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35mm Shootout!

Dustin Abbott

January 12th, 2016

20Over the past month I’ve been taking advantage of having a number of 35mm alternatives on hand at the same time.  I’ve owned Canon’s underrated EF 35mm f/2 IS USM for several years, and recently acquired Tamron’s new SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD (standing in for the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC).  I’ve also been in the process of reviewing Canon’s new 35mm f/1.4L II USM and comparing it with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART.  All of these are excellent lenses in their own right, but the purpose of this 35mm Shootout! is put these lenses head to head to head to head and determine which areas they excel or fall short in.

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Review

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART Review

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Review

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Review

Tamron SP 45mm f1/.8 Di VC USD Review

This little article will both give you access to all of the YouTube videos that are a part of the series and will also give you access to some of the raw materials used in the process like images and crops for you to examine a little more carefully.  My hope is that this series will help you make a highly informed decision when you decide what 35mm lens to put in your bag!  Check back as more info and videos will be added.

35mm Shootout! Focus

Accuracy Images and Crops:

There is a consistent sort order to each group.  First shot is the 10x Live View control shot, second the crop from that shot, followed by the 5 autofocused shots with the lens first defocused to infinity, then finally the 5 autofocused shots with the lens defocused to minimum focus.  Recognize too that this test emphasizes the misses, most all of which are slight enough to be missed at standard viewing size (see the worse case scenario full size image at the very bottom for perspective).


 

Canon 35mm f/2 IS:

20 foot Images

10 foot Images

5 foot images

Missed image sample (worse case scenario for the test):


 

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

20 foot images

10 foot images

5 foot images

Missed image sample (worse case scenario for the test):

AF Servo example of proper focus (a strength for the 35L II)


Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART

20 foot images

10 foot images

5 foot images

Missed image samples (worse case scenario for the test):

AF Servo example of backfocus (a weakness for the Sigma 35 Art)


 

Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

20 foot images

10 foot images

5 foot images

Missed image samples (worse case scenario for the test):

Full size missed image that demonstrates these misses are hard to see at standard viewing sizes.

 


 

Gear Used:

Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera (Body Only)
Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD (in Canada)
Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD (USA and World)
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART Lens
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens
Adobe Lightroom CC Software for Mac and Windows (Boxed Version)
Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud 1-Year Subscription
Alien Skin Exposure X (Use Code “dustinabbott” to get 10% anything and everything)

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6 thoughts on “35mm Shootout!

  1. Chris Sears says:

    Wow!! Thanks so much for doing this kind of in depth real world testing Dustin. Really useful!

  2. Dustin Abbott says:

    Chris, you’re definitely welcome. The autofocus segment goes up onto YouTube tonight.

  3. Cip says:

    Thank you Dustin. The test is great.
    However, the noise and jpeg compression affect IQ.

    Based on 5 foot images, looks like Canon f2 nailed the focus best and Canon f1.4 comes second. Of course, there is also the aperture (DOF @ f2 is about twice than @ f1.4)

    There is also a typo on Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM section: “20 foot” is in fact “5 foot”

  4. Dustin Abbott says:

    Cip – if you watch the episode above called “Autofocus accuracy” you will see all of these in more detail.

  5. Cip says:

    Thanks. Just did. Impressive work.
    Just realized the captures you show on video look better than the one above (jpeg compression artifacts, I think).

    For me and my pocket, Canon f2 looks like a winner. And, where I am from, is 40% cheaper than Tamron or Sigma.

  6. Dustin Abbott says:

    Hard to argue with that. I’ve been using the lens for about 27 months in my own kit and love it!

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