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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
218 491383 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,192.25
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.36
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: 63į
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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KPBara
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Registered: Jun 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 135
Review Date: Aug 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,080.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open across the frame, fast and accurate focus, solid build
Cons:
CA wide open, no weather seal

The 24-105L was my most used lens for two years but I have hardly touched it since I got the 35L three months ago. Not surprisingly this lens is sharp in the center wide open, but surprisingly sharpness is uniform across the frame except extreme borders. This alone makes it stand out among fast wide angle lenses, excelling over a new design like the Sigma 30, even 10 years after first release. Focus is fast, silent, and sure. The 35L has a great feel: smooth focus ring, solid construction, great proportion on a medium-sized SLR, and beautiful front element. Drawbacks include CA wide open, lack of weather seal, and 'plastic' finish compared to, say, the 135L. The 135L may be my best built, best performing lens, but the 35L is by far the most fun.

Aug 29, 2008
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dimitris77
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Registered: Aug 28, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 535
Review Date: Aug 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, color, bokeh.
Cons:
Size & price.

This is a great lens and must have from the Canon lineup. Makes zooms seem so dull. The results that I get from it on my 20D are nothing close to anything I have seen from another lens. Fast focusing I can't wait to use it on FF when prices go down a bit.

I have bigger lenses (call me 85L) but its amazing how Canon manages to always have the biggest lenses available among other brands. Don't know how it will behave on FF but I am still hoping.


Aug 27, 2008
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abam
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Registered: Apr 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4201
Review Date: Aug 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,080.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: build quality, sharpness from F2.0 on up, bokeh at F1.4
Cons:
price a bit high for an aging lens that is due for an update, soft at F1.4, small amount of play in the focusing ring

this lens is very well built, although it has a slight bit of play in the focusing ring. it is also very sharp, as long as you keep it above F2.0. the bokeh is delicious, but not really much different than a F1.8 lens.

additionally, this is a 12 year old design, is soft at 1.4, and as such should be around $800 for what it offers.

is it worth over 3 times what the 2.0 version is? if you need the build quality, sure. if you're not going into battle with this lens, then the 2.0 would probably fit the bill as well.

will i keep it, though? certainly.


Aug 11, 2008
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Xibalban
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Registered: Dec 1, 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 109
Review Date: Aug 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: image quality
Cons:
big, heavy, feels cheap

Itís amazing how cheap this lens feels. Except for the lens mount, itís completely made out of plastic although I hope at least the lenses are real glass. Itís like something from a $20 toy camera. For the price I would have hoped a more quality feel to it. It is also very big and heavy.

The image quality however is very good and thatís of course the most important part. Take a look at my pictures with it (mostly taken wide open):

http://markuspuustinen.com/galleriat/08/08/pictures_from_kvarken_archipelago_part1/
http://markuspuustinen.com/index.php?x=browse&category=37


Aug 11, 2008
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LeoJan
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Registered: May 26, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: L build, Useble right open. Very Sharp and beautiful color.
Cons:
Some purple fringing sometimes, diappears above F2.0. Easy to correct. A little barrel, but still, you have to correct it.

Not a barging, but the quality stay's long after the price is forgotten. In comparising with the money you lose on bying a DSLR, it's an investment.

On my 1.3 crop the 35 mm is very nice, on a FF is must be even nicer.

The results you have to see to beleve, F2.8 is sů beautiful.

I own the lens for 2 day's now and I love it already.


Aug 10, 2008
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tellingthm
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Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 337
Review Date: Jul 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 100% usability at f/1.4 just opens up a whole new world of possibilities
Cons:
it's too bad physics won't allow this lens to be smaller. an L should be weather-sealed, but it doesn't really matter cause my 5d isn't weather-sealed either.

first off, in the interest of full disclosure, i'll state that i'm a prime shooter. that said, shortly after purchasing this lens, i sold my other lenses (24-70L, 28/1.8, 50/1.4). that was over 6 months ago, and the 35L is still the only lens i own. paired with my 5d, the 35 allows me to capture whatever i see, exactly as i see it, in ANY situation; the combination of 35mm, f/1.4, and (5d's) iso 3200 allow for shooting in the darkest of situations, as i can comfortably handhold at 1/30th, and- if i'm careful- 1/10th, although subject motion can make that a moot point. although you won't be able to make the background disappear like you can with a telephoto unless you're subject is close to you (because of the 35mm focal length), it's plenty easy to blur everything but your subject- which is reliably sharp with this lens.
i've owned every L 2.8 zoom and every USM non-L prime, and nothing compares to the 35L. when i get a longer lens in the near-future, it'll either be an 85L or 135L; i've just grown too accustomed to (and spoiled by!) L prime IQ.


Jul 12, 2008
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philber
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 7484
Review Date: Jun 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Perfect portrait lens on my 40D. Great rendition of even very subtle color shadings and contrasts.
Cons:
Nothing

Out of my 6 Canon primes, this one is second best only to my 135L 2.0. Compared to it, its ability to record color is equivalent, and outstanding, but it lacks just a little edge. When reality is rough, the 35L softens it ever so slightly IMHO. But it is very slight, and goes to making the shots more beautiful than real. So who's complaining?
Highly recommended.


Jun 22, 2008
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banditlj
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Registered: Dec 29, 2007
Location: China
Posts: 74
Review Date: Apr 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,235.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: I's so sharp at f1.4.the colour is so rich.the boken is so lovely and in room,it's so useful
Cons:
CA is the most poor in my lens lines you pay 1000$ for a plastic lens!

