A 35m prime lens is a useful and versatile lens you can use for taking photos of many different subjects, and not just portraits. You can use the 35mm prime lens for landscapes, seascapes, street photography and as a general walkabout lens among other things.
If you shoot a Canon camera there are three 35mm prime lenses available, and these comprise the 35mm f2 IS lens, the 35mm f1.8 lens and the 35mm f1.4L lens.
The 35mm f1.4L lens, being an L series professional grade lens, is obviously Canon’s flagship 35mm prime lens and is the one on the top of most wish lists. This is an awesome lens but it is big and heavy, as well as damn expensive. I couldn’t justify the high price tag of this lens, and even if I could the sheer bulk of this lens would dissuade me from buying one.
The 35mm f1.8 lens isn’t as tough and durable as the f1.4L lens, doesn’t open up as wide as the f1.4L lens and doesn’t have the same image quality as the f1.4L lens either. Used wide open, i.e. at f1.8, this lens is soft and, in my opinion not sharp enough. This lens does get sharper if you stop it down, but having to do this defeats the objective of having an f1.8 lens.
The 35mm f2 IS lens doesn’t open as wide as the f1.8 lens, but it is sharper wide open than the 35mm f1.8 is. The overall image quality is better than the f1.8, the build quality is (way) better than the f1.8 and the image stabilization is a very useful feature. The 35mm f2 IS lens is better than the 35mm f1.8 in every way.
Below is a quick clip highlighting the pros (and cons) of the Canon 35mm f2 IS lens;
If you don’t have the deep pockets needed for the Canon 35mm f1.4L lens, or want a smaller and lighter 35mm lens there is only one lens you need to take a look at, and that is the 35mm f2 IS lens.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.