Canon EF 35mm f/1.4
Related: Canon, Canon EF, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, Canon lenses, MTF and Micro Contrast, video
The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM is a premium lens of moderate size and weight. It offers consistent high performance across the frame, fast focusing, and high build quality.
I have owned this lens for years, and I’m not planning on selling it unless a “II” version appears— it’s an excellent lens with many fine characteristics.
Bokeh tends to be very pleasing, and aberrations are well controlled. This is a a great lens for intimate portraiture.
This is a lens you can own for years, and keep using. It won’t disappoint, which is not to say it’s perfect or cannot be improved, but it’s a true “pro” workhorse.
The 35/1.4 is a large lens for a 35mm focal length. But it’s very manageable, and not particularly heavy, balancing well on a DSLR.
The supplied lens shade does protrude significantly, enlarging the apparent size of the lens.
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.
The Canon EF 35mm f/2 USM is far less expensive.
The Voigtlander 40mm f/2 (reviewed in DAP) is far smaller and lighter and comes with a close up lens, but is manual focus.
Note the close focusing to 1:5.5, very useful for close-ups, adding to the versatility of the lens.
|List price:||$1369 street price|
|Aperture scale:||f/1.4 - f/22|
|Image ratio at close range:||1:5.5|
|Minimum focus distance||12 inches|
|Angle of view||63° diagonally|
|Number of elements/groups:||11 elements in 9 groups|
1.28 pounds = 580g (nominal)
|Dimensions (with caps):||3.4" in diameter, 3.4" in length|
The MTF chart shows that sharpness is remarkably consistent over the frame, and rolls off gracefully to the edges/corners. This roll off is likely due to gentle field curvature.
Stopping down raises central sharpness to a high level over much of the frame, an excellent performance.
On EF-S cameras (1.6X crop), sharpness should stay high over the sensor (out to the ~11mm mark as shown on the graph), so it could be a good choice on such cameras.
While not cheap at about $1369, the Canon 35/1.4L offers excellent imaging quality, and has never disappointed me over the years. I do think that its lens coatings could be modernized and offer a bit better color and contrast, but otherwise it’s a really top performer.