When Canon announced the EOS R, four new lenses for the EOS R system were released at the same time. These included the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM (£2349), RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM (£519), RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (£1199) and the RF 28-70mm f/2L USM (£3049).

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

The RF 28-70mm f/2L USM is the most expensive RF mount lens for the EOS R system thus far

During our time testing the Canon EOS R, the camera was sent with three out of four of these new lenses. The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM (£3049) unfortunately wasn’t available and as soon as this lens came into stock we were promised we’d be be one of the first to receive a sample to put it through its paces. This week the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM arrived on our doorstep.

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

The huge front element has a 95mm filter thread. The 9 diaphragm blades can just be made out

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM is the world’s first large-aperture full frame compatible standard zoom offering f/2 brightness throughout the zoom range. Considerably larger and heavier than the RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, it features a durable, weather-sealed construction and arranges 19 elements in 13 groups with 9 diaphragm blades. Much like Canon’s fast standard zoom in EF mount – the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM isn’t equipped with optical image stabilisation, but it does incorporate Ultra-low dispersion (UD) lens elements as well as Air Sphere, Super Spectra and fluorine coatings.

Other noteworthy features include a 39cm minimum focus distance, 95mm filter thread and a customisable control ring towards the front of the barrel, which brings aperture, shutter speed, ISO or exposure compensation control directly to your left hand supporting the lens, leaving your right hand to control the rear dial and shutter button.

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

The customisable control ring at the front of the lens has a knurled texture, helping to differentiate it from the rubberised zoom and focus rings. The lock switch engages at 28mm.

There’s no getting away from the fact that the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM is a monster of a zoom. It weighs a hefty 1430g on the scales and has dimensions that measure 104x140mm (DxL). The size of the lens looks somewhat out of proportion when it’s mounted to the EOS R, especially when it’s viewed from above. As we were told at the launch of the EOS R, the reason for its size is to deliver the highest optical quality of any standard zoom for the new EOS R system.

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM

This side-on view of the lens coupled to the EOS R gives you an impression of just how large it is

Our Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM lens sample image gallery below shows what the lens is capable of mounted to the Canon EOS R. Shots were taken at various focus lengths and aperture settings. The files below are out-of-camera raw files taken in Flexible-priority AE (Fv mode) mode with the EOS R’s lens aberration correction settings switched on. Full size files can be downloaded and inspected by clicking on the view full size image link beside each image.

For more information about the Canon EOS R and EOS R system, read our in-depth Canon EOS R review.