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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
215 485239 Oct 11, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,194.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.37
8.22
9.5
ef_35_14_1_

Specifications:
L-series professional f/1.4 wide-angle lens with an aspherical lens element to correct aberrations. The floating system enables high picture quality to be obtained over the entire focusing range. Autofocusing is quick and quiet with rear focusing and ring USM. Full-time manual focusing is also possible.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 35mm 1:1.4
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 63°
Focus Adjustment: Rear focusing system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.3m / 1 ft.
Filter Size: 72mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.1" x 3.4", 20.5 oz. / 79.0 x 86.0mm, 580g


 


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Sobax
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Registered: Mar 11, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 365
Review Date: Dec 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp even at 1.4, great colors and contrast.
Cons:
1st and 2nd copies with huge front focus....3rd perfect. Seems like there is some really bad copies on the market.

My advice: BUY IT LOCALLY ...not online....and DO NOT give it to Canon if you get bad copy...just go to the store and exchange. took me 7 weeks and 6 trips to Canon Service my 2nd copy (1st the same ) had a front focus....Canon service was not able to repair it...after 7 weeks the admit it and gave me new copy the 3rd one (which is great).
Cheers
Could be 10/10 but to much problems with those bad copies that I had.


Dec 20, 2009
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2bruce
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Registered: May 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 280
Review Date: Dec 13, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,037.00

 
Pros: awesome colors, bokeh, low light, IQ,
Cons:
none

this lens is amazing as a walkabout hard to beat on 5d mk 11
see shots
http://gallery.me.com/brucegilling#100441


Dec 13, 2009
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waterboiler
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Registered: Jun 15, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 149
Review Date: Dec 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, Image quality, Build, AF Speed
Cons:
Only thing that held me back for year was price

I bought this lens for low light work and am very happy with it. I mostly use it for events - quite often with a bit of flash. For night / indoor events like wedding receptions, it is the 1st lens I break out on a FF body. You do need to be careful at f/1.4 - DOF is quite shallow so it does not work well for group shots close up but stop it down a bit for those situations.
I do like it as a general purpose walk-around lens. The speed is second to none and while I miss the range of my 24-105 zoom at times, I never get tired of the shots I get at f/1.4 in lower light situations. A lot of travel type shots are taken in locations with 'no flash' rules - this is the lens for those situations.
While expensive ( compared to the similar Canon 50/1.4 ) I suspect this is the price you pay for the image quality ( general & edge sharpness ) but I do find it a bit over priced.


Dec 11, 2009
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vk2109
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Registered: Jan 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 151
Review Date: Oct 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build Quality, F1.4, Size, Bokeh and Color
Cons:
Price I would say :-(

I got this lens as I wanted to have a low light prime lens. I used to shoot around 35-40mm with my 24-70L so I got this lens and wasn’t disappointed at all. The lens is really sharp and produces so nice colors. With this lens you can shoot in low light without bumping your ISO. I always keep it as a complement to my 24-70L. One thing that is hard to master at the beginning is the shallow depth of field and at F1.4 shooting family group photo isn’t the best solutions.

Overall it’s a great lens and you really feel you are holding a piece of rock (actually glass !!!)



Oct 13, 2009
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bluefox9er
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Registered: May 10, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 361
Review Date: Oct 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp,sharp,sharp and low light dream come true
Cons:
price..it's DISGUSTINGLY over priced

I stand by the many, many, many positve virtues of this lens..it's incredibly sharp wide open and renders the most amazing shots my camera has ever taken.

the *only* negative is the price. for some stupid reason canon hae otally over priced this lens..I am certain the pricing is set because it's a lens that a pro shooter would have and usually rite off on expenses, much like hiltons/sherratons etc charging $100 fo lunch etc.

phenomenal lens , but at price that makes you wonder how crazy this world has become


Oct 11, 2009
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kelvinjayw
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Registered: Oct 6, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: My copy is incredibly sharp, even at f/1.4.
Cons:
More CA than I thought there would be wide open and purple fringing

My first test shots left me slightly horrified by the amount of CA the 35L produced at f/1.4. On close up shots, areas of high contrast on metallic objects showed purple fringing, and out of focus areas showed a green/magenta cast. I was not impressed.

But after a few more days of testing though, the sheer quality and sharpness of this lens won me over. I checked my copy against that of other owners, and saw that my copy was similar in performance to theirs.

