Canon 35mm f/1.4 L lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L lens review.

I have always loved shooting with prime lenses. Normally a prime lens will be faster, sharper and have better color reproduction compared to its zoom counterpart (there are always exceptions of course). And on top of that prime lenses are normally much cheaper compared to its zoom counterpart. I checked out the Canon 35mm 1.4 L lens the other day and here is my thoughts.

First of all this lens carries canons L designation, meaning it is professional grade and this lens definitely lives up to the L rating. For being an L lens it is very lightweight and compact. It measures 3.1″ x 3.4″ and is just 20.5oz. Even thought it is lightweight it does still have a very solid build to it and a great feel. It focuses very fast and is a quiet lens. Being able to open up the Canon 35mm 1.4 L lensaperture to 1.4 makes this a great lens to use for shooting events in low light like wedding photography or other types of fast moving events in low light. I think this is a great lens to have for wedding receptions and on a full frame camera like the Canon 5d, you get a wide enough shot to be able to cover things like dancing at a reception.

The lens does have some vignetting under 2.0 and a little bit soft. Over apertures at 2.0 there is no vignetting and the lens is very sharp. I compared this lens to a similar quality zoom (the canon 28-70 2.8 L lens) and the 35mm definitely wins out on sharpness.

Here are a couple of images shot with it (handheld at 1.4). For handholding the at 1/60 of a second I was happy with the results. These are straight out of the camera just resized for the web.

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L lenscanon 35mm 1.4 on canon 5d

Also here is a comparison of the 35 f/1.4 L lens vs the 28-70 f/2.8 L lens. The 28-70 is the first shot and the 35mm the second. The 28-70 min. focus distance is a little longer than the 35mm so I had to move the tripod back about a foot to be able to focus. That is why you see a slightly wider view.

28-70 shot at f8

28-70 shot at f8

35mm shot at f8

35mm shot at f8

and a comparison of a 100% crop (here is where you can see the difference in sharpness). The 35mm has an amazing amount of detail!

28-70

28-70


35 mm crop

35 mm crop

And a full gallery of apertures from f/1.4 to f/22 on the 35mm, you can click on the thumbnail to view a larger image. You can see here the 1.4 does have a lot of vignetting around the edges compared to the 2.2.

Comments below are always welcome!

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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1 Comment

  1. I have to chime in and say that the Canon 35mm f/1.4L lens is fantastic. It is fairly expensive at around $1,400, but if you want the fast aperture (f/1.4), then only a few other lenses can beat it.

    I recently went on a holiday shooting adventure with it, and captured a few photos! Take a look at what can be achieved with this lens, with all shots captured wide open at f/1.4 (coupled to the Canon 5D): here, here, and here.

    Happy Holidays!!

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