch on Lens
  • Aperture Ring
  • Focus Hold Button
  • Control Ring
  • Hood supplied
  • Full-time Manual Focusing
  • 9 Diaphragm Blades

Cons:

  • Pricey

The Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM lens is a fast, high-quality telephoto lens that is ideal for portraits and interviews. This L-series prime produces cinematic images with sublime sharpness and beautiful blur, allowing you to separate your subject from the background with ease. It is a perfect choice for portrait, wedding, and corporate photography, as well as for fast-action sports and wildlife photography.

The lens features a medium-telephoto focal length and a bright maximum aperture of f/1.8, which creates an engaging mixture of high sharpness and shallow depth of field. This makes it an ideal choice for portrait subjects. The lens features an advanced L-series optical design with 17 optical elements arranged in 12 groups, including three UD glass elements and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce chromatic aberration and ghosting. This results in excellent image quality with crisp, clear details and vibrant colors.

The lens features a 5.5-stop Optical Image Stabilization system that provides up to 8 stops of shake correction when paired with EOS R series cameras featuring In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS). This feature is a big advantage when filming run-and-gun style or simply shooting handheld, as it reduces camera shake and allows you to capture sharp, steady footage.

The Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM also features a Nano USM autofocus motor that enables smooth and virtually silent operation, making it ideal for shooting video. The motor is not loud enough to be an issue in practical everyday photography, but video shooters should keep it in mind when selecting audio sources. The lens supports electronic focus breathing correction and Eye AF when used with a camera that offers these functions.

The lens has two programmable lens function buttons (one on the top and one on the side), which were previously only available on Canon super-telephoto lenses. These buttons allow you to access a multitude of camera features instantly, such as temporarily locking Servo AF.

The Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM lens is a large, heavy piece of glass, but it is well-built and weather-sealed, making it durable and reliable in challenging shooting conditions. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 27.6 inches, allowing you to get close to your subjects for stunning close-up shots.

In conclusion, the Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM lens is an outstanding professional-level lens that is perfect for shooting portraits and interviews, as well as for fast-action sports and wildlife photography. Its excellent image quality, advanced features, and reliable performance make it a must-have lens for any serious photographer or videographer.

Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM Lens: $2,099 at Amazon, B&HAdorama.


6. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens

Best Ultra-Wide-Angle Canon RF Lens for Video

Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 15-35mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11.02″ / 28 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.21x
  • Optical Design: 16 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 82 mm
  • Dimensions: 3.48 x 4.99″ / 88.5 x 126.8 mm
  • Weight: 1.85 lb / 840 g
  • Store Links: $2,399 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Strong, robust build quality
  • Wide zoom with fixed f/2.8 aperture
  • Quiet and quick autofocus
  • Effective image stabilization
  • Consistent performance across frame and zoom range
  • Quality weather resistance
  • Ability to use traditional filters

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Very heavy vignette
  • Some vulnerability to flare
  • Close up image quality a little soft

The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens is a must-have lens for any professional or serious video shooter. The lens is part of Canon’s trinity of professional RF zooms, and it offers exceptional image quality and a robust, weather-sealed construction that enables you to capture creative new angles. The lens is perfect for Real-Estate Videos, Vloggers, Documentaries, Landscape Stock Footage, or anything that involves tight spaces.

The Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens’s optical design includes three aspherical and two UD elements, along with SubWavelength structure Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) for exceptional contrast and edge-to-edge sharpness. The lens also has a Nano USM autofocus and a highly effective optical Image Stabilizer, which further enables you to make the most of the lens’s clarity.

The lens is a significant improvement over the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM, thanks to the extra millimetre at the wide end, which gives a notable gain in the angle of view. Moreover, the RF 15-35mm is not just for filmmakers using full-frame EOS R System cameras, but also for Super 35mm Canon EOS C70 users, as it provides the equivalent angle of view of a standard zoom. The camera’s electronic stabilization works co-operatively with the lens’s Image Stabilizer, providing an enhanced level of stability.

One of the standout features of the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens is its exceptional image quality. The lens delivers outstanding color rendition, high details, and edge-to-edge sharpness, as well as exceptional contrast, making it the best ultra-wide-angle lens for video. The lens is perfect for shooting amazing videos, especially in tight spaces, and it produces sharp images even down to f/2.8. Such a fast or wide aperture also results in clear and crisp photos and videos in low light. It also creates a very elegant bokeh at wide-angle.

The Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens is also equipped with exceptional 5-stop image stabilization, which can be increased to up to 8-stops in-body image stabilization. This is a feature that is unmatched by any other lens, and it further enhances the lens’s clarity. The Nano USM autofocus is also silent, making it perfect for video recording.

