Interesting theories regarding the price drop. I believe there has to be some truth in the fact that these lenses were originally intended to be quite high market and fill the gap between Ls which have not yet come out ( 35 1.4L II , 50 1.2 II L ) etc and sit above the entry level primes. It seems owning both the 24 and 35 IS that the 35 is ahead of the game glass wise. I have also owned the new 40 2.8 which i did not click with and ended up selling a month or two after getting it. Did not have the sharpness or unique quality that the 35 IS has.
Someone mentioned wondering why i posted two shots that werent at F2 , well simply because a large majority of shots at a wedding are not F2 as its just too shallow at close range. however the abililty to use the F2 when i want to artistically produces better results than the 24-70 2.8 and the added benefit of the IS makes it a great low light lens during church ceremonies and for detailed shots without flash. There is also the added bonus of its great close up ability and its light weight along with its very good build quality and fast af.
Someone else mentioned they were surprised I have just noticed primes. Thats not really the case i have a house full of old cameras with primes and adapters to fit them to my DSLR i have played with for years. It was the leap from the safety of a zoom to the primes which require a little more thought which was always the hurdle. For years i told myself that the 24-70 2.8L was the best lens for weddings ever - probably following the flock a little ! I cannot comment on the new 24-70 2.8II L though as i have not used it so whether that can get close to the prime someone else will need to answer.
This is a list of the lenses /Cameras I have used extensively from which i am using to judge this 5d3+35 IS combo from when i started with digital around 2004
Pentax k100, k200, k10, k20
Tokina RMC 17mm - amazing lens for its age
Sigma 10-20 - staple diet wide angle for many years
Sigma 105 macro - noisy but good if it didnt scare your subject away or squash it
Sigma 70-300 - absolutely diabolical
Sigma 50mm 1.4 old one - poor back focussing issues
Pentax 16-55 - really good expensive lens
Pentax 18-55 - noisy and cheap but did the job
Canon 17-40L great lens but took a wack and fell to bits !
Canon 24-70 2.8L mk1 - fab lens used it for years just a bit on the heavy side and could be sharper
Canon 24-105 F4L still own this one - very sharp and very versatile just struggles in low light , used in the second photographers kit
Canon 50 1.2L never really got on with this one wasn't a range i liked but the glass was good
Canon 50 1.4 still have this as a back up as its not really worth selling , used in the second photographers kit
Canon 40mm 2.8 STM impulse purchase which i ended up sellling again , pretty average on all counts
Canon 85mm 1.8 part of current kit really like this lens lovely bokeh fast focus
Canon 70-200 F4 still have this in our kit good for longer distance work very fast light and sharp
Canon 200mm 2.8L owned this ahead of its time when i just started out and didnt really understand primes that well , wish now i had never sold it as it was a lovely lens and will probably buy another !
Canon 35mm F2 IS - current main lens absolutely love it sharp fast low light and close ups quality equal to Ls
Canon 24mm 2.8IS good landscaper and for wider interiors , glass not as good as the best L stuff but still good
That hopefull demonstrates where i am coming from with the judgement on the 35 f2 IS
Bokeh of the 35 f2 IS is very good , i am not sure i would say it is the best - to be honest i have a Super Takumar from the late 1960s 55 1.8 which has the creamiest bokeh i have ever seen in a lens - if it was AF i would use it all the time ! I would not be suprised if the sigma 35 and 50 art have slightly better bokeh but then i would be looking more for 85 135 or 200 anyway if bokeh was the main concern. For me the main concern was being able to shoot in low light, and thats what this lens is the master of - 35mm F2 with four stop IS , not sure if that will be better any time soon ?
Andrew...after looking through your list of lenses used, I would suggest that you're missing two of Canon's best...24-70ii and 70-200ii.
These two lenses truly are "prime eliminators"....unless you need the extra light below 2.8.