Canon EF 35mm f/2 lens review with samples (Full-frame and APS-C)


Here’s a tiny little lens whic could still be pretty useful today: the Canon 35mm f/2 lens. It’s potentially a nice, leave-on-your-camera fast standard lens for APS-C or full-frame. I recently reviewed its image stabilized younger brother which was very positive – how can the old version perform?

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All pictures and footage taken by me on Canon 6D and 70D cameras

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‘Opportunity Walks’, Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


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  1. Hi Chris! I shoot on a crop sensor and want a prime 35mm. Unfortunately Canon's newer IS 35mm and Sigma's 35mm Art are both out of my budget. I am now contemplating buying this older Canon 35mm off eBay or trying the Canon 40mm STM focal length. Should I go with a secondhand older Canon 35mm or a Canon 40mm? Thanks in advance! Also anyone else that can help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Christopher, would you recommend its AF reliability for low light wedding dancing people? (5d3, iso 6400max).

  3. hi, is this still worth buying than the latest canon 35mm? Just traded my 85mm with this old version of 35mm. worth it? Bought the 85mm second hand tho for about the same price of the 35mm. Good deal?

  4. Hi Chris, My camera is APS-C sensor (7D) and I would like to have a street lens. So I am considering this lens (used) or EF-S STM 24mm.
    What should the best for my camera?

  5. I like to record close up videos of myself playing guitar and singing. which lens do you recommend? I've been looking for something that can perform well in possible low-light.

  6. Dear Chris, thank you for the sharp reviews you make. Just a question: did you shoot with the Canon ef 35mm f/1.4 ii? what is your opinion about t? Kind regards

  7. hi
    great review
    can you please tell me how far should you stand to catch a 1.70 tall person on aps-c camera?
    i need it for a video use but im restricted with how far can i go backwerd
    thank you

  8. Hi! At the moment i have two offers, 30mm f1.4 EX DC HSM(older ver.) and this 35? Both for the same money. I tend towards Sigma but still not sure.. I love street shots, esc. at night. Focusing is also very important to me.

  9. Chris thank you as always for another great review, comparing this one to the new IS 35mm sharpness wise is it comparable?

  10. Going between a 35mm f/2 and 50mm 1.4, shooting general photography and some street videography. What would you suggest?

  11. Hi Chris, I am looking to get a prime for my Canon SL1 and I was wondering if you recommended the 35mm f/2 or the 28mm f/1.8. Thank you so much for your help!

  12. I have the 40mm stm. Should I still buy this lens for my 6d and 550d? I can get brand new in box for usd 250. I can use the extra stop of aperture. Thanks for the review.

  13. Hello Chris, great review as always. I am looking for a standard zoom lens or a wide angle lens for APS-C, something wider than 18mm. I don't do video work, but I would much prefer something with good build quality (size and weight don't matter, big hands). Don't need much telephoto. I have a budget of around 175-200 pounds, used. I was originally considering the Canon 17-85 USM but it is a bit slow in the aperture department. Open to any thoughts or advice.

  14. Your lens reviews are really the best on the entire web! Especially your flawless english speaking makes it really easy for non native spreakers to understand every word. Keep up the great work!

  15. I like your reviews very much Chris, but I wish you could reviews on other lens mounts especially ones from Fujifilm they are really, at least that's what I heard.


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