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  Reviews by: rek101  

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Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS

35f2is
Review Date: Jun 28, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Very sharp...especially from F/2.8 on, IS does help...makes it a more reliable lens than any other prime I've used if you need sharp images. It's also lightweight.
Cons:
Much lower contrast than f/1.4L version 1. Contrast is no different than than than the 100 40mm pancake to my eye. Very bulky...attracts as much attention as a pro lens. IS gives you only 1 to 2 stops. Expensive, even when it's on sale refurbished for 430.

I'm not quite sure why people rate this lens so highly on this site. On amazon it rates pretty average for a Canon prime. I really love the 35mm focal length and I hate the weight of the 1.4L.

I think the 35mm L v1 lens is good lens, but I don't think it comes close to the quality of Canon's L telephoto lenses like the 70 to 200 F/4 or F/2.8 IS. I think Canon struggles with making reasonably priced wide angle lenses and this IS lens is a good example. I tried the 35mm f/2 non-IS and it's washed out and nothing special. I also have the 40mm pancake and to me, that lens is very similar to this one....very sharp with very little contrast. That's great if if you like examining eyelashes at 1:1, but the overall look is very flat. For example, you could take two picture of the same face with this IS lens and the f/1.4 L v1 and the L lens will show how deep the wrinkles actually are while this lens will show what look like cracks of unknown depth. To me, skin with this lens looks waxy compared to the L lens and when I print the photos from the IS version, the images look lifeless and flat compared to the L lens. For $300 more, you could get a quality used 1.4L and a lot of pop to your images. Or to save money, get the pancake or the old f/2 lens without IS..it's worse, but not by much and it's much more compact.

For what it's worth, I had a Nikon F/2 35mm lens that was a pretty old design and the contrast on that 300 dollar lens to me looked a lot better than any of the Canon f/2 lenses.