Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM Image Gallery
October 27th, 2021
Back in 2014 I reviewed the then new Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM and found it a serious breakthrough for Canon wide angle zooms. Both the EF 17-40mm F4L and EF 16-35mm F2.8L II had serious shortcomings, and the EF 16-35mm F4L IS solved most of them. It was also the first time that Canon put a stabilizer in a wide angle zoom like. Fast forward to 2021 where Canon’s EOS R mirrorless system is about three years old, and many of us had been wondering when a successor to the 16-35L IS would arrive for the RF mount. The answer is “now”, and that successor (the Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM) has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, mostly notably a much wider angle of view at 14mm vs 16mm (114° vs 108°) and a much higher potential magnification factor of 0.38x vs 0.23x, though the former advantage will have to be take with a grain of salt (as we’ll see in a moment). Going as wide as 14mm is a zoom is a very big deal, though when you dive into the details of how Canon got there, you realize that there were a few compromises to accomplish it. One thing that wasn’t compromised (surprisingly) is the ability to use traditional screw in filters in a standard 77mm filter size. That enabled me to easily get some nice long exposures.
The RF 14-35L (as we’ll call it for brevity) has the capacity to deliver a lot of beautiful images, but those extra bells and whistles come at a price. Literally. The EF 16-35mm F4L IS was lauded for coming in at a reasonable price point of $1199 USD, but I’ve heard a fair bit of grumbling about the fact that the new RF 14-35L comes in at a much steeper $1699 USD. The problem, of course, is that if you want the F2.8 version (the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS, which I reviewed here) you’ll have to shell out an even more breathtaking $2399 USD! Unfortunately that makes the RF 14-35L is the “value play” (unless you consider the Samyang/Rokinon AF 14mm F2.8, which I reviewed here). I’ve come to accept the reality that, at least for now, Canon shooters are going to have to be prepared to pay a premium for RF lenses. Essentially every RF mount L-series lens has come at a significant premium over its EF counterpart. You’ll have to pay that premium to get the RF 14-35mm F4L IS USM, but there’s no question you will get a very sharp, versatile zoom that can give you some amazing photos.
We’ll break down both the strengths and weaknesses in this review, as my feelings on the RF 14-35mm F4L are a little more complicated and nuanced than my coverage of the EF predecessor years ago.
Thanks to Camera Canada for loaning me this lens for review. They are my personal source for my gear and have been great to work with. As always, this is a completely independent review. *The tests and the photos shown in this review have been taken on my 45 MP Canon EOS R5.
Photos of the Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS
Photos taken with the Canon RF 14-35mm F4L IS
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