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Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Wide-Angle Lens
Style: Lens Only|Change
Price:$549.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on December 31, 2014
This lens is a real gem. I used to own the Canon 35L, and I can tell you that this lens is better in every way except for max aperture and build quality. The build quality isn't as good as the L, but at half the price you can buy another one if you manage to break it. The smaller size and weight relative to the L make it a much better choice for travel and street photography.
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on June 13, 2017
Get one. It's a nice, fast (both big aperture and focus speed), compact, lightweight lens. I took off a star for Canon making me buy the lens hood separately at an absurd markup.

My only reticence about the purchase is that I rented the Tamron 35 1.8 VR before I bought this lens and really liked it. I probably liked the Tamron better than the Canon until I realized only the center focus point worked on my 7Dm2. Well, the outer points on the Tamron worked... but those just locked in very incorrect focus each and every time. I figured that was just a harbinger of bad things to come so I passed and went with the Canon instead. It will make close to the same pictures with some tweaking in post - they just render a scene a bit differently and I seemed to prefer the Tamron shots better straight out of the camera.

It's a great lens to stick on your camera a force yourself to use a prime all day. I tend to zoom in too tightly if given a zoom. This lens forces me to break bad habits. I get an extra stop of light and get to carry less weight too.
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on July 1, 2015
Love it. I am a mom-tographer who photographs my own kids for my handmade boutique clothing line. I also take family pictures for a small amount of other people. I know how to use my camera in manual and I can get great shots with this 35. I had previously purchased the 50 mm which is also great, but this 35 with it's wide-angle is unbeatable. Especially for the price. This stays on my camera 90% of the time. I sometimes forgot I even have the 50.
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on May 28, 2014
This is s a super fast lens with nice, sharp images. The bokeh is also nice for a moderately-priced lens. My favorite use is for video though. It has IS so you actually get nice, steady shots without a Glidecam or tripod. It's great for low-light indoor video. I'm very pleased with it so far! (I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark III - my other lenses are 24-70 f/2.8 L, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II, 50mm 1.4, 100mm f/2.8 L Macro).
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on November 30, 2014
Very nice lens good build quality and great size. Takes real good pictures all through its range. Quiet auto focus for a USM and quick on my Canon 70d. It's equal to 55mm that is the main reason I went for the 35mm and the IS USM features.
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on November 16, 2013
Updated January 2017 to include photographs.

I decided to try this lens after reading many positive reviews about it. I found that, in many ways, it exceeded my expectations.

The build quality of this lens, while not quite "L" class, is still very good. It is made of hard plastic and feels very solid. The manual focus ring is well damped. Overall, it appears much better built than the 50mm f/1.4 which I used to own.

Since I had a copy of the 35L with me, I did some side by side tests, both with test charts and with real world subjects using my 5D Mark III. In flat field testing with USAF resolution charts, I found that this lens had somewhat better corner sharpness at f/2 and f/2.8 than the 35L, while the L glass had marginally better center sharpness. Vignetting was obviously worse with the non L, but is easily removable in post. At f/4-f/8, I could not really tell a difference between the two. In real world shooting, I found the sharpness difference between the lenses to be completely irrelevant. Both lenses rendered skin tones indistinguishably, and the darker colors (reds particularly) rendered by the 35 f/2 were a bit more saturated. Bokeh, to the extent it matters, appeared to be smoother - out of focus light sources appeared a little more rounded versus the 35L, but I had to pixel peep to tell. My conclusion from all this? So long as you removed the vignetting, I would be hard pressed to tell images taken with these two lenses apart.

For the more technical among us, it is instructive to compare Canon's published MTF curves of the 35L with those of the f/2 IS. The wide open (black) lines cannot be compared since they represent different apertures, but the blue lines show calculations at f/8 for both lenses and the f/2 IS is clearly superior across the frame - a result that is borne out in pictures of the point spread function of these two lenses at the far corner of the frame recently (April 2014) published by Roger Cicala of Lensrentals.

I could not do a side by side comparison with the Sigma 35mm, but the Canon lens showed none of the non center point AF issues I experienced with two copies of the Sigma. In real world shooting at wide apertures, for me at least, AF consistency is likely to be a bigger determinant of image sharpness than any small difference in absolute resolving power. At narrower apertures, I know from other reviews that both lenses (as well as the 35L) are excellent corner to corner.

In summary then, for something between three and nine hundred dollars less than its closest competitors, you get excellent optics, reliable AF, four (OK, maybe two or three) stops of IS, and very good build - at the cost of one stop of light and, compared to the 35L, a red ring. Unless you really need the f/1.4 max aperture, it represents excellent value for any Canon shooter looking for a good 35mm prime. In competent hands, it is as capable of outstanding results in the field as anything comparable you could buy.

Update (Jan 4, 2014): I took this lens with me on a trip to some of the Utah National Parks in December. This lens, along with the 24-70 f/2.8L II, was what most of my photographs were shot with. On icy trails, I came to appreciate its small form factor and light weight. With its one/two stop advantage and IS, it is an excellent complement to any walk around zoom.

Image notes: These two photographs were handheld evening shots taken with a 5D Mark III. I included them to illustrate the benefit that image stabilization brings.
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on January 6, 2015
This has become my most used lens. Ive always loved the feel of the 35. Great IS performance. Only complaint is how much vignetting this lens has. But I just enable lens corrections in lightroom and it clears it right up. Its one of my import settings so its not even an additional step. And this lens just looks 10000x better on my 5d with the larger front element than the non is version. Well worth the upgrade.
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on May 15, 2017
Great lens. My only complaint is that the auto-focus can get wonky at times. I don't use the AF much, but when I do, I need to be ready for a 50/50 experience. That said, it's been a really solid base lens, since I picked it up. It's been everywhere with me, and has kept quality, despite a lot of travel usage in rough terrain.
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on March 14, 2015
This is great prime "normal" lens for Canon APS-C sensor cameras such as the 70D that I have. It is as sharp as a tack even wide open. Auto focusing is quick, accurate and quiet. You can manually focus just by grabbing the ring and rotating without moving the switch. The wide f2.0 maximum aperture makes it easy get shots in low light situations without raising the ISO into the stratosphere. Lots of quality for a reasonable price.
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on May 24, 2017
Ever since I have bought my 80D I was looking for a more appropriate lens than the 1.8 50. I had looked at all kinds of options. From my past experience I really wanted IS because I am chasing my toddler around taking pictures of him and don't have time to steady myself. The IS shoots great. Most of my shooting ends up being well above 2.0, but I am glad I have it. This lens is on my camera all the time when at home. Only time I take it off is for wider or zoom for outdoors. I cannot recommend it enough.
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