Canon fans could soon be treated one of the main lenses they've been waiting for, with fresh rumors predicting the long-awaited arrival of an RF 35mm f/1.2L USM later this year.
A versatile 35mm f/1.2L lens has been on the wishlist of all kinds of keen photographers since the dawn of the Canon EOS R system. And according to the usually reliable Canon Rumors, the lens will "be hitting dealers later in Q3 of 2022".
That means we should see the lens launch sometime between July and September, with the latter part of that period looking more likely.
Canon Rumors says there's a chance that the lens will have a maximum aperture of f/1.4 rather than f/1.2, which would make it smaller and cheaper than an f/1.2 version, but this is unlikely to make much difference to its popularity.
Bright 35mm lenses are popular because they're extremely versatile, while 'L' lenses (which stands for 'luxury') offer the quality that pros and keen amateurs need. A 35mm focal length is suitable for shooting portraits, particularly environmental ones that include background interest, as well as street photography, travel, landscapes and weddings.
An f/1.2 or f/1.4 aperture, meanwhile, offers serious light-gathering powers that means the lens will be capable of attractively blurring backgrounds to help highlight subjects, and that image quality will be maintained in low-light situations. The L-Series label would also indicate professional build and optical quality.
Canon's mirrorless cameras are currently lacking bright, prime lenses at wider focal lengths, with many photographers instead adapting their older EF versions that were designed for DSLRs. A new version for Canon RF-mount cameras should deliver improved image quality and autofocus performance, for a price.
The only question is how widely available the RF 35mm f/1.2L USM (or f/1.4) will be when it launches, with supply chain issues and chip shortages currently hitting the production of both mirrorless cameras and lenses for those cameras.
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Canon recently made the bold statement that it intends to expand its RF lenses for mirrorless cameras "at the same pace" as it has done recently for the next four years – which would mean around eight new lenses a year up to 2026.
This number will include super-niche lenses like the RF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM and RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM we saw announced in February, so it's good to hear that more mainstream (if pricey) options like the RF 35mm f/1.2L USM are likely en route.
If the lens does have an f/1.2 rather than f/1.4 maximum aperture, it would certainly be pricey option. Canon's RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens, for example, currently costs $2,299 / £2,589 / AU$3,799.
Despite this, an RF 35mm f/1.2L USM would still likely prove extremely popular, with its versatility and quality making for a tempting combination. It would also be an important launch for Canon, as Sony already has the excellent Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM lens for its mirrorless cameras, alongside third-party options from the likes of Sigma.
As Canon Rumors says, the long wait for the RF 35mm f/1.2 means that "Canon will sell as many as they can make for a long while", so competition is expected to be fierce if the announcement does happen later this year. If you're a Canon EOS R owner who's been pining for a 35mm prime, get ready to start saving.
- Looking for something a bit wider? Check out our Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM review
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.