Designed especially for Canon EOS R cameras, all the RF lenses deliver amazing images and videos. They further enhance the functionality and performance of the already terrific cameras. Unfortunately, we cannot cover all the RF lenses in a single article. That’s why we are going to review the best RF lens for video besides some other great options to choose from.
Gone are the days when RF lenses were particularly expensive. Canon has released some pretty affordable models in recent years, making them accessible for all and sundry. As a result, the Canon EOS R ecosystem has garnered immense popularity among videographers of all experience levels and budgets.
You will find a Canon RF lens for yourself irrespective of the type of videos you shoot. For example, you can get a telephoto and super-telephoto lens to capture fast action or achieve tremendous video quality with Canon EOS R6 or EOS R5 respectively. Similarly, there are also suitable lenses for macro, landscape, and portrait photography. RF series also has a superb lens for astrophotography that you can use with Canon EOS Ra. Needless to say, it offers terrific lenses for videography in all situations.
Best RF Lenses for Video
The following are the absolute best RF lenses you can purchase to record stunning videos. We have chosen these lenses after extensive research and measuring them against parameters like image stabilization, continuous autofocus, focal range, aperture range, and control ring, etc.
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Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L
Canon RF 70-200
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4
Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L
Canon RF600mm F/11
Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 USM
Canon RF 24-70mm f/4-6.3
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8
Canon RF 100mm F/2.8L Macro
So, let us start our first review without any further delay.
1. Canon RF 24-70mm F/2.8L IS USM: Best RF Video Lens for any Situation
Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L is a standard zoom lens to cover almost any situation no matter you are taking photos or recording videos. It helps you get the best of Canon EOS R system by offering some amazing features and functions.
To begin with, it suppresses focus breathing for a seamless transition of focus. The ultrasonic autofocus is not only fast, smooth, and accurate but it is also silent, making this lens a great option for videos. On top of that, the very bright f/2.8L aperture enables you to take sharp, and crisp images and videos in low light as well.
The minimum focusing distance of 0.69 ft. and 1.25 ft. at the minimum and maximum focal length respectively allow you to take some beautiful close-ups of your subjects.
It is also one of the fastest zoom lenses on the planet after Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM thanks to its very high aperture.
The main highlight of the lens is 5-stop image stabilization, removing camera shakes and image blurs, especially for handheld shots.
All in all, Canon RF 24-70mm is an ideal lens for general purpose use. It is comparatively lightweight but extremely sharp with built-in image stabilization. The only issue with the lens in our opinion is its very high price.
2. Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM: Best Ultra-Wide RF Lens for Video
Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM is one of the three professional RF zoom lenses. It is a great choice for serious or professional videographers. The lens offers exceptional color rendition, high details, and edge-to-edge sharpness, and exceptional contrast. It is indeed the best ultra-wide-angle lens I have ever used.
The lens delivers all the above benefits courtesy of two UD and three aspherical elements as well as a SubWavelength coating.
RF 15-35mm allows you to record amazing videos, especially in tight spaces. The images are sharp 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.
Another nice feature of the lens is exceptional 5-stop image stabilization with on lens switch and up to 8-stops in-body image stabilization. No other lens can offer these many stops of image stabilization. The Nano USM autofocus further enhances the lens clarity besides being silent for video recording.
Just like Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8, the only problem we can find with RF 15-25mm f/2.8 is its very high price of just above $2000.
However, the L series lens, as you can imagine, is well built and completely weather sealed. You can use it for everything ranging from documentaries, vlogging, real estate videos, and anything else you can think of. On top of that, it creates spectacular landscape images for you.
3. Canon RF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM: Best Video Lens for Canon EOS R Cameras
You must resort to classic RF 70-200mm f/2.8L if you want to shoot videos of wildlife, sports events, interviews, portraits, weddings, and conferences from a distance.
The focal length, although not as big as some other super-telephoto zoom lenses, is good enough to bring the action closer to you. The minimum focusing distance of only 0.7m also enables you to take stunning close-ups of your subjects.
The compact and lightweight lens has a very bright f/2.8 aperture allowing you to take sharp images. It also creates beautiful background blurs or bokeh, fabulously highlighting your subjects. Similarly, the 5-stops optical image stabilization keeps your videos steady and sharp.
Just like most RF lenses, RF 70-200mm also comes with smooth, quiet, and fast Nano ultrasonic autofocus, perfect for shooting videos.
