Canon expected to announce a fast RF 35mm lens

Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L mockup
A mockup of what the Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L might look like (Image credit: James Artaius)

UPDATE: Fresh rumors have arisen that a Canon RF 35mm f/1.2L (or possibly an f/1.4) USM will launch in the third quarter of 2022.

Canon has been releasing numerous lenses in expansion of its next generation EOS R system, and a Canon RF 35mm f/1.2 has been rumored since at least 2019 (with reports in 2020 that both a standard and Defocus Smoothing version could be on the way), joining the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L, Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L and Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L DS to complete the "trinity primes". 

The latest development, courtesy of of Canon rumors, suggests that the lens is finally in the hands of testers and marketing folks, having recently appeared in an internal dealer roadmap.

There also seems to be some debate as to whether this new faster 35mm lens will have a maximum aperture of f/1.2 or f/1.4, or we may even see both versions in future releases as Canon continues to expands its RF lens range.

ORIGINAL STORY (19 May 2021): With rumors of a new Canon RF 35mm L series lens circulating for some time, it seems we can now expect an announcement from Canon before the end of the year – something many Canon RF system users will feel is not a moment too soon.

With Covid-19 issues still plaguing lens manufacturing, development of a RF 35mm f/1.2 lens has been delayed, but with patents now showing different optical formulas for a lens we know is on the RF roadmap, it seems increasingly likely an announcement is only months away.

• Read more: Best Canon RF lenses

With L series f/1.2 versions of the Canon RF 50mm and Canon RF 85mm available early on in the RF system's development, the 35mm f/1.2L lens is still the one glaring omission in the L series range. According to Canon Rumors, however, an announcement looks likely to coincide with the release of the Canon EOS R3 later this year.

We should expect all the standout features of its L series stablemates, including a customizable Control ring (which can be used to adjust shutter speed, lens aperture, EV compensation and ISO settings), rugged build and weather sealing, fast and dependable autofocus, as well as images that are pin-sharp edge to edge and virtually fringing and distortion free.

The Canon RF lens roadmap features a wealth of lenses for amateur and professional photographers alike, from wide-angle 15-35mm f/2 pro zooms to 800mm f/11 budget mega-telephotos. And with the in-body image stabilization of the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6, they all benefit from super-stability on the latest bodies even if they don't incorporate in-lens image stabilization.

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Laurence McJannet

Laurence is an NCTJ-trained journalist with nearly 20 years' editorial experience gained on a wide range of publications, from The Beirut Times in Lebanon to The Sunday Times, and including recent freelance engagements with Future's cycling and automotive portfolios, Outdoor Fitness, and The English Home. He has recently been undertaking a sports broadcast journalism MA at Southampton Solent, gaining valuable TV and radio experience, and am currently videographer for Frome Town FC soccer team. He is the author of Bikepacking (Wild Things Publishing, 2016).

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