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The Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM teardown
Roger from LensRentals got their hands on the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM, and what did they do? Take it apart of course.
Roger is very impressed with the Canon RF 70-200, and also in the word of the wise something important about the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM that I know some have mentioned;
let’s get the extending barrel discussion out of the way. Some of you HATE extending barrel lenses. That’s cool; don’t get one. Some of you like to call them dust pumps. That’s cool, too, although it’s incorrect. (We take care of over 20,000 lenses. The most common ‘dusters’ among current lenses all happen to be primes that don’t zoom at all.)
There you have it. If you are worried about the dust action of the extending barrel, don't be, even as shown later, the 70-200 actually has a breathable filter to remove dust particles from getting into the lens. Roger seems very impressed with the lens making multiple statements about the engineering;
The takeaway is the engineering, despite the lightweight of the lens is very robust. Every moving part is large and sturdy and held steady by more than one set of collars or bearings, so there’s no chance of unwanted movement.
As far as Roger's conclusion. The lens should be named strong like bull (SLB);
The second conclusion is in the years since those lenses were released, a LOT of engineering progress has been made. The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 is a complex beast, but you get a quick feel for it being organized complexity, and it’s actually a much simpler layout than those other lenses. Some of that is from the improved optical design; there’s less glass floating around. Some of it is the use of linear focusing motors.
Most of it is superior electro-mechanical engineering and a brand-new, ground-up design. It’s clear those other lenses were improvements on existing designs. Over the years, as various versions of the lenses have been released, it’s apparent that they started with the previous design and modified it. Like a lens paleontologist, we could see the bones of the original beast with layers of new complexity and modifications added in the newer version. (Yes, I’m very aware it was Sony’s first FE 70-200mm lens, but, to be polite, it heavily borrowed from other 70-200mm lenses mechanically).
This lens was a new design from the ground up. There’s no ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ holdovers. That’s a lot more work for the designers, but the result is a beautifully engineered, fully modern lens. It’s clean, functional, and straightforward.
It’s obviously very robustly engineered from a mechanical standpoint. The internal composites are strong as hell. There are double cams, rods, and posts everywhere. There’s no play in any moving parts. We can’t imagine there will ever be play in the moving parts unless you run over it with a truck. You could describe it as ruggedized, but I’m going to stick with Strong, Like Bull, and suggest we refer to this as the RF-SLB 70-200mm f/2.8 from now on.
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