In this video, photographer, Christopher Frost, takes a look at Canon’s flagship full-frame mirrorless ultra-wide-angle zoom – the RF 15-35mm f/2.8 IS USM lens for the EOS R camera range.
This is basically Canon’s mirrorless equivalent of the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM III lens but is wider and has an image stabilizer that works very well.
The lens is huge – at 840g or almost 2lbs with good weather sealing and it does extend. The lens does have some focus breathing if you are considering buying it for video work, and the AF motor is silent and quick – especially when shooting stills. The rings are fairly smooth although the zoom ring could be a little bit easier to turn (this might be a sample lens issue or it might improve with use).
It is nice to find an 85mm front filter thread so you will be able to use normal round filters with this ultra-wide-angle lens. It also comes with a small hood and the general build quality – as you can expect from a flagship lens is superb.
On an EOS-R the center of the image wide open is very good and the corners are also good although if you want the best resolution in the corners (at 15mm/24mm or 35mm which Frost tested) you will need to close the aperture to f/4 or even f/5.6).
If you turn distortion correction and vignette correction off you will see quite a bit of both of these with the lens especially wide open and at 15mm (that one is more relevant for barrel distortion of course and it does have pincushion distortion at narrower angles – again these are all automatically corrected by the camera by default).
Closeup focus is interesting on this lens – it can focus as close as 27cm but at f/2.7 contrast is not amazing – close down to f/4 and you get a very sharp and contrasty image.
Flare is pretty good and coma looks great so it can be useful for astrophotography. This is not a Bokeh monster but if you are close enough with some distance to the background the Bokeh itself looks nice.
As for pricing, the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 IS USM is a very expensive lens selling for $2300.