However, the only drawback of the Canon RF 15-25mm f/2.8 is its very high price, which is just above $2000. Nevertheless, the L series lens is well built and completely weather-sealed, making it a versatile option for professionals, ranging from documentaries, vlogging, real estate videos, and anything else you can think of. Additionally, it creates spectacular landscape images.

In conclusion, the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens is an excellent ultra-wide-angle lens for video that offers exceptional image quality, outstanding color rendition, high details, and edge-to-edge sharpness, as well as exceptional contrast. The lens is perfect for shooting amazing videos, especially in tight spaces, and it produces sharp images even down to f/2.8. Although the lens is expensive, its features and capabilities make it worth the investment for any professional or serious video shooter.

Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: $2,399 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


7. Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM Lens

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 28-70mm
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.28′ / 39 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.18x
  • Optical Design: 19 Elements in 13 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 95 mm
  • Dimensions: 4.09 x 5.5″ / 103.8 x 139.8 mm
  • Length at Maximum Extension: 6.34″ / 161 mm
  • Weight: 3.15 lb / 1430 g
  • Store Links: $3,099 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Superb image quality
  • Fast f/2 aperture
  • Robust build with weather-sealing
  • Fluorine coating
  • Peerless

Cons:

  • Big, heavy and expensive
  • No image stabilization
  • No ‘de-click’ switch for the control ring

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM is a professional-grade zoom lens designed for Canon’s EOS R full-frame mirrorless system. It offers a focal length range from wide-angle to portrait-length and an impressive constant maximum aperture of f/2, which makes it an excellent lens for various photography niches like portraiture, landscape, wedding photography, and photojournalism. In this review, we will focus on the lens’s performance when shooting video.

First and foremost, the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM is capable of performing well in low-light conditions, which is particularly useful when shooting video. The extra stop of light gathering power allows users to deploy lower ISOs, resulting in less noise in the footage, while still keeping a high shutter speed. This feature is especially helpful for shooting in low-light conditions, such as indoors or during nighttime.

Furthermore, the lens’s fast and constant aperture of f/2 allows for exceptional bokeh quality, which can add more dramatic results to videos. The nine rounded aperture blades create a beautiful, smooth bokeh effect, which is particularly useful when you want to isolate your subject and create depth in the shot. The lens can deliver a pleasing background blur, even at the wide end of the focal range.

The Ultrasonic Motor (USM) ring in the lens provides fast and quiet autofocus performance, which is particularly useful when shooting video. The autofocus is smooth and accurate, making it easy to keep your subject in focus, even when they are moving. The seamless manual focus control also allows for fine-tuning when shooting video, making it possible to achieve the desired level of focus in the footage.

Thanks to its large image circle, the Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens is capable of providing up to 8-stops of stabilization (in stills terms) when paired with the IBIS of the EOS R5, EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R6. Despite its lack of image stabilization, this lens can surpass the performance of many lenses in other systems that have built-in stabilization. With this lens, you can achieve the same level of stabilization as a gimbal without the need for one.

One of the main drawbacks of this lens is its size and weight. Weighing in at 1.4 kg with a 95mm filter size, it can be difficult to carry around for extended periods, especially for videographers who are often rigging out their cameras on tripods, shoulder rigs, dolly’s & jibs. However, for video shooters who do not need to carry the lens in hand, this should not be a major concern.

In conclusion, the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM is an exceptional lens for shooting video. Its fast and constant aperture of f/2, exceptional bokeh quality, and reliable autofocus performance make it an excellent choice for various types of video work, from narrative filmmaking to vlogging. Its excellent build quality and weather-sealing make it suitable for outdoor shooting, while its fast aperture and low-light performance make it an excellent choice for indoor and nighttime shooting. While the lens’s hefty weight may make it difficult to use for extended periods, the benefits of its outstanding optical performance make it a worthwhile investment for serious videographers.

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM Lens: $3,099 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


8. Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens

Best RF Video Lens for Any Situation

Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 24-70mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 8.27″ / 21 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.3x
  • Optical Design: 21 Elements in 15 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 82 mm
  • Dimensions: 3.48 x 4.95″ / 88.5 x 125.7 mm
  • Length at Maximum Extension: 6.06″ / 154 mm
  • Weight: 1.98 lb / 900 g
  • Store Links: $2,399 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Strong, robust build quality
  • Quiet and quick autofocus
  • Strong optical performance
  • Superb stabilization
  • No focus breathing
  • Good bokeh
  • Good flare resistance
  • Quality weather resistance

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Large and heavy
  • Heavy vignette at 24mm

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM is a professional-grade standard zoom lens that is designed for versatility in both photography and videography. It is a lens that many professionals use for a variety of purposes, from wedding photography to photojournalism to landscape photography. The lens has a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, which makes it particularly appealing for professionals who need to take candid shots in difficult lighting conditions.

