Review: Canon 35mm f1.4 L USM II (Canon EF)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 35mm f1.4 L II review product images (1 of 7)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.8

It’s been nearly 20 years since Canon released the first 35mm f1.4 L USM lens for the Canon EF mount. For a few years, that lens was my bread and butter optic. Then one year, Sigma released the 35mm f1.4 Art lens–and that quickly replaced the aged Canon offering. Earlier this year, Canon announced their response to the new line of absolutely stellar 35mm lenses that have recently been released from various manufacturers: the 35mm f1.4 II L USM.

So what are the big upgrades? Canon incorporated a Blue Refractive optic into the lens that’s supposed to cut down on color fringing, added weather sealing, and a textured surface–at least those are the biggest changes. That, and for some odd reason that big, bright red ring seems even brighter.

Earlier on, we saw that Sigma still takes a very slight advantage: but is it enough to make you want to spend approximately double the money?

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First Impressions: Canon 35mm f1.4 L II uSM

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 35mm f1.4 L II USM first impressions (7 of 7)ISO 8001-80 sec at f - 2.5

The Canon 35mm f1.4 L II USM is the successor to the previous lens that was released in 1998. Today at Canon EXPO in NYC, they’re showing off a prototype of the lens along with some of the technology inside of it. What makes this lens so special is the fact that it incorporates some brand new technology from the company called a Blue Refractive Optic. What this does is works to prevent chromatic aberration; and from a sample image that Canon showed us, it greatly lessens the effects of both purple and green fringing in high contrast areas.

But beyond that, the lens features weather sealing–something that the first version didn’t have but really could have used.

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