Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 IS - any examples?
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Shield
Registered: Aug 29, 2011
Total Posts: 715
Country: United States

I was thinking this might be a fantastic lens for video. Anyone have this lens and can share their experience, or any samples of still performance? I realize the new Sigma 35mm F/1.4 is all the rage, but it doesn't have IS, which is key for handheld video work.

Thanks!
Shawn



ulmer
Registered: Sep 08, 2004
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

Mine just arrived today! I really have nothing worth showing but I've taken a few test pictures indoors and the lens is looking pretty nice.

It's decently sharp in the center at f2 and the corners are somewhat soft but not horrible by any means. I already sold my old 35mm f2 so it's hard to compare. I'd like to say it's a bit better, but not a huge difference. At f2.8 the center gets noticeably sharper still and the corners improve a bit.

It vignettes a lot at f2. Improving noticeably at f2.8. Lightroom's lens correction for the old 35mm f2 removed most of it, but not all. I think it's worse than the old lens in this respect, but it's easy to fix after the fact if you don't want it.

IS seems to work well. It's harder to tell in these shorter focal length lenses.

Autofocus is what you'd expect for a modern Canon USM lens. Nice and fast and silent. A very welcome difference vs the old 35mm lens if you've ever used one.

Here's a size comparison. It's pretty big.



Shield
Registered: Aug 29, 2011
Total Posts: 715
Country: United States

Is the IS pretty silent? Thanks for the response; I'm torn between this and the 24 IS / 28 IS. I'm really leaning towards the 28 as the distortion during video (while panning) would be much less pronounced and I already have the 50 1.2 L.

But, of course, for a couple hundred bucks could have F/2, which might really help out in low light. Decisions, decisions.



ulmer
Registered: Sep 08, 2004
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

The IS on the 24mm and 35mm are both completely silent. No clicks, no whirring. Quiet enough that you won't even be sure it's working. I assume the 28mm is the same.

Good luck with the choice! They're all quite nice.



Shield
Registered: Aug 29, 2011
Total Posts: 715
Country: United States

Thanks! I consider the 24-105's IS to be "quiet enough". Are these even quieter?



Gunzorro
Registered: Aug 28, 2010
Total Posts: 6551
Country: United States

Thanks Ulmer! That looks like a good set of three. I'm looking forward to some photos with your new lens. Too bad you don't have the old 35mm to directly compare, but you seem to be quite familiar with it.



ulmer
Registered: Sep 08, 2004
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

Yes, I had the old 35mm f2 for a year or so and used it off and on. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow during the day will hopefully have something to share tomorrow evening.



Gunzorro
Registered: Aug 28, 2010
Total Posts: 6551
Country: United States

ulmer -- I like the comparison shot, showing the relative sizes. Looks like the new Canon is still a lot smaller (and lighter) than the Zeiss ZE 35/2 I had, and the Samyang 35/1.4 I still have.

BTW -- Did the 24 and 35 IS lenses come with lens hood? I hope so at that price.



ulmer
Registered: Sep 08, 2004
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

Ha. No hoods.

Sadly, Canon still gives you no hood unless it's an L lens. I just received my knock-off 24mm hood today and it's good enough. Even has the little release button on the side.

The official Canon 35mm hood isn't even out yet and will be $50. Hopefully the generic ones will be available soon.



Eyvind Ness
Registered: Dec 12, 2007
Total Posts: 830
Country: Norway

http://eyvindness.zenfolio.com/35mmf2isusm



ronno
Registered: Mar 04, 2003
Total Posts: 452
Country: United States

Wow, I would not expect soft corners, lots of vignetting, and lots of barrel distortion on a new $900(!) prime lens! This is disappointing IMO.

And why are these non-L lenses $900 anyway? (I have had great experiences with the old $250 35 2.0. I would stick with that...)



zlatko
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 229
Country: United States

ronno wrote:
Wow, I would not expect soft corners, lots of vignetting, and lots of barrel distortion on a new $900(!) prime lens! This is disappointing IMO.

And why are these non-L lenses $900 anyway? (I have had great experiences with the old $250 35 2.0. I would stick with that...)

First, they are not $900. Canon introduced two primes (24 and 28) at $800 and $850, but they are currently about $630 to 650. So this new 35mm, introduced at $850, will likely also be $650 after a few months.

Second, the corners are not "soft". As with nearly all lenses, the corners are softer than the center wide open.

Third, it doesn't have "lots" of vignetting. It has a completely normal amount when wide open. Stop down one stop and it's largely gone.

Fourth, it doesn't have "lots" of distortion.

And unlike the old 35/2, it will have quiet autofocus, 4-stop image stabilization, a rounded aperture, aspherical glass, better build quality, and better corner performance. If you had great experiences with the old 35/2, you would have greater experiences with the new one. If you find better 24, 28 or 35mm autofocus primes at $650, buy them!



ronno
Registered: Mar 04, 2003
Total Posts: 452
Country: United States

zlatko:

B+H says $850 as of today:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/898726-USA/Canon_5178b002_EF_35mm_f_2_0_IS.html

And those test shots on zenfolio above are not impressive IMO. That's a lot of vignetting and a lot of barrel distortion in my book.

