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Canon EF 35mm f/2 Review


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  • Consistent performance


  • Lacklustre overall

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £190

Canon’s EF 35mm f/2 adheres to a traditional film-camera focal length while at the same time attempting to meet the demands of digital photography. This makes perfect sense for Canon given that the EOS camera range includes bodies with both full-frame and sub-size sensors, but it also means that the effect of the lens, in terms of its field of view, will vary when used on different cameras.

Given that the lens tested here is capable of covering both formats it is likely to appeal to a large number of potential buyers, which must make good commercial sense for Canon. The lens looks good, with a semi-matt eggshell finish, and feels like a traditional film-camera standard lens, making it just the right size to offer good handling both when changing lenses and during shooting. As well as a depth-of-field window the lens also has an AF/MF switch and a narrow manual focusing ring that is located about half-way along the barrel.

In terms of performance, the EF 35mm produces very acceptable visual results but numerically it is rather lacklustre, returning close to 0.2 cycles/pixel across much of its aperture range. That doesn’t mean it’s a poor lens so much as that it simply doesn’t sparkle. Using the f/2 maximum aperture means accepting some loss of performance but stopping down only produces a very slight improvement through the crucial mid-range apertures. This sounds unimpressive but it does have the advantage of producing fairly consistent results over a wide range of aperture settings.

sample images


Overall, the EF 35mm may not be an outstanding performer but it is very consistent and is certainly workable at its maximum aperture.

Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Value 10
  • Design 10
  • Image Quality 9
  • Features 9

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