The 35mm f/2 Distagon is a workhorse lens, offering moderate wide angle coverage on full-frame cameras, and a slightly wide normal view on smaller-sensor cameras. It’s a terrific all-around lens, nice handling and easy to focus in all light conditions.
The size and weight of this lens just feel great on a camera like the Canon EOS 1D Mark III, but it should feel equally at home on a Nikon D300 or D3.
Focusing is fast and accurate and notably easier than with the 25mm f/2.8 Distagon, probably due to the longer focal length and one stop faster aperture. Still, focusing in dim or low contrast situations poses the same challenge it does with any lens, so use care in such situations unless you have outstanding vision.
The shade from the 50mm f/1.4 Planar can be used on the 35mm Distagon on less than full frame cameras. This provides additional flare protection, though the 35mm Distagon has little need for it under most circumstances. But it might help keep a compact field kit a smidgen smaller when carrying several lenses.
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Since 2007, Diglloyd Guide to Zeiss is the authoritative reference and review for all of the Zeiss ZF.2 (for Nikon) and Zeiss ZE (for Canon) DSLR lenses, including the Otus line.
It includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples, in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, and recommendations and practical usage tips.
Zeiss ZF 35/2 Distagon ~f/2.8, handheld