Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Review

October 22, 2015

Overall Rating:


Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM



Price as Reviewed:


Canon’s latest wideangle prime lens promises to set a new standard in image quality, but does it justify what seems like an exorbitant price? Michael Topham finds out

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Review – Introduction

In recent years we’ve seen Canon steadily update its range of most popular EF lenses. In the last 12 months no less we’ve seen replacements for the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM and the EF 50mm f/1.8, and it’s in this review that we’re turning our attention to a new recruit – the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM. When I first heard rumors that Canon would be replacing its 1998-era EF 35mm f/1.4L USM with a Mark II version, I knew the new lens would have big boots to fill.

The original EF 35mm f/1.4L USM has been a popular choice for Canon users after one of the best wideangle primes that money can buy, which naturally asks the question: can the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM really go one better? Another question worthy of being asked is: can it justify such a high asking price? At the time of this review the difference between the old and new lenses stands at £800 – a price that exceeds what many will be prepared to pay. To find the answers to these questions I requested the EF 35mm f/1.4L USM into the office at the same time as the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM to carry out a few side-by-side comparisons. Before revealing my findings, let’s first find out how this lens looks to set a new benchmark in image quality.


View our Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Sample Image Gallery

  • Lens construction: 14 elements, 11 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Closest focussing distance (m): 0.28
  • Maximum magnification (x): 0.21
  • Filter diameter: 72mm
  • Max. diameter x length (mm): 80.4 x 105.5
  • Weight : 760

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