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Canon EF 35mm f/2

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Reviews Views Date of last review
131 376929 Dec 21, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $402.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.56
9.05
8.8
ef35mmf2_1_

Specifications:
Fast 35mm wide-angle lens. With a minimum focusing distance of only 0.8 ft. (25cm), you can approach the subject closer and still obtain a more natural wide-angle effect. You can even obtain good background blur for portraits.


 


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shlomi
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Registered: Oct 11, 2004
Location: Israel
Posts: 12
Review Date: Jan 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, small, light, cheap, perfect focal length, close focusing
Cons:
Focus hunt, very noisy, slightly washed out colors, hceap feel

I love this lens and use it whenever I can. When it manages to focus correctly the results are just great. The colors are not comparable to those of the 50/1.4 but I like them as they are. It is small and cheap feeling - but it makes the camera very light and comfortable to handle in comparison to my other lenses.

The one problem that bothers me with this lens is the focus hunt in low light. I don't take it anymore to low light situations because I know it will fail, which kind of voids the f/2 advantage. This makes me consider the 35/1.4 seriously as I am otherwise happy with this lens. BTW I'm sure the low light problem can be fixed with a flash or ST-E2 focus assit light.

There is also that irritating buzzing sound of the focus engine but I can live with that. In fact just the other day someone told me my camera must be top of the line if it makes such professional sounding noises :-)

It can focus very closely and can almost be called a macro despite the short focal length.

As a walkaround I find it is the best length for 1.6x crop. I always use it at f/2.8 and above to get a normal DOF and good sharpness, but when used at f/2 results are fine too.


Jan 21, 2005
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krisdoff
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Registered: Jan 10, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 34
Review Date: Jan 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, great value for money
Cons:
Focussing not as quick and silent as ring USM but not a big issue

I needed a wider angle than my Canon 50mm f/1.4 and Canon 85mm f/1.8 for portrait photography. Very limited space in my small dining room which I use as a studio. This lens really does the trick. With 1.6 crop factor on EOS 10D, it's a "normal" lens. Now I can get more than just head and shoulder portraits.

I'm a big fan of primes and this lens does not disappoint.

Here's some samples:

http://www.pbase.com/krisdoff/vivienne_1




Jan 10, 2005
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KJbruin
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Registered: Dec 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 695
Review Date: Jan 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image quality, speed, cost, compact size
Cons:
AF a bit noisy, not as contrasty as L

Love this lens. THe focal lenght is good for indoor shots. THe 50mm prime is a bit long. F2 gives me the speed I need for available light photography. Very sharp and chontrast is very good, just under L performance. AF is fast but a bit noisy at times, though it does not bother me. The f1.4 version is slightly sharper and a bit more contrasty but if you don't need f1.4 then this lens is a quality alternative.

Jan 7, 2005
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amitai
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Registered: May 12, 2003
Location: Israel
Posts: 29
Review Date: Dec 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: light weight, very sharp, good low light capabilities.Cheap. very small-doesn't intimidate subjects.Normal FOV on a digital x1.6 sensor
Cons:
Flare. flare. flare.

I like this lens a lot because of its size and its sharpness.
I do suffer from flare perhaps because of lack of a hood. I use it for clubbing photography and it's a little too narrow in crowded places, but it shined as my documentry project only lens.


Dec 16, 2004
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edwardkaraa
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: Thailand
Posts: 9845
Review Date: Dec 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharpness, price, wide aperture.
Cons:
non USM, build, contrast, bokeh.

very usable standard lens for APS DSLR. AF is ok, despite the lack of USM. contrast is so-so but can be fixed in post-processing.

Dec 12, 2004
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neilgundel
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Registered: Dec 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Dec 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Contrast and resolution is on par with other Canon standard/wide angles, which is to say very good. Price
Cons:
Snap on lens hood Vignetting wide open Bad bokeh for a Canon Prime

This lens is capable of taking outstanding pictures - the sharpness is very good out to the corners even wide open, and the contrast is excellent.

