OpticalLimits Reviews the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM

ozturert

EOS 80D
Jan 16, 2019
116
90
Here's my verdict on the lens: It is one of the best values among all 35mm lenses. With EOS R, it can AF in almost complete darkness, is very sharp even at f1.8 (at least at distances where it matters), it has IS, it focuses fast, it has 1:2 magnification, it is fairly light and small for such a lens and it is dirt cheap when bought with a body (I bought in Norway). I didn't notice that bad vignetting and CA is OK (not bad, not the best). I had EF 35mm f2.0 IS USM as well and this lens is better than that already great lens.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
789
155
Here's my verdict on the lens: It is one of the best values among all 35mm lenses. With EOS R, it can AF in almost complete darkness, is very sharp even at f1.8 (at least at distances where it matters), it has IS, it focuses fast, it has 1:2 magnification, it is fairly light and small for such a lens and it is dirt cheap when bought with a body (I bought in Norway). I didn't notice that bad vignetting and CA is OK (not bad, not the best). I had EF 35mm f2.0 IS USM as well and this lens is better than that already great lens.
Out of curiosity, what do you like better about the RF 35 over the EF 35/2 IS?

From what I’ve seen and read, I had the impression the RF 35 may be a touch sharper, and of course it has its macro ability, but the EF has better bokeh (probably not noticeable at close focus distances but noticeable one the subject is a bit further away), faster AF and perhaps slightly less CA. I’ve never shot the the RF myself though, and I haven’t owned the EF for years, so I haven’t tested them head to head myself.
 

Profit007

EOS T7i
Nov 2, 2014
58
38
Focus Shift a "non-existent problem " ??? Tell that to all the people who bought the EF50 f1.2 It's a huge problem with that lens if you shoot close to your subject between f1.6 & f2.8.
This is why the reviews of the EF50 f1.2 were always so mixed, lots of people had no idea what was going on but had/have problems vs others who don't shoot up close around f2.0 and have no problems.
On the other hand, the EF85 f1.2 & 1.4 have no focus shift. I've shot many (probably 1000) images up close with the 85 f1.2, something you can't do with the EF50 unless you stick to f1.2 or >f2.8

I don't know if the RF35 has a focus shift design flaw. If it does (as the reviewer claimed), then DPAF should mostly cover it up. If a future RF camera also uses phase detect AF that's when the problems will show.
 
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Travel_Photographer

Travel, Landscape, Architecture
Aug 30, 2019
94
126
Focus Shift a "non-existent problem " ??? Tell that to all the people who bought the EF50 f1.2 It's a huge problem with that lens if you shoot close to your subject between f1.6 & f2.8.
This is why the reviews of the EF50 f1.2 were always so mixed, lots of people had no idea what was going on but had/have problems vs others who don't shoot up close around f2.0 and have no problems.

I don't know if the RF35 has a focus shift design flaw. If it does (as the reviewer claimed), then DPAF should mostly cover it up. If a future RF camera also uses phase detect AF that's when the problems will show.
I was only referring to the 35mm F1.8, where focus shift is not a problem.

As you state, other lenses especially wider aperture lenses (e.g
F1.2) it can be an issue.
 

Dantana

EOS RP
Jan 29, 2013
283
135
Los Angeles, CA
www.flickr.com
Does anyone here have both this lens and the 35 1.4 L v1? I love the images that I get out of my 1.4, but the size of it with the adapter is kind of funny compared to the 1.8. Curious if anyone has compared the 2.
 

ozturert

EOS 80D
Jan 16, 2019
116
90
Out of curiosity, what do you like better about the RF 35 over the EF 35/2 IS?

From what I’ve seen and read, I had the impression the RF 35 may be a touch sharper, and of course it has its macro ability, but the EF has better bokeh (probably not noticeable at close focus distances but noticeable one the subject is a bit further away), faster AF and perhaps slightly less CA. I’ve never shot the the RF myself though, and I haven’t owned the EF for years, so I haven’t tested them head to head myself.
To me, all short lenses' bokeh is distracting if subject is more than 3-4 meters away. I think this RF lens is optically more corrected so it might have slightly more distracting bokeh than 35mm f2.0 IS.
CA in RF lens is never distracting for me. I always process my RAWs and any software can correct it anyway. CA isn't so high to damage the edges as well (like in some lenses). Sony Zeiss FE 55mm f1.8 is a great lens but I had huge CA problems in adverse light conditions. In some cases CA was so bad that trying to correct it created very obvious halos.
EF 35mm f2.0 IS USM is slightly faster to AF, but then RF isn't that slow and AF accuracy is perfect so I think RF has the overall edge.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
789
155
To me, all short lenses' bokeh is distracting if subject is more than 3-4 meters away. I think this RF lens is optically more corrected so it might have slightly more distracting bokeh than 35mm f2.0 IS.
CA in RF lens is never distracting for me. I always process my RAWs and any software can correct it anyway. CA isn't so high to damage the edges as well (like in some lenses). Sony Zeiss FE 55mm f1.8 is a great lens but I had huge CA problems in adverse light conditions. In some cases CA was so bad that trying to correct it created very obvious halos.
EF 35mm f2.0 IS USM is slightly faster to AF, but then RF isn't that slow and AF accuracy is perfect so I think RF has the overall edge.
Thanks for the information oztuert. And I know what you mean about the bokeh of shorter focal length lenses.
I like my 35 Art too much to give it up, I think, but I sometimes miss the small size and light weight of my old 35/2 IS, so I do see the attraction in the RF 35/1.8 IS. Glad to hear you are enjoying yours.
 

Joules

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 16, 2017
619
576
Hamburg, Germany
If it does (as the reviewer claimed), then DPAF should mostly cover it up. If a future RF camera also uses phase detect AF that's when the problems will show.
DPAF IS phase detect AF. It won't cover up anything. As was said before, the Camera could simply take a selected aperture value into account during focusing and thereby make focus shift irrelevant in AF mode.