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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
222 500476 May 8, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,189.88
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.34
8.21
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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MaciekP
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Registered: Sep 16, 2007
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SUPERB lens on 5D! I thought that my 10MP SONY R1 with ZEISS 24-120 zoom is sharp, but at 100% R1 at 35mm equiv. regardless of the f set is as sharp as EF 35/1.4L at f=1.4! I don't have to tell you what is a difference between both systems when I set the f of 35/1.4L at 2.8 or higher. :-) Fantastic bokeh! Great color! Great contrast (above f=2.0)
Cons:
quite visable vignetting wide open on 5D.



Sep 16, 2007
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IFeito
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Registered: Jan 11, 2006
Location: Mexico
Posts: 124
Review Date: Sep 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,069.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Really sharp even fully open, just the right focal lenght for people photography in social settings (no headshots), amazing aperture.
Cons:
None

Let me add myself to the long list of fans of this jewel of a lens.

My only extensive experience with large aperture has been about 10 years with the 50 f/1.4, I was used to have a little upredictability with large apertures and considered it the price to pay for shooting in low light.

With the 35 mm f/1.4 my view of large aperture shooting has changed completely. This lens is very sharp, focuses very fast and accurately and gives a very nice perspective if you don't get too close to your model's face.

I'm finding it a joy to use with my 1D MkIII, it's amazing where you can shoot using this lens and the high ISO capabilities of this camera.

Ignacio


Sep 15, 2007
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Xiao Z. Jia
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Registered: Jun 18, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Razor Sharp (at least my copy is) Little to no distortion (even while used as a 56mm on a crop body!)
Cons:
A bit heavy (but a relief compared to 24-70), expensive 72mm filter? Not many lens were made in this size.

I've used a 24-70 2.8L for a few months, but it finally dawns on me that the huge zoom doesn't fit my shooting style, its too big to bring with me most of the time and its too slow for indoor shots.

So I finally gave in and traded it with another photographer for his 35mm 1.4L.

Compared to the 24-70mm 2.8L...

Having had bad experience with the 24mm 1.4L, I was skeptical when I tried the lens, but damn! Maybe its just my copy, but the lens is SHARP at 1.4 already, I could swear its sharper than the 24-70mm at 2.8.

Compared to the 24mm 1.4L...

MUCH MUCH sharper (at least 2x pixel density at 1.4 according to my guess-timate) creamy bokeh (to be expected), CA much better controlled, little to no distortion! (with the 24mm you get ppl's face messed up when shooting close)

Versus 24mm 1.4L as a main lens for crop body...

If you're deciding between 24mm 1.4L and 35mm 1.4L as the main lens for a cropped body, I would recommend 35mm, for its much better resolution befitting the heavy price tag, for its much better CA and Distortion control, and also because it converts to around 56mm, which is a nice "normal" lens for every occasion. Also when/if you upgrade to a full frame, it will show its true self as a versatile 35mm moderate wide angle, where as if you went for the 24mm, you're left with something much more radical and specialized.

The 24mm isn't BAD per se, its just that to get 1.4 for a 24mm Canon has made a lot of compromises, compromises you might not be willing to put up with (I was gravely disappointed), while the 35mm was made with much fewer compromises due to the less radical wide angle (this was what I was expecting with the 24mm).

In the end, this is a fantastic lens... in the Canon lineup. There are arguably even better lenses out there such as Pentax 31mm 1.8 LIMITED, but shooting Canon and shooting wide, it does not get better than this!


Aug 23, 2007
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joepapa
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Registered: Jun 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Aug 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp sharp sharp! lightweight, excellent focusing abilities. Very small minimum focusing distance. Build quality is L all the way
Cons:
took me too long to finally get one.

As if there aren't enough reviews already to make the plunge. Well I own some good glass. I put this lens right there with my 85 1.2L II because of its usefulness in very low light, great background blur and subject isolation. I give the 85 a better build quality because it is like a tank and the 35 has some plastic, but the image quality blows my 24-70 2.8L and my 24-105L out of the water. I can't even use these two wide open and that is at f/2.8 and f/4.0. The 35L makes a 2.8 lens seem slow. At 800iso, f/1.4 in my living room with only 1 window will the blinds half open (no lights on) I am getting between 1/100 and 1/200 second shutter speed! NO FLASH NEEDED. With the flash I can set the flash exposure compensation at -1 and the flash just opens up the shadows. I can shoot in AV inside. Between this lens and the 85 1.2 I see no other need for available light wedding photography. Stop reading. Go get yours!

Aug 23, 2007
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abqnmusa
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Registered: May 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2085
Review Date: Aug 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent sharpness even at F1.4, quick focus on the 5D, bokeh is excellent
Cons:
it was expensive, but most high quality L lenses are. I do not regret the purchase when I see the beautiful images it produces.

