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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 12 Dec 2017 (Tuesday) 12:29
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EF 35mm f/2 lens vs. 35mm f/2 IS

 
RPCrowe
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Dec 12, 2017 12:29 |  #1

I love a fast 35mm lens on a full frame camera as my go-to glass for indoor and available light shooting.

IMO, the 35mm focal length doesn't have the perspective distortion inherent in wider angle lenses such as the 28mm.

I happily use my 17-55mm f.2,8 IS lens on my crop sensor 7D Mark ii but, since I have just acquired a Canon 6D Mark ii camera, I am in the market for a fast 35mm lens.

I have pretty well narrowed my choice to a used Canon EF 35mm f/2 and a new EF 35mm f/2 IS. I am familiar with the Yongnuo and have decided that this is not the lens I want.

My question is what is the difference in image quality and low-light focus between the 35mm f/2 non0IS and IS versions.

I can get a used non-IS lens for about $250 USD while a new IS model will cost more than twice that much.


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kmilo
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Dec 12, 2017 12:35 |  #2

I've owned both, but many years apart. The newer one is noticeably better in every conceivable way. I got mine as a Canon refurb and paid $430, but I believe I've seen them as low as $409 as a canon refurb.


Kris
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Bassat
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Post edited 11 months ago by Bassat.
     
Dec 12, 2017 12:49 |  #3

I've had both. (edit: still have the IS) Get the IS version.

Image quality:
At f/2, it is a tiny bit better in the center circle of the frame, and noticeably better in the corners. At f/4 and smaller, you'll never see any difference.

Focus acquistion:
The IS version is faster. Well, DUH! It is ring-USM. The old one is louder and slower. Honestly, for most stuff I do with a 35mm lens, this doesn't matter. But I like faster. I never noticed a difference in focus accuracy.

Image stabilization:
IS (obviously) has it. Old one doesn't. If you are buying this lens for low light shooting, the IS will prove invaluable, if your SUBJECT is not moving. IS is for holding the camera still; it can't help you shoot running children at 1/10.

I got the 35IS when it first came out, and cost over $600. It was worth it then, still is. It is my favorite, most-used prime on full frame. Canon refurbished has it listed for $479, but it is not currently in stock.




  
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MalVeauX
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Dec 12, 2017 12:57 |  #4

The 35 F2 IS is crazy good, it's better than the 35L MKI.

You will not be disappointed. And the IS adds tons to the ability in lower light.

The micro contrast and sharpness is really great on the 35 F2 IS. It's wicked fast. And you can drag the shutter so nicely with it. Excellent lens.

Very best,


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artyH
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Dec 13, 2017 11:45 |  #5

I have both lenses, and still sometimes use the 35F2 for travel. Both lenses are sharp, but there are some advantages to the newer IS version that make the additional cost worth it.
Flare resistance is better on the new lens. The older lens has monstrous purple flare if used without the hood. The newer lens is much better - but I generally use the hoods on these lenses. I learned quickly that it was needed on the older lens.
If you are not at F2 on the older model, you get strange bokeh. Some people like this, but it is much smoother on the new lens.
AF is almost silent on the new lens, compared with the older model and faster. I think AF is fine on the older lens, but it is superior on the IS version. Some people complain about the noise, but it has never bothered me. My hearing is lousy. For candids, the USM AF is worth it.
If you can see it, you can photograph it with the newer IS lens.
Color and contrast are different. It is not simple to say which one has better color, but contrast is higher on the newer lens.
I think that build quality is better on the new lens. I use this focal length heavily, and had to replace the aperture mechanism on the older lens. I can't tell you how many exposures were taken before this was needed, but it was a lot. This is something to consider if buying used.
If using a crop camera or full frame, the newer lens is a better choice. You can certainly get sharp photos with the older lens, and it is lighter and smaller. I am keeping it for backup. I don't think you can go wrong with the IS version, and IS does help with getting sharp photos.




