Canon EF 35mm f/2 (full format) - Review / Lens Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)
Monday, 13 April 2009 06:00


The lens shows only a moderate degree of barrel distortion (~1.4%) - this is not insignificant but it's usually not overly field-relevant either.

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


Vignetting is a major weakness of this lens - an edge deterioration of more than 2.2EV @ f/2 is massive and easily visible in most situations. The problem is reduced at f/2.8 but still not negligible. Vignetting is well controlled from about f/4 onwards but this is rather "late".

Here's a visual of the vignetting at f/2:

MTF (resolution)

The lens showed a comparatively strong performance in the lab. The center is already very good at f/2 increasing to excellent resolution figures at medium aperture settings. The borders and corners are weaker (but still good) at f/2-f/2.8 but they do also increase their quality to very good level from f/4-f/8. The resolution peak is reached around f/5.6. It's quite interesting that the extreme corner quality is a tad higher than at the borders - an unusual characteristic here.

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)

Lateral CAs (visible as color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are no big issue with an average CA pixel width of around 0.7px at the image border throughout the tested aperture range.

Bokeh (out-of-focus blur)

The EF 35mm f/2 is a fairly "fast" lens so it seems to be an attractive option for shallow depth-of-field situations - on paper. We haven't really done a formal analysis of the bokeh this time but the lens did disappoint us in the field especially with respect to out-of-focus highlights - here's a sample image: