Fast 35mm wide-angle lens. With a minimum focusing distance of only 0.8 ft. (25cm), you can approach the subject closer and still obtain a more natural wide-angle effect. You can even obtain good background blur for portraits.
I love the lens, especially for videography for its manual focus. As for the auto focus when taking still images, the motor skills dont seem to be very smooth as are other lens's i have used.
This lens is great for close up pic's. Easy to understand and use
I ordered this as a (much)smaller, lighter, cheaper alternative to a 24-70 f/2.8II. Trust me, it's as sharp as the f/2.8 zoom, plus it's a full-stop faster and it has IS! Honestly, I've read several reviews claiming that this should have been an L lens, and they're right, the build/image quality is that good. And the 24-70 has such a short range anyway, it's not that much of a compromise to take 1-2 steps forward or backward.
This makes a great fast standard lens for my 7D and a great 35mm lens on full frame. It is sharp at f2, which puts it at an advantage on a crop body over using a fast 50 on a full frame camera, as fast 50's they are often not very good at f2.
Have a granddaughter and whenever I try to catch a photo of her she started racing toward me. Always missing the shot with the 50 because she fills out the frame to quickly. This lens does the trick giving me more time to catch her. Love the close focusing and it just seems better as a carry about lens on the 6d. Alwasys seem to be wishing for a slightly wider view then when carrying the 50. Nice color and sharpness is great. Started swithching to primes to cut down on weight and cumbersomeness. Makes carrying a camera around easier and more enjoyable.
When I read online reviews of EF35mm f/2 USM IS, I thought the reviews were underwhelming and thought there wasn't much improvement over the old version other than the USM and IS. The reviews also varied quite widely, creating a little confusion in making the decision. I shot enough with both lenses and these are the key improvements I appreciate (I shoot 5D3). The background blur improved very much over old f/2 and to some extent f/1.4L, especially near the corners. I was a bit skeptical in this aspect at first because the corner light falloff is close to 2 stops at wide open (these factors are often but not always related). But when I shot with this lens, it was quite obvious that the blur was in an ok/decent character already at f/2 and pretty good at f/2.8, visually perfect at f/4 (absolutely no rugby ball or crescent shaped blur of small lights in the background). I'd shoot this lens at f/2 rather than the old version at f/2.8. This lens allows me to forget about the need to use the aperture to control the bokeh quality (about the only other lenses that are as good are TS-E 45mm f/2.8 and TS-E90mm f/2.8, both of which produce perfect bokeh even at wide open). Many lenses in 28mm-50mm range perform very poorly in this regard, including relatively recent designs like EF40mm f/2.8, EF35mm f/1.4L and Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2. The color fringes at the high contrast edges in the out of focus area is improved, at f/2. It is not perfect, but it is much better than old 35/2 or 35/1.4L for that matter. The autofocus is quicker and makes less error (even without waiting for the focus confirmation light) even on moderately low contrast targets. This lens is perfect for street photography and candid shots. The autofocus is faster than EF35mm f/1.4L and of course the old f/2. I think this lens makes the EF35mm f/1.4L unnecessary for all but those who shoot candids in very dark places (e.g., wedding photographers shooting documentary style candids in dark indoor venues...) Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is a wonderful lens for some, it is extremely sharp, but I wouldn't use it for portrait work, because of the bokeh characters and autofocus issues. One problem with many lens reviews is that they are overly concerned about sharpness/resolution and other easily quantifiable specs that don't really matter in real life situation after a certain point. The points listed above make my shooting work easier and improve the aesthetics of my pictures, with less post production work to correct for the flaw in the lens. There are a lot of people who never shoot in a situation where any of the above points matter. Those people are probably better served with old EF35mm non-USM, which is significantly cheaper and smaller and nearly as sharp and contrasty. I also agree that IS is useful, but I also feel that IS slows down autofocusing in some situations. So I often leave the IS off for still photography. For video, the IS is very useful. I can hand hold the camera without making the viewer dizzy.
After I got the 14mm L 2.8 (worst deal ever) I do my research before buying a canon lens. Specially an L series. This is a great lense for Group Shots. Unlike the 24-70 L 2.8 version I, this lens is sharp sharp almost corner to corner. it is definetly sharper than 35 mm 1.4 L specially at 2.0 to 2.8 where the 35 L 1.4 is sharp but has very soft corners at f2.0 2.2 2.8 4.0; not good at all wide open at f 1.4. takea look: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=824&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=3&LensComp=121&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=4 The 35mm L 1.4 Contrasts and colors are a bit better than 35 2.0 IS. This is a plastic construction lens with metal mount, lighter than metal construction (if you drop your lens, plastic or metal you will break it or you will have to send it for recalibration) IS in this lens is great if you are a videographer you probably will love it. I photograph people (not objets) not big deal for me. It is 3 times cheaper than the 35 L 1.4 focus is pretty fast and silent. you will se some vignetting when wide open. and almost none at 4.0. This Lens has less Chromatic aberration than the 35 L 1.4 I think this lens is like the 100mm 2.0 it deserves to be an L lense. It delivers a great constant quality corner to corner. It could be 30% cheaper (this is why I rated 4 stars) but at the end of the day if you are a pro you need to deliver quality. Get it, is a great deal.
The 35mm focal length is very useful for what I need which is for taking photos of family and landscapes. This lens is light and not very big which is great. I use this lens on a Canon 5D MkII and that camera body is already hefty as it is, so for me the smaller and lighter the lens the better. The build quality of the lens is a lot better than the non-IS version but not quite as good as the L version. The lens is very sharp, even at wide apertures. The bokeh and contrast are very appealing. I was most impressed with the autofocus which is quiet, quick and accurate even in low light. What I was least impressed with is the performance of the image stabilization. It is advertised as being able to allow for 4-stops of gain but I was only ever able to get 2-stops. I don't use IS very much anyways so it's not a deal breaker for me. Taking photos of family I still need a fast enough shutter speed to prevent subject movement. Also for landscapes I tend to have a tripod, so there's no need for the IS then. I would recommend this lens if you have the money.
I have consistently found that the auto-focus ability of the lens generally outdoes my manual focus ability. During film days, I always had trouble focusing precisely lenses of less than 50mm.
surprised by the sharpness of this lens