Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro Review
1 Introduction and Handling
The RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM is one of four lenses announced alongside the Canon EOS R, the first camera in the company’s new EOS R mirrorless system.
Something of an odd one out in that quartet, it’s the only non L-series lens released for the RF line to date, although that will soon change with the arrival of the RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM later this year. It’s also around half the price of the next cheapest lens in the system, while its focal length and aperture, combined with the fact that it’s a prime lens, also allow it to be considerably smaller and lighter than every other option so far. All of this should mean it holds particular appeal for EOS RP owners who’d like to start exploring the native lens selection but find their camera bodies – and/or wallets – overwhelmed by the other current native offerings.
A 35mm F1.8 option is a fairly sensible and versatile lens to have at the start of a system, and its broad appeal should pique the interest of street, travel, nature, portraiture and even landscape photographers. The added bonus of image stabilization also makes the absence of sensor-based stabilization from the current bodies less of an issue, while ‘Macro’ in the name indicates a close focusing distance of 17cm / 6.7 in (albeit shy of being truly macro, offering a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2).
All pictures by Matt Golowczynski unless otherwise noted.
- Focal length: 35mm
- Aperture range: F1.8-22 (In 1/3EV stops)
- Filter thread: 52mm
- Close focus: 0.17m (0.56ft / 6.7in)
- Maximum magnification: 0.5x
- Diaphragm blades: 9
- Hood: EW-52 (optional)
- Length / Diameter: approx. 74.4 x 62.8mm (2.93 x 2.47in)
- Weight: approx. 305g (approx. 10.8 oz.)
- Optical construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
The lens has a new formula that sees 11 elements arranged in nine groups. This includes a single glass moulded aspherical element within the focusing group in the middle of the formula, which is in place both to combat spherical aberration and also to keep image quality consistent over focusing distances.
With the lens mounted on either the EOS R or EOS RP, you have access to Canon’s full suite of aberration-rectifying options that deal with vignetting, lateral chromatic aberration, distortion and diffraction, in addition to the Digital Lens Optimizer that aims to counter the softening effects from diffraction, among other things.
Canon has pointed out how the RF mount’s width and the short flange back distance gives new freedom to lens designers, and the optical design here – or, more specifically, the way in which this differs from existing designs in similar lenses – appears to back that up. The rearmost element sits very close to the back of the lens itself and is the largest in the array. Canon claims that this is one of the key reasons for the high corner-to-corner sharpness, even when the lens is used wide open. A diagram of the optical construction also shows that the aperture diaphragm is positioned relatively close towards the front of the lens, which is said to be one reason why the lens can offer such a wide aperture without compromising on size.
The diaphragm is made up of nine blades, which bodes well for round bokeh, while the minimum focusing distance of 17cm gives a minimum working distance – i.e. the distance from the front of the lens to the subject – of 7cm.
A hood isn’t provided with the lens as standard, and that may well be explained by the likelihood of the average user needing or wanting to use it with such an optic. Still, for this kind of money it's a bit disappointing not to have a hood included.
Design and Handling
Not only is this is the lightest and most compact RF lens so far, but the roadmap Canon unveiled towards the start of the year suggests that will remain so for a while. It’s 30g lighter than the existing EF 35mm F2 IS USM and just a fraction wider, but 70g lighter and considerably shorter in length than the Nikon Z 35mm F1.8. Unlike the latter lens, however, this one isn’t weather sealed.
The lens balances very nicely on the EOS R body and is light enough to allow for one-handed operation when required. Two large switches on the barrel provide control over focus mode and image stabilization, and these click between positions positively. They also barely protrude from the casing, which makes it difficult to inadvertently knock them out of place.
The outer barrel’s matte gray finish mirrors that of the EOS R body, as does the silvery rear of the inner lens barrel with the host cameras throat. The mount is metal and build quality overall appears to be perfectly good.
The lens is encircled by a Control Ring towards its front and a focusing ring towards the middle of the barrel. While the pair sit close to each other, their different finish, together with the fact that the Control Ring is clickable, mean you’re unlikely to mistake them in use.
You can customize the action performed by the Control Ring to your liking, or even deactivate it completely if that suits you, and it’s also possible to switch the direction of rotation if the default arrangement bothers you. If enabled, you can opt for it adjust aperture, shutter speed, ISO or exposure compensation, and in each case you can select whether the ring adjusts these at all times or only when you have your finger half-pressed on the shutter release button. The setting you select stays the same between exposure modes, which you probably won’t find to be an issue unless you tend to hop between exposure modes with some frequency.
Some predictable limitations occur with some combinations or setting and exposure mode, such as no exposure compensation control in manual mode, and no adjustment of aperture in shutter priority mode (and vice-versa).
