The Canon RF 35mm f1.8 is an incredibly versatile prime lens designed for the Canon RF photographic camera organization. The lens features image stabilization likewise as close focusing macro capabilities with silent focusing in video mode. The 35mm focal length is one of the most useful focal lengths lending itself to many different styles of photography and the f1.viii delivers very practiced low lite functioning with some very shallow depth of field.
The size, weight and functioning of the RF 35mm f1.eight makes information technology one of the nearly versatile and capable prime lenses out there and information technology’s also the best value when you compare it to all the total frame mirrorless 35mm lenses available today.
Canon has really stepped up their game with their not-Fifty lenses and it really shows here.
Focal Length: 35mm
Aperture Blade: Rounded nine-Blades
Aperture: f1.8 – f16 electric
Elements: eleven elements in 9 groups
Super Spectra Coating
Minimum Focus Distance: – 6.69″ / 17 cm
Filter Threads: 52mm
Weight: x.76 oz / 305 thou
Canon RF 35mm f1.8
– Amazon / Adorama / BHphoto
Pros: Near silent video AF, Nice build quality, good corner to corner sharpness, great dissimilarity and color, Excellent IS performance ( slightly better than Sony IBIS), $500.
Cons: Butt distortion, vignetting at f1.8 and f2, not conditions sealed, no lens hood, some swirling bokeh, noticeable astigmatism at f1.viii and f2.
Canon RF 35mm f1.eight Review | First Impressions
Offset off I have to say, this lens is an incredible value. This is why so many people love Canon because of lenses like this. $500 dollars for an solid 35mm f1.eight lens that has amazing close focus capabilities, nice sharpness at all apertures and better than IBIS image stabilization. It’s cracking and it’s definitely worth that cost.
If you only care about sharpness, you’ll dear this lens as it performs well.
The Skilful And The Bad
When looking at the one thousand scheme of things, this is just an o.k. lens, a corking $500 full frame lens, but if money and size were no object and you were to compare this lens to bigger more expensive lenses, it’s just an o.k. lens. I’grand talking virtually optics hither, and I only say that because it’south a Canon, and yous just await them to pull off miracles and always drop prove stoppers, and this lens, that is not. Optically, it’due south only but ok but information technology as well doesn’t have blazing fast autofocus or conditions sealing. And when I say ‘optically,’ I’m not just talking about sharpness. At that place is a lot more to a lens than sharpness and to me sharpness makes upwards simply well-nigh 30% of what’south important when talking about overall prototype quality.
I think the best fashion to sum up this lens is, it’s an amazing f2.8 lens that happens to shoot at f1.viii when y’all demand it. It is only $500 dollars and it is fairly meaty for a full frame 35mm f1.viii lens, and so yous have to await a few compromises and a few issues. The cheapest Sony 35mm is the Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens and it costs $798.00. The only thing that lens has going for it is a small size, skilful heart sharpness, micro contrast, and fast AF.
These issues I have with the Catechism 35mm f1.viii probably won’t carp most people since you lot don’t always notice them, simply it starts with a pretty bad astigmatism at f1.8 and f2, then it’south a no go for astro photography. Information technology’southward also got some fairly bad vignetting at f1.8 and f2, and some noticeable distortion. Baloney and vignetting are all fixable in-camera with JPG or video but if you lot shoot RAW you have to fix in postal service.
Most that astigmatism . . .
The astigmatism makes the bokeh weird when at far distances, bokeh looks neat when the subject is close, simply it get nasty in one case the subject is near ten feet (3 meters) and beyond, so you lot really need to go to f2.eight in these situations and and so everything looks bully. Just whatever sort of stars or twinkly lights in the corners just get crazy at those faster apertures, f1.8 and f2.
This lens is a ton of fun. On my EOS R is probably the most fun I’ve e’er had shooting with a full frame system. The size and weight of this lens with the R camera is perfect. The IS is astonishing, focusing is practiced (could be improve though), and the control ring makes it way easier to access my ISO settings.
I practise wish this lens came with a lens hood to protect the forepart element that’southward always going on little protruding adventures, but information technology kind of doesn’t need a hood equally information technology only flares if you’re pointing into the lord’s day at straight angles that a lens hoods would not protect from.
If y’all have used the RF 24-105 f4 and like the build, y’all’ll exist happy to know that this feels identical. Exactly the aforementioned plastic shell with a high quality finish. There is some squeamish weight to information technology and information technology past no means feels cheap.
