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Your thoughts on RF 35mm and video focusing

Grep
Apprentice

 

Hello,

I decided to buy a Canon R8! Mostly, I plan to use the camera for travel and family videos. Currently, I have an old Canon 650D body, a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, and a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM, which I love using for photography. However, the 650D does not have autofocus tracking, making it challenging to use for video.

My main question is about the RF 35mm f/1.8 lens. What is your experience with it? Is there a firmware update that addresses focus breathing? Will I struggle to use it for video? I watched many videos on YouTube and like the 35mm focal length. It has good image stabilization, but I don’t want it to take several seconds to focus when changing subjects. 

Thank you!

8 REPLIES 8

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

Since the focus breathing is an optical property of the lens, there can be no firmware update to correct it.

https://kenrockwell.com/canon/eos-r/lenses/35mm-f18.htm

 

p4pictures
Whiz
Whiz

Focus breathing correction only applies when shooting video. It works by slightly cropping the image so that it can acheive the same framing at any subject distance even if the lens exhibits the focus breathing phenomenon (most do). 

The list of lenses that work with focus the focus breathing correction function in the EOS R8 is listed on the Canon website https://cam.start.canon/en/H001/supplement_0160.html 

From that list the RF 35mm F1.8 is not on the list, and as pointed out has exhibited focus breathing in reviews. If you are shooting movies handheld then you are less likely to see focus breathing, it's more affecting a camera used in a static position when the subject moves back and forth within the frame and the focus tracks them.

I've used the RF 35mm F1.8 lens it's pretty good in my view, and certainly suitable for video. You can adjust the rate that the movie servo AF switches from one subject to another at different subject distances. Look at the settings for Movie Servo AF speed and Movie Servo AF track sensitivity in the AF menu to modify how the camera responds to new subjects. 


Brian
EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author

At the moment, I don't have the budget for an L series lens. Do you think the prime RF 35mm f/1.8 is the best option for handheld videos within this budget? What would you recommend? I'm not even professional photographer and don't need to spend thousands for camera/lens. 

If you’re choosing the RF 35mm F1.8 for its fast aperture and moderate wide angle then nothing else comes close for a similar price. Don’t worry about focus breathing and enjoy your photography and movie shooting. 


Brian
EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

You do know of course, that you cannot use the RF35 F1.8 macro on your 650D, right? No RF lens will work on an EF camera.

Nowhere have you talked about upgrading to mirrorless.

Going to buy Canon R8 too

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

Food for thought.

The EF-S “STM” zoom lenses were designed for shooting video with Dual Pixel AF sensor camera bodies, BUT not the STM primes.  

Can you capture video with STM primes?  Yes, they are great for “talking head” videos.  But they do [not] track moving subjects as quickly and accurately as the STM zooms.

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AtticusLake
Mentor
Mentor

I have the RF 35mm f/1.8, and in my opinion it's a great lens.  Sharp, compact, good close focus, overall great.  However I did measure the focus breathing of all my lenses, and the 35mm is pretty terrible -- only the RF 50mm f/1.2 was worse, and it's awful.

So for a piece to camera -- camera on a tripod, me sitting in a chair -- I would not use this lens.  Any slight movement makes the background grow and shrink distractingly.  You could mitigate this with a neutral BG, though.

But in general, I would say what Brian said -- for things like travel, forget about the breathing, it's a very handy lens. And particularly if budget is an issue, I don't think you'll do much better.

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