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From f/1.2 primes to the mysterious DS, here are Canon’s upcoming RF lenses

Canon’s young RF mount will soon gain ultra-wide apertures and a versatile zoom. On Wednesday, February 13, Canon shared a peek at six RF mount mirrorless lenses currently in development, including one with a new feature called “Defocus Smoothing.” All six lenses are expected to have an official launch sometime in 2019, designed for the CanonEOS R series, which now includes the EOS R and new Canon EOS RP.

The list includes two f/1.2 85mm prime lenses, three f/2.8 zoom lenses, and a third zoom lens with a 24-240mm range. All six are designed for the new RF mount mirrorless system, taking advantage of a shorter back focus distance and better communication between the camera body and lens.

The first two lenses on the list are 85mm F/1.2 prime lenses. Both have bright apertures and a mid-telephoto focal length that’s often favored by portrait photographers. So what’s the difference? One little acronym in the two names, between the RF 85mm F/1.2 L USM and RF 85mm F/1.2 L USM DS. The DS stands for “Defocus Smoothing.” Canon didn’t detail exactly how the smoothing works, but says the lens will offer “beautifully smooth defocused bokeh.”

Canon is also developing the popular 24-70mm range for the RF series, as well as a 70-200mm. The RF 24-70mm F/2.8 L IS USM covers a popular zoom range for events, weddings, portraits, and landscapes with a bright aperture. The RF 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS USM, often a companion to the 24-70mm, is a popular zoom for sports, wildlife, and weddings.

Going wider but just as bright, Canon will also launch the RF 15-35mm F/2.8 L IS USM, a wide angle for architecture and landscapes. 

The lens on the list with the most range, the RF 24-240mm F/4-6.3 IS USM, is also slated for arrival this year. Canon calls the lens one that’s ideal for “amateurs and advanced amateurs” — that combined with the aperture that’s not quite as wide could suggest a lower price point. The lens is ideal for travel, Canon says.

While Canon hasn’t shared full specs, all of the zoom lenses list IS in the name, referring to Canon’s designation for image stabilization. The prime lenses don’t have that same IS designation. Canon hasn’t shared specifics on prices or dates yet, but says all six are expected to be available sometime during 2019.

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