This lens lives up to the reviews I have read.

Using a 5D I am very happy with the lens and the beautiful images it produces.

I find it is sharp wide open at F1.4. The sharpness at F2 is superb. The ability to isolate the subject with fine creamy bokeh is what this lens is all about.

Focus is quick on a 5D, and the images just have to be seen to be believed. You cannot produce those images with a 24-70 F2.8L or 24-105 F4L lens. There is a big advantage in isolating the subject at F1.4, 1.8, 2, 2.2 that just cannot be done with the zoom.

I only use 24-105 F4L zoom now for some sports photography where I need multiple focal lengths quickly.



Aug 20, 2007
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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 283
Review Date: Jul 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent colour and contrast giving superb images. Fast to focus, sharp, actually very sharp and crisp even wide open at f/1.4 which is good, that's why I bought it!
Cons:
Maybe I have an odd one but I get super accurate focus on my 5D except when I use it in the servo focus mode. I nearly took it back because of this.

This is a lens that I have wanted for years and finally got one due to a Canon promotion that saved a lot. I was so looking forward to it but after my first day's shooting I loaded up the images to revel in the OOF brilliance and was devestated to find that I had only a 10% keeper rate. I use a 50mm f/1.4 so understand the issues with wide apperture so knew that something must be wrong somewhere.

After a bit of experimentation I discovered that when used on my 5D in servo focus (as on the first day) it is hit or miss, not just wide open but even at f/5.6 etc. My 24-70L is bang on in servo. When used in one shot mode wide open it's perfect, 90% keepers - and what keepers they are too!

Aside from my focus issues this lens produces rich and well balanced tones. It is very sharp, has excellent contrast and is the lens that I tend to keep in the small bag for taking everywhere. I've hardly used my 50mm lens since getting this.

I've waited some time to review this lens here and have taken well over 1,000 pictures with it, and based on the results, have given this lens a 10/10 as it is so good and in my opinion is good value for the money.


Jul 29, 2007
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Santoso
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Registered: Apr 23, 2007
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Wide, Bokeh
Cons:
Price

The only thing that hesitate be from getting this lens is the price. However one day when I 'accidentally' tried this masterpiece, it really poison my system. Even an ugly subject can look good with its contrast and bokeh. Whats more? its even sharp at 1.4. Simply stunning. You havent got one? try and see for yourself.

Jul 22, 2007
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jirok12944
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Registered: Nov 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The most artistic lens I've seen! Unmatched wide open performance
Cons:
Cost

Canon 35mm f1/.4 was upgrade for 50mm f/1.4. 50mm was already excellent lens, and price/performance factor is perfect.
I was dreaming about 35mm for quite some time, but hesitated due to the price. Also 50mm needed more space to get better shot, maybe I'm lazy or that's my style, but often did not use it due to that problem. 50mm at f/1.4 and f/2 had very low keeper rate, in my practice 1 out of 5, the lens was calibrated and successfully tested in lab... but in real life focus was often off at wide open aperture. That was some issues and reasons for upgrade...

Now about 35mm... It is perfect!!! Besides it's measurable parameters, like resolution wide open, it gives magical feel and look. This is the lens to use wider than f/2.8, and I think not many other lenses can much the result (have not tried f/1.2 monsters). I have very decent keeper rate of f/1.4 and the results at this aperture are absolutely stunning. It does make photo 3D... nothing like it I've seen from 50 or 85mm... This is the most artistic lens I've seen!!! I use it on 5D, some times on 1D, but 5D gives more `magic` Smile

This is not a simple-to-use lens at wide open aperture. Practice, practice and practice. Test it in lab to make sure AF is precise. At wide open focus-and-recompose technique does not work...

Built is robust and durable like other high-price L lenses.

72mm filter is something to complain about... Smile




Jul 17, 2007
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Mikkel Tschern
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Registered: Jul 12, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,780.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great contrast and colors, great overall quality, quick and silent AF, useful at f/1.4
Cons:



Jul 12, 2007
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morganb4
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Registered: Nov 2, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 5313
Review Date: Jun 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything makes images 3D. Colour ... everything
Cons:
misses focus ocaasionally when wide open.

I would sleep with this lens if I could. I have built a small shrine dedicated to it in my front room.

Jun 4, 2007
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neridah
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Registered: Jul 16, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 970
Review Date: Jun 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build Quality - Tack Sharp - Punchy Contrast - Lightweight - Inconspicuous.
Cons:
Slightly Overpriced...!

I initially had my reservations about paying so much for this type of focal range however i must say i followed my heart and took the plunge.WOW an exceptional must have piece of photographic arsenal its size is deceptively small in comparison to the rest of the L series family.But this lens is a serious piece of engineering excellence.
This lens along with my 1DMark IIN Are now firmly joined at the hip and make a formiddable team!
I would be lost without it...Simply stunning!