There are only a couple things that I don't like about this lens. It doesn't bother me much that it's not a USM - it still focuses very quickly. It is not silent, but neither are my camera bodies.

I am annoyed by the lens hood mounting arrangements. All the L's and some of the non-L's have a hood with stiff bayonet mount, so you can carry the hood reversed on the lens when you aren't using it. To mount the lens, I grasp it by the hood and twist the lens in the mount until it locks into place. After I mount the lens, I reverse the hood & I am good to go.

If I try to do this with the 35/2 (and the 85/1.8 is the same in this respect) I can't mount the lens without sneaking my fingers behind the hood, because the hood has no grip on the lens. This is kind of a whiney nit-pick I know - especially for someone who doesn't change lenses often. But it costs me probably 5 seconds each time I mount this lens vs. the other system & I DO change lenses frequently. With the EOS 3, I almost always carry 2 bodies, but when I go digital that won't be an option, so it will be an even bigger dean then. ($8,000 x 2???)

Another thing is that my old 35/2 FD lens did not vignette significantly wide open, but this one does - on a full frame film camera at any rate. On the positive side, I now know how to fix even very noticeable vignetting in Photoshop so it is virtually undetectable. You can create a curves/levels adjustment layer with a layer mask filled with a radial gradient - you can even fine-tune it by applying levels/curves to the mask. Email me at my web site if you want a better explanation. You have to balance this against the fact that this lens is much sharper than that old FD lens.

Bad bokeh for a Canon prime. This is the only Canon EF prime lens I have used with less-than-stellar bokeh. All the other primes (plus the 70-200) have nearly perfect uniform filled circles on out-of-focus point sources, which gives a nice background blur. This one has a bright ring around each circle, which is not as nice. It is nowhere near as bad as some images I have seen published, but not quite up to Canon standards.

Would I buy it again? Probably - it is a sensible choice if 35mm is not the most important focal length in your bag, and it is made to a higher standard than the 50/1.8, so the price is probably justified. But I am disappointed in the vignetting/bokeh issues that Canon could have avoided at this price point or close to it - these are undoubtedly the result of the compact design, which would not be my priority.


Dec 2, 2004
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choochoo
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Registered: May 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 483
Review Date: Nov 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super lightweight, sharp wide open, short minimum focus distance, fast AF. Decent bokeh. Super cheap when compared to it's 35mm f1.4 L brother.
Cons:
no silent USM AF, AF motor a little buzzy, bokeh not as smooth as a circular bladed shutter, but not that bad. no internal focus.

My new favorite lens! This lens is so small, compact, and light that you can walk around with it all day. On the 1.6X crop cameras, it's field of view is close to a normal lens. You can get really close to your subject because of its short minimum focusing distance. Great low light lens. You can hold it steady because it's sooooo light. Great picture quality. Sharp and smooth bokeh. Inexpensive. Awesome little lens.

Nov 1, 2004
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mclaren20
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Registered: Jun 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 409
Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: My personal favorite focal length for film. Fast f/2.
Cons:
Not much. Id say not as sharp as it could be wide open, but I only paid $230, so Im not complaining. I guess im not spoiled with USM yet either, so the AF doesnt at all bother me.



Oct 24, 2004
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corgiwcn
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Registered: Apr 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 50
Review Date: Aug 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fine optical performance and close focusing; useful focal length in a 1.6x-crop DSLR.
Cons:
Loud AF. Manual focus ring is a joke.

I bought the lens to fill the gap between my 24mm and 50mm. On a 1.6x sensor, it practically becomes a substitute for 50mm on a full-frame camera with a slightly larger DOF. This makes it very useful for me to shoot photos about street people, a task that 24mm seems too wide while 50mm too long.

This lens has a dual personality: (1) optically, it is similar to the 50mm f/1.8 II I own, and (2) the AF is similar to the 24mm f/2.8 I also own.

