Canon 35 mm 1.4L vs. 2.0 vs 2.8 Zoom

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by john_e|2, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. I recently posted a question asking which Canon 50 mm would be best to purchase. I received great advice and purchased the Canon 50mm 1.4. /The lens is an awesome lens and it is everything posters said it was. However, for the type of shooting I do I'm finding that the 50mm will put me a bit to far away from the subject. I mainly shoot from about mid thigh or just below the waiste up, depending on the size of the kid. I'm shooting with the 60D and I've decided the 35mm lens will probably be better for me, however, the only 35mm 1.4 made by Canon is the L series which is guite expensive. I found the f2 35mm from Canon but really wanted the wider aperture. How does the 35mm 1.4 or 2.0 compare to each other and to the canon 50mm 1.4 as far as picture quality , sharpness, bokeh etc? I'm also considering a canon standard Zoom but the 2.8 zoom is about the same price as the 35mm 1.4. I'd be losing out on the aperture with the zoom and I've been told that zoom is not going to be as sharp as a prime. I'm completely undecided at this point and could use some advice.
    Here's another thought. If my best bet is the 35mm 1.4L, I can keep the 50mm 1.4 and upgrade to a full frame Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Cam and spend about the same amount of money. I'm switching over from Nikon so the Canon 60D I just bought can be returned for a full refund. I've heard other photographers say that one should put their money into the lenses not so much the camera and the 5D is more camera than i"d need for what I do. However, if the 5D puts out better quality pics,I can certainly see going the full frame 50mm 1.4 route. what to do? what to do?
  2. The 35mm f2.0 which is the lens I own, is a pretty good(not great) 50mm alternative for cropped cameras. Under the right conditions it takes extremely sharp and contrasty pictures. To me the 35mm f2 and it could just be my copy, is best suited for indoor work. Outside it tends to wash-out the colors to the point where you have to adjust the camera settings.
    As one of the oldest lenses in Canon's line-up it uses the old noisy USM which can be a little annoying if you are not use to it. Built quality is also a bit flimsy to say the least. I once dropped this lens on a plush carpet and the AF buttons popped off. It was easily fixed with Crazy glue though.
    If Canon would come out with a better option I would replace this lens in a minute, however this is the only economical lens that they offer in that focal length. I can't say much about the 35mm f1.4 although the reviews place it as one of Canon's top lenses. For cropped cameras, if you like shooting at the normal range(50mm) like I do, the 1.4 is definately something to look into. Think about it this way, once you buy it you will never have to replace it.
  3. Save money, get better results than the 35mm f2.0 and also enjoy a wider aperture by buying the Sigma 30mm f1.4. It's a fabulous lens. The only disadvantage is that you'll need to sell it if you move to a full frame camera.
  4. 35mm f/2.0. A fine lens and not terribly expensive. Perfect for your stated use. Almost $1K less, smaller, and lighter.
    Earlier in the year a photobud and I produced a photo journal about a San Francisco neighborhood. He shot half the photos using his 35mm f/2.0. I shot the other half with my 35mm f/1.4. I doubt viewers could correctly pick the lens used in most of the 54 photos.
  5. Jack. yep. I've considered the sigma 30mm, but I'm afraid that would get me a little to close. the 50 puts me to far away and the 30 puts me to close. I'm shooting with a zoom lens and for the most part I'm shooting at 36 and 38mm.
  6. Brad, could you post a couple pics to compare?
  7. There are so pretty killer deals on 5Dii right now (<$2000). You will get fabulous image quality with a 50 1.4 on a FF camera with about the same angle of view as a 35mm lens on a crop camera. I suppose what you need to think about is: 1) is there anything that the 50mm on a crop is useful for? Are you always finding that lens too long, or only sometimes? 2) do you care about having the latest and greatest gear? The reason the 5Dii is on such steep discount is because it is likely to be replaced soon.
    Personally, I think you will find the 5dii with a 50 1.4 to be a much more robust system than a 60D with a 35L.
  8. John, sorry but I don't have any photos of subjects shot with both lens under identical circumstances.
  9. Jack. yep. I've considered the sigma 30mm, but I'm afraid that would get me a little to close. the 50 puts me to far away and the 30 puts me to close. I'm shooting with a zoom lens and for the most part I'm shooting at 36 and 38mm.​
    For the sake of a mere 5mm in focal length I'd rather save serious cash and have the Sigma 30mm f1.4 instead of the Canon 35mm f1.4L. If you're willing to spend that sort of money for the 35L you'd be better off upgrading your 60D to the 5D2 and sticking with your 50mm f1.4.
  10. One potential issue with the EF 35mm f/2 is that it is not uncommon for its aperture to start sticking after a few years. Optically it is quite good, but it isn't the most reliable lens mechanically.
  11. I have both 35's and I think they have different strong suits. Because of its weight, I find that I use the 35/2 fare more often than the 35L. I have used them on both my 7D and 5DM2 with fantastic results. If you shop around or don't mind getting a refurb, you can get the 35/2 for well under $350, which I think is a great deal. I think you really need to decide why you want the faster lens - is it for bokeh or low light? How often are you going to use the L at 1.4? In either of those cases making the switch to a a 5D would probably provide more short term improvement in your image, but lenses can last a lifetime... Not so with cameras.
  12. 35L is a good lens.
    For reference...find your lenses in the following sites to see real-world effects:
    35L has better contrast than 50 f/1.4 wide open, but is probably a little softer at the edges. It has a different feel and effect. 35L has a bit worse CA on crop cameras than full frame cameras.
  13. Thanks for the great advice. I think I'm going to stick with my Canon 50mm 1.4 and taking a few steps back. I'll be farther away than I'd like to be, but I'm concerned that the 5D Will be replaced soon, after being mentioned by some posters. I was wondering why I found the 5D being Discounted to the $2150 range with free shipping.
  14. but I'm concerned that the 5D Will be replaced soon​
    As far as I am aware, Canon do not install self-destruct timers in their cameras. They do not explode when a newer model comes out. Right now the 5D MkII is on sale at a great price and will ALWAYS be better than your 60D regardless of any future models being introduced.
  15. jje


    What Danny said!

    Return the 60D.

    Pick up a 5D for 2K.


    I have a Sigma 30 on my 20D and its nice but next week Im going to take my own advise and pick up a 5D. 5D + 50mm is a killer

  16. zml


    The EF 35/1.4 L has a way better contrast, color rendition and less distortion than the EF f/2 version of that lens and the Sigma 1.4.
    If these attributes are important to you, swallow hard and let your credit card take the beating :)
    EF f/2 is OK for most uses but once you need to crop and/or print large, you'll notice the benefits of the "L" optics.
  17. I own and use both the 2.0 and 1.4L 35mm lenses. You won't find the 2.0 at all inferior in terms of image quality.
    The 1.4 offers better weather proofing, beefier construction, and an extra does not offer better image quality.
  18. It also offers a good, fast AF drive, unlike the 35/2. If full time manual focus is important to you, the 35/2 isn't for you. It's DC AF (not USM - of any variety) is of the same vintage as the 50/1.8 (mk1). That said, optically, the 35/2 is quite good for such a cheap little lens but If you are photographing fast moving or oscillating subjects though, the AF will struggle to keep up (IMLE).
    Of course, simply getting a mk2 may be a better idea. It's a great camera, and for kids portraiture, it's going to give you a wider range of flexibility than the 60D. OTOH, since it's likely that 4mo from now they'll probably announce the mk3 and 6+ months from now (no sooner!) you *might* be able to actually get a mk3, you probably shouldn't buy a mk2 now ;-) especially not @ a great price!

Share This Page