The Canon RF 5.2mm f2.8L Dual Fisheye lens is Canon’s first VR interchangeable lens. It was developed to simplify the setup and recording of 180° VR videos and photos with the EOS R52 – and keeping with the EOS R system. The new double fish eye lens and the associated software simplify the production of 3D content for VR creators and professional applications. It consists of the EOS VR utility and the newly developed Canon VR software or the EOS VR plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro. It allows the 180° VR post-production to be optimized from input to output.
The two front-facing fisheye lenses of the Canon RF 5.2mm f2.8L Dual Fisheye provide an extremely wide field of view of 190 degrees and form the basis for stereoscopic VR capture. Canon’s new lens construction enables two images to be projected onto a single sensor of a camera, for perfect alignment and synchronization directly from the camera. The lens enables VR capture, which in practice is considerably less complicated than with a two-camera system.
Capturing two images on a single sensor also means that both images have identical characteristics, avoiding the subtle deviations such as image quality and exposure that can occur with two-sensor systems. In addition, the two electromagnetically operated diaphragms (EMD) in each lens group are precisely controlled to enable uniform exposure on the sensor. It contributes to the fact that almost no subsequent adjustments to the left and right images are necessary.
The compact lens has a clever optical folding design, and the lens groups are 60 mm apart for a natural-looking capture. The lens has been developed for use with compatible cameras within the VR system such as the Canon EOS R5. Thanks to the SWC coating, the dual fisheye lens is well suited for backlit shots, as it suppresses lens reflections and stray light – a situation that often occurs in VR shots.
The RF 5.2mm f2.8L Dual Fisheye offers a gelatine filter holder at the rear for pre-cut ND gelatine filters, also from third-party suppliers. The MF peaking function of the EOS R5 enables easy manual focusing, in which the areas in focus are highlighted.
When using the 8K full-frame sensor of the EOS R53, the Canon RF lens enables high-resolution 180° VR recordings with a high dynamic range using Canon Log / Log 3. With the new EOS VR system, the lens is simply attached to the camera. Time-consuming lens alignment is not required. After the recording, the information for the left and right image is perfectly synchronized in one file. The Canon software or the plug-in can convert the stereoscopic 190° field of view of the two circular fisheye images perfectly, which is then available for further processing in Adobe Premiere Pro or viewing on a VR headset.
The new powerful Canon EOS VR utility application and the EOS VR plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro take over the image conversion of the circular fisheye images into the more recognizable equirectangular 180° VR format. With these additional solutions, videos and still images can be easily edited and exported in various resolutions and (professional) codecs up to a video resolution of 8K2.3 for post-processing and/or final playback on suitable VR headsets. The updated EOS utility and the Camera Connect app from Canon also enable easy remote control and live image viewing during recording.
Price and specifications
Canon RF 5.2mm f2.8L Specifications
- Focal Length: 5.2mm
- Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
- Minimum Aperture: f/16
- Lens Mount: Canon RF
- Format Compatibility: Full-Frame
- Angle of View: 190°
- Minimum Focus Distance: 200.7 mm
- Maximum Magnification: 0.03x
- Optical Design: 12 Elements in 10 Groups
- Diaphragm Blades: 7
- Focus Type: Manual Focus
- Image Stabilization: No
- Rear Filter: Gel Filter
- Dimensions (ø x L): 12.2 x 5.3 cm
- Weight: 12.4 oz / 352 g
Recently, Canon has also announced the full-frame mirrorless camera EOS R3, and two inexpensive Canon RF lenses: the Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM and Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lenses.