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- Not as great build and finish as L's.
From what I read for my Typcial Lens Defects page the Canon 35mm f/1.4 seems like the Canon EF "L" lens with worst build quality.
I am sure this is exact reason why (I don't know how many) professional photographers prefered to buy "L" and shoot weddings, news, sports, wild life, etc. They all need to read this page ...
What fast 35mm alternatives they have?
The EF 35mm/2.0 is one f-stop slower.
Do you know a EF "L" lens that has more problems / defects (the 50mm L lenses are a bit problematic too - but I am not sure about how much is Canon made, and how much from users with not performing good focus accuracy tests and such).
And most need AF, so the Zeiss ZE 35mm/1.4 is no option for them.
And still, the Canon 35mm f/1.4L was long time the best fast 35mm AF lens. Now probably the Sigma is better.
So, I can't figure build or af is your concern? Would you mind reading about Sigma AF issues as well when you will have time? This is probably second lens after macro they did good for long time. Neither 50mm nor 85mm got any great success, people mostly returning them including myself.
It is very possibly good lens, but doesn't change 35L position anyhow and only mk II will. Actual 5% poll difference is very small and could be ignored as statistical significance