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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
222 501331 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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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: 143
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: 302
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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Dan Doucette
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Registered: Nov 2, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 27
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Useable at f/1.4 and great by f/2, solid build quality, very good image quality, great bokeh for a 35mm lens.
Cons:
A tad soft at f/1.4, expensive, extra care must be given to proper shooting technique when using wide open, should be weather sealed

For my style of photography I shoot primarily with f/2.8 L zooms. I switch to a few more specialized primes only as needed. For me, the 35L is one of those specialized lenses. I use it when I need to shoot hand-held in low-light conditions, or if extra shallow depth of field is required at this focal length.

I used to carry the 50mm f/1.4 and the 24mm f/1.4 for these occasions but found the image quality of the 50mm to be seriously lacking in the f/1.4-2 range (where I needed it to be good). This left just the 24L, which I liked, but was too wide to be a one lens solution for my low-light, hand-held shooting. The 24L was also a bit soft wide open under some conditions.

I was able to borrow a 35L to try for a few weeks and was hooked. I sold the 50 and 24, bought a used 35L and have not looked back. I can use this lens wide open and get good results, but I try to stop down to f/2 if possible to increase image quality a bit.

I did need to send this lens in for repair as the AF unit was causing every 5th shot or so to be out of focus, even under great lighting. The repair was made and I have not noticed a problem since.

I shoot with the 5D and find that for best auto-focus results in poor lighting I must use the center focus point and not the less-sensitive peripheral points. This requires using the focus-recompose technique that can sometimes result in out of focus results in shallow depth of field situations, but so far this has not been an issue for me.

Some people say this lens it tack sharp wide open. My experience has been that it provides useable results wide-open, but still sharpens up some when stopped down a bit. Overall it's a great lens, with very good color, sharpness, and contrast, smooth bokeh, and is built to last.

I would recommend this lens if you need the f/1.4 capabilities, are looking for a top quality lens, and can afford the investment. It will help you get shots that would otherwise be missed.

-Dan Doucette
www.infotography.com


Dec 17, 2007
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Per Zangenberg
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Registered: Jan 17, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 11
Review Date: Dec 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: 1.4 aparture is sooooo sweet!, you can almost shot in total darknes!, good build
Cons:
Not really sharp until f/2, wich is very disapointing since I bought it to use wide open. At f/1.4 it is soft and "dreamy", but for smaller pictures it apears sharp.

I wanted a low-light lense and after reading so high praise I bought a used 35L. Unfortunatly it is quite soft below f2. Also on 5D the 35mm FOV is not relly that great IMO. I am looking to trade it for a 24L instead since I often want more FOV.

Dec 1, 2007
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markle
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Registered: Jan 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 252
Review Date: Nov 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: pictures
Cons:
not sharp enough @1.4 (and 1.4 only)

this lens will really make a difference. In any picture. I'm not going to repeat what others said because we all know how good this lens can be.

I use it mainly on a 1Ds but on the 40D that I just bought gives amazing results as well : different but still great (given the different "view")

now this is the first lens that made me rethink about the crop factor: on a FF camera you tend to get closer adding the "wide effect" to the amazing contrast sharpness and colors. But on a 40D I tend to step back a little. It becomes a different lens on a 40D.

The details are really "touchable". The images are never "ordinary": the color impact is impressive, the scene becomes a 3D scene. Not "fiction" but close Smile

The Autofocus needs attention. This lens is not to be used as a zoom: you really need to point, lock, evaluate the scene, lock again if needed and shoot.

I like to think that this lens really wants photographers who know what they are doing ... (and that will put me out of the category immediately) LOL

careful at 1.4. but at 1.6 the lens is already up there.. within the best.




Nov 23, 2007
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bcaslis
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Registered: Mar 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 788
Review Date: Nov 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp, excellent color and contrast, great "almost" standard prime on 1.3x body
Cons:
price

I wanted a fast standard prime for a 1.3x body. A 50mm is a bit too long and the 35mm a bit wide, but the closest that fits this goal. I wanted this primarily for indoor dim light shots without flash and as a secondary use as a standard general purpose lens. The 35L is pretty sharp at f1.4 and very very sharp by f2.0. It makes an excellent standard lens on a 1D Mark III and produces stunning images. The images are far sharper with the 35L than either the 50 f1.4 or the 50L with equal or better contrast and color. The body is plastic but well built and the focus ring one of the best in terms of a solid but fluid feel to it. Focus speed is also fast and accurate.

Low light images are perfect for this lens with it's sharpness and great bokah. The 35L is a great lens and deserves its reputation as one of Canon's sharpest and best.



Nov 22, 2007
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Daan B
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Registered: Aug 15, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7596
Review Date: Nov 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,165.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Center sharpness, contrast (3D), colors, bokeh, low light performance (1.4), build, AF
Cons:
Heavy field curvature resulting in high amounts of CA's and softness at the corners; therefore less suitable for landscapes / scenery on FF

I've bought this lens to be used on a 5D for shooting environmental portraits in available (low) light and some landscapes / scenery.

Sharpness wide open in the center is quite good (still needs a little USM though). It becomes noticebly better at f/2. At f/2.8 to f/5.6 it reaches the sweet spot in the center of the frame (which is excellent - comparable to the 50mm 1.4). From f/8 sharpness starts to decline. Corners on FF are falling behind across the whole range of apertures. Even at f/8 the far corners are still a bit soft. You really can see the effects of some rather heavy field curvature here.

