Canon: it’s been a really long time. You’ve released a ton of lenses for the Canon RF mount, but we’re waiting on a single really important focal length: the Canon RF 35mm f1.2 L. Where is it? We’ve got the 50mm f1.2 and the 85mm f1.2 — and those are fantastic. We’ve also got a slew of zoom lenses which you’ve always seemed to prioritize. But photographers really want the 35mm f1.2 L. It’s been talked about a few times, and we have to wonder what’s going on — and the longer we wait, the more I hope that it’s worth it.
The Canon RF 35mm f1.2 L, hopefully, will do things that other lenses haven’t done yet. For example, the only other 35mm f1.2 on the market is made by Sigma — and that’s got autofocus issues and is really large. In fact, it made me never want to pick up my Sony cameras. Canon’s f1.2 lenses and L lenses overall have been huge. For photographers to want to use these lenses, they’ll have to be lightweight and smaller. The exception, though, is for image stabilization. If this becomes a Canon RF 35mm f1.2 L IS lens, then many photographers would welcome the larger size for the trade-off.
But that’s not the only thing that they’d need.
Photographers these days are pretty sick of sterile image quality. Canon hasn’t strayed too hard into this terrority thankfully. And if anything, many of us would welcome an aberration control ring like the company’s 100mm f2.8 Macro lens.
I’ve been asking the photo industry to give us more image control for years. I think it’s a great time to do things like polarizing control, so we can cut down on reflections. But more specifically, I look to folks like Lensbaby to make something different. Maybe controlling how the bokeh is shaped? Flare control? I don’t know, honestly. But I’d just prefer something different. I’m incredibly sick of the clinically perfect scenes that we can get from cameras these days. And I don’t want to have to spend extra money in post-production to get the looks I want.THE CANON RF 35MM F1.4 L HAS TO ADDRESS A BIG PROBLEM
Knowing what Canon does, the price is also likely going to be pretty high. And if they pack it with innovations, then I think we can all excuse that.
But how well can photographers love the Canon RF 35mm f1.2 L? Well, let’s learn from Sigma’s mistakes:
- The autofocus will need to be very quick. This is bound to be the case as Canon’s autofocus is some of the best in the industry
- The size, even if it’s heavy, will have to be very balanced with the company’s higher-end cameras. Hopefully, it won’t be all too heavy. I remember recently shooting an event with the Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS R, 50mm f1.2 L, and 24-105mm F4 all around my chest. My back was killing me after a few hours of shooting.
- If it’s indeed very big, it will need to be easier to hold. Luckily, Canon has always provided great textures around the lenses and the control rings. Gripping onto their gear, no matter, the conditions, isn’t a problem.
- If it’s smaller and lightweight, then it’s bound to make Sony really quiver with fear because that’s one of the most important things that the G Master lineup cares about.
- The image quality will have to provide something unique that you can’t get anywhere else. More importantly, it should save you a lot of time in post-production.
To recap my feelings in an article I wrote back in 2021, I really wish that Canon had added weather resistance to the RF 35mm f1.8 IS USM. But Canon likes to reserve weather resistance for L-series products only. That’s somewhere that they’re majorly lacking behind Panasonic, Sony, and Nikon. We’re guaranteed to get it with the Canon RF 35mm f1.2 L.
But maybe we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high, either. Maybe it won’t be an f1.2 lens after all! It could be an f1.4 lens instead. If that’s the case, the price would need to drop a bit, and they’d need to really make it feature-packed.