Canon 35mm f/1.4L II Lens Review: The best 35mm prime for your Canon DSLR?

by William Brawley

While most of Canon’s L-series primes underwent a “Mark II” update in years past, the popular 35mm f/1.4L was a notable holdout, still going strong with its original design some 17 years later. However, Canon finally announced a “Mark II” refresh of their 35mm L lens back in August 2015, to the delight of Canon shooters.

Having briefly had some hands-on time at a Canon press event with the new 35mm f/1.4L II, we shared some initial impressions. Now, however, we’ve gotten our hands on the lens for an extended period of time and run it through the gamut in our testing lab. The results are simply fantastic.

Canon 1Ds Mark III: f/2.8, 1/800s, ISO 100, +0.3EV

Though it costs a pretty penny, we think the price is worth it for the performance the lens offers. Sharpness is excellent, even wide-open. Distortion is practically nonexistent. Vignetting, well, there’s some vignetting, but that’s to be expected.

For all the details, including our full-frame and APS-C testing results and graphs as well as handling detail, jump over to SLRgear for our full Canon 35mm f/1.4L II Review. We also have a wide selection of real-world sample images to browse through. For some sample images shot by our lens tech Rob Murray on our Canon 1Ds Mark III test camera, head over to this Flickr album. For images shot using the Canon 5DS R, check out our 5DS R Gallery Page and search for images with “35LMarkII” in the file name.

Canon 5DS R: f/1.4, 1/60s, ISO 1000Canon 1Ds Mark III: f/1.4, 1/8000s, ISO 100, -2.7EVCanon 5DS R: f/2.8, 1/2000s, ISO 100