Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon 35mm f2


Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here

This lens is a bargain. I found mine covered in dust on a shelf in a second hand shop with a price so low that I was prepared to experiment. Its build quality is worse than the 50mm f1.4 and it is also be noisier. (Most people close by will assume there’s a mosquito in the room as you focus it - I've heard that others call it a coffee grinder!)

Optically it is pretty good. If you’re shooting indoors with available light there can be a big difference in the practicality of the shutter speed needed at f2 and f2.8. The lens is also very small and therefore much less intimidating than the 28-70mm f2.8.

I bought the 35mm f1.4L several years afterwards in recognition that the 35mm focal length is very useful and that a faster lens would bring additional benefits (and that I had some spare cash to throw into the hobby.) The f1.4 lens is significantly bigger than the f2 so I still find uses for the older lens when I can't carry much.

The Canon 35mm f2 does seem a the perfect ‘standard’ lens for a DSLR with a 1.6 crop factor such as the 350D. I have taken it with me when the 35mm f1.4 is too big or vulnerable but have tended to find the 10-22mm and the 85mm more useful so far.

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