Canon EF 35mm f/2 USM IS - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

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Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/6400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/8000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/30s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/6400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/8s

Verdict

Once more Canon delivered a a high performance lens with only a few weaknesses. The center performance is very good at max. aperture and excellent to downright superb at medium aperture settings. The borders are somewhat low in contrast at f/2 but very sharp when stopped down a bit. Lateral CAs are next to non-existent and distortions are pretty much irrelevant as well. The vignetting is nothing special though so you have to live with a high light fall-off at f/2. Canon was able to fix the bokeh issue that plagued the old EF 35mm f/2 - especially the critical background blur is very smooth now and better than most lenses in this focal length class. You will be able to spot some bokeh fringing in critical scenes when shooting fully open but that's a typical behavior for such a fast lens anyway.

The build quality of the Canon lens is one a very high level with a constant physical length as highlight here. While probably not a killer argument, it is worth to point out that the new ring-type USM drive is extremely fast as well as virtually silent. The new image stabilizer is certainly a very welcome addition e.g. for low-light photography.

Given the high performance we'll also not complain (too much) about the higher pricing compared to its predecessor. So we certainly have a winner here and we'll not hesitate to provide a "highly recommended" once again! Some readers have already asked us whether we'd also recommend it over the new Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 HSM DG | A ... which is an interesting one. While the lenses share the same focal length, they are surprisingly different. The Sigma has certainly an edge when it comes to sharpness (=resolution + contrast) at large apertures - even when comparing f/1.4 on the Sigma vs f/2 on the EF lens. The Canon has a better (technical) bokeh though - albeit a potentially less pronounced one - and it's way more compact and light-weight. Not easy ... :-)

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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