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Canon EF 35mm f/2

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Reviews Views Date of last review
132 360959 Apr 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $400.06
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.53
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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toguko
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Registered: May 24, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: small!, light, cheap
Cons:
could be sharper, noisy AF, AF searches in low light conditions, cheap build, IQ not brilliant

I bought this lens on eBay for Ģ150 so very cheap. I was very happy as I finally had a perfect lens for street photography. It is very small and light so you can walk around the city for whole day without feeling your neck. It has perfect focal lenght on crop body (almost 50mm). Image quality is not that brilliant though as well as sharpness. I would expect more from fixed focal lens. AF is noisy ('bzzzzzz' like an anoying fly) and it has problems in low light conditions. Build quality is cheap. My camera has dropped from my bag on the ground (max 10cm) and the lens broke so that the repair would cost more than it's worth.

Pictures taken with this lens:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/toguko/tags/canon35mmf2/
My photostream:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/toguko/


Jul 28, 2009
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timpdx
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Registered: Feb 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1839
Review Date: Jul 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $259.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Light, inexpensive, sharp by F4, focuses fast for non-USM
Cons:
Should be sharper than the 18-55 IS kit lens, but it is not. Bad CA, pink fringing. Non-USM.

I am surprised that the humble 18-55 IS just simply blows this away, even wide open vs. wide open. Of course wide open on this is F2. But I simply find wide open on this not really acceptable for a prime. I should be seeing better, but I am not, the 35mm F2 only gets really sharp and the CA goes away by F4. Well, the kit can do F4 and is still better. Back to Canoga this goes.

Jul 8, 2009
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terminator
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Registered: Jan 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 277
Review Date: Jun 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp wide open, small, light, decent build, inexpensive
Cons:
not USM, bokeh isn't ideal

I got this lens from a fellow FMer as a package deal. Owning a 35L, I didn't expect much from this little fellow. The first moment I received it, I was surprised at its size and weight. It is like a baby compared to its L brother. The image quality is excellent. At f/2, it is already very sharp from center to corner. Initially, I was planning to dump it. Now I have a second thought and keep it on a second body as a general purpose walk-around lens. It is a nice combo with xxxD or xxxxD.

The only pity of the lens is lack of creamy bokeh like 35L.


Jun 23, 2009
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JohnLangdon
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Registered: May 29, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Quality optics. Small. Light. Cheap.
Cons:
Autofocus is not silent.

The design of this lens dates back to the Canon FD mount and the 1980's. But don't let that put you off. This is a quality optic, that will produce very fine results. The images will have that 'pop' to them that quality optics produce.
No USM, but even so the autofocus is not that noisy. Your subject will probably not hear it. The autofocus accuracy if pretty good too. You won't have many problems with that.
As a group photo lens on a full frame camera or a standard lens on a 1.6x sensor, this lens is a very usefull tool to carry, and it won't take up much space or weight in your bag either.
If you are on a limited budget and you want the best possible quality pictures, I would highly recommend this lens.


May 29, 2009
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mg98
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Registered: Mar 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small/light, fast, sharp center, close to normal lens angle of view on 1.6 crop factor DSLR, inexpensive
Cons:
slightly telephoto on 1.6 crop factor DSLR, not USM, less sharp on edges

This is a great travel lens on my Digital Rebel. I think it's the best lens for a 1.6 crop factor DSLR to replace the use of a 50mm f/1.8 on a full-frame SLR. It's slightly more telephoto than a normal lens on a full-frame (56mm equivalence), but I think it's better than the only other viable choice in the Canon prime lens lineup: the 28mm f/1.8 (assuming you want a maximum aperture near the 50mm's f/1.8). Definitely recommend this lens. I even wrote a blog post about it: http://lightmanship.blogspot.com/2009/05/nice-general-purpose-prime-lens-for.html

May 11, 2009
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eric kim
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Registered: Apr 3, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3075
Review Date: Feb 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, light, SHARP, small
Cons:
Build quality, buzzing noise of AF (its honestly not that bad though...)

So I got this lens on the B/S forum and it has been married to my 5D ever since.

Even shooting wide open it is tack sharp across the entire frame! I specialize in night photography and street photography and it performs really well with my 5D.

Another great thing is how it is really light and small. It balances pretty well with my 5D and doesn't make it any heavier.

The focal length is perfect for the street...but for architecture it can be a little short. I'm thinking about adding the 24mm f/2.8 to my arsenal soon.

Enter the world of primes and never go back to zooms again!

eric


Feb 2, 2009
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mazamabill
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Registered: May 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $220.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small and light; decent build
Cons:
Very sharp and bright; good contrast

This lens is a fantastic buy. It's a nice walkaround lens and is retty fast (f2). The optics are very good, I would say VERY close to L quality, but without the price.

Nov 18, 2008
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marconis
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Registered: Aug 12, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great image quality - contrast, color and sharpness. light, small. focus is the best of all my primes works similar to a "50mm" on a cropped sensor you can shoot very close
Cons:
small buzz when focusing build quality is lacking hood is separate

This lens is a favorite. It is versatile and the image quality is great. It works well on a cropped-sensor.

Aug 26, 2008
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AurelSK
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Registered: Aug 17, 2008
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 2
Review Date: Aug 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: picture quality and sharpness, compact size and lightweight, filter size
Cons:
autofocus noise and speed

I had this lens for three years , using on my Canon 350D. I was very satisfied with picture quality and sharpness it has given. This lens is unbelievably compact. If it has USM, I would never let it go. I have replaced it for EF28/1.8 USM, which has much better focusing, but I think EF35/2 was even better in picture quality than EF28/1.8USM.

With AF I had problems. Noise and speed did not bother me so much, but AF ring broken one day inside and I had to pay about $100 for repair (focusing inner ring replacement). Here in Europe this lens new costs abut $500, so I have paid for its repair. But otherwise I can not tell othrt bad word about this lens. I loved it as pictures it produced were very good in color, contrast and sharpness. I must recommend this lens to anyone who needs high picture quality and do not need extremely fast and silent focusing. Also compact size is its big advantage.


Aug 25, 2008
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digimies
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Registered: Oct 20, 2003
Location: Finland
Posts: 196
Review Date: Jul 31, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: image quality, size, weight, price, close focusing distance
Cons:
build quality

This lens is so good with picture quality and size that I had to order it again, after my ex. EF 35/2 got broken.

I made atopsy of that (estimated repair cost beyond lens price) dead lens and found focusing mechanism quite 'plasticky' indeed.

I would not recommend to use any generic filter thread lens hood and would also avoid constant filter swapping with this lens as moving focusing unit is maybe not taking very well all that twisting and front knocks.

I ordered larger Canon hood EW-65 II to better protect lens front and will not use lens while traveling far away...


Jul 31, 2008
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Ken Tanaka
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Registered: Aug 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1319
Review Date: Jul 31, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: - Lightweight: At only 0.46 lbs it's only 36% the weight of the EF 35L f/1.4. - Small: At 1.7" long it's half the length of the EF 35L's 3.4" - Razor-sharp edge definition and contrast. Corner-to-corner sharpness (on full-frame bodies) is excellent, at least with my copy. By f/4 the image is as good as I've ever had from a 35mm lens. - No discernible chromatic aberrations.
Cons:
Absolutely none. Nada. Zero.

I have owned Canon's flagship EF 35mm F/1.4L lens for many years. It's unquestionably an excellent lens. But the fact is that I hardly ever use it. The reason is simple. For its bulk I could grab an excellent zoom (24-70mm, 16-35mm, or the 24-105) and get far greater flexibility, albeit at potentially some miniscule sacrifice to image characteristics in certain circumstances.

But I like 35mm on a full-frame camera, particularly my 5D. So I recently purchased this little guy mainly for use on my 5D as a general purpose, lightweight and compact 35 mm lens.

What a joy this little lens has been! First of all, its diminutive size and weight are delightful, particularly on such a light camera as the 5D. The lens is not technically a "pancake" design (why doesn't Canon make any?) but at 1.7" it's sure not too much longer than a pancake. It's also a featherweight, like most of Canon's standard EF line. While it does not have the heavy metal build of Canon's L lenses it also does not have their mass.

Beyond that, however, results are all that I really care about and this little lens produces results in spades. It's razor sharp, excellent contrast (to my taste), excellent bokeh, reasonably quick to auto focus and easy to manually focus (unfortunately, like Canon's other standard EF line it's not a full-time manual focus lens).

I could go on and on. But by now I'm sure you get my impression.

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive and reasonably fast 35 mm lens for your Canon your search is over. At just over $200 this is it. Just buy it. Unless you're an obsessive purist (or camera gear snob) you're unlikely to ever miss the differences that the extra $900-$1,000 would deliver with the 35mm f/1.4L.