The below picture looks weird to me (distortion.)
http://eyvindness.zenfolio.com/35mmf2isusm/h4f0f8656#h4e9db7ce

And the below two images seem to show a TON of vignetting:
http://eyvindness.zenfolio.com/35mmf2isusm/h4f0f8656#h4e8d1006
http://eyvindness.zenfolio.com/35mmf2isusm/h4f0f8656#h4e8d1032

But hey, I will not try to stop you from buying one ;-)



Gunzorro
Registered: Aug 28, 2010
Total Posts: 6551
Country: United States

Ron -- I haven't totally given up hope on this new lens, but I understand your concerns. Looking at your website images, I can see why you say what you do. But I think we need to see some well lit studio settings, as well as general shots at smaller apertures.

Generally, I agree with zlatko, and I'm not expecting perfect corners wide open, or lack of light fall-off. But it should be pretty good by f/4.0, and really sharp from f/5.6 to 8.0 for me to be seriously interested. I already like the original, so if those points zlatko mentions are taken care of, I'm on board with it.



ronno
Registered: Mar 04, 2003
Total Posts: 452
Country: United States

Understood Gunzorro. Still, should you have to go to f/8.0 with a $900 (or $600) prime lens?
Stopped down that much, you could probably get similar performance from a wide range of new and old lenses.

I am not saying I think this lens will stink...just saying that I would expect that the wide open optical performance would be better. After all, f/2.0 is not that fast. And it's a brand new design.

You can get ridiculously good performance from cheap 50mm lenses at 2.0. And with just about zero barrel distortion. And even that new $150 40mm pancake lens has very little distortion or vignetting.

Best,
-ron



zlatko
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 229
Country: United States

ronno:

Of course it is $850 today. B&H doesn't even have it yet. The 24/2.8 IS was $850 at B&H when it was introduced a few months back. It is $650 now. The 28/2.8 IS was $800 at B&H when it was introduced a few months back. It is $630 now. So we can reasonably predict that the price of the new 35 will be lower in a few months. None of them are or were $900.

You will see visible barrel distortion in even more expensive primes:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Distortion.aspx?FLI=0&FLIComp=0&LensComp=726&CameraComp=453&Lens=750
And you will see it an expensive zoom like the 24-70. I haven't seen measurements yet, so we'll see how it compares to other lenses. So far I don't see any reason to be disappointed.

You're referring to two already very dark night-time images to claim a "ton" of vignetting. But again, it looks normal for a prime 35 at widest aperture. Even more expensive 35 primes vignette wide open:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Vignetting-Test-Results.aspx?FLI=0&API=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0&Lens=726&Camera=453&LensComp=121

The new Canon non-L primes present an attractive feature set: compact wide angle primes with image stabilization and quiet autofocus. They are versatile, mid-priced, mid-sized and up-to-date designs. It sounds like you have much higher expectations for these mid-level lenses.



ronno
Registered: Mar 04, 2003
Total Posts: 452
Country: United States

I agree that it's a fairly attractive feature set, but at what price? Even $650 sound high to me, given the optical performance we are seeing here. And I picked the night time images to link to because they are shot nearly wide open (f/2.2) Many of the others are stopped down.



Gunzorro
Registered: Aug 28, 2010
Total Posts: 6551
Country: United States

I have the 40 STM and it is nice, but has gobs of light falloff. I prefer my original 35/2 overall.

You can't really compare a 50mm with its symmetrical lens design resulting in low distortion to a 35mm retro-focus wide angle. Two totally different sets of expectations for lens aberrations. I've owned the Zeiss ZE 35/2 and while a nice lens, it had a ton of light fall-off and a good amount of distortion, costing $1100+.

I can certainly see compelling differences in sharpness and contrast between lenses at f/8, especially on the edges.

If this new 35 IS lens will sell for $700 or less, I think I can forgive a few expected weaknesses wide open. I have a 50/1.2L and live with it nicely and it's an aberration rich lens if I ever saw one, but one of my favorites.

I can't argue in favor of the lens, having not seen enough samples or used it myself. But I can be optimistic based on recent Canon offerings. I've got no reason to think this will be a weak lens like the 28/1.8. The 28/1.8 sells for $450 at B&H, and has no IS and terrible SA and other aberrations. An extra $250 doesn't sound like much to get a much better lens.



ronno
Registered: Mar 04, 2003
Total Posts: 452
Country: United States

The $150 40mm pancake looks very good in terms of fall off:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Vignetting-Test-Results.aspx?FLI=0&API=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0&Lens=810&Camera=453&LensComp=122

And the sample shots from the 40 pancake I have seen look great. Though I too prefer the original 35 2.0.

Anyway, good luck all. Whoever buys this new 35 IS, come back let us know what you think!

And on that note, I am off.

Best,
-ron



Gunzorro
Registered: Aug 28, 2010
Total Posts: 6551
Country: United States

Ron -- That chart accurately shows the 40 is -2 stops in the corners at f/2.8. The original 35/2 is at least that good or better at f/2.8. The 40 has noticeably dark corners -- and yet, I like it too! It looks very good at f/5.6.



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