One of the standout features of this lens is its optical image stabilization, which allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds without worrying about camera shake. This feature is particularly important for video work, where stabilizing footage is crucial to achieving a professional look. Additionally, the lens features NANO USM technology, which ensures accurate and silent autofocus operation. The lens is also engineered with reduced focus breathing, which enables seamless focus transitions, making it ideal for videographers who require smooth and accurate focus shifts.

The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is also designed for exceptional image quality, thanks to its 21 elements in 15 groups and 9-blade aperture system. It delivers sharp and stunning images with a beautiful background blur and remarkable consistency across the frame. The lens is also well-balanced and comfortable to use, thanks to the large-diameter RF mount and short back focus design. It performs well in various lighting conditions, including low-light areas, allowing you to capture detailed images at various focal lengths.

However, the lens is not without its drawbacks. It is an expensive lens, which may be a barrier to entry for some photographers and videographers. It is also a bit heavy and large, though this is not uncommon for a lens in this class.

Overall, the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is an excellent all-around standard zoom lens that is ideal for event photographers, photojournalists, or anyone who requires versatility and unparalleled quality. It delivers excellent image quality, accurate and silent autofocus operation, and fantastic handling, making it a pro-grade lens worth owning and using for many years. While there are some minor drawbacks, the lens is still one of the best options available for professional photographers and videographers who need a lens that can cover a wide range of situations.

Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: $2,399 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


9. Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens

Best Telephoto Zoom RF Lens

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 70-200mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/32
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 2.3′ / 70 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.23x
  • Optical Design: 17 Elements in 13 Groups
  • Filter Thread: 77 mm
  • Dimensions: 3.54 x 5.75″ / 89.9 x 146 mm
  • Length at Maximum Extension: 8.03″ / 204 mm
  • Weight: 2.35 lb / 1070 g
  • Store Links: $2,799 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Extremely fast, quiet, and accurate autofocus
  • Highly effective image stabilization
  • Improved maximum magnification
  • Gorgeous bokeh and color
  • Good global contrast and rendering
  • Good center sharpness and excellent mid-frame performance
  • Good control of aberrations and flare

Cons:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Not compatible with teleconverters
  • Tripod foot not Arca-Swiss compatible
  • Not particularly sharp in corners until smaller apertures

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM is a powerful telephoto zoom lens that is perfect for professional photographers who need to capture action from a distance. This lens is an essential component of the professional trio of zooms, and is ideal for capturing news, sports, and travel images. As an owner and user of this lens, I can attest to its high-quality performance and its suitability for capturing stunning videos.

One of the best things about this lens is its compact size and lightweight design. Compared to previous Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses, the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM is considerably smaller and lighter, making it easier to carry around and use for extended periods of time. Despite its small size, the lens packs a punch when it comes to performance. It features a five-stop Image Stabilizer, which ensures that your videos are sharp and steady, even when shooting handheld.

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens also has a close focusing distance of just 0.7m, which allows you to take stunning close-up shots of your subjects. This is especially useful for capturing wildlife, sports events, interviews, portraits, weddings, and conferences from a distance.

The lens has a bright f/2.8 aperture, which allows you to capture sharp images with beautiful background blurs or bokeh, perfectly highlighting your subjects. The 5-stop optical image stabilization keeps your videos steady and sharp, even when shooting in challenging conditions.

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens also features smooth, quiet, and fast Nano ultrasonic autofocus, making it perfect for shooting videos. The autofocus system keeps chromatic aberration to a minimum and corrects distortions using two aspherical lenses and one UED and one Super UED element. The SubWavelength coating reduces ghosting and flares, resulting in clear, highly detailed images.

One of the standout features of the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is its dual Nano USMs. These are integral to the lens’s outstanding suppression of focus breathing. The optical design features a floating lens group that can be controlled independently. The floating group can do other things, which is why the lens has two Nano USMs. You can control two different lens groups working independently, which helps to increase the focusing distance internally. The result is that the lens focuses much closer than the EF version, right down to 70cm.

Another benefit of being able to move the floating focus group is that you can compensate for focus breathing. The EF version of the RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM was a popular lens for video because of its versatile zoom range, rugged build, and f/2.8 aperture, which is ideal for some level of control over the background. However, the RF version offers an additional 1/8 stop aperture adjustment, even faster focusing, and the floating system inside, which compensates for focus breathing.

