Canon EF 35mm f2 review: Old but still very competitive

By Ben Boswell - Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lens Review
Introduction | Canon EF 35mm f2 lens performance | Canon EF 35mm f2 versus competition | Conclusion
Canon EF 35mm f2 review: Old but still very competitive

Canon’s EF 35mm f2 has been around for quite a while, launched in late 1990, 22 years ago, it predates digital photography as we know it. Does this matter? Apparently not, this small, old, cheap lens continues to be a worthwhile piece of equipment, albeit on a rather basic level, but in this age of super-zoom lenses, this light, compact workhorse is worth looking at. Here are the DxOMark test results, while waiting for those of the new version of the Canon EF 35mm f / 2 IS USM released last November.

Features and Specifications

Canon’s EF 35mm f2 is a prime lens with a fairly straight-forward design utilising 7 elements in 5 groups. The 35mm focal length when used on a full frame 35mm camera is considered by many to be the most versatile ‘standard’ focal length and is suitable for landscape, architecture, reportage and many other applications. Fitted to a camera with an APS-C sensor the relative focal length is 56mm (Canon body, coefficient 1.6).

This very reasonably priced lens is aimed at advanced amateurs and professional photographers. While not equipped with image stabilization or ultrasonic focussing motors the lens is still autofocus and its lack of extra refinements make it very light, coming in at 210g.

Canon 35mm f2
The position of the Canon EF 35mm f2: well to the left and among the highest up the chart if an enviable place.

Canon EF 35mm f2 lens performance

Canon EF 35mm f2 versus competition

Conclusion