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Canon RF 14-35mm F/4L IS USM Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Canon RF 14-35mm f/4L IS USM lens through its paces. Read on to find out how this widest RF lens to date performs.

| Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM in Interchangeable Lenses

Canon RF 14-35mm F/4L IS USM Lens Review: Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM

The range of Canon RF mirrorless lenses now ramps up another step with the introduction of the widest lens to date, the RF 14-35mm f/4L IS USM, extending the ultra-wide vista offered by the RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM, in a smaller and less expensive package. There is no doubt that we are seeing, with all marques, some seriously good lenses, sometimes performing better than their DSLR equivalents. So let's see how the new Canon lens fares, coupling it up with the 20.1MP Canon R6 mirrorless body.


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Canon RF 14-35mm F/4L IS USM Handling and Features

Canon RF 14-35mm F/4L IS USM Lens Review: Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM

The lens is bulky but not heavy, thanks to the judicious use of plastics, weighing in at a very reasonable 540g. It is weather-sealed, always a welcome feature, and seems to be well made. The provided petal lens hood clicks smoothly into place and is retained by a small catch on the hood. There is no tendency for this to be dislodged accidentally. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 77mm filter thread. The front element has a Fluorine coating to help repel moisture, grease and dirt.

There are three control rings on the lens, the first being programmable. As default, it is set to exposure compensation, but can be set to alter ISO, aperture, AF mode and a variety of other functions as set via the camera menus.

The second is the focusing ring, electronic in operation and silky smooth. There is just the right amount of resistance, avoiding any tendency to accidentally nudge the point of focus. Focusing is down to 0.20m, for a maximum magnification of 0.38x. This is usefully close and enables full advantage to be taken of the ultra-wide nature of the lens. AF is driven by a Nano USM motor and is fast, accurate and virtually silent

The third is the zoom ring, which does extend the lens slightly as we zoom. There are accurate focal lengths marked at 14mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm. The action of the ring is also very smooth.

Canon RF 14-35mm F/4L IS USM Lens Review: Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM

Finally, two switches control AF/MF and Stabiliser on/off. When switched to MF a distance scale appears in the display, but there is no depth of field indication. The stabiliser will work with the camera body, offering 5.5 stops if IS via the lens and then up to 7 stops in conjunction with the camera IBIS. Tested out, those figures would seem to be totally realistic, dependent as always on the individual photographer at any particular time.

Optical construction is 16 elements in 12 groups, including 3 UD (Ultra Low Dispersion, one of which is UD/Aspherical) and 3 Aspherical. As mentioned, the front element is Fluorine coated. ASC (Air Sphere Coating), Super Spectra and SWC (Sub Wavelength Coating) coatings are also employed. The diaphragm comprises 9 blades, intended to assist in improving bokeh.

There is a metal lens mount of excellent quality and this fits slickly and securely, with no play in the mount once seated.

In terms of handling, there are just enough controls and considerable ability to customise the operation for the individual. All the functions operate flawlessly. A 14-35mm range is actually very useful and this enables image-making from ultra-wide dramatic vistas and travel photography to a 35mm “wide standard” loved by many street photographers and photojournalists.

Let's see how the technical tests went.


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13 May 2022 10:55AM
Sorry, but it doesn´t make any sense to me that a 14mm-35mm is "Excellent" wide open to beyond the standard usages, usually f8.
Does "Excellent" have lose values?
13 May 2022 12:06PM
The limiting factor here would seem to be diffraction, which gradually reduces resolution as we stop down. In theory a "perfect lens" would behave in such a way. I'm not suggesting this is a perfect lens in that context, but it's unusual but what was measured. There may well be other factors in the design affecting the end result.
8 Jun 2022 2:51PM
Why aren´t there any comparisons with a Nikon or Sony of 14.24 or 16.35 and any other of their lenses that hit 14mm-18mm as a zoom? I have one. An 18-35 that is very sharp and costs under 900€. Not available as new any longer, Pity.
"coupling it up with the 20.1MP Canon R6"

What's the point were all your 20D bodies tied up?
22 Jun 2022 7:35AM
We don't have a reservoir of camera bodies, just imagine the cost of continually replacing them as upgrades become available. The most suitable current body is supplied along with the lens for review purposes. Actually, there are plenty of high quality mirrorless and DSLR bodies around that are 20MP or thereabouts. Excellent results are absolutely possible.
22 Jun 2022 4:05PM
Is someone making a mistake? A 20D is an old 8MP Canon body. Don´t you mean 20MP?

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