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Canon Announces New EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens With Built-In Light

By Holly Roa on April 7th 2017

This week brings us an interesting announcement from Canon. They’ve just introduced a new macro lens with a twist – the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens has a built-in LED lights on the front. The lights can be turned off and on, can be dimmed, and can also be operated on one side at a time – the left and right sides can be switched on independently if you’d prefer your image not have the flat look attained by a subject being completely front-lit.

This is the second lens of its kind ever released, though the first, the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM Lens, caters to a much smaller market of Canon M series users. The new lens is designed for cameras with APS-C sensors with an equivalent focal length of 56mm.

The close shooting distance in macro photography gives an extremely shallow depth of field, so the built-in light should be helpful to counter the loss of light when a smaller aperture is needed for greater depth of field in the scene.

While there are front-mounting macro ring lights available, this will be a much less bulky and cumbersome option, requiring one less piece of equipment be carried around when shooting on location.


•Focus as close as 30mm from subject

•1:1 Macro
•Hybrid image stabilization for up to four stops of shake correction
•Smooth Movie Servo AF with Lead Screw-type STM for quiet AF operation
•Full-time Manual Focus

The lens could also prove useful for macro videos. Canon has provided a sample video shot using this lens:

Also worth a look is Adorama’s hands-on video:

What do you think? Are you excited for this new technology?

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Seattle based photographer with a side of videography, specializing in work involving animals, but basically a Jill of all trades.
Instagram: @HJRphotos

Q&A Discussions

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  1. adam sanford

    The backlash to even the *rumor* of this lens (‘it’s only f/2.8 when I reeeeeally want a fast 50 equivalent without having to buy a FF 35mm lens’, ‘waaaaah’ and ‘I’ll be in my room!!’ and walking off in a huff) was deafening.  Now it’s here.

    Personally, as much as sites like SLRL are dominated by worshipers at the Altar of Bokeh, I think Canon will print money off of this thing: 

    1) This focal length will let you take (enthusiast/travel-blog-grade) food photos at the restaurant table *without getting up from your seat* and making a scene to do it.

    2) eBay / Etsy product photography will be a snap.

    3) I could see YouTubers doing tutorials of detail-y things (cooking, electronics teardowns, DIY guides, etc.) loving the option to get in close in realtime without having to change lenses.

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