Canon 35mm f2 review
Focal length: 35mm
Minimal focus distance: 25 cm
Max aperture: f2
Weight: 210 gramm
Dimensions:67 x 42mm
Filter size: 52 mm
Small, light and reasonably built. The focus is not silent but lot quiter than the focus of the Tamron’s 17 50 for example.
Let’s cut to the cheese: this lens is very sharp at f4-f8, quite sharp at f2.8 and not bad at f2. Contrast is quite good, little better than the Tamron 17 50. Chromatic aberration and distortion is not a problem.
The lens has a traditional micromotor, but good news it is not so loud as the Tamron 17-50’s micromotor for example. Autofocus speed is ok, but nothing to rave about. Autofocus accuracy is good in normal light, perhaps in low light can struggle.
Field of view
The lens gives very useful field of view on Full frame cameras. Earlier times when some compact cameras was selled with fixed lenses, the 35mm was a usual choice. On Aps-C the field of view a little narrow especially for landscapes. For portraits or street photography perhaps ok. Check before buy if you like it on Aps-C. If you have other zooms lenses perhaps works well. For me the 35mm is more useful than the 50mm because of the little wider perspective.
At optimal apertures(f4-f8) I would say this lens is sharper than the 50mm lenses. Picture parameters are not the same though. Perhaps not all copy is the same as I read many different opinions on the web. Some say this lens has not good contrast, I wouldn’t say that, this is quite good lens, much better than perhaps any of the zooms, except perhaps some very good zooms like the latest Sigmas or Canons.
Compare to the newer cousins (35 f2 is, or 28 f2.8 is) this lens has a very good price/performance ratio. The compact size makes this lens a very good value, especially on Full frame, but if you can live with this field of view on Aps-C as well. The field of view is quite good on Aps-h sized cameras as well. Wide open not as good as the Nikon 35 f1.8 for example, but the brighter viewfinder image is a good thing thanks to the lens f2 aperture. At f4 the lens is very sharp.
What is it good for ?
On Aps-C bodies perhaps for street photography, see above, or as a general purpose lens, certainly better than the 50/1.8. On Full Frame as general purpose lens can be used almost for everything. Depending on a budget, but seems a price little high, as almost reach the level of the Tamron 17 50 non Vc version which is a better value for Aps-C because of the wider and longer end and versatility. The smaller size, and little weight made this lens very attractive though. If there is a budget as an additional lens is certainly recommended. On Full frame perhaps work as a one lens solution for “hard liners”.