When the lens focuses the front end barrel extends until yous reach the minimum focus distance of 6.69″ / 17 cm.
Here is what it looks like this fully extended.
At that place are two switches on the lens, IS and AF, and we exercise get Canon’south new command band that you can plan to adjust a few different settings. I accept mine set to ISO and prepare to only take commands if the shutter is half pressed. This way I never hit it past accident. This also might exist the all-time camera out at that place for adjusting all three exposure settings quickly, since everything is at present right at your fingertips.
There is no lens hood for this lens but at that place is this ring on the front butt. I’1000 non sure what this ring is for, information technology seems like a weird blueprint if information technology has no futurity purpose, but maybe it’due south to hold some sort of hood or mount. Weird correct?
This lens is existence chosen a macro lens considering it can focus very close. Merely you lot won’t take the 2x or 4x magnification or anything like you would expect in a close focusing insect macro lens, y’all only get a .5x magnification, which works great for flowers, simply you lot’ll struggle to go an pismire or annihilation pocket-sized like that to fill the frame.
When looking at the optical formula, you lot can see Canon is taking advantage of the short flange distance of the RF mount by protruding the rear element past the lens mount. This allows for a shorter system when the lens is mounted to the photographic camera since the lens sits inside the camera past a few actress millimeters.
They’ve also put the majority of the elements behind the iris which is not a very mutual matter to see. Usually it’s a little bit more even with about one-half the groups in forepart of the iris, half behind. It could be that the 35mm f1.8 was designed from scratch to take advantage of the new flange altitude but it does loosely resemble the same heritage of the Canon ultra fast 50mm lenses which is why we are besides seeing some edge astigmatism like with some of those legacy lenses.
The focus system is fairly quick although it can be loud when taking photos. When switching over to video it is almost completely silent and you only hear the electric moan of the motor if you put your ear right upwards to it. A mounted mic will not notice this merely the in-body mic might. I’ve withal to hear it in twenty-four hours-to-day real world shooting.
I have had a few bug with missed shots merely the lens is a macro, so when you’re shooting things very shut information technology can accept some time before focus is caused or sometimes tracking will lag if something is moving towards you, especially in video. My biggest issues with missed focus normally happen when I’m zone focusing with tracking, which I retrieve is more than of a Canon R issue than a lens event.
Is Canon IS better than IBIS? The respond, yeah, sometimes. I did hours of testing versus the Sony A7rIII and I have definitive results. The issue with IS is that information technology doesn’t correct for tilt milk shake which IBIS does, but this is only a noticeable issue actually with video.
When trying to use the camera to vlog, both IS and IBIS systems tin’t take the big shake hits from walking like you tin can with smaller sensor IBIS systems (Olympus, Panasonic GH6, 10-H2), but if you ninja walk, you will be ok.
Small shakes, from shaky hands or large vibrations are noticeably ameliorate with the IS lens compared to the Sony IBIS. Also, if you’re shooting video, IS + Digital IS is noticeably better than IBIS and the digital IS does right the tilt take. When using Digital IS y’all will have to lookout your shutter because of the motion blur that is introduced. If you’re shooting 1/50 you lot may want to plow off Digital IS if yous’re dealing with a lot of shake, considering you tin still run across the motility blur even though the image is stabilized.
In reality, lens and camera stabilization is almost completely useless when shooting photography of people on the move, like with street photography, every bit you need to maintain a very loftier shutter speed to stop motion blur, not camera motion blur . . . their motion blur. In that location are a few creative exceptions similar this shot below, but I mostly find the IS incredibly useful for video.
There is a lot of hype about stabilization right now, but I notice for photos, information technology’s not as important equally people recollect, unless perhaps you’re older or accept medical bug, or shoot a lot ane handed because your other hand is belongings a coffee. I fall into that last category.
Catechism RF 35mm f1.eight IS Macro | Technical Overview
Center and corner sharpness operation is very nice and actually very good compared to most 35mm lenses I’ve tested and better in the corners than most 35mm lenses in this price range.
The lens is sharpest at around f5.6 up to f11 and it’south possible nosotros could even see better performance with higher resolution cameras without an optical lowpass filter, since that does cut some of the operation. Still, I practise kickoff to encounter a reduction in quality at f16 due to diffraction.
