Canon RF35mm f/1.4 L VCM Lens Released – First in a Series of Hybrid, Fixed Focal Length Lenses

Canon has just announced the release of a lens that many of us have been waiting for – their latest addition to the RF lens lineup, the RF35mm f/1.4 L-series VCM (Voice Coil Motor) lens. This lens is the first in Canon’s upcoming series of hybrid, fixed focal length lenses featuring a ‘hybrid’ lens design. Let’s have a detailed look at this new lens!

Canon RF fixed focal length lenses are highly regarded for their optical excellence and build quality. We wrote back in March of 2022 (here) about Canon’s growth strategy and their aim of releasing 32 RF lenses by 2025, so it’s a pleasure to finally see this 35mm f/1.4 lens added to their RF fixed lens lineup.

Canon RF35mm f/1.4 – features

The RF35mm f/1.4 L is a fixed, focal-length lens with a moderate wide-angle view. The f/1.4 aperture provides exceptional depth of field and excellent performance in low-light conditions, which should be ideal for documentary filmmakers, low-light photography, journalism, etc.

The lens is both smaller and lighter than its predecessor, weighing 555g/1.2lbs, one of the lightest lenses in the mirrorless 35mm class, according to Canon. Despite its size, it has an 11-blade aperture compared to 9 blades in the EF 35mm lens.

Canon RF35mm F1.4 L VCM. Credit: Canon

Canon RF35mm f/1.4 – specs

  • Focal Length – 35mm
  • Maximum and Minimum Aperture – f/1.4-f/16
  • Lens Mount Type – RF
  • Compatible Cameras – EOS R-series, APS-C, and full-frame
  • Minimum Focusing Distance – 0.28m (11.0in)
  • Maximum Magnification – 0.18x
  • Field of View, at Minimum Focus Distance – approx 195mm x 130mm (7.7×5.1in)
  • Angle of View (Diagonal) – Approx. 63º
  • Lens Construction – 14 elements in 11 groups
  • Special Elements – (two) UD lenses, (Two) Aspherical lenses
  • Lens Coating – Canon ASC (Air Sphere Coating), SSC (Super Spectra Coating), Fluorine Coating
  • Full-time Manual Focusing – Yes. (Supports both ONE SHOT AF and SERVO AF with compatible EOS R-series cameras)
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF Coverage (Horizontal x Vertical) – EOS R approx. 88% x 100%, EOS R5/R6 approx. 90% x100%, and EOS R7/R10/R50 approx. 100% x 100%
Canon RF35mm F1.4 L VCM. Credit: Canon

Exterior design

Construction is weather-resistant. A custom button has been integrated on the barrel, which was previously the AF Stop button, and a manual iris/aperture ring allows for precise control. The lens supports 67mm screw-in filters and there is also a detachable rear filter holder for both gel and polyester filters. The lens is designed to minimize focus breathing. The L-series of lenses will offer a new lens hood, the EW-73F, which is bayonet-mount and attaches easily.

New autofocus technology

The lens uses two focus motors – a Nano USM and the Voice Coil Motor. The new VCM motor is a first for Canon and allows the four comparatively heavy lens elements to be moved for focusing. With its “high-power, linear AF drive,” autofocus should be virtually silent, according to Canon. A Nano USM motor also drives an independent lens element for AF. Note that the VCM motor will need a battery to ‘hold’ and move the four lens elements; however, when the camera is off, the focusing elements can move freely. There is a cushioning material built into the lens to absorb this.

Price and availability

The Canon RF35mm f/1.4 L-series VCM lens is expected to ship starting in July and is priced at $1,499 MAP (Minimum Advertised Price.) For more information, have a look at Canon’s website.

Have you been waiting for the RF35mm f/1.4 lens? Are you planning to add one to your kit? Let us know in the comments!


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