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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
222 501495 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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aestiva
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Registered: Feb 17, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 8, 2015 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Thrust, sharp, fast AF, smooth
Cons:
price and nog water resistance

After photographing 5 years with the Canon 35 1.4L as a professional bide photographer from http://totaalfotografie.nl, I switched tot Sigma 35 1.4art .

My first three Sigma copy's had a very bad focus issue and even the fourth needed a focus correction of +18 on my three 5D Mark III's.

After the calibration at Sigma the lens was perfect for the time being.
Sharp, nice AF, smooth and amazing bokeh.

But after shooting a while, this lens needed soms focus correction. I had to do it around 1 time a month. After the calibration the lens seems to be perfect again. I used Focal Reikan to calibrate (can't recommend this software of the crashes).

After photographing a year with this nice lens I went back to my Canon 35 1.4L. En guess what, a better AF in terrible dark places and always sharp pictures in stead of the Sigma.

The Sigma has some strange issues and as a professional who used both lenses en several copy's a long time I still recommend the Canon 35 1.4L.
Maybe a little more CA beneath f2.2 but 99,9% of my pictures are sharp again.

The only thing that I broke in 6 years was my AF button.


May 8, 2015
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scott_scheetz
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Registered: Oct 31, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 59
Review Date: Apr 15, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP! Beautiful colors and contrast, beautiful Bokeh. Great AF and focus ring
Cons:
A little plasticky? (Maybe? Its just because of the rear barrel section being made of plastic) Not weather sealed

I picked this lens up used several months ago, and ended up having to send it into Canon about 2 weeks after I got it. The focus assembly had jammed and broke (I didn't drop it, I think the previous owner did)

Either way, it came back good as new in 5 days (Yay CPS!) performing better than when I had bought it. It is crazy sharp, and the colors and contrast are beautiful. Other than the rear barrel section being made of plastic, and the lack of weather sealing, the build quality is great.

In my use, flare resistance has been pretty good. (see last image)

AF is fast an accurate as with most Canon USM lenses.

This lens is wonderful as a walk around lens, or for event shooting/photojournalism. My one complaint is sometimes it is not wide enough, so that's when I grab the 24LII. I usually have the 35L on one camera and the 24LII on a second camera when I'm shooting receptions. It balances quite well on full-body cameras such as the 1D line, or on a gripped 5D.

Some sample images (all wide open at f/1.4 on full frame):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/16669231400/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/16511253898/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/16697536671/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/16491562737/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/16855472902/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/16236657423/


Apr 15, 2015
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DZR76
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Registered: Mar 26, 2013
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 14, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: most of the lens is metal, good ergonomics, low-light suitable (f/1.4), superb bokeh - out-of-focus backgrounds just melt away - very nice!
Cons:
focus ring is not like Zeiss ;), barrel distortion

I simply love this lens! Use it on a full frame camera (Canon 5D Mark III).

It is a very good handheld indoor lens. Especially great for low available light environmental portraits. I never use a flash.


Feb 14, 2015
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jmontis
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Registered: Sep 7, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 16
Review Date: Nov 30, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fast, accurate, sharp
Cons:
price

Great on a full frame as a fast wide angle. Not so useful on a crop. When I want be able to shoot in low light in tighter spaces it comes in very handy. Mine is very usable wide open, fast accurate auto focus. Great color and contrast. Even wide open the bokeh is not as nice as you would expect from a 1.4.

See images at:
http://www.JonMontisPhotography.com


Nov 30, 2014
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aestiva
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Registered: Feb 17, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 12, 2014 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,400.00

Pros: Very sharp after f2.0 Nice bokeh Nice build even it's an old lens Very fast AF
Cons:
Quality beneath f2.0 is poor, I use this one from 2.2 to hide the CA A lot of CA Price isn't worth it. My Sigma 35 1.4 art beats this one! and it's 2 times cheaper

When I compared this lens with my Sigma art, you see this is an old lens. This lens is sharp but only from 2.0. Beneath 2.0 this lens is quite soft and has a lot of CA.

Since I upgraded this lens to the 35 art, I don't use it anymore.

