I’m Dreaming of the Canon RF 35mm f1.2 L Lens to Be Real

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When I was still starting this website, I used the Canon 5D Mk II and the 24-105mm f4 L IS USM. But for many years, my bread and butter setup was the Canon 35mm f1.4 L and the Canon 5D Mk II. This was the case until Sigma made an arguably better lens. And for every camera system I own, I’ve always reached for their 35mm lens–Leica L mount being the exception. Canon has been mostly redoing their L lenses from the EF mount but in RF mount. So realistically, we should expect to see a Canon 35mm f1.4 L with something special. I mean, look at that 100mm Macro lens they did! It looks so amazing!

For the record, and before I go on, I haven’t read any rumors about this lens. In fact, I often don’t read or pay attention to other websites purposely. I don’t like the Phoblographer’s coverage to be tainted, and I want our voices to be super original. So often, what ends up happening is that folks read us and react instead. 

If Canon were to make a high-end, 35mm L lens, then I’d go crazy for a 35mm f1.2. Considering how fast Canon’s autofocus is and how good their lenses are, this would be a dream. I’d fully expect it to be huge, though. Let’s be honest, Canon doesn’t exactly know how to make small L lenses. My perfect middle ground would be a 35mm f1.8 with weather sealing. But Canon doesn’t do that. I’d be very happy with a Canon RF 35mm f1.4 L with quirky, cool features, though. Just imagine the chromatic aberration ring that the 100mm macro lens on that lens. Soap bubble bokeh would be a dream! Otherwise, something else innovative would be very welcome. 

What else would be welcome additions?

  • A built in CPL filter that can be activated with a button.
  • A built in lens hood that collapses down.
  • Swirly bokeh effect
  • Lens flare control
  • Image stabilization
  • A top LCD screen
  • A fully functional depth of field scale for zone focusing.

Of course, I’m just dreaming here. I really, truly just want a 35mm f1.4 L lens. But it needs to be special. Let’s instead consider what will most likely happen.

  • Weather sealing
  • Dual motor focusing
  • A programmable ring
  • Fairly heavy weight and size
  • Nice bokeh and image quality that is sharp without being overly so
  • Professional build quality for professional photographers
  • Canon finds a way to target it at landscape and wedding photographers

When the Canon EOS RF system launched, I flat out told the Canon reps that the camera is a step in the right direction. It was not innovative, but it did some innovative things. However, Canon’s lens innovation game is where it’s at. And overall, the Canon RF system has to be one of the most practical on the market right now. It has a great balance of third-party flash support, image quality, lens selection, etc. But of course, it could use even more third-party support in the form of lenses. And hopefully, the third-party support won’t be hampered by Canon. 

In the meantime, though, I’m going to keep dreaming of a nice Canon RF 35mm lens. This is really what I’d need to accompany my 50mm f1.2. 

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.