Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM review: A ‘fast’ wide-angle prime for the 21st Century

By Paul Carroll - Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens performance | Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM versus competition | Conclusion

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM: a sharp and bright wide angle

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A DxOMark Overall Score of 29 the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM currently ranks as the 4th best lens tested on the Canon EOS 5D MKII.

With an Overall DxOMark Score of 29 tested on the Canon EOS 5D MKII the Canon EF 35mm F/2 IS USM ranks 4th overall just behind the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM, Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM and another wide-angle option the $899 Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A. With a Lens Metric Score for Sharpness of 17P-Mpix tested on the Canon 5D MKII the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM offers an improvement in Sharpness over current wide-angle offerings such as the Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZE Canon, with 15P-Mpix, or the Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Canon with just 12P-Mpix. That said edge sharpness isn’t perfect with some drop off at the wider aperture settings and slight barrel distortion is evident, too. A Lens Metric Score of -1.8Ev for vignetting indicates lens shading is also very strong at the maximum f/2 aperture but generally this is a bright lens as its Transmission Score of 2TSTop indicates.

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The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens ranks 2nd for wide-angle lenses tested on the Canon 5D MKII just behind the $899 Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM A.
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Scoring 17P-Mpix for Sharpness the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM is one of the sharpest wide-angle primes available for the Canon 5D MKII, just behind the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A.