The lens keeps chromatic aberration to the minimum and correction distortions using two aspherical lenses and one UED and one Super UED element respectively. Furthermore, the SubWavelength coating reduces ghosting and flares. As a result, the images are clear and highly detailed.
Unfortunately, it is also quite an expensive lens and not everyone can afford it. Offering the sweet focal range, relatively fast aperture, very fast autofocus, and superior optics means this lens is a more expensive but much better option than its EF 70-200mm f/2.8L version for Canon EOS R cameras.
4. Canon RF 24-105mm F/4 IS USM: One of the Best Canon RF Lenses for Video
Available for around $1300, Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 is one of the more affordable Canon RF cinema lenses. It is particularly popular among hybrid shooters because of its low price and extended zoom range.
It is almost $1000 cheaper than RF 24-70mm f/2.8L. However, it offers a constant aperture with stellar 5-stops image stabilization. Both the aperture and IS combine to produce images and videos of the highest quality without any blurs.
The lens is perfect for videos due to its F/4 constant aperture that is more convenient than RF 24-70mm F/2.8. It truly excels when used with a 4K capable camera such as Canon EOS R6 or Canon EOS R5. It was also the first RF lens to have a Nano USM autofocus, another boon for videographers.
However, we would recommend using a lens with a faster aperture such as f/2.8, f/2, or even f/1.8 for images, especially if you want to create beautiful background blurs. Similarly, f/4 won’t perform as well indoors as f/2.8 or higher no matter you are shooting images or videos.
The major benefit of the lens is its versatility. You can literally use it to cover almost anything ranging from weddings, sports, wildlife, conferences, and others. Furthermore, you don’t have to change lenses frequently while taking images.
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 is the best RF lens for video if you are looking for versatility, convenience, and affordability. It does have its share of faults but it gets the job done.
5. Canon RF 85mm F/1.2L USM Ds: Best RF Lens for Portraits
You should only consider Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L if you want to create wonderful portraits. It is perhaps the best portraits lens in existence at the moment. It is the lens that truly exudes the unmatchable optic quality of the Canon EOS R ecosystem.
The ridiculously fast f/1.2 aperture creates awesome background blurs, sensationally separating your subject from its surroundings. The new Defocus smoothing further enhance the beauty of the bokeh, especially, close to maximum aperture. Similarly, the sharpness is unbelievably good even at the center.
RF 85mm f/1.2L also ensures stunning resolution and minimizes chromatic aberration by employing the Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics technology. You can also create impactful photos and videos with the help of a 9-blade aperture system and 13 elements divided into 9 groups.
The lightning-fast aperture means the lens excels in low light as well by allowing more light to enter the camera. The low light images are not only detailed but sharp thanks to the very fast autofocus, also making it the best RF lens for night videos.
The major trade-offs are tremendously high price and huge size. The lack of image stabilization also makes it well suited to cameras with built-in stabilization such as Canon EOS R5 and R6 rather than EOS R and RP.
All in all, Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM is the absolute best lens for portraiture, night video recording, and covering functions like weddings if you are willing to pay almost $3000 for a lens.
6. Canon RF 50mm F/1.2L USM: Best Canon RF Cine Lens
Canon series of 50mm nifty-fifty lenses is quite popular among photographers and videographers alike. Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is the jewel of the crown. 50mm is also the perfect focal length if 35mm is a little too wide and 70mm is too long for you.
The lens is truly nifty with an incredibly fast f/1.2 aperture. As you already know, such a wide aperture helps you take stunning images and videos in all situations. Similarly, it creates a sumptuous and smooth bokeh or background blur, making your subject stand out from the crowd.
The 77mm filters and minimum focusing distance of only 1.3 ft. mean you can get very close to the subjects for macro shooting. It eliminates chromatic aberration and distorting using three aspherical elements and a UD element.
The lens is particularly fast and great for video and it gives its best on a Canon EOS R body. It has an outer control ring for easy adjustments while shooting. The 12 pin communication system enhances the speed of autofocus and IS to further improve image quality. The 54mm diameter mount delivers remarkable sharpness from edge to edge.
RF 50mm has incredible resistance against vibration shock for maintaining settings and focus even in harsh conditions.
The L series lens has a sturdy body with a fluorine coating to minimize dust and dirt. It also delivers consistent and great performance in turbulent weather as it is dust and weather-resistant as well.