The Control Ring provides excellent feedback, with increments nice and coarse, and the camera responds without any delay. Those looking to use the lens for video might be disheartened to learn there’s no way to alternate be-tween clicked and de-clicked operation, but if you’re happy with it being permanently de-clicked, Canon can do this for you (for a fee).
|Magnificent hummingbird by fulviavecchia|
from Little Birds
|Denver Aquarium by Scott Vail|
|Hong Kong Mist by wam7|
from Fixed lens camera's
|Ill do anything for a nut by mountinmad|
from -Animals- (in Full Colours Only)
DroneDJ conducted a comprehensive search of DJI's official online store and noticed most models were out of stock.
The new app, which is limited to iOS, for the time being, makes it easy to deliver images to clients, who can easily sort through and download images on-the-go.
The adapter uses a six-element design to make the most of even the fastest Hasselblad V lenses on Fujifilm's GFX mount camera systems.
Huawei's upcoming high-end devices are likely to catch up with Apple and Samsung in terms of 4K video frame rates.
In this video we’ve traveled to southern Spain with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X. There, we headed for the town of Sevilla to meet up with action sports photographer Fernando Marmolejo.
Henry Diltz recounts how he became the official photographer of Woodstock and shares what it looked like through the viewfinder.
Canon Australia appears to have leaked two upcoming cameras in a pair of promotional videos - an ‘EOS M6 II’ and an ‘EOS 90D.’
The adapter sits inside the camera and compresses the lens image to fit the camera's Super 35mm sensor, and restoring the look of the original focal length of the lens
Sydney-based coder Greig Sheridan and his photographer partner Rocky have introduced Intervalometerator, an open-source intervalometer designed for deploying inexpensive remote time-lapse systems involving Canon DSLRs, Arduino and Raspberry Pi hardware.
The lens, set to ship later this year for a yet-to-be-determined price, is an update to Yongnuo's original 35mm F1.4 lens that adds an ultrasonic motor.
The One Action's ultra-wide camera lets you to record horizontal video while holding the phone vertically.
Prograde says its new program scans for ‘key attributes of your card’s use history to determine how much life is remaining before you reach design limits’ and can ‘clean up the way data is stored to your card to ensure it’s optimized for the highest performance.’
We've been busy shooting around Seattle with Sigma's new 45mm F2.8 full-frame lens and have topped off our initial sample gallery accordingly. Have a look.
We recently reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 (also known as the G90, G91 and G99) and found it to be a good all-around camera. But is it best for the kind of shooting that you do? Click through to find out if the G95 is right for you.
The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS is a do-everything lens for the RF system, designed to cover pretty much any situation from sweeping landscapes to capturing distant details. Take a look at how it performs in our sample gallery.
Walmart accidentally offered up bargain-basement rates for DJI drones and other camera gear from a company called Ecom Electronics that retails through its website.
Sony's RX100 VII has landed, but after seven(!) iterations you may be asking, "Is there anything left to add to this camera?" It turns out the answer is a resounding 'yes'. Watch Chris and Jordan's video review to learn what's new and why it matters.
Recently, the FAA granted recreational drone pilots access to LAANC. Now, they want to administer a test and are seeking the public's input.
Arcane Photos is an alternative to Google Photos and other cloud-based options for uploading and storing images that's blockchain-based and decentralized with an emphasis on privacy.
Matt, of the YouTube channel DIY Perks, has shared a video showing how old TVs and monitors can be upcycled into natural-looking light that resembles light coming through a window.
Now that we've completed our full review of Panasonic's high-megapixel full-frame flagship, the S1R, let's take a closer look at what it's like to use for everything from landscapes to sports.
The new Canon RF and Nikon Z mount options add to the Sony E, Fuji X, MFT, Canon EF and Nikon F mount versions currently available.
Z Cam has opened pre-orders for its new, 6K E2-F6 and 8K E2-F8 full-frame cinema cameras, which were first introduced during NAB 2019.
Leica has announced its APO-Summicron-SL 50mm F2 lens, which is designed for the L-mount system. The lens is the smaller, lighter and (slightly) cheaper little brother to the 50mm F1.4 and is now available for $4495.
The battery works with a7 III, a7R III and a9 camera systems and connects with your smartphone or tablet to help you keep tabs on the health of the battery. Oh, and you'll need to update the firmware of your camera battery.
Photo Rumors is reporting that the next-generation GoPro camera will feature a 12MP sensor capable of shooting 4K video at 120 fps and have the option for add-on screen, LED lighting and microphone accessories thanks to redesigned housing.
The Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4 is being marketed as a dedicated portrait lens, offering focal lengths appropriate for both traditional long lens portraiture as well as wider-angle environmental portraits and lifestyle shots. Take a look at how it performs.
Luminar 4 photo editing software is slated to be released this Fall from Skylum. They recently offered up a more detailed sneak peek at the AI Sky Replacement filter that will be included in the update.
The replica is identical to the lunar version, down to the serial number plates, various labels and more.
Nearly four months after first announcing the CoolPix W150, Nikon has announced the pricing and availability of the camera in the United States.