Away from lens torture tests and used in regular shooting situations, the 35L is capable of producing amazing results. On a full frame 5D2 it creates stunning shots, where the ultra shallow DOF and razor sharpness really does create a 3D quality. I love it, especially for B&W environmental portraits.

I don't think this lens is for everyone, it's quite a specialist piece of equipment. I wasn't sure it was for me at first, but the more I use it and get to know it, the more I like it. I'd recommend renting it before buying it.


Oct 6, 2009
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victoriae
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Registered: Sep 13, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: An amazing lens, superb colour and contrast easy to use.
Cons:
A little CA in some shots

Without a doubt my favourite L lens and i use this with all 3 bodies (5D,50D,1D MK iii) and always gives excellent pictures.
Colour and contrast is the best of any of the L's i have. Very easy to use when compared to the 50mm 1.2 and 85mm 1.2. This would be the last lense that i would sell and the first to replace if it went walkies. I cannot recommend it enough.
MK ii version? they will have their work cut out to do better i think.


Sep 17, 2009
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Haring
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Registered: Sep 11, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 17, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Color, sharpness, ....
Cons:
Price

UPDATE! I just had a wedding session over the weekend. I totally covered the whole range with the 35L and 85L (85L was placed onto a 40D to cover the longer range). I also have a 17 40L and a 28 70L. I am going to out the 28 70 on ebay this week! the 35L is an amazing lens!
There are a couple of excellent shots on my site. http://www.haringphotography.com
Look for the blond girl and the guy on the beach in the engagement session. The wide lens was the 35L but the other pictures were created with the 85L 1.2…:):):)
I hope it helps.


Sep 17, 2009
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Haring
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Registered: Sep 11, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: BEST PRIME from Canon so simple
Cons:
price?

I use this along with a 85L for low light photography. Before I had the 24mmL. This is MUCH better. Image sharpness and contrast is superb. Blurr is great. Colors are amazing. It is expensive but you just buy it and try to forget its price...

Sep 11, 2009
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swnow
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Registered: Jul 28, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 258
Review Date: Sep 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: If you plan to keep only 1 lens of Canon, this is the One to keep. This lens is even better than Leica.
Cons:



Sep 8, 2009
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GeneO
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Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 9098
Review Date: Aug 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast aperture, Sharpness very good wide open as well as overall color, contrast
Cons:
Vignetting even on 1.25x crop, but livable. Cost. QA

I bought this lens to fill a FL void. I like it very much. Great color, contrast and sharpness.

Vignetting is livable (and I even like the effect, but of course I would rather have none and add the effect in PP than the other way around). But to be expected at this aperture and focal length,

It was off by 12 MA clicks out of the box. Works fine adjusted on my 1D3, but unusable on 1D Mk2n. Need to send it in, shouldn't have to have.

Would have been a 10 if I didn't have to send it in.



Aug 19, 2009
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Keith Broad
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Registered: Aug 14, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 120
Review Date: Aug 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Angle of view, bokeh, contrast and colour.
Cons:
Steep learning curve. Difficult (for me) to focus. Hard to live without.

I thought a great deal before buying this focal length. I was torn between a 50mmL or an 85mmL, but after seeing the type of shots this lens can deliver I opted for the 35mm. I figured that if I was desperate for the 85 or 50 F/L, Canon had two non L versions that are highly thought of - ones I could afford. So, I went for the 35, because there is nothing else like it. I have had this lens for a month. At first, I thought I had bought a dud. I couldn't focus it. I fiddled, did some micro-adjustment, practiced with it and, finally, I think I understand it.

It's not an easy lens to use, but it is worth mastering. It's a bit slower than my zooms (to focus) but it likes the dark. It's a 100% sharper at f2, but there is still a limited place for f1.4. It's bokeh is magic, it's contrast rich and it's the nearest I have come across that is close to the human eye. This, alone, makes it a lens worth taking the time to learn and savour. I am now uncomfortable when it's NOT on the camera I'm holding.


Aug 6, 2009
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sunpole
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Registered: Jan 3, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 315
Review Date: Jul 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Fast + very sharp, AF is accurate. Compact size, fits well on my 5D2. Very useful focal length
Cons:
Plastic, build can be more solid

The most useful prime I have. I couple 35L and 135L, the really work wonders. Light weight set up and not compromising any IQ. Tack sharp and fast. I sold my 24L after getting this lens, IMO this is a much more useful lense in many situations.