Just like most RF lenses, Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is very expensive. Otherwise, it is the best RF lens for video for many reasons and there is nothing this little nifty lens cannot do.
7. Canon RF600mm F/11 IS STM: Most Unconventional Telephoto Lens
You must consider Canon RF600mm F/11 if you are looking for a super-telephoto lens for making videos. It is the first super-telephoto lens of its kind and offers excellent video quality. Available for less than $1000, it is also the cheapest lens on our list.
As you can imagine, the 600mm focal length allows bringing very distant objects close to you. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for wildlife, sports, aviation, astrophotography, and other situations involving long range shooting.
You can get even closer to the action thanks to the lens’s compatibility with RF 1.4x and 2x extenders.
The fixed f/11 aperture is great for clear and detailed images devoid of fringing even at the maximum aperture. You can also record extremely beautiful videos at f/11. The lead screw type STM autofocus is fast and quiet for both videos and stills. However, it struggles to provide quality images and videos in low light.
The 5-axis image stabilization reduces camera shakes whereas diffractive optics ensure high-quality images by reducing chromatic aberrations.
The lens also comes with a collapsible barrel, becoming super compact for outdoor use.
All in all, Canon RF 600mm F/11 helps you take stunning shots of even starts due to its very high fixed focal length of 600mm. It struggles in low light but overall video and image quality is great. Similarly, it is one of the cheapest RF lenses at the moment.
8. Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM: Best RF Lenses Canon
No list of best RF lenses for video or images is complete without Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 USM. Yes, it doesn’t have built-in image stabilization and it is quite heavy. However, it delivers outstanding video and stills quality.
Although it lacks lens stabilization yet it provides 9 and 8 stops of image stabilization for Canon EOS R3 and Canon EOS R5 and R6 respectively. Similarly, it offers better stabilization for video compared to images.
The fast and wide f/2 aperture results in excellent low light and macro shots. Furthermore, you can create excellent background blurs using the aperture as wide as f/2.
Another thing that makes it a good lens for video is the quiet, fast, and smooth Nano USM autofocus. It has a sweet focal length for covering a wide range of situations ranging from landscapes, portraits to medium telephoto shots.
One aspect of the camera that may put videographers off is its huge size and weight. It is difficult to lift such a heavy lens for long video recording sessions.
Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 USM is not the most practical choice for video recording. However, solid autofocus and image stabilization can work wonders for you if you can carry the lens.
9. Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM: Most Versatile RF Lens
Canon RF 24-70mm f/4-6.3 doesn’t have the fastest or brightest of apertures. But – it is in our guide to the best Canon RF lenses for video due to its versatility. The 24-240mm focal length covers a wide range of situations, and therefore, you can use a single lens for different types of videos and stills.
For example, you can take stunning landscapes at 24mm and beautiful shots of wildlife or sports at 240mm. Similarly, you can get close to the action using the 10x zoom. It especially excels while recording entertainment and broadcast videos where you quickly need to take different shots.
Another great thing about the lens is the control ring that also doubles as a focus ring. The ring is de-clicked by default, a huge advantage for video making. As a result, you can silently change settings without introducing any noise in the videos. The silent and quiet USM autofocus is also a boon for videographers.
There is no focus breathing suppression but the 5-stops image stabilization and fast autofocus deliver smooth and sharp videos and stills.
In short, Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 is a multipurpose and the most versatile RF lens you can buy right now. It does have its problems but its merits greatly outnumber its demerits.
10. Canon RF 35mm F/1.8 IS Macro STM: Best RF Vlogging Lens
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 is the lens for you if you need one for vlogging and YouTube. It has especially been designed for people with a journalistic background. The prime lens offers an extremely conducive focal length for cinematic vlogging footage as well as dazzling stills.
The superfast f/1.8 aperture, 0.5x magnification, and 35mm focal length enable you to create gorgeous close-ups and striking landscapes. Similarly, the focal length is also perfect for taking beautiful portraits. The minimum focusing distance of 0.56 ft. delivers exceptional macro photographs as well.
Needless to say, the fast aperture and 5-axis image stabilization are perfect for shooting sharp, detailed, and extremely crisp videos and stills in low light. The sharpness is remarkable from edge-edge because of the 54mm diameter mount.