I shoot and test a lot with APS-C cameras and i affair I dear about the total frame Canon 30MP system is the lenses keep to improve in output fifty-fifty up to f11 because the camera sensor isn’t nevertheless striking by diffraction, and apertures are larger on longer lenses which also helps. So an f16 aperture on a 35mm lens, is larger than an f16 aperture on a 23mm APS-C lens which is a 35mm equiv. This means with larger sensor cameras, you can often become improved optical performance at college apertures because they allow yous to stop down more which tin improve performance.
This lens in particular handles diffraction very well compared to some other full frame lenses I’ve tested like the Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8 which is limited by diffraction at f8.
Center sharpness is very impressive with the Canon RF 35mm f1.8. It’s a piddling softer at f1.8 but information technology improves significantly fifty-fifty up to f11. The sweet spot is betwixt f5.vi and f11 merely yous do get-go to encounter some very pocket-sized diffraction at f11 on the Catechism R.
Corner sharpness is very nice. There is a bit of vignetting here merely it performs very well at f1.viii and steadily improves until about f11.
You lot tin encounter an astigmatism hither at f1.8 and f2 in the corners which doesn’t clear up until f2.8. Look at how in the circle in the chart has more contrast in the superlative left and bottom right quadrants. Likewise, vertical lines are softer than horizontal lines.
Corners sharpness sweet spot f5.6-f11.
To get the maximum sharpness and output out of this lens, it’s all-time to shoot no higher than f11 on the Canon R and no less than f4, and f2.viii if you desire a nice residual between sharpness and bokeh with as few problems every bit possible.
There is quite a bit of vignetting at f1.8 and f2 merely it clears up almost completely at f2.8. I’m nevertheless waiting on Lightroom profiles for this lens to piece of work out the vignetting. You can prepare the camera upwardly to correct it when shooting JPG and video, but I like to shoot RAW on Canon since the Canon RAW files already have such a dainty look and you can shoot cRAW and accept RAW files that come out smaller than JPGs.
I wish Canon broiled in lens profile correction into the RAWs similar Fujifilm does.
There is some barrel distortion when uncorrected. For the almost part, lens profiles will articulate this upward without a problem either in-camera or in Lightroom, when they become available. You tin can also make clean it up past hand fairly hands.
You will see some chromatic aberrations along loftier contrast edges. Some cameras correct for this with born profiles, Canon for some reason does not so you’ll have to make certain the “remove chromatic aberrations” check mark is turned on in Lightroom.
In real world shooting atmospheric condition I don’t have any issues with CA.
There is a pretty noticeable astigmatism that volition cause the corners and edges to do some foreign things with point lights like stars, Christmas lights and sometimes bokeh.
This lens will be useless for astrophotography.
Art & Character
The character of the 35mm f1.8 has some overnice qualities and there is a little bit of magic to this lens in terms of focus falloff, just y’all will have to watch out for the funky bokeh at f1.viii and f2.
Canon, Nikon always practice a really nice job of balancing their lenses. They don’t over stuff elements to over correct which kills the natural tonality of the image, rather they often built their lenses to take a nice balance between character and correction. 11 elements is pretty standard for a nice corrected 35mm, but it doesn’t take as much popular as say an viii element Fujinon 35mm f1.4, which is an APS-C lens, or the full frame 7 element Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.viii which is loaded with more technical issues.
Frequently lenses that perform technically very well, often under perform with character. The Canon RF 35mm f1.8 sits somewhere in the middle. It doesn’t blow you abroad with technical operation every bit seen by the vignetting, distortion and less than perfect corners, but it does even so maintain some cool character.
Bokeh looks nice if you’re close enough to the subject, information technology is a macro lens after all so it makes sense that it was designed this way. When you lot move further dorsum from your discipline there are some bug with bokeh along the corners and edges. You’ll see well-nigh this split ghost image sometimes which causes a very uneasy expect. In that location is also some pocket-size swirl to the bokeh.
You’ll also encounter a slightly shallower depth of field in the center that deepens as it expands out towards the edges which does help with the illusion of depth. The legendary Fujinon 35mm f1.4 also does something similar and a lot people love it.
The best looking bokeh frequently takes place in a distance sweet spot, specially with 35mm lenses. When you go past 10 feet with this lens y’all start to see some bug with bokeh in the corners. Yous almost go this dissever image that happens and information technology can give a very distracting nervous experience. So at f1.eight y’all’ll want to stay within 10 feet (3 meters) for the all-time looking bokeh.
