New Canon RF-S 3.9mm f/3.5 Dual Fisheye Lens Brings 3D VR to APS-C

A Canon EOS R7 camera with an attached dual fisheye lens. The camera has a black body with multiple control dials and buttons, and the lens consists of two large, protruding circular elements. The setup is displayed on a plain white background.

In October 2021, Canon unveiled the RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens for virtual reality (VR) productions. The distinct stereoscopic lens now has a wider sibling for APS-C cameras, the RF-S 3.9mm f/3.5 STM Dual Fisheye Lens.

Unlike the L-Series RF 5.2mm f/2.8 lens, the new RF-S 3.9mm f/3.5 Dual Fisheye is designed for Canon’s APS-C mirrorless cameras, such as the Canon EOS R7. The APS-C stereoscopic lens promises a “perfect balance between clarity and usability for vlog-style VR creation.”

The lens has a 144-degree wide-angle view and offers equidistant projection, which Canon says makes it ideal for “everyday, virtually hassle-free VR production.” The new fisheye lens is compact and lightweight, ensuring it works well when shooting handheld, on a gimbal, or with a tripod. The lens also works alongside Canon’s EOS VR Utility software, a paid app for editing VR content.

The lens weighs 290 grams (10.2 ounces) and its dimensions (width x height x length) are 112 x 83.7 x 54.6 millimeters (4.4 x 3.3 x 2.1 inches).

The lens has an interpupillary distance (IPD) — the distance between the left and right lens centers — of 60 millimeters (2.36 inches). This is the same IPD as Canon’s full-frame RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L lens. At its release, Canon said the 60mm IPD helps deliver 3D VR content closely resembling human vision.

The new RF-S lens focuses as close as 0.2 meters (7.9 inches), producing a max magnification of 0.03x. The RF-S 3.9mm f/3.5 STM uses Canon’s Stepping Motor Technology, as evidenced by the “STM” in its name. Specifically, Canon says the lens uses “gear type STM focusing.” As expected, the Dual Fisheye prime supports Dual Pixel CMOS AF.

Each lens includes 11 elements arrayed across eight groups. Two of these 11 elements are UD glass elements, and Canon uses its Air Sphere Coating (ASC) in each lens. The lens accepts filters via a 30.5mm screw-type rear filter slot at the lens mount. It also supports cut gel or polyester real filters. Each lens includes seven aperture blades.

“The RF-S 3.9mm f/3.5 STM Dual Fisheye lens offers a solution to the growing demand for more affordable and accessible tools in the VR market,” says Brian Mahar, senior vice president and general manager, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Whether you’re a social creator looking to expand your content into VR, or a filmmaker interested in making the jump from 2D to 3D content, this lens enables creators of all levels to comfortably explore VR content creation and generate amazing content.”

Another Dual Fisheye Lens on the Way?

Beyond the new RF-S 3.8mm f/3.5 STM Dual Fisheye lens Canon has announced, Canon made an appearance in Apple’s WWDC keynote presentation earlier today, with Apple showing an RF-S 7.8mm f/4 STM lens during a discussion of content creation for Apple Vision Pro. Canon has a lot of irons in the fire for VR content creation right now.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon RF-S 3.9mm f/3.5 STM Dual Fisheye Lens will be available sometime this month for $1,099.

Image credits: Canon