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Thread: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

  1. #1
    Alis's Avatar
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    Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Hi Everyone,

    I am thinking of buying Canon's wide angle 35mm f1.4 L lens. I checked the release date and it looks like it was first came to market in 1998. I was wondering if it is a good idea to buy it or anyone knows if it is going to be upgraded soon.

    I mostly shoot portraits, I have the 24-70mm L and the mighty 85mm 1.2 L lenses already. I see a lot of nice people pictures taken with this lens and it made me think of buying this one as the next addition to my lens collection. Anyone thinks it is a bad idea? Does anyone here has experience with it that can share with me?

    Cheers,

    Alis

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Hi Ali,

    In terms of DoF it'll be a little more forgiving the the EF85mm F1.2L USM II you have, but you'd really have to ask yourself how often you'd be shooting at less than F2.8. I find that more often than not, anything under about F4 often creates issues with one eye being a bit soft if they're not square on to the camera. And if you're going to be shooting above F2.8 then one may as well just use the EF24-70 (the prime will no doubt be sharper with better colour and contrast, but that usually doesn't translate into anything that's noticeable in real-world photos (pixel peeping aside)).

    Just last night I gave the 85/1.2L a run at F1.2 ... fun stuff, but not many keepers - the DoF is just too shallow. Food for thought perhaps.

    In terms of Canon updating it - who the heck knows

  3. #3
    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Thanks, Colin. I know first hand what you mean about shallow depth of field with 85mm. Actually the reason I was thinking about this one was the problem I have with that lens, it is not wide enough, so being a prime lens, you have to actually move away from the subject. I though this one would be nicer in that way but again as you say, you have that problem with wide aperture which is the reason one may want to buy a lens like this! So complex

    And I have learned over the years that Canon protects this kind of news very efficiently but still thought 12 years is a long time!
    Last edited by McQ; 8th November 2011 at 03:45 AM.

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    No worries Ali,

    Guess really it comes down to "if you need to shoot faster than F2.8 @ 35mm" then there's little choice - "if you shoot at F2.8 or slower @ 35mm" then you probably won't see any difference. Plan C of course is to just buy it for the heck of it! (works for me!)

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    I am thinking of buying Canon's wide angle 35mm f1.4 L lens.
    I mostly shoot portraits, I have the 24-70mm L and the mighty 85mm 1.2 L lenses already.
    Anyone thinks it is a bad idea?
    Does anyone here has experience with it that can share with me?
    What Camera? -

    It’s stunning for street (Portraiture) work on a 5D, for example.
    - Typical Journalists Lens
    – very easy to manage one-handed
    - set and forget F/8 at SD = 15ft for shooting from the Hip or Hail Mary
    - or you work at F/1.4~F/2.8 in low light, or for (really) shallow DoF, or both.
    - you also get a lens hood which actually fits the FL of the lens - so it "works" most of the time

    Also:

    It is a vacuum cleaner for light, so if you tend to wander around early, before dawn . . . and are hand held and like the scenery, it’s good to have available the larger than F/2.8 to get the Shutter Speed and the ISO – but on the other hand you have the 24 to 70 and that is more flexible (apropos zoom), and you might not be a street walker innthe dark hours.

    So, I agree with Colin:
    it really does depend: are you are going to use the F/2.8~F/1.4
    And also can you give up the convenience of the zoom. (when the 35 is bolted on).

    Personally, I think it is no brainer:
    I would buy both the 24L and the 35L before the 24 to70L, but:
    I do use the extra lens speed;
    I do work close for portraiture;
    I am usually in available light;
    I work in low light often;
    I am more than happy to think in terms of FoV of 35mm (or 24mm) for “Landscape Stuff” (which I do a lot at night) and which I make more as snapshot record of a nice scene and without a tripod and all that extra “stuff” the really conscientious Landscapers carry around, set up and then wait patiently.

    ***

    If you decide you will use the fast speed - - - then already owning a 24 to 70:
    if you have a 5D or similar, then I suggest you buy the 35L as the best “Portraiture Mate” for the 85L.

    If you are using APS-C then the 24L is a better choice that the 35L IMO – and, if you are APS-C you need a fast 50 for Portraiture, also.

    Mind you – a fast 50 for Portraiture is very nice on a 5D also – so if you want the fast lens speed for your Portraiture, then you need a fast 50 also . . . there, that didn’t hurt very much at all, did it?


    WW

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    So Bill, what you are saying is get the 24L, the 35L, and a fast 50?


    Interesting strategy!