The lens is convenient to use courtesy of a control ring that also enables you to directly change the settings. You also enjoy an excellent and reliable user experience through the fast 12 pin communication system that accelerates image stabilization and autofocus.
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro is a lightweight and compact lens that offers matchless versatility as a macro and walk-around lens. Similarly, it is the ideal choice for vlogging and shooting videos in the dark.
11. Canon RF 100mm F/2.8L Macro IS USM: Worlds First Medium Telephoto Macro Lens
Canon RF 100mm F/2.8L Macro has revolutionized the way you used to shoot videos with autofocus. It is Canon’s latest and one of the best RF lenses so far. It is also affordable compared to some other RF lenses.
The lens allows you to experiment with a lot of things particularly when you use it with cameras like Canon EOS R5. For example, it allows you to use its maximum magnification of 1.4x with autofocus. Previously, there was no way of using such a high magnification with autofocus.
The focusing, as you would expect with a USM lens, is near silent and tracking is extremely sensitive. Therefore, it is an ideal lens for shooting videos. The focusing breathing while changing the focus is also negligible, allowing smoother focus transitions.
It is also the first ever medium telephoto Macro lens in the world. The minimum focusing distance of merely 0.86 feet enables you to capture remarkable details while capturing smaller subjects like lizards and flies. Similarly, the combination of telephoto zoom and macro capabilities offer unsurpassable versatility to the users as well.
The 5-stops of image stabilization both for videos and images provide accurate, and clear images from edge to edge. Another nice feature is the hybrid IS that compensates for angular camera shakes during macro photography.
The 9-blade aperture and 17 elements in 9 groups deliver unbelievable image quality even down to f/2.8. Such a wide aperture is also perfect for excellent low light results and the beautiful background blurs.
The lens delivers all the benefits of an L-series lens in terms of construction, weather sealing, and dust resistance.
Canon RF 100mm F/2.8L is an incredible choice for shooting videos. It is not only affordable but offers a lot of features and functions for high quality videos.
How to Buy Best RF Lens for Video?
Buying the best lens for video requires you to keep a few factors in mind. Some of these factors are as below.
For good results in all situations, you need to have a lens with a fast aperture, ideally f/2.8 or above. Apertures like f/4 or lower deliver good video quality but they struggle in low light situations. Similarly, fast or wide apertures are also great for macro shooting and creating beautiful bokeh or background blurs.
You should go for RF lenses with Nano ultrasonic motors if you primarily want to make videos. USM lenses are not only fast and accurate but they are very quiet as well, perfect for video making. The autofocus in all RF lenses is good for videos but USM lenses are better.
The focal length depends on what kind of videos you want to make. You must go for wide-angle lenses such as Canon RF 15-35mm if you are covering a wide field of view. Similarly, Canon’s nifty-fifty RF lenses are best for portraits whereas telephoto lenses in the likes of RF 70-20mm are best for recording wildlife, sports, conferences, and entertainment videos. You can take fabulous macro shots with the latest RF lens, RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM.
A lens must have image stabilization if you don’t want your images and videos to be blurred. It is even better if it has a hybrid IS that performs equally well for stills and videos.
Almost all Canon RF lenses have a control ring, making it easier for you to adjust settings quietly and without any hassle. In some cases such as Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3, the control ring also works as a focus ring.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between RF and EF lenses?
The major difference between RF and EF lenses is that you can use RF lenses only on newer mirrorless cameras such as EOS R5, R6, and R. The EF lenses are older lenses that you can only use with Canon DSLR and Film SLR cameras.
2. Do RF lenses work on EF?
No, RF lenses do not work with EF-S, EF-M, and EF mount cameras.
3. Are RF lenses better than EF lenses?
According to Canon, newer RF lenses perform better when it comes to eliminating chromatic aberration, particularly on the outer edges of images.
4. Why are RF lenses expensive?
RF lenses are expensive because they are newer and short in supply.
5. Are RF lenses silent?
The USM and STM autofocuses used in RF lenses are near silent. The focusing has especially been designed for videos. The silent autofocus is a great advantage when you record video and audio with a microphone mounted on a camera.
Concluding our guide to the best RF lens for video, we must say that all the RF lenses offer superior performance in terms of video quality. However, some things are always better than others and the same is the case with RF lenses. In our opinion, Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is best for video recording in all situations. RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro is perfect for macro shooting while RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 is a fantastic multipurpose RF lens to have.