Jul 31, 2008
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mfurman
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Registered: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2849
Review Date: Jul 18, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons:
None

I would like to update my review after some additional testing of this lens and Canon EF 35 f/1.4 L

1. 35 f/2.0 has a comparable sharpness to 35 f/1.4 L (the copies, I tested) when both are wide opened (f/2.0 vs f/1.4). I may even say that 35 f/2.0 is slightly sharper
2. 35 f/2.0 is comparable in sharpens to 35 f/1.4 L at (both) f/2.8 and better at f/5.6 (especially at longer focusing distances)
3. 35 f/2.0 is better than 35 f/1.4 L as far as CA (lateral in particular) is concerned. 35 f/1.4 L is terrible wide opened.
4. 35 f/1.4 L has a slightly better contrast and colour although is "cooler" than 35 f/2.0. I prefer warmness of 35 f/2.0
5. 35 f/1.4 L focuses more reliably
6. f/1.4 is important when you need it Smile
7. 35 f/2.0 is nicely small and very cheap for what it represents.

I say that unless you need f/1.4, 35 f/2.0 is a winner.


Jul 18, 2008
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pifatore
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Registered: Jul 13, 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: (on a 40d) af accuracy, af speed, sharpness throughout the frame, weightless, fast.
Cons:
manual focus ring, occasional under&overexposure errors, noisy af.

(Tested on a 40d)
Itīs the best lens in that range for an aps-c that Iīve tested, of course for that price. The sharpness is absolutely amazing, at least in my copy. Pixel-peeping a crop, it seems like youīre watching a pic from a tele-zoom lens.
at f/2 there is some lack of contrast or sharpness, but it is normal and perfectly usable.
Itīs a personal perception, but i think that the 40dīs af system really works fine only on this kind of fast lenses (f/2.8 or faster). Fix-focal lenses (look for you right focal) are the very best, and this one is included though itīs not an L.
vignetting: Not an issue.
Acīs: well controlled.
Sharpness: amazing (on an aps-c)
Af accuracy: Great.
Construction is not that good, but far better that the kitīs.
Af noise: Yes, it sounds like a wasp. (Not problem for me)
Final advice: If youīre looking for a fix-focal like this one and donīt want to go for an "L", go for it.


Jul 13, 2008
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mfurman
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Registered: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2849
Review Date: Jul 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Good colour and contrast
Cons:
Nothing really when factoring the price.

I am giving this lens (my current copy) 10. It is much sharper than my previous copy and most of my other primes (especially at longer focusing distances). I have to admit that I use this lens mostly in f/3.5 to f/6.3 aperture range (it peaks at f/5.6) but the results at f/2.8 and even f/2.5 are very good (my very sharp copy of 85 f/1.8 is significantly better at f <2.5). The contrast is surprisingly good for a $200 lens and sharpness at f/5.6 (and longer focusing distances), is comparable with Carl Zeiss 28 f/2.8 Distagon T*.
This lens is also much sharper (again, at longer focusing distances) than very good $1000 lenses such as 17-55 f/2.8 IS and 70-200 f/4.0 L IS, which (although different focal length) I consider some of the sharpest zooms Canon made.
I thought many times about getting 35 f/1.4 L but each time I look at my landscape (or even portrait) pictures, I cannot imagine that I would get better sharpness, colour and contrast. I do appreciate the other qualities 35 f/1.4 L brings.




Jul 7, 2008
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Andrew Welsh
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Registered: Jan 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 4973
Review Date: Apr 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, fast prime, really inexpensive considering
Cons:
Autofocus chirps a bit, similar to the 50/1.8. I find I twist the focus knob when trying to mount-unmount the lens from the camera, which is a bit frustrating.

Optically this lens is OK. I like the colors and sharpness the lens produces. I also like the FOV and focal length, although this is a matter of taste. Hood works decently and is non-obtrusive.

A good piece of equipment to try out if you're considering the 35L and don't want to risk the money. Relatively easy to pick up on the used market, and it's relatively cheap.

Build quality is on par with the 50/1.8, that is to say plasticy and light. Almost feels like something might rattle loose inside even though it doesn't. For $200 how much can I complain? I guess a little considering the 50/1.8 costs $80 new. Either way, this is a great little add to my kit and a nice low cost low light alternative.


Apr 9, 2008
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choiboyogg
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Registered: Jun 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3953
Review Date: Mar 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: light and compact, price
Cons:
horrible corner sharpness on FF bodies

i had the 35/1.4 long ago and it was one of my favorite lenses.

i was hoping this lens would be a performer but it has a lot of shortfalls.

corner sharpness is a big issue for me with this lens and even up to f/5.6 its not doing so well.

its light and compact so its easy to carry around with out getting a lot of notice.

build quality isnt all that great either. they need a USM model for this lens with much better corner performance


Mar 21, 2008
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Canon EF 35mm f/2

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
132 360959 Apr 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $400.06
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.53
9.05
8.8
ef35mmf2_1_


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