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    No worries Ali,

    Guess really it comes down to "if you need to shoot faster than F2.8 @ 35mm" then there's little choice - "if you shoot at F2.8 or slower @ 35mm" then you probably won't see any difference. Plan C of course is to just buy it for the heck of it! (works for me!)
    Thanks, Colin. Normally I would buy it for the heck of it but this time I am saving my money for the 1D X and can not do that

  8. #8
    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    What Camera? -

    It’s stunning for street (Portraiture) work on a 5D, for example.
    - Typical Journalists Lens
    – very easy to manage one-handed
    - set and forget F/8 at SD = 15ft for shooting from the Hip or Hail Mary
    - or you work at F/1.4~F/2.8 in low light, or for (really) shallow DoF, or both.
    - you also get a lens hood which actually fits the FL of the lens - so it "works" most of the time

    Also:

    It is a vacuum cleaner for light, so if you tend to wander around early, before dawn . . . and are hand held and like the scenery, it’s good to have available the larger than F/2.8 to get the Shutter Speed and the ISO – but on the other hand you have the 24 to 70 and that is more flexible (apropos zoom), and you might not be a street walker innthe dark hours.

    So, I agree with Colin:
    it really does depend: are you are going to use the F/2.8~F/1.4
    And also can you give up the convenience of the zoom. (when the 35 is bolted on).

    Personally, I think it is no brainer:
    I would buy both the 24L and the 35L before the 24 to70L, but:
    I do use the extra lens speed;
    I do work close for portraiture;
    I am usually in available light;
    I work in low light often;
    I am more than happy to think in terms of FoV of 35mm (or 24mm) for “Landscape Stuff” (which I do a lot at night) and which I make more as snapshot record of a nice scene and without a tripod and all that extra “stuff” the really conscientious Landscapers carry around, set up and then wait patiently.

    ***

    If you decide you will use the fast speed - - - then already owning a 24 to 70:
    if you have a 5D or similar, then I suggest you buy the 35L as the best “Portraiture Mate” for the 85L.

    If you are using APS-C then the 24L is a better choice that the 35L IMO – and, if you are APS-C you need a fast 50 for Portraiture, also.

    Mind you – a fast 50 for Portraiture is very nice on a 5D also – so if you want the fast lens speed for your Portraiture, then you need a fast 50 also . . . there, that didn’t hurt very much at all, did it?


    WW
    Thanks, Bill! Good analysis. My main use will be portraiture from a close distance in low light. The 85mm 1.2 is not close enough and that bugs me. I usually use it to take picture of people sitting next to me in a dark place (restaurant) but I it is not easy since I have to bend backward to get the lens to focus from a short distance. That was why I thought of buying this one.

    I guess I will at least wait until the new iteration comes out whenever that is!

    PS: BTW, I use a 5D Mark II.
    Last edited by Alis; 8th November 2011 at 01:23 AM.

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Do you have a 50 1.8 II?
    It might do what you want for not much money. There are better 50's though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Do you have a 50 1.8 II?
    It might do what you want for not much money. There are better 50's though.
    Hi Brian,

    I have the 50mm f1.8 and it is a great lens but of course not L quality. I did not know there is a Mark II of that lens released. I bought it very cheap a few years ago when I used it on a Canon Rebel I used to shoot with.

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    So Bill, what you are saying is get the 24L, the 35L, and a fast 50?


    Interesting strategy!

    "Nope" - not exactly.

    I first asked "what camera?"
    And secondly I predicated any Prime Lens' purchase on actually purposefully USING the fast lens speed.

    But:

    "Yes" - my cameras and I work very well with 5 fast prime lenses: 24, 35, 50, 85 and 135.

    If I were limited: then only three lenses will suffice for 90% of all my work: 24, 50 and 135, provided I can have two cameras, one APS-C and one 135 format ("full frame").

    Add a x1.4mkII Canon Tele-extender to that three lens, two camera kit and it could account for 95% of all my work.

    WW

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post

    "Yes" - my cameras and I work very well with 5 fast prime lenses: 24, 35, 50, 85 and 135.
    Now you are making me think about 135mm. Never actively thought of using that one...

  13. #13
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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Hi Brian,

    I have the 50mm f1.8 and it is a great lens but of course not L quality. I did not know there is a Mark II of that lens released. I bought it very cheap a few years ago when I used it on a Canon Rebel I used to shoot with.
    My understanding is the glass and function is the same (including the front focusing tendancy) just more plastic and less metal!

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    My main use will be portraiture from a close distance in low light. The 85mm 1.2 is not close enough and that bugs me. I usually use it to take picture of people sitting next to me in a dark place (restaurant) but I it is not easy since I have to bend backward to get the lens to focus from a short distance. That was why I thought of buying this one. . . .I use a 5D Mark II.

    Your 5DMkII goes to bed at night dreaming of mating with a 35L.