Like the 50mm, it is soft wide open but still useful. The improvement from f/2.0 to f/2.2 is dramatic (at least for my copy). It becomes good when reaching f/2.8 and very good on the mark of f/4.0. Colorwise, it is truthful but uninspiring. The contrast is OK but not "3D-like." Overall, the optical design seems to make it a decent street-photography lens in which accomodating all the subjects/non-subjects is primary while making colorful presentation like landscapes is not. Because it records all the details faithfully, people who are used to L-lenses like 24-70 f/2.8 may need to photoshop the resulting images.

The build is ok, like the 24mm f/2.8 but much better than the toyish 50mm f/1.8. Since this lens has a very useful focal length that makes it versatile, I really wish that it had a good USM motor that doesn't bother people in a quiet setting. The autofocus on the 300D (and possibly 10D) is not entirely satisfactory. Moreover, if you are up to the manual focus, don't bother with this lens -- it's even worse than the "dog toy" 50mm f/1.8 Mk2.


Aug 31, 2004
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Tommy Lee
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Registered: Jun 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 354
Review Date: Aug 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: On a 1.6X 6MP digital body, it has excellent Optical Quality, From F2 to F11. High Res, Low flare, High Contrast, Low distortion, Color is good.
Cons:
None, What else could one ask for less than $200.


This 35/f2 and the 50/1.8 is a must have. It is a bargain and a steal. Someone at Canon forgot to put a USM motor and a red ring around the top.



Aug 25, 2004
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mediahound
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Registered: Jul 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 394
Review Date: Jul 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $219.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight, great quality for the price.
Cons:
Very noisy autofocus

If you are going to buy a prime why not get a fast f2 (or faster) one? Personally, I don't bother with the f2.8 primes but maybe that's just me.

Anyway the 35 f2 is definitely a keeper. It's a great performer for the price and on the 10d, it has an effective focal length of 56mm which is basically normal. I have found it a great street photography/walk around lens.

My only complaint is that the autofocus is quite loud. Much louder than the 50 f1.8 MKII. I find that I shoot in manual focus mode with this lens mostly. It's fairly smooth and easy to focus and the depth of field dial is an added plus.

I think you would be hard pressed to tell any difference in sharpness between this lens an an 'L' lens.


Jul 23, 2004
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MarkSaperstein
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Registered: Sep 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1345
Review Date: Jun 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great image quality. Small and light. Inexpensive.
Cons:
Image quality drops off at the edges with film/full-frame sensor.

For the price, this is a great lens, especially on a small sensor (D60, 10D). When using film or full-frame sensor, the quality at the edges does not hold up so well. I used it as my normal lens on the 10D. Image quality is not like the "L" lenses, but it's not far behind.

Jun 2, 2004
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Z_28
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Registered: Aug 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1449
Review Date: Apr 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, great contrast and colors. Fast and silent AF.
Cons:
None at this time

Great, high quality in pocket lens while walking/working with attached 70-200.
Perfect "standard" lens for digital SLRs (1D, 10D and 300D).


Apr 9, 2004
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Ray Soemarsono
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Registered: Jul 27, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3883
Review Date: Mar 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, close to a normal lens on a 1.6x crop bodies, sharpness, close focusing.
Cons:
None

This is a sleeper lens, IMO. It's very versatile, relatively cheap, and the image produced is very sharp. Sure, there's no USM, but at this price I'm not expecting any. I love the minimum focusing distance as well (0.8 ft). A casual, unassuming lens that is as close as a normal lens for 10D/D60/D30.

Mar 29, 2004
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Feb 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $130.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb optics. Corner to corner sharpness. Small, light and compact.
Cons:
Slightly slow AF.

I got this lens because I needed something between my 24 and 50 primes. I finally ended up using this lens most of the time. The optics are top notch and the f/2.0 speed is very useful. The lens focuses very close. I sometimes shoot at f/2.0 with this lens and the results are very sharp. Color rendition is quite neutral and color saturation is as good as the 50/1.8. The lens feels quite solid, and the metal lens mount and distance scale are welcome.

These days you can find this lens at low prices now that people are switching to "pro" wide Sigma zooms for their DSLR's Smile


Feb 12, 2004
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Canon EF 35mm f/2

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
131 376929 Dec 21, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $402.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.56
9.05
8.8
ef35mmf2_1_


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