October 22, 2014, 09:57:02 PM

Author Topic: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott  (Read 18504 times)

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2014, 08:29:08 AM »
Dustin,

As always, thanks for an awesome, down to earth review. You always get me thinking.

I will say I was a bit disappointed in your YouTube review. Not in the content, but in your voice! In my mind's ear, I assumed you would sound like you were off the set of Strange Brew (you are from Canada, right?) so this Southern Illinois accent you are sporting threw me off  ;D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZCI39NWZ5g

Seriously, thanks for the incredible effort I'm sure it took you to pull this off.

Oh, I do have a question. As a fellow 6D shooter, I am curious to know if, with available light, you use the other focus points outside of the center one. Do you ever find yourself locking in focus with the center and recomposing? Personally, I am embarrassed to say that I am just starting to experiment with my other focus points.

Southern Illinois?  That's interesting.  I was actually born in California, raised in Arizona, and have been in Ontario (Canada) for the last nearly 17 years.  Maybe all of that = Southern Illinois. :)

I do use the outer focus points at times.  I almost never have all point activated.  I primarily do use the center point and recompose, but I don't hesitate to use other focus points when I am shooting more deliberately. 
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2014, 08:29:08 AM »

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #61 on: April 17, 2014, 09:47:08 AM »
Reading your review for the third time. Seriously considering this lens. On my third read, you are starting to sound like a pirate  ;)

"The Sigma is incredibly sharp, but to me eye it seems like there is an imbalance between sharpness and “creaminess” in the defocused region."
Canon 6D, EF 70-200 f/4 L USM, EF 24-105 f/4 L IS USM, EF 35 f/2 IS USM, EF 50 f/1.8 II, EF 85 f/1.8 USM, 580EX

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2014, 03:44:48 PM »
Reading your review for the third time. Seriously considering this lens. On my third read, you are starting to sound like a pirate  ;)

"The Sigma is incredibly sharp, but to me eye it seems like there is an imbalance between sharpness and “creaminess” in the defocused region."

Ayyyy, ye caught me, matey...
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2014, 08:44:15 AM »
Thanks for the helpful review. I've been putting a lot of thought into upgrading from the 40 2.8 to the 35 is, and see in this thread that I'm not the only one. One of the things I do (in addition to watching lots of review videos) is browse through all of the Flickr photo pools for specific lenses. Helps to get a feel for what the lenses really produce in the real world. In this case I think the comparison isn't entirely fair because many 40mm owners are shooting on inexpensive crop sensor cameras, and more 35IS owners are shooting on high end full frