A lot of us were quite excited to see an aperture ring on the recently announced Canon RF 35mm f/1.4L VCM. This aperture ring also appears on the RF 24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z. Unfortunately, it appeared that the aperture would remain a video only feature.

There is some good news, though it comes with a cavaet.

A Canon representative as reported by Gizmodo Japan confirmed that cameras released after June 2024 will allow shooters to use the aperture ring for both photography and videography. This means that the EOS R5 Mark II and EOS R1 and other cameras coming this year will support this functionality.

In addition, the aperture value can be changed with this iris ring when shooting still images, only in the EOS series released after June 2024.

https://www.gizmodo.jp/2024/06/rf35mm-f1-4-l-vcm.html

Could we see this added in firmware for current cameras? We don't know for sure, but there may be some hardware limitations on current RF mount cameras that won't make this possible. We don't know when Canon came up with the aperture ring idea, and the last generation of cameras (R5/R3) were probably fully developed products 5 or so years ago.

We think it's safe to assume that we're going to see the aperture ring on a lot of future L lenses, and perhaps even on some future RF-S Z lenses.

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44 comments

  1. Why would one want to use it for still photos? You can already set the aperture in the camera. I guess it prevents it from going wide open for focus or the EVF view?
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  2. Why would one want to use it for still photos? You can already set the aperture in the camera. I guess it prevents it from going wide open for focus or the EVF view?
    I will!
    Since I'm often using vintage lenses and also a Leica M, I'm used to turning the diaphragm ring. It's absolutely no necessity, but a nice feature.
    And since this ring is already present, why not make it usable for photography too?
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  3. Why would one want to use it for still photos? You can already set the aperture in the camera.
    The reason some have given that makes sense to me is that the placement is close to the body for easy adjustment if you want to use a lens ring (unlike the control ring, which is sometimes at the far end of the lens barrel).

    Personally, I don't see the need. If I get the R1, maybe I'll try the aperture ring on my 24-105/2.8, but I bet only once. Unless all the lenses I use have one, why bother?

    I guess it prevents it from going wide open for focus or the EVF view?
    I doubt that. The aperture ring isn't mechanically coupled, and DoF Preview is already available for the EVF. I suspect Canon will have the ring adjust in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments (based on the camera setting) for photo use, even though it adjust in 1/32 stop increments for video.
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  4. I hope Canon keeps focussing DSLR style, always open , no matter what aperture you\'ve set, and stopping down only when you take the shot. Please not the Sony-way , focussing with the set aperture.
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  5. I grew up in the film days with aperture rings, I got used to in body aperture control. Both work.
    I don‘t get the buzz about it.
    Got out, take good photos, with or without that ring ;)
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  6. Why would one want to use it for still photos? You can already set the aperture in the camera. I guess it prevents it from going wide open for focus or the EVF view?
    I'm shooting a LOT of older manual lenses....I really like to have aperture settable on the lens....old style.
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  7. I hope Canon keeps focussing DSLR style, always open , no matter what aperture you\'ve set, and stopping down only when you take the shot. Please not the Sony-way , focussing with the set aperture.
    I can agree with you, but not 100%.
    Closed diaphragm focusing works more reliably with focus shift affected lenses. I'd prefer having the choice between two methods.
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  8. My first camera as a teenager was an EOS 850 back in 1988 or thereabouts. I\'ve never used an aperture ring on an EOS camera, it seems archaic! I can foresee me taping this up to make sure it doesn\'t get jogged, unless it has a good lock.
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  9. The reason some have given that makes sense to me is that the placement is close to the body for easy adjustment if you want to use a lens ring (unlike the control ring, which is sometimes at the far end of the lens barrel).
    Yeah, the 35L VCM is less of an issue because I can reach the control ring as the lens is much shorter. It really is mostly the 24-105Z where the the control ring is on the far end of a long lens.
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  10. What a stunning innovation!

    I can use the lenses' aperture rings of all my RF mount Voigtländer 3rd party lenses on the R5 and the R ....

    yeah and i'm sure those Voigtlander lenses are electronically controlled and communicate information back to the camera body too, right? and set the camera into various modes depending on what the lens does? no?

    the camera has to be aware of the aperture, not to mention, and aware if the lens is taking control over aperture control or it's in A mode.

    you have to disable the aperture control on the camera depending on your mode because the last thing you want is you to change the aperture on the camera, when the lens says the aperture is something else.

    this all requires firmware modifications that Canon probably just simply doesn't want to do but it could also be very well a hardware communication limitation in the older camera bodies as well.
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  11. I hope Canon keeps focussing DSLR style, always open , no matter what aperture you\'ve set, and stopping down only when you take the shot. Please not the Sony-way , focussing with the set aperture.

    the only problem with that is focus shift.
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  12. While I have zero interest personally (it was one of the reasons I don't warm up with Fuji X) I can see 2 reasons people might want this for:
    - habit from manual focus lenses or other mounts
    - 2 dial bodies as long as I can change the other 2 dials to be ISO and F stop. I am excluding 1 dial cameras as they are currently all APSC and probably not the target market for these L lenses.
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  13. Seriously? It does not work in photo mode? I was not aware of this limitation. Canon introduces this new RF mount, protects it with patents, and a working aperture rings becomes a software feature for future cameras only? Time to look somewhere else, I guess...
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  14. I can agree with you, but not 100%.
    Closed diaphragm focusing works more reliably with focus shift affected lenses. I'd prefer having the choice between two methods.
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  15. I agree with you too, but I think the only Canon lens with focus shift problems is the 100 mm macro. And probably third party options too, that might have something to do with Canon's reluctance to open up for third party as well...?
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