Join Photo Insiders
The Joy Blog


english photography gear
NEW Canon RF35mm F1.4 L VCM Lens

I'm thrilled to talk about a new gem in the Canon lineup—the Canon RF35mm F1.4 L VCM lens. I'm currently at the stunning Fairmont Hotel in Austin, the largest Fairmont Hotel in the country, and I've set up an epic shoot to put this lens to the test. Having already used it for real weddings and other jobs, I'm excited to share my thoughts with you. So, let's dive right in!

First Impressions and Features

First off, I was honored to do the official launch video for this lens. You can check that out on Canon's YouTube channel. But here, I want to give you my personal take. Will it make it into my camera bag, or will I pass on it?

This 35mm F1.4 L lens, part of Canon's L-series, promises the highest quality for photographers. It features a new voice coil motor (VCM), which, though not image stabilized, is virtually silent and incredibly strong. You might hear the motor when it's off the camera, but don't worry—that's normal.

Shooting with the RF35mm F1.4

As I shoot with this lens, let me tell you about its perks. One thing I love is the customizable control button. I usually set it to adjust my crop ratio since I switch between a 1.6 crop and full-frame. The lens also has a declicked aperture ring, perfect for smooth exposure changes during video shoots.

Another standout feature is the removable gel or filter holder at the back of the lens. This tiny, often unnoticed spot is perfect for ND filters or gel filters, adding more versatility to your creative toolkit.


Real-World Performance

In real-world usage, the RF35mm F1.4's VCM ensures minimal focus breathing, a huge plus for videographers. Pair it with Canon's advanced autofocus technology, and you can confidently shoot at F1.4. The lens also has a 67mm filter thread, supporting both auto and manual focus.

While I've enjoyed experimenting with this lens, my go-to remains the RF28-70 F2. The flexibility of a zoom lens with a nice shallow depth of field at F2 is hard to beat. However, the RF35mm F1.4 is about half a pound lighter than its EF version, which is always a welcome feature.


Conclusion: To Buy or Not to Buy?

So, will the RF35mm F1.4 make it into my gear bag? It's a tough call. I haven't fully decided since I'm recording this intro and outro at the same time, but I'll update the description later with my final thoughts. For those who love primes and the 35mm focal length, this lens is a solid choice. It pairs beautifully with the RF50 F1.2 for a stellar prime kit.


Personally, I might buy it for receptions and end-of-night shots due to its lighter weight. For longer shoots, I still prefer the RF28-70 F2 despite its heft.

Thanks for joining me on this review! A special shoutout to Chasing Stone for the beautiful backdrop and Hobo Light for the amazing constant lights used in this shoot. If you're interested, check out their websites for high-quality backdrops and lighting equipment.

That's it for now! Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and if you decide to grab this lens, don't forget to use the affiliate link in the description. Until next time, happy shooting!

Ready to learn more?

Take the free Speed Posing 101 class

Learn how to pose individuals, couples, and groups with precision and speed. This free class will help you shoot with confidence no matter the situation and consistently wow your clients with a variety of stunning images.

Take the free class

Latest from the blog

wedding photography POSING for 6 REAL brides and grooms!

Outdoor Flash Photography with Profoto B1 Strobes Canon R5 Mirrorle...

How to pose BIG groups on REAL WEDDINGS! Posing family photos, brid...

Meet Vanessa

Photography education that gives your art an edge

Vanessa has been photographing weddings, events, portraits and lifestyle for over 20 years.

She's a Canon Explorer of Light, an honor given to only 5 photographers in the United States, and her work has been published by Yahoo! News, Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, Rangefinder and more.

With her practical and open-book style of teaching, she shares everything she knows with hundreds of thousands of photographers as an educator and influential sparker.

Work with Vanessa →

Join Vanessa Joy's Photo Insiders

Come sit at our “lunch table” and learn with top-notch video lessons released monthly, a private community and live photoshoots. Join our live group coaching calls, request videos, and get your individual questions answered.

Become a member

Free downloads

Don't leave without your goody bag
Free Preset

Steal my favorite preset

Save time editing with this preset that I personally use on my outdoor photos to brighten and warm up the scene.

Get it now

Free guide

The Posing Inspiration Guide

Use my poses that your clients will love. Swipe ideas for posing individuals, couples, groups, and details.

I want it

Free Class

Speed Posing 101

Struggling feeling confident shooting, delivering a variety of images, and posing with precision and speed? This is for you!

Watch now

Get photography tips and resources

Join our email list to get it all directly in your inbox.