Canon EOS RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens
Image courtesy: Canon

Canon has announced its new RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens. It will be the world’s first digital interchangeable lens capable of capturing stereoscopic 3D 180° VR imagery to a single image sensor. With the lens, you can create an immersive 3D video for viewing on a compatible head mount display, such as the Oculus Quest 2.

Compact and light

The RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens is compact at a little over 2 inches in depth and weighs under a pound. Optically it consists of 12 elements in 10 groups and two ultra-low dispersion elements. The lens also has a 190-degree field of view and the distance between the lens centers is 60mm. Canon designed the lens to closely resemble human vision with natural parallax to add to the realism of the VR effect.

Low light

Low light performance should be good, with an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/16 in third and half stops. There is a gelatin filter holder at the rear of the lens so that you can use gel filters as with other ultra-wide angle lenses from Canon.

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As part of Canon’s professional L series, the RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens are fluorine coated. The body also has dust and water-resistant seals allowing you to shoot in more challenging conditions.

EOS R5

The new RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens only works with Canon’s EOS R5 mirrorless camera and requires the camera to have firmware update version 1.5.0 or later. This pairing allows you to record video at up to 8K DCI 30p or 4K DCI 60p.

EOS VR utility

Recording to a single sensor removes the need to sync and stitch together separate video files. With Canon’s new EOS VR utility, you can easily convert your footage from dual fisheye to an equirectangular format. In addition, you can make simple edits and change the file format before exporting your VR movie. There will also be an EOS VR plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro. Both software solutions will come on a paid subscription basis.

Pricing and availability

The RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens is priced at $1,999 and is available for preorder now.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.