Most of the pictures till july 2014 on my page, I made with this lens. http://facebook.com/totaalfotografie

After july 2014, most of the pictures are made with the Sigma Art


Nov 12, 2014
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Soulphoto2014
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Registered: Sep 3, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, light
Cons:
Price, CA

I bought this lens 3 years ago, it's one of Canon's 'golden three primes'. It still delivers, but got a bit outdated as Sigma's 35 1.4 Art is better as everyone read or tested allready.

I replaced this 35L with the Sigma 35 Art, this one has less CA and is sharper and cheaper.

For me no 24-70 zooms anymore, I like to be able to go to f1.4 for the great bokeh/isolation.

This lens is a perfect allround/walkaround lens, especially for a persone in connection with the background. For example a doctor with his practice, model in a store,... to see more background.

And 35mm has way less distortion than 24L's.
Don't doubt, just go for the newer Sigma 35 1.4 Art if you haven't paid allready Wink


Sep 3, 2014
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Jim Heine
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Registered: Apr 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 308
Review Date: Aug 27, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, superb focus - fast and insanely accurate,
Cons:
Edge sharpness isn't great until you approach f2.8 (when it gets fantastic), aperture blades aren't curved, fringing in high contrast areas even stopped down, not especially flare resistant, CA at wider apertures, the hood wears and gets loose with age (this has happened to friends as well)

Excellent lens. Such a reliable workhorse. I can always count on this lens to have perfect autofocus and to be sharp. It's a little soft (and has CA) in the corners until between f2 and f2.8. By f2.8 it's very sharp across the frame. But that all seems typical for such a fast WA lens. Can't complain too much there.

It could eventually use an update with better coatings for flare, improve sharpness in the corners, etc. But I don't think it would be enough for me to upgrade. I just love this lens.


Aug 27, 2014
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tcphoto
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Registered: Mar 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 838
Review Date: Aug 17, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $970.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Color rendition and contrast
Cons:
None

After years of owning standard EF lenses, I have recently upgraded to multiple L lenses. The latest has been the 35L and it may be my favorite. Those that comment on its wide open performance may have unrealistic expectations. Just about every lens lacks at maximum aperture, add user error trying to focus at such a DOF and AF was not designed to work at F1.4. If you want maximum quality, great contrast and great low light performance this lens is for you.

Aug 17, 2014
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Erik_J
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Registered: Aug 31, 2013
Location: Sweden
Posts: 208
Review Date: Oct 11, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,430.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: AF, Colours
Cons:
No weather sealing, Expensive, CA

It's a rather nice 35mm lens. But too expensive compared to the competition. It has some CA and Flare also

Oct 11, 2013
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alskouba
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Registered: Jun 19, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 315
Review Date: Mar 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp! Colors! Fast AF! My favorite focal lenght.Trust(just this makes is value to me)
Cons:
I would say build quality even do it is great And will take a lot of beating,I dont like the plastics and would of love to have the same build as the 24L II.Also no rubber ring... Chromatic aberation but easely corrected in post.

This is the first lens review I ever done. I had to share my experience with this lens! I simply adore it, I do a lot of reportage and PJ work and this is definitly a lens I can fully trust. Half of my Portfolio image are made with that lens.It's that good. I must says i am a pixel peepers... to me,Unless the moment is really important, if it is not sharp at 100% then the image is good for the garbage.With this len,the number of keeper is amazing. I have used this lens on the original 5d,5d mkII and 5dmkIII and 1d mkIII. on all of theese bodies even mkI and mkII AF was perfect and IQ was close to be perfect.
For as long as I will be able to run and walk this lens will do the ideal job
I highly suggest this lens!!
Alexis


Mar 23, 2013
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Mr.Konstantin
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Registered: May 14, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 215
Review Date: Feb 7, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast and quite focus, lightweight, build quality, flare control
Cons:
No weather seal, front cap hard to use when hood is attached, price, CA wide open

I have been using 35L for the past two years and can't tell you enough. First and most important for me was the weight and build quality which exceeded my expectations as well as the image quality is second to none. I use this lens for half&full length body portraits including environmental portraits with minimal distortion which can be fixed in LR with ease. This is a great indoor lens be it for family, events or wedding. I found the large focusing ring rotates with little effort and with great precision. I found this lens has impressive macro capability.
The only small con I found was the lens cap is is tough to take off and put on when the hood is attached but I can live with that.
All in all this is a must have and truly deserve all the hype.