In conclusion, the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM is the best telephoto Canon RF lens for shooting videos. It offers outstanding flexibility and quality, making it an essential lens in the professional trio of zooms. Its compact size, lightweight design, and five-stop Image Stabilizer make it ideal for shooting handheld videos, while its close focusing distance and bright f/2.8 aperture allow you to capture stunning close-ups with beautiful bokeh. Its dual Nano USMs and floating focus group make it a highly versatile lens that can compensate for focus breathing and increase the focusing distance internally.

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: $2,799 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


10. Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM Lens

Best All-in-one RF Lens

Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM Lens Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon RF
  • Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
  • Focal Length: 24–240mm
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Maximum Aperture: F4-6.3
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.64′ / 50 cm
  • Filter Thread: 72 mm
  • Dimensions: 3.2 x 4.8″ / 81.28 x 121.92 mm
  • Length at Maximum Extension: 3.66″ / 93 mm
  • Weight: 1.65 lb / 751.26 g
  • Store Links: $899 at AmazonB&HAdorama.

Pros:

  • Excellent multipurpose lens
  • 10x zoom power
  • Sturdy build
  • 1:3.8 magnification
  • Optical stabilization
  • Nano USM focus is quiet and fast
  • Flare resistance is pretty good
  • Low amounts of longitudinal CA
  • Reasonable price and size

Cons:

  • Omits weather protection
  • Shows some chromatic aberration
  • Not as sharp as shorter zooms
  • No lens hood included

The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM lens is a versatile and portable 10x zoom lens that can handle a variety of situations. It offers a range of focal lengths from wide-angle to telephoto, making it perfect for landscapes, portraits, and close-up shots of sports and wildlife. This lens is an ideal choice for those looking for a multipurpose lens that is portable and offers a large focal range in a single lens.

The lens may not have the brightest maximum aperture compared to other zoom lenses in this category, but its versatility makes up for it. It is an excellent choice for broadcast and entertainment use, where there is a need to cover a lot of shots quickly. The lens’s control ring, which doubles as the focus ring, is another advantage for video, allowing for silent changes to settings if needed.

The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM lens is not designed for astrophotography, and its maximum aperture of f/4 may not work well for portraiture with shallow depth of field and bokeh. Wildlife photographers capturing small subjects such as birds will also need more reach than this lens can offer.

The lens offers a 10x optical zoom range from 24mm to 240mm and comes equipped with an Optical Image Stabilizer that compensates for up to five stops of camera shake when shooting handheld. It also features a Nano USM autofocus motor that delivers quick, quiet, and precise focusing performance, making it suitable for both stills and video recording. Dynamic IS is an additional feature that benefits video recording and compensates for footage shot while walking or moving.

In tests, the Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM lens performed well, delivering good results across the frame, throughout the range, and even at the maximum apertures. While it may not be bitingly sharp or contrasty, there were no obvious aberrations at least on out-of-camera JPEGs. Canon performs substantial lens corrections behind the scenes, but most users will have them applied automatically and will not notice in day-to-day use.

In summary, the Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM lens is a great all-in-one travel lens that can be used for any number of shooting scenarios. It is highly adaptable and is perfect for those who want a lens that can handle a variety of situations without the need to change lenses frequently. While it may not have the glamour and quality of larger, heavier, and more expensive pro lenses, it delivers solid performance with unparalleled convenience at a decent price.

Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM Lens: $899 at AmazonB&HAdorama.


Conclusion

The Canon RF lens lineup offers videographers a wide range of options to cater to their specific needs. From affordable ultra-wide-angle lenses to premium telephoto zooms, there is a Canon RF lens that will suit every videographer’s needs.

From the affordable Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lens for shooting vlogs and social media content, to the versatile Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM lens that covers all focal lengths in one package, the best Canon RF lenses for video provide superior performance and features that elevate your video quality.

The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is perfect for shooting ultra-wide-angle shots, while the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM lens is the best option for travel. The Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is the best RF video lens for any situation, providing excellent versatility and performance.

For telephoto zoom, the Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is the best choice, offering superior image quality and a fast autofocus system. The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens is the best standard prime RF lens, providing a wide aperture for low-light situations and a shallow depth of field for creative bokeh effects.

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS lens is the best Canon RF lens for bokeh, with a Defocus Smoothing feature that produces stunning bokeh effects. For macro photography, the Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens is the best option, providing superior image quality and a Hybrid IS system that compensates for camera shake.

Lastly, the Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM lens is the best Canon RF lens for portraits and interviews, offering excellent bokeh and sharpness for capturing stunning portraits.

Overall, the Canon RF lens lineup provides a range of options for videographers, each with its own unique set of features and capabilities. When choosing the best Canon RF lens for video, it’s essential to consider your shooting needs and budget. With the right lens, you can take your video quality to the next level and create stunning, professional-looking videos.