Contrast is excellent (even at f/1.4). Colors and bokeh are amazing. Obviously this lens was designed for low light performance. It really shines when used wide open in low light. Distortion is minimal. Haven't tested it for flare. There is some purple fringing in the center of the frame wide open. At f/2.8 this is entirely gone. CA's are are different matter. This is definitely the weak spot of this lens (again the effects of the rather heavy field curvature). In the far corners and borders I have seen CA's of 6 pixels wide (on FF) at f/8 (when shooting tree benches or buildings against the sky).

The build quality is very good. Although there is some extensive use of (good quality) plastics. The focus ring is smooth and a little bit damped. The lens has a good size and weight and balances nicely on my 5D with grip. It looks kind of handsome too. The AF is very fast and in good lighting very accurate on a 5D. In extremely poor light it has trouble achieving focus.

For shooting environmental portraits in available (low) light the lens does really a good job. For shooting landscapes / scenery on FF it's less suitable. Mainly because of the corner softness (corner sharpness is way better on my 24-70L or 50mm 1.4) and the high amounts of CA's in the far corners (even at f/8 and smaller). Mind you, the corner softness and CA's are less of an issue on a crop body.

I had thought it to be an allround lens. Instead I must conclude it's a specialty lens. A very good specialty lens indeed, but nevertheless not as versatile as I would have liked it to be.


Nov 8, 2007
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jdryan3
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Registered: Aug 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 328
Review Date: Nov 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp even at 1.4, really sharp at f/2,great bokeh, light but solid, great on my 5D
Cons:
hunts a little in low, low light - need something for it to 'grab' onto

I shot some indoor concert pix with and without flash. All were great, but the non-flash stand out. Those are the ones folks go 'whoa' when they see. Obviously @ f/1.4 -f/2 DOF is shallow, but that is why you get a lens like this. With more practice, I'm sure I'll have even better shots.

On the focusing issue, when using AF and you have focus, it tracks very, very well. But I had a couple of instances where in admittedly very low light using center focus aiming at a stationary object, AF just couldn't get it.

Overall a great lens. I had wanted to get it several years ago when I got my 5D, but went for the 24-70 instead. The 'L' collection just keeps growing...


Nov 7, 2007
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Peter Kotsa
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Registered: Nov 1, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 268
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,890.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: brilliant at f1.4, lovely bokeh
Cons:
price..

best 35mm I have used, I compare it very closely to my zeiss 35mm.
lovely.


Nov 1, 2007
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taroen.pasman
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Registered: Nov 1, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning Colours, Contrast and low-light performance, lightweight.
Cons:
- Pricy for poor amateur like me, but the results more than balance it. - 'plain' 56mm on 1.6x Sensors like my 40D

After shooting mostly with (quality) zooms, I saw some pictures with the 35mm that made me reconsider good quality primes.
I'm a typical 'lazy' amateur and was fearful of the walking back and forth with a fixed prime.

Have this lens now 5 days, so I have no hands-on experience considering build-quality.
But the pictures!! The colour and contrast of this lens make short work of my 24-105 4.0L en 70-200 IS 2.8L. They really pale in comparison.
I really really love this lens already and it has reopened my view on primes and composure in general. Very definitely a keeper!!

Only downside is the rather ordinary 56mm view on my 40D. This lens really makes me consider FF bodies just for this lens!!



Nov 1, 2007
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suzy l
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Registered: Oct 31, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Oct 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: my favorite lens
Cons:
none

love it have to sell it to purchase something that actually makes me money will hate to see it go

Oct 31, 2007
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Matt Kerby
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Registered: Jun 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 513
Review Date: Oct 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast 1.4 Aperture, very sharp wide open, beautiful color and contrast
Cons:
None

Traded my 17-55 for this very fine lens....I got a great deal, this lens is superb

Oct 26, 2007
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ktownsend
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Registered: Feb 8, 2006
Location: France
Posts: 87
Review Date: Oct 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent contrast, AF, colors
Cons:

Having seen all the glowing reviews, and missing a real wide angle prime in my collection, I bought this lens on a business trip to Japan, since there was a reasonable savings compared to prices here in France (around 400 difference).

The color and contrast on this lens is excellent (and up to my expectations of the best L lenses), but while it is quite sharp when printed and when viewing at normal sizes (say 25 or 50% in Photoshop), I expected it to be sharper at 100% looking at all the reviews, etc. Could be my copy. (I admit Canon's quality control sometimes makes me feel like I'm playing the lottery buying their high end products!)

The lens is very good, and I think deserves it's reputation, but I notice that my 85L has the same beautiful constrast and colors, but is visibly sharper (very noticable side by side at 100%) compared to the 35L. That said ... the 85L is also the standard I compare every other lens to, so it's a tough act to follow. No regrets on the purchase, and I recommmend it to anyone who wants to learn how to use it, I guess all the gushing of others just set me up for a very mild disappointment, though maybe others are coming from expectations other than the 85L.

On a positive note, I find the 35L has a lot less CA than the 85L, which is a huge problem on that otherwise divine piece of optical engineering. It exists, but is much less pronounced wide open, and I'm less afraid to use the 35 in strong back lighting, though I haven't used it as much as I would like to really knows its strength and weaknesses.

Highly recommended ... but if I had to keep only one lens between my 35L and my 85L, I'd keep the 85, but it's also a question of shooting style (portraits for me). I'm happy to have both options, though, and at the moment my day to day (light) photo bag only contains these two lens, a couple pocket wizards, a 580 EX and my 1Ds. There isn't much that I'd want to photograph that I can't address with these two beautiful lenses.


Oct 6, 2007
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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 501331 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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