Jun 4, 2007
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TimesUP
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Registered: Feb 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 652
Review Date: Jun 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything, sharpness, color, bokeh, weight is fine, solid build
Cons:
None, If you know "L" glass price sould not even be mentioned.

I use this lens for 2/3's of my wedding shots. Awesome lens, what,? you don't have a copy yet? what are you wairing for?

Jun 3, 2007
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Andrea1975
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Registered: May 26, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything
Cons:
None

This lens is a must have when shooting on full frame bodies. It's my favorite lens, not only because is solid and fast, but also because it shows constant performance under any light conditions. Indoor, outdoor, day and night. A must have for street / documentary photography. I use it also for portraits, since it has a creamy and beautiful bokeh. No flare, no CA, no distorsion. Sharpness is very good wide open, gets better stopped down and at f2.8 you already reach the top. An optical masterpiece.

May 29, 2007
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BiPolarBear
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Registered: May 20, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 47
Review Date: May 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Smooth silent fast focussing, rich colours, bokeh galore, built like a tank.
Cons:
A tad more CA than expected in extreme contrast images, but fixable if needed.

I've had this lens about 4 months, and while i'm not sure it's perfect, it's pretty darn close.
When you have this on your camera, you know it. Not heavy, but solid. Take a look at the business end of this thing and there's a whole bunch of bit fat glass in there. I like the match with my 20D, it's probably perfect on a 5D, but might be a little nose heavy on a Rebel sized body(?).

Overall image quality at f/1.4 is to me very good.
Once in a while i'll see a little more CA on high contrast areas than i'd like (the infamous tree branches against the sky shot for example), but only under extreme high/low contrast conditions. Fixable in PP if you need that shot.
I've read many times that it's "tack sharp wide open". Maybe my copy is a little short of the norm, or maybe my idea of tack sharp is different than others, but i need f/2.0 to start getting what i feel is sharp right out of the camera. But with a little USM, there's no problem getting wide open shots as sharp as i'd ever expect them. So no issue to me, as any shot i am printing i'll be working on anyways. I look at it this way..... if I didn't have that extra stop of light in some cases when i needed it, i may well not have had the image to work on in the first place.

What impresses me most about this lens is it's bokeh and colour. If you are shooting relatively close to the subject at f/1.4, the background just melts. And it melts beautifully. It's often referred to as "creamy" and "buttery smooth", and i can't think of a better way to describe it. The background is just gone. I appreciate that an out of focus background generally is all just a matter of physics, but the quality mechanics and glass in this lens makes the theory of the physics turn into an artistic rendering.
Colour is pure and deep. I rarely need to boost the saturation to the images from this lens. And if you add a polarizing filter to the 35L, the output can almost be 3D given the right scenery/lighting. Stunning.

I found it took a while to learn this lens. And i'm still learning it wide open. I never had a f/1.4 of any kind before, and in some circumstances you are shooting with about zero depth of field. So be forewarned, this lens can be unforgiving, and attention to the focus point is critical if your subject is close. My keeper rate is a lot lower with this lens when shooting wide open, but the keepers that I do get more than make up for it. Then again, that's what this lens is all about. Shallow depth of field and low light ability.

So is it worth the pricetag?
To me, absolutely.
It's the only lens I own that can produce images that make me look like i'm a significantly better photographer than i really am.
And how do you put a price tag on that?




May 12, 2007
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Hans im Glueck
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Registered: Dec 6, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 17
Review Date: May 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, great colours, bokeh
Cons:
e x p e n s i v e

First I bought the EF 35/2 but I soon gave it back because of bad image quality. Now I own the 35/1.4L and I'm happy with it. Sharpness is very good at 1.4 and excellent at 2.0. Colours are strong and vivid. The Bokeh is very nice. AF works fast and precise at my 5D. It is an expensive lens, but you get what you pay for.

May 7, 2007
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Husien Jahja
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Registered: Nov 9, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 16
Review Date: May 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast focus, 3D effect... sharp and great detail.
Cons:
a little heavy compare to 50 f1.4

All I can say is WOW... The 3D effect coming from the sharpness of the lens is just superb.

Nothing much to say except try and see the effect...

Colour and contrast also very well maintain...

Although it is a little heavy compare to the 50 f1.4 or 35 f2... I still think is worth the money to buy this lens to use for longer term.

The sharpness is second to none... it's comparable to the 135 f2L.

One of the best lens I have ever use in the L series prime lens.


May 3, 2007
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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 500476 May 8, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,189.88
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.34
8.21
9.5
ef_35_14_1_


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