There is growing literature supporting the use of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) for staging and re-staging of rectal cancer. We investigated the performance of reduced FOV (rFOV) DWI in comparison with conventional whole pelvis DWI. Two readers graded rFOV and conventional DWI for anatomic detail, lesion conspicuity, tumor margin delineation, artifact, and overall image quality. rFOV DWI showed statistically significant improvement in anatomic detail, lesion conspicuity, tumor margin delineation, and overall image quality. No significant difference in artifact/distortion or lymph nodes was detected. rFOV DWI is a promising technique in rectal cancer evaluation and improves tumor visualization.