Canon announces new 35mm F1.4 hybrid prime lens

Canon has announced a new L-series hybrid prime lens for its RF mount cameras. The Canon RF 35mm F1.4L VCM prime lens is designed for both video and stills shooters.

Fast maximum aperture

The RF 35mm prime lens has a fast maximum aperture of F1.4. This should deliver a great low-light performance as well as a very shallow depth of field. With an 11-bladed iris, you should get a smooth, round bokeh in out-of-focus parts of your image. The 35 mm lens also features a de-clicked manual aperture ring, essential for smoothly adjusting exposure when recording video.

Optical construction

Inside the Canon RF 35mm F1.4L VCM prime lens
Image courtesy: Canon

The RF 35mm lens is constructed with 14 lens elements in 11 groups. These include two ultra-low dispersion lens elements and two GMo aspherical lens elements. The glass also features Canon’s Super Spectra and ASC coatings to reduce flare and ghosting. In addition, the front of the lens has a fluorine coating to help repel dirt and sand.


Canon RF 35mm F1.4L VCM prime lens angled shot
Image courtesy: Canon

The RF 35mm lens combines Canon’s Nano ultrasonic motor with its even faster Voice Coil Motor (VCM) technology. Canon says this delivers quick and precise focusing when capturing video. The lens has a close focus distance of only 11 inches (0.28 m). Canon also says that the RF 35mm lens features minimal focus breathing to avoid visual distractions when pulling focus from one subject to another.


The RF 35mm is a compact lens, measuring three inches (76.5 mm) in diameter and 3.9 inches (99.3 mm) in length. It weighs 19.6 ounces (555 grams) and the filter diameter is 67 mm. The lens comes with a lens hood and pouch.

What we think

Image courtesy: Canon

It’s good that Canon has recognized that filmmakers and still photographers have different needs for a lens. The 35mm VCM prime lens has great video features such as the clickless aperture ring and minimal focus breathing. There are no distance markings on the focus ring, but this lens is aimed at users who prefer autofocus. The Canon 35mm VCM lens carries a premium price, but as an L series lens, you can assume that it will deliver the highest image quality.

Pricing and availability

The Canon 35mm f/1.4L VCM prime lens is scheduled to go on sale this month and will retail at $1,500.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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