This is pretty standard though. I include this in my reviews now because people will often complain about nervous bokeh, or this bokeh or that bokeh, but the quality of bokeh varies massively with distance on most lenses then this lens will be suited well for head shots, but for total body portraits you will become a distracting bokeh.
Coma & Bokeh Balls
This lens does take some swirling bokeh that is very apparent at f1.8 and f2 and the blackout isn’t terrible.
The nine rounded aperture blades really helps bokeh shape as you stop downward to those college apertures and you don’t really notice the geometry until about f5.vi.
Real World Bokeh Samples
And so what does the bokeh look similar in real world samples when I’m not dissecting it to find any flaws? It looks pretty good! Yous tin can see some of the ghosting or swirling in some shots, simply for the most part, images wait really smooth with great falloff. Overall it’s very fun to work with simply f2.8 does give the cleanest results.
Some people remember no flaring is a good matter, I personally like a little flare.
Like most of Canon’due south new lenses, this one is a trivial difficult to brand flare. I had to look a week for the sun to come out earlier I could get any results. Information technology actually doesn’t flare at all from the sides, merely by and large you go some flaring when the sun is in the shot towards ane of the edges.
Contrast / Micro Contrast / Color Rendering
The Canon RF 35mm f1.8 outputs some really squeamish contrast and color, even at f1.8.
Micro contrast besides known as ‘lens pop’ is just almost average for a modern prime, information technology’south not as good as some lower element lenses like the Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.viii which have a ton of technical problems or even any of those cheap Chinese lenses, simply information technology’s better than most high element primes and zooms.
For me the low micro-contrast is probably my biggest disappointment with this lens, as I dearest lens pop.
Straight Out Of Photographic camera Samples
These are direct out of camera RAW and cRaw. They’ve had no color and effects added to them. Just imported into Lightroom and scaled for presentation.
I’ll post some more samples soon. I’ll be in California for a few months where it should be sunny then I can get some shots that aren’t merely grey clouded lighting.
Canon RF 35mm f1.8 IS Macro | Bottom Line
The Canon RF 35mm f1.8 is all effectually solid lens in terms of build and operation. There are a few flaws that are easy to piece of work around like the vignetting at f1.8 and f2 and some noticeable butt distortion. You can correct for all of this in-camera if y’all’re shooting video or JPG, but RAW shooters will have to utilise post corrections.
I like to shoot a lot at f2.viii, which gives me great looking bokeh without the vignetting and astigmatism. I stop down to f5.half-dozen and f8 when I want the most sharpness, and I shoot f1.8, when I need a fast shutter speed in low lite or when I want very shallow depth.
Performance at f2.viii is only incredible. You don’t run across any geometry all the same in the bokeh at f2.8 and it cleans up all the issues in the corners and edges.
The IS is fantastic for video shooters peculiarly when you pair it with Canons incredible Digital IS system. You really practise outperform IBIS with this combination. I oasis’t tested the Nikon IBIS organisation notwithstanding, which some are saying is better than the Sony IBIS, only information technology could very well be that Canon IS lenses with their Digital IS bodies offer the all-time full frame prime lens image stability out of all the camera systems. So you don’t become stability on every lens with the Catechism R, but when you do go stabilization through the IS lenses, it’due south the best coin can purchase.
Corners sharpness performs is decent at all apertures with the best sharpness seen at f8 to f11. You volition need to watch out for the astigmatism and vignetting at f1.8 and f2.
My favorite affair about this lens is the price. Y’all become an absolutely incredible lens with a ton of capabilities for only $500.
Overall, I really like the lens and I’m very impressed with the output considering information technology is a shorter lens. My only complaints are the funky bokeh at f1.viii and f2 when shooting at distances and the low micro-dissimilarity compared to my Fujinon and Voigtlander primes. I do wish there was a little less distortion, only distortion and vignetting are easy to fix in mail.
Canon RF 35mm f1.viii Sample Photos
Round two Sample Photos
This update shoes a little more than people, portraits with a footling more than family unit lifestyle. I’m trying to find a nice residual with samples betwixt street / travel, and family lifestyle since that’southward how I think most people shoot that are interested in a lens similar this.
Catechism RP + 35mm f1.viii
These samples are taken with the Canon RP
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