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Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM Review
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Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM Review

OpticalLimits, formerly has completed their review of the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM.

They give it a solid review, with the breakdown of scores of;

  • Optical Quality - almost 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mechanical Quality - 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Price / Performance - 4 out of 5 stars

Not exceptional scores, but it is at the lower end of the price spectrum for the Canon RF mount.

The Canon RF 35mm F1.8 has;

  • Wide-angle prime is designed for use with full-frame Canon RF-mount mirrorless digital cameras.
  • Bright f/1.8 maximum aperture suits working in difficult lighting conditions and also offers increased control over depth of field.
  • Super Spectra coating has been applied to individual elements to minimize ghosting and flare for greater contrast and color neutrality when working in strong lighting conditions.
  • An Optical Image Stabilizer helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to five stops to better enable working in low-light conditions and with slower shutter speeds.
  • Macro design benefits working with close-up subjects and provides a 1:2 maximum magnification along with a minimum focusing distance of 6.7"
  • STM stepping motor offers fast, quiet, smooth, and accurate autofocus performance that is ideal for video recording as well as still shooting.
  • Configurable Control Ring can be used to adjust a variety of exposure settings, including aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation.
  • Rounded nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality.

Compact, lightweight, and close-focusing, the RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM from Canon is a unique wide-angle prime mixing the versatility of a general wide lens with the specialty of a 1:2 macro optic. An advanced optical design is benefitted by a Super Spectra coating, which helps to control flare and ghosting for greater contrast and color accuracy when working in bright or backlit conditions. Capable of focusing down to 6.7" at half life-size, this lens is ideal for photographing everything from close-ups of plants to street scenes and landscapes. The bright f/1.8 maximum aperture offers increased control over depth of field and also suits working in a variety of lighting conditions. Complementing this is a five stop-effective image stabilization, which minimizes the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting. Also, an STM motor affords impressively quiet and smooth autofocus performance and full-time manual focus override. Additionally, a configurable Control Ring lets you adjust exposure settings, including ISO, aperture, and exposure compensation, from the lens itself.

OpticalLimit's conclusions state;

The Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 STM IS macro may not be the sexiest lens around but it is capable of delivering very high-quality results. Images are sharp in the center straight at f/1.8 and the corners are just marginally soft. There's a substantial increase in quality at f/2.8 and the resolution is truly impressive medium aperture settings. Image distortions, as well as lateral CAs, are low. The same can't be said about the native vignetting which is rather extreme at maximum aperture. However, auto-correction comes to the rescue so most users will probably just notice a slightly elevated light falloff at f/1.8. The bokeh is generally nicely rendered with a silky background blur and smooth out-of-focus highlights. The foreground blur is less ideal though. Bokeh fringing (LoCA) is present at large aperture settings but that's hardly surprising. However, a more ugly effect are focus shifts when stopping down (RSA) which seems to have a negative impact on AF accuracy as well.

Read the full review here

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