Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM L - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Distortion

The lens shows a slight but still visible degree of barrel distortion (0.5%).

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.

Vignetting

On an APS-C DSLR the EF 35mm f/1.4 USM L enjoys a sweet spot effect here. However, this doesn't seem to be enough to produce low vignetting at max. aperture. Admittedly f/1.4 is a rather extreme setting specifically for a wide-angle lens so vignetting is quite high at ~1EV here. At f/2 the problem is already reduced to a very acceptable degree and from f/2.8 the issue is negligible.

MTF (resolution)

Unlike its high-speed sister lens, the EF 24mm f/1.4 USM L, the EF 35mm f/1.4 USM L showed a very harmonic behaviour in the MTF lab. The center resolution is already excellent straight from the max. aperture and it surely exceeds the resolution limits of the EOS 350D in the sweet spot range (f/2.8-4). The border quality is very impressive (very good) at f/1.4 and it even reaches excellent levels at medium aperture settings. All-in-all an exceptional performance - at f/1.4 it even beats the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM (which is marginally better beyond f/2.8).

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Similar to the EF 24mm f/1.4L CAs (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) can reach an average CA pixel width of around 1 pixels at the image borders - an acceptable performance for a wide angle lens but a little disappointing for this specific lens. In the field the lens also showed some purple fringing at ultra large aperture settings.




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