  
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Charlie
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Dec 13, 2017 13:22 |  #6

I liked the older version as it was very small, however hard to argue the value of the newer version. I've seen them go as low as 300, and due to the limited stock of the older version, they typically go for 200+

New version is a safe bet, USM + IS is worth it.


Sony A7rii/A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - CV 21/3.5 - FE 35/2.8 - SY 35/1.4 AF - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
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Hokie ­ Jim
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Dec 14, 2017 08:47 |  #7

I had both. 35/2 IS all day long.


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Canon 6D | 16-35 f/4L IS | Zeiss Milvus 50 f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 580EXII | Gitzo 1410MK2/RRS BH-55

  
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FarmerTed1971
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Dec 14, 2017 09:11 |  #8

As everyone else has said... the IS is worth the extra money. It’s a stellar lens.


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - Laowa 9mm - 18-55 - 23/35/50/90 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

  
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daleg
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Post edited 11 months ago by daleg. (3 edits in all)
     
Dec 14, 2017 09:23 |  #9

I still have both & I agree that the 35/2 IS would be first choice. But the former non-IS 35/2 is an old favorite. It produces solid images and, mounted on my 5D, its AF constantly chirps and chatters at me - keeps me from getting lonely on a solo shoot (smile)! Seriously, if you're on a budget, I've found the older version to be no hardship. It remains, for now, on my shelf - alongside its IS sibling.

Then again, I have way too many lenses...




  
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KDED
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Dec 15, 2017 00:12 |  #10

I had a non-IS 35/2 for a few years and liked it a lot. I played with the IS version when I was shopping for an upgrade.

The non-IS is a very capable lens -- very sharp, lightweight, quick and accurate AF (fast enough for me). I didn't mind the AF noise, but it was its somewhat busy and harsh bokeh that eventually made me look for a better alternative.

Like others have said, the IS lens is better in almost every aspect. Since 35mm lens will likely be your go-to glass, I think the extra money spent on the IS version is well worthy.

Here are some pictures of my old 35/2, taken with its replacement (Tamron 35/1.8) before I put it on Craigslist. Very cute-looking lens...


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Canon 6D, 16-35 f/4L, 24-105L, Tamron 100-400, Zeiss 25/2 ZE, Tamron 35/1.8, Canon 85/1.8

  
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lazybones
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Dec 16, 2017 05:27 |  #11

As everyone else has said about the 35 F2 IS It's a neat lens to have in your camera bag well worth the price for it. I do love my one, The only problem I did have with it was looking for the Canon hood for it :-)




  
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FarmerTed1971
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Dec 16, 2017 10:53 |  #12

lazybones wrote in post #18519071 (external link)
As everyone else has said about the 35 F2 IS It's a neat lens to have in your camera bag well worth the price for it. I do love my one, The only problem I did have with it was looking for the Canon hood for it :-)

Yeah, Canon should include the damned hood. This drives me crazy.


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - Laowa 9mm - 18-55 - 23/35/50/90 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

  
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Bassat
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Dec 16, 2017 22:58 |  #13

lazybones wrote in post #18519071 (external link)
As everyone else has said about the 35 F2 IS It's a neat lens to have in your camera bag well worth the price for it. I do love my one, The only problem I did have with it was looking for the Canon hood for it :-)


FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #18519244 (external link)
Yeah, Canon should include the damned hood. This drives me crazy.

... at least sell it for a price that doesn't make me think I should bend over when ordering it...




  
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lazybones
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Dec 18, 2017 03:14 as a reply to  @ Bassat's post |  #14

So very True Bassat for the price of it (The Len) Canon should have included the hood with the 35/F2 IS. :-)




  
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lazybones
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Dec 18, 2017 07:20 as a reply to  @ FarmerTed1971's post |  #15

Totally Farmer Ted, Canon should include the hoods with any lens costing more than 600 dollars ߒ I Couldn't buy the hood from my local photographer dealers so I did have to order it From B&H Photos also I bought some Eneloop batterys from there too + the ones from the USA are.from Japan as the ones that we can buy here in Australia and New Zealand are make in China.




  
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EF 35mm f/2 lens vs. 35mm f/2 IS
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