New Canon RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM Lens: Hands-On Review With Josh Katz

With the new RF lens added to the F4 collection, the Canon mirrorless lens range continues to expand. This lens was tested by me during a skateboarding session in the Lower East Side, one of my favorite New York City neighborhoods. This is how it happened.

josh katz skateboarding photography

Canon RF14-35mm F4 IS USM Lens Tested

We began at the East River Park Amphitheater. It’s an architectural masterpiece that allows you to experiment with this lens’ wide 14mm capabilities. To bring Shane, our skateboarder out of the shadows, I concealed two 600 EX II RTs behind each side of the stage.

Zoom lenses are great because they allow me to frame things precisely. I was able to frame Shane perfectly below the skyline when I shot the first photo at 19mm. To emphasize the entire amphitheater, I created a wider shot at 14mm. Shane placed a rock marker in both shots so that he would place it exactly the same way each time. This ensured that the fences were perfectly aligned.

josh katz skateboarding photography
Canon RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM Lens adorama josh katz

Large Angle Capabilities

We then went behind the amphitheater and took a classic wide angle photo of skateboarding. Shane’s trick looks more impressive when you get very close to the ground. We also took photos at 14mm. This classic design is unbeatable!

josh katz skateboarding photography

The Alligator Ledges, a famous skate spot located just beyond the amphitheater, can be seen across the bridge. To bring out the blue sky and minimize the glare from the metal ledge, I used a B+W circular filter. This lens has a standard thread size of 77mm, unlike most 14mm lenses that have rounded front elements and require pesky rear filters.

To capture the cars below the scene, I held my camera above my head. To create a perfect symmetrical composition, I zoomed in to 35mm and centered my self on the ledge. I lifted the camera above my head again and shot downwards, making the pavement a backdrop for Shane. Shooting down and using the ground is a great way to capture backgrounds that are busy. This is possible thanks to the Canon EOS R5’s articulate LCD screen.

Zoom Lens Versatility

We made our final destination the East River Promenade. To capture a series if pushing photos, Shane rode alongside me. You’ll notice that I started at 14mm to get Shane’s foot as close as possible to the lens. Then, I pushed into 35mm as Shane inevitably accelerated past me. This made me thankful for the large zoom range of this lens. After taking a few photos at 1/800″, I decided that it would be more fun to shoot at 1/15″ to emphasize Shane’s speed. I switched on high speed continuous shooting, and started to fire away.

For a perfect pushing photo, there are many things that need to happen. Shane and me must be riding at the correct speeds at the right distance from each other, with no distractions and with a well-constructed background. The push apex is my favorite part. I like to have the back leg extended fully. Every other frame looks too sloppy. It took me a lot of tries to get the image that I liked. We spent 10 minutes in circles and I took 235 photos. It’s always good to have options!

josh katz skateboarding photography

Impressive Minimum Focusing Distance

The shoot ended with a closeup shot of my skateboard. This was to test the lens’ incredible 7.9 inch minimum focusing distance. This is a very close comparison to the typical wide angle.

josh katz skateboarding photography

The lens is extremely sharp, light, compact, and versatile. This lens is also very affordable compared with the Canon RF15-35mm F2.8. It’s a great choice for photographers.

This lens is simply amazing. This lens is amazing. Here are some key features that prove it.

  • Ultra wide angle 14mm photography with minimal distortion
  • 7.9-inch minimum focusing distance
  • Front element unrounded with a thread size of 77mm (no rear filters).
  • Control ring customizable
  • All the favorite features of L series glass (weather resistance design, USM fast and quiet focusing, Image Stabilization)
Canon RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM Lens adorama josh katz

Canon RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM Lens ($1699)

This lens is great for shooting sports, landscapes and street photography.

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