    You will often hear a soft whining sound in the still of the night it is the 5DMkII’s lustful whimpers – only trained ears will hear it.

    ***

    After a good night’s sleep, comfortable on their satin pillows and locked in each other tight grip - the 5DMkII and the 35L awake in the glow of the morning sun which is streaming though their bedroom window; they toss off the lens cap and don their hood . . . ready for another day’s creativity . . .
    Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    ***

    The 35 and a 5D (the first version):

    A man sitting next to me in a bar ISO 3200 and about F/2ish (bloody low light I know that).

    Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?


    ***


    I truly believe you, having made this post, YOU are indeed beginning to hear the whimpers and that worries you.

    I doubt... if you have any passion that you will be able to wait "for the next iteration".

    And then for what “an improved 35L MKII" ????

    And in the interregnum . . .

    All those lost "could have been" photographs.

    Very sad.

    But it is your call and also your responsibility.



    Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero


    WW


    ***

    Addendum technical stuff:

    The EF50F/1.8 (first version) has more metal and less plastic than the EF50F/1.8MkII, the latter being several grams lighter, (noticeable). The optics are the same in both lenses but the out barrel is a smidge smaller on the MkII – only a mm or two, from memory, but the filter size is the same, they both have 5 aperture blades.

    ***

    If you want a less expensive indoor “bar and restaurant lens” then the EF35F/2 is in contention. Also, as a snub lens which doesn’t draw much attention, it is marvellous addition for the 5DMkII shooting sans flash from the hip or in locales where photography is frowned upon, but the camera is allowed to be carried on ones person (oops that just slipped out). Do not be fooled by this little lens.

    ***

    Re the 135L – Hmm:
    It is superlative.

    Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?
    Informal Portrait - Available Light @ F/2.5
    Last edited by William W; 8th November 2011 at 02:40 AM. Reason: Added the "Addendum"

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Now you are making me think about 135mm. Never actively thought of using that one...
    Thanksfully, poligamy is alive and well (and legal!) when it comes to lenses ... get both!

    I use the 135/F2L in the studio ... it's nice (and also relatively cheap as far a L-Series lenses go).

    A man can never have too many lenses!

  16. #16
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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
    So true!

  17. #17

    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    I'm also looking into the Canon 50 f/1.4 as my first prime for the 7D. As an available light shooter, I'm hoping to gain a lot from it, however I don't absolutely need it. I'm tentatively holding off on it, as there have been some rumors about its replacement. There was a patent awhile back, as well as some rumored testing of a new version.

    Granted, it takes some time to go from a new patent and/or prototype testing to get a production lens, but Canon does seem to be announcing lots of new products recently...

  18. #18
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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    What can I say in reply to: tentatively holding off on it, as there are rumours . . . ?

    I am really a polite fellow and I mean no ill:
    But the second link (rumours of) "testing of a new version" is dated: March 24 2010.

    I just did a quick calc – since that date I have shot about 225,000 frames.
    My 50/1.4 is my second most used Prime, so I guess (conservatively) about 30,000 images I have captured with it.
    OK, I admit I am screwy – so let’s say I am really screwy - let’s say 100 times more screwy than most . . .

    So wouldn’t the investment of about $450 have been worthwhile to make 300 Photographs that you WANTED to make over those past months? . . . and how much fun doing it? and how much would you have learnt?

    That’s only a cost of about $1.45 each . . . ONLY one HALF the COST of a cheap coffee made at those coffee franchise places . . . AND you get to KEEP the lens and the ALL the Photos . . . on the other hand the coffee . . . you pppppp out!

    Where’s your passion man?

    We all could be dead, tomorrow.

    WW


    EF 50/1.4:
    Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?
    "Visiting Max Brenner"
    Avaliable Light Candid Portrait

  19. #19
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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Thanks, Bill. You are right we all could be dead and I personally usually don't believe in waiting unless something is already announced. I guess as Colin says, a man can never have enough lenses. I am now convinced I have to order it! I think the romantic pieced changed the whole thing for me

    BTW, I like the candid shot of the guy licking the plate. Nice!

    Thanks,

    Alis

  20. #20

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    Re: Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Thanks, Bill. You are right we all could be dead and I personally usually don't believe in waiting unless something is already announced. I guess as Colin says, a man can never have enough lenses. I am now convinced I have to order it! I think the romantic pieced changed the whole thing for me

    BTW, I like the candid shot of the guy licking the plate. Nice!

    Thanks,

    Alis
    Won't be long now and you'll be able to play your first game of Lens Chess (EF800/F5 to C5 - takes EF85/1.2)!

    Canon 35mm f1.4 L Upgrade coming soon?

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