DPReview Looked At The New Canon 35mm F1.4 II USM And The Results Are Stunning

by Bret Hoy3 Comments

It’s pretty easy (if not inaccurate) to characterize Canon as a company that’s been behind the times as it comes to camera technology.

While they have the unbelievable autofocus of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the EOS-1D X Mark II, they’re also pretty conservative when it comes to video specifications. Well, there’s one place that you can’t argue that Canon’s not leading the industry— And that’s with its photography glass.

Even before this latest string of photography lenses, Canon has provided the industry with some superb lenses in their L series and hasn’t even needed to really upgrade many in a decade. They’re THAT good. They define professional quality. So now that they’re starting to put out another round of L series lenses, it’s easy to get excited. And according to DPReview, you should be.

The newest L series lens from Canon is the 35mm f/1.4 Mark II. By almost all standards, it’s a sizable upgrade from the already brilliant Canon 35mm. In fact, it’s so outstanding that I can’t really figure what they’ve done to make it so much better. On the fourth page of DPReview’s in-depth look at the new lens, they do some comparisons between the original 35mm and the new one, and when looking at Chromatic Abberation or Flare, there’s just no real comparison. It’s night and day.

I shouldn't be surprised really, because it’s what I would expect from Canon optics. While the price has been increased, I don’t see the price as that expensive for what you’re buying. If you’re talking about the best photography lenses on the market, with the fastest Autofocus and most solid build quality and weather sealing… who else are you going to go to? This is the end all, below the Zeiss Otus, probably.

Is $1,799 too much for one of the best 35mm’s you can buy? What do you think?

The whole nine yards: Canon 35mm F1.4L II USM review


Via DPReview:

Canon is on a roll with its updated Mark II lenses and scoring bullseyes with pretty much every shot. New versions of key focal lengths are being rolled out across the range, with fully revised optics and mechanical construction. Most are class leading, often setting new standards in one area or another, and the Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM MkII is no exception – it is sharp, very, very sharp!

The MkII model launched last year replaces the elderly MkI of 1998. That lens was originally designed for film SLRs, but it won many digital hearts, including some on the DPReview team and several articles have already been published, looking back at the old lens and forward to the MkII with sample galleries, user reports and comparisons.

Read full article at DPReview “The whole nine yards: Canon 35mm F1.4L II USM review”

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens


Via B&H:


  • EF Mount L-Series Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4-22
  • Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics
  • Two Aspherical Elements, One UD Element
  • Subwavelength and Fluorine Coatings
  • Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor
  • Full-Time Manual Focus Override
  • Weather-Sealed Design
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

The EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM from Canon is an L-series prime wide-angle lens featuring Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics and a maximum aperture of f/1.4, making it ideal for shooting in low-light situations and for controlling depth of field.

Two aspherical elements and one Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) element combine with the BR element to control chromatic aberrations and color fringing for increased clarity and sharpness. A Subwavelength Coating has also been applied to reduce ghosting and lens flare for greater color accuracy and contrast.

The Ultrasonic autofocus motor (USM) provides fast and near-silent AF operation. Full time manual focus override enables precise manual focus even when in AF mode.

Learn more about the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens at B&H.

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from DPReview)


  1. I am just curious, and I have not used this lens or the first version and I know Canon is making some great lenses but, what is the point or need of a 1.4 lens if at that aperture the lens falls off over 2 stops? From your tests, for me this lens doesn’t become usable until 2.8 so I see the 1.4 as useless at that aperture. Also, from your tests it appears that the lens is sharpest at 5.6 to 8.0 which is expected but the resolution decreases significantly at 11. When I look at your test results I see this lens as one that for the best results you want to at f/4-f/8. That is pretty limiting.

  2. But if you read the conclusion on the review, Richard Hopkins, DPReview says “it’s hard to ignore the appeal of much cheaper alternatives. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art gets near optically.” I personally think from the reviews I’ve read, that the sigma will give you the same results as the new canon 35mm L II (minus the red ring around the lens) for the fraction of the price.

  3. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is as good as the Canon 35mm MkII and a very compelling alternative!

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