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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
222 500581 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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Mike Mahoney
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Registered: Mar 8, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 5443
Review Date: Jun 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, colors, lack of CA and purple fringing, quick focus
Cons:
Price, build quality, severe vignetting at wider apertures

Based on the many reviews and comments on this lens I was expecting to be blown away, but my overall feeling is just a moderate positive one .. yes it is a great lens, but nothing like the heaven sent experience some reviewers claim to have with it.

It is sharp from wide open and my copy has very little (if any) CA and zero purple fringing, even wide open. The colors are good and the bokeh renders a nice pop to your subject, even if it is a bit nervous. Focus is quick and accurate. And yes, it does have that certain "Je ne sais quoi" about it that separates it from the rest of the pack but let's get over it just a little bit .. it's not the holy grail of lenses.

Build quality is a bit plasticky (think 50 1.4 or 85 1.8), not on par with my 24-70 2.8, or even my 135L. And in $1,350 price range, it is a bit expensive for what you get.

If you're a dedicated prime user needing low light performance or just like wider angle bokeh this lens will suit you. But if you're using lenses in the 2.8 or smaller range look elsewhere.


Jun 1, 2010
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LeoJan
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Registered: May 26, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 25, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,050.00

 
Pros: You can use this lens from F1.4. Lens is normal sharp, good color, nice weight and size. Nice bokeh.
Cons:
Lots and lots of CA. Even at F8.0 I had green fringing in the corners. Not so very nice.

I use this lens very much and I love it and hate it. The CA is a real problem and sometimes simply ruin's you photo. I love 35 mm, if I should have to chose I chose 35 mm. And there is no alternative so you pay big money for a lens witch is far from perfect.

May 25, 2010
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djpapa
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Registered: Nov 4, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 234
Review Date: May 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image quality , colors contrast ,boken, special color tone.
Cons:
none

This is the LENS I'm still miss it when i sold it almost 2 years for some reason.

special color tone in canon.
Amazing sharp and boken .



May 24, 2010
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JetwashImages
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Registered: Jan 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 40
Review Date: May 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazingly sharp, build quality, well balanced, bokeh, quick AF, contrast and color is outstanding. You get what you pay for.
Cons:
CA wide open, not weather sealed.

Such an amazing lens. So sharp and really fun to use. I am using this lens on the Canon 7D. I cannot wait for the next rendition of the 5D (mark III?) to be introduced. I'm sure this lens on a FF body will produce even more incredible results.

I own several Canon primes now and can honestly say that I will probably never buy another zoom lens again. The 24-105mm F/4 L IS is convenient and has good sharpness but the 35mm/F1.4 L is on a whole different level.

The only zoom that I may consider is the new 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS II, just based off the positive reviews that say it smokes the original version... maybe this is a sign of good things to come for other Canon zooms that are released? Time will most certainly tell.

Back on topic, I highly recommend the 35mm/F1.4 L. There is really no need for Canon to introduce an updated version. Not much they can do to improve this fine lens other than maybe weather seal it.


May 5, 2010
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willie mac
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Registered: Jun 15, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 31
Review Date: Mar 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:



Mar 21, 2010
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Beverly Guhl
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Registered: Nov 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3095
Review Date: Mar 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, DOF range, creative options, lightweight, size, solid build.
Cons:
none for me

I'd come across some wonderful portraits of people and pets with a really shallow DOF and asked the photographers what lens they used, and this was it. I knew I had to have one. I LOVE this lens. It gives color, clarity, and sharpness mixed with a creamy bokeh that makes you just sit back and be awed by the images. The razor thin DOF can be challenging, but for creative, artsy effects for portraits, pets, objects it's fabulous. Landscapes and everything in between are rich and and crisp. The creative options and versatility make this a great lens to own. The price is probably just about right for a lens of this quality, but don't we all wish they were cheaper.

4 sample shots taken with this lens:

http://www.beverlyguhl.com/35L_samples/35L.html


Mar 20, 2010
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Dietr
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Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Feb 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,275.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great perspective for casual portraiture, nice bokeh
Cons:
None

Bokeh is just a little nervous compared to some of the other L lenses in this category...like the 50 and 85. But that is only a small problem and not a real concern. Lens is Sharp and I mean SHARP. Right from 1.4 the center is razor and the slightly wide perspective gives a great feel to casual portraits of children. Puts you right into the action and emotion of the shot. I sold my 50L to get this one and have ZERO regrets! For the shots where I want a creamy soft background I will mount the 85L.

Feb 16, 2010
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maiaibing
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Registered: Jun 25, 2009
Location: Afghanistan
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jan 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: colors, fast focus, build, bokeh,
Cons:

This lens delivers wonderful results. It is the perfect standard lens for a crop camera and it creates beautiful pictures on FF.

The bokeh is great, it's truely razor sharp from f/1.8 and only marginally soft wide open. It's focus is soundless and lightning fast.

I shoot mainly portraits with the 35L wide open and at f/1.6.and people are really impressed. Have also had many pictures published in all kinds of media from book covers over newspapers to TV with this lens.

Did I mention that the colors are deep and saturated too?

It can go close and take pictures at available light from amazing perspectives. For indoor use is shines at taking pictures of family and friends with both crop and FF.

Of all my lenses it is the one I will always bring along - and the one I use the most. It's worth every cent you pay for it.

It may show some CA, PF etc. wide open as others have mentioned, but so does the 50L, 85L and the 135L (a sacrifice made to improve the bokeh). For this reason I often tend to shoot @ f/1.6 for just a little better colors and contrast.

The 35mm 2.0 is a close as Pluto when it comes to functionality and image IQ.


Jan 8, 2010
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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: 158
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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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 500581 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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