Jul 20, 2009
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dclement7
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Registered: Mar 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 63
Review Date: Jun 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,230.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: I have been reading reviews of this lens for almost two years now and finally decided to invest the money for my own lens. I have been shooting with it for a couple of weeks now and we are still getting used to one another :) Wide Open the DOF is very shallow and if you do not put your subject at the correct distance, it is easy to get a blurred subject. This just takes practice and when done correct, the subject will be very sharp with a very nice blurred background. The images have sort of a 3D look to them as if the subject could step right out of the photo. None of my other L-Series lens have this attribute. The lens is extremely sharp wide open and stepped all the way down. The lens produces a very nice bokeh when wide open which is pleasing to the eye. I just love shooting with this lens, and hate when I have to take it off the camera. I have read some reviews complaining of poor build quality, but my copy is solid. Their are no squeaks, rattles or anything that feels flimsy. Other than not being weather sealed, this lens is just about perfect.
Cons:
I have nothing bad to say about this lens.



Jun 20, 2009
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9callaway
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Registered: Apr 15, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 25
Review Date: Apr 15, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: small, light weight (compares to my zoom lenses), high contrast
Cons:
35mm FL is not fit into my style of shooting, resolution @ f/1.4 is not as high as my 24-70mm and 28-70mm f/2.8 lens.

I used Air Force 1951 resolution targets tested 3 lenses (aperture fully open~f/2.8, FL @ 35mm) on my EOS 5D at 3 meter away under room light condition.

The results show Canon 24-70mm and 28-70mm f/2.8 lenses are equally good in resolution measurement. Surprisingly, EF 35 f/1.4 prime lens is not as good as the zoom lenses in resolution.

However, EF 35 f/1.4 got the highest contrast score among the three.

I sold the EF 35 f/1.4 the next day on eBay.


Apr 15, 2009
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trajan
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Registered: Dec 3, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 133
Review Date: Apr 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp at all distances and apertures, good contrast and colors, high resolution, small and not intrusive, very fast focusing, flare well controlled, low distortion
Cons:
bokeh a bit too busy/harsh, build quality ok, but still plastic, and not comparable to Zeiss or others, small chromatic aberrations may appear at high aperture

I have lots of top quality lenses (such as EF 85L mk2, EF 135L, Voigtlander 125mm apo macro, Sigma 50mm 1.4, etc), and this is one of my most useful lenses. Note, I didn't say favorite, but useful. The thing is that this is a lens for reporters, because it captures more than the standard 50mm. It's very sharp, with high resolution at all apertures, with good colors and very fast focus. Where it is a bit short is at the bokeh. I like for most of my photos to have a smooth bokeh. This lens doesn't quite deliver this. However, if I had to have only 1 lens, this would be it! It's just very good for most of my photos. Also, very even light (unnoticeable vignetting). Chromatic aberrations can be seen at high aperture.

Here are some photos taken with the 35L, on full framed Canon 5d mk2 and on cropped Canon d40.

on Canon 5d mk2:
- haunted house in sepia: http://highaperture.com/h/a/haunted_house/haunted_house-0.html
- lake in central park: http://highaperture.com/l/a/lake/lake-0.html (taken at f/9)
- financial district: http://highaperture.com/f/i/financial_district/financial_district-0.html
- brooklin in HDR: http://highaperture.com/b/r/brooklyn/brooklyn-0.html

on Canon d40:
- benches in central park: http://highaperture.com/b/e/benches_in_central_park/benches_in_central_park-2009.html (the bokeh came ok in this picture, I had to control it by stopping down to f/4)
- bridge in central park: http://highaperture.com/b/r/bridge/bridge-0.html
- picture taken indoors in black&white: http://highaperture.com/m/i/mirroring/mirroring-0.html
- picture taken outside (with lots of light) http://highaperture.com/m/o/mohonk_skytop_tower/mohonk_skytop_tower-0.html (you can see how sharp this lens can be)

Bottom line: this lens is close to perfection for most use cases. I'm never selling mine. Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 macro is supposed to be slightly better in IQ, but you lose f/1.4 and AF.


Apr 1, 2009
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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
215 485239 Oct 11, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,194.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.37
8.22
9.5
ef_35_14_1_


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