Canon Introduces New, Unique Full-Frame Ultra-Wide 10-20mm Lens
Canon has announced the impending release of its RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM lens edition and it will offer wholly new capabilities among lenses of this type.
The RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM lens is a full-frame ultra-wide-angle model that uses optical advancements and the EOS R mount format to take things up a few notches from what Canon offered with its well-liked EF 11-24mm f/4 L edition.
Crucially, it’s also going to be the world’s first rectilinear 10mm zoom lens with AF technology.
Though the new lens model doesn’t offer quite the same upper field of view as its EF cousin, its FOV at the 10mm level is slightly wider at 130 degrees, which is 4 degrees more than what the 11mm delivered.
While those 4 degrees don’t seem like much at a glance, they do make a difference in practical image width and it’s one that any photographer comparing both lenses would quickly notice.
On the other hand, the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM lens’s aperture will mean lower light-gathering capacity than what’s offered by similar competitor lenses like the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM and others.
Canon does however also offer other wide-angle lenses with slightly different FOVs that come with an F/2.8 aperture.
Another area in which the new Canon the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM outshines its older EF cousin is its weight. This surprisingly compact lens weighs just 20.1 ounces or 570 grams.
This may still seem hefty if you’re inexperienced with these lens types, but it’s roughly half the weight that the older EF 11-24mm model packed at 41.6 ounces.
Size-wise, the the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM is also pretty modest with a body length of 4.4 inches or 112mm and a maximum diameter that’s one inch smaller than that of its EF predecessor.
Internally, Canon’s new ultra-wide angle lens is built with 16 elements in 12 groups and features one super ED element along with three regular ED elements.
Canon promises that the the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM delivers sharp image quality all across a photo frame and it comes with dual anti-reflection coatings that work together for reduced ghosting.
Obviously, as an ultra-wide angle lens, this model is designed especially for scenic and landscape photography, though it can also work robustly as an optic for taking architectural photos or for certain types of photojournalism.
Here are some sample photos courtesy of Canon:
As for the zoom in this relatively compact optic, it uses Canon’s STM focus motor drive tech for its AF. This makes it the first-ever L-series lens from the brand to feature this.
The RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM’s minimum focus distance is just 9.8 inches or 25 cm and it offers a maximum magnification of 0.2x at 20mm.
Canon has even given the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM a focus position selector, which lets it automatically return to a specific focus distance once it’s turned off.
Externally, the new lens is also quite robustly built with dust and moisture-resistant joints surrounded by a durable, tough design. On the front and rear elements, Canon has added a fluorine coating that helps keep the glass easy to clean and grime-resistant.
Yes, the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM does have an optical image stabilization system too, and this is also is a first-time thing in a full-frame lens wider than 14mm.
The image stabilization of this optic promises five stops of stabilization and is further boosted by IS technology for minimal wide-angle distortions along the full frame of an image.
Finally, if you’re interested in this new, unique addition to your Canon optics collection, you can expect to have the RF 10-20mm f/4 L IS STM lens shipped to you as of November if you preorder it now.
It’s retailing for $2,299. This might seem steep, but it’s $700 less than what the older Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 L USM lens still costs.
Image credits: Canon