Feb 7, 2013
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kezeka
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Registered: Feb 18, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1917
Review Date: Jan 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness wide open, color, contrast, build, "Magic", fast AF
Cons:
No weather sealing, CA and fringing wide open

I have always read about this lens being somehow "magical" without much of any proof to back it up. It doesn't have the crystal clear sharpness and microcontrast as a Zeiss. What it does have is a whole lot of character. Not the 6 year old BMW "it breaks a lot so I have bonded with it" character, but the kind of good joo joo feel you get after a great night out with friends.The best way I can describe this is the difference between a lens like a master prime that is technically brilliant BUT lacks the soul/feel/emotion of a lens with a couple of non-intrusive flaws that makes it special.

This lens has a way of turning what has ever right to be a dull photo into something fantastic. It is tough to explain why or where this step happens between pressing the shutter down and editing in post but it happens nonetheless. Until I purchased this lens, I was using a 24-70 and 70-200 almost solely. After buying this, I switched over to using primarily this lens for my general purpose. After 2 months, I sold the 24-70 because it never left the bag anymore!

The focusing motors are fast enough to keep up with bands playing on dark stages. The contrast is plentiful. Coloration is phenomenal. Bokeh is great if you don't mind getting closer to your subject.

Really wish this lens had weather sealing because it would be phenomenal out in the rain (and having to throw a trashbag over the lens/camera is never fun). That along with the significant fringing wide open are the only two problems I have with the lens. Fringing/CA are fairly easy to fix in lightroom/photoshop these days though.

Here are a few sample photos:
http://smu.gs/X0tPgt
http://smu.gs/X0uRJq
http://smu.gs/14hPaYn


Jan 26, 2013
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L.J.G.
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Registered: May 12, 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 36
Review Date: Dec 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great colour, build quality
Cons:
Price

As the owner of a 24-105, a 24-70 a 50 & and 85 I was not even sure I wanted a 35 prime. Finding the 50 a bit too long somtimes (I got caught at my last wedding with the bridal waltz in a small corner) I decided to bite the bullet and get the 35L. It has very quickly become my most used lens, I love it. It is quick to focus, delivers sharp images with great colour and has terrific out of focus bokeh. Some say it is nervous but I guess that is in the eye of the beholder. I just love using it to the point where I hardly use the 50 at all any more. I will probably sell it and buy a 135 to make up my prime trilogy. It has not missed a shot yet unless it is my fault. I reckon one of these should be in every Canon shooters bag.

Dec 11, 2012
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Hawkan
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Registered: Jul 4, 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 175
Review Date: Nov 26, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,329.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Great colors, sharp enough, deep hood
Cons:
Price, size (compared to other lenses in the same focal range), no weather sealing

This is a "must have" for a lot of photographers. It's fast, well built and most important of all it is of that classic 35mm focal range.

Is it sharp? Yes. Ridiculously sharp? No. It's sharp enough. It does lovely colors though.

One thing I cannot stress enough about this lens is that is (in my opinion) perfect for a full frame Canon camera, but on a crop camera it does not deliver anything more than the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 does (I do own both). The autofocus performs about the same on both lenses and sharpness might be better in the center with the Sigma. Colors are different though, not that either one is better, just different.


Nov 26, 2012
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aestiva
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Registered: Feb 17, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 15, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great lens, small, light, very fast focus, extremely sharp and a good build
Cons:
A littlebit CA wide open and the price.

Very good lens. One of the best lens I've ever bought.

Most pictures of my site are made with this lens:
www.totaalfotografie.nl


May 15, 2012
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nswelton
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 263
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: beautiful color rendition, well made, contrasty, sharp, quick to focus
Cons:

my most used canon lens. literally i shoot 50% of a wedding day with this lens. it's fast to focus, sharp as a tack, and has absolutely beautiful colors and contrast. i did have a bad copy that literally took 5 trips to canon service before it was fixed properly, but i attribute that to canon service and not to the lens itself.

Apr 11, 2012
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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
222 501495 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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