It's my lens

Apr 29, 2008
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dgenx24
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Registered: Jan 29, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 691
Review Date: Apr 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,119.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, nice blur, small & light
Cons:
plastic feel

I just bought this yesterday,..
i'm having so much fun with it right out of the box..
to me, this lens is alot easier to use than 85L..
lighter and more compact too..
only one thing that I don't like it about is the plastic feel...


Apr 15, 2008
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poodlelvr
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 507
Review Date: Apr 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Stunning rich, deep color. Fast, sharp, my favorite lens.
Cons:
None

Although I primarily have L lens, when I bought my 5D I decided to try this lens. She stays on the camera 95% of the time. Another person who wishes she had bought this lens long ago; moving to primes on the basis of this lens alone. I also have 135L, which I love, but this is better. Just buy it.

Apr 10, 2008
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Henry Goh
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Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 91
Review Date: Apr 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,220.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp at f/1.4 with buttery OOF areas. By shooting wide open, it gives me a unique look that is not possible with my other lenses. I really like the look and am currently wondering if I can expand this to the 24mm f/1.4L lens too.
Cons:
None really

I wish I had bought this lens earlier. Since I also have the 85mm f/1.2 II, I plan to now buy the 24mm f/1.4 and the 14mm f/2.8. On the 1Ds MKIII where I can use micro-adjustment to get the sharpest focus, these lenses together with the 35mm L are worth the money.

Apr 7, 2008
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ihendy
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Registered: Apr 6, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Constrast, Color, Sharpness, biuld quality.
Cons:
CA at 1.4 - easily fixed pp

I loved my 50 1.4 but found it a little tight on the 1.6 crop. Great portrait lense but I was looking for a standard lense like I had back on my old film SLR. I researched them all, tried a few, agonized about cost, then just went and bought the 35L. WOW - this lense is fantastic. The images seem almost 3d. It's been stuck on my 40d for over a month now. All that prime will make you more creative jazz is not total crap. I had gotten so used to twisting the zoom to take the shot, I forgot the joy of working with a prime. I kinda feel sorry for my other lenses now. I only use them if I can't get the shot with this one.

Apr 6, 2008
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TysonRobichaud
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Registered: Dec 10, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color, Sharpness, Speed, on FF 35mm is a very useful focal length for all around shooting.
Cons:
Absolutely nothing that I can see or have found. It would be nice if it were a bit more affordable, but if this is the going rate for the quality it produces, then it is what must be paid.

Again, reading reviews and allowing myself to be pushed that last little bit has not let me down. This truly is one of the most amazing lenses I have shot with. I like 35mm on a FF as opposed to the standard 50mm as it gives that little extra angle which helps when closer to the action so to speak. Functioning as a standard (56mm equiv) on a cropped sensor would provide a beautiful alternative as well but it shines on a 5D. At 1.4 I have been amazed at how sharp and beautiful an image it creates and have since traded away my 50 1.4 as I would not have a use for it anymore. Color is beautifully saturated and lines are sharp. Stopped to f/2 this lens will rival any in overall image quality, although I have been shooting this wide open 99% of the time. Truly worthy of its praises. With a wide angled lens like this you do not get the subject isolation or bokeh you see with the 85's or 135 for obvious reasons, but that said, I have not seen a 35mm focal length that produces oof areas like this one is capable of. The only problem I could see someone having with this lens would have to be an aversion to the focal length or procuring a bad copy. If you can drop the coin, you would be hard pressed to find a better 35mm lens out there.

Mar 25, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Mar 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,140.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Perfect de facto lens, well-balanced in size, very sharp and high IQ lens!
Cons:
A little pricy, but you get what you pay for.

I would be happy with this lens epoxied to my spare Canon 5D body! If I could only have one lens, then this one would be my choice.

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L USM Lens Photo Samples

-Roy


Mar 23, 2008
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Rob S
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Registered: Dec 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 141
Review Date: Dec 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best-in-class speed and sharpness, wonderful blurred backgrounds...especially for a wide angle.
Cons:
Cost, size. (But you get what you pay for, right?)

I gave a lot of thought to getting the new 50L to have a fast, 'normal' lens for a trip to Japan. I went with the 35L instead, partially because I'm shooting 1.3x and 1.6x crop cameras, and partly because the 35 and 85 were my favorite focal lengths back in the film days. It seemed like an awfully expensive addition to my bag, especially since I'm already shooting the 10-22, 17-40L, and 24-105L in that range. I brought a lot of gear to Japan, and surprisingly, the 35L was one of my most-used lenses. Great for low-light, nighttime stuff. The bokeh really surprised me...not as buttery as my 85L, but beautiful nonetheless. And did I mention I focuses about 5X faster than the 85L?

In the field, this lens went from a 'just in case' tool to a main everyday workhorse. I always have it tucked in my pocket now!


Dec 31, 2007
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Tony Rogers
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Registered: Jul 9, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 299
Review Date: Dec 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, speed. Perspective distortion (when desired)
Cons:
Perspective distortion (when NOT desired!)

This lens made it possible for me to stop relying on the 24-70mm f2.8L. I use it mostly for full-length shots in the studio, where I'm running around f8. It is noticeably sharper than the 24-70, and focuses more quickly (probably because f1.4 lets a lot of light hit the autofocus sensors).

Have to be careful about getting too close to a model while using this lens - unintended perspective distortion is unflattering :-) Apart from that I have nothing bad to say about this lens.

I suspect Canon don't sell a lot of these because people buy the 24-70 or 16-35 instead. Pity, because this lens is very very good. Just wish the 24 f1.4 was as good.


Dec 28, 2007
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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
218 491383 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,192.25
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.36
8.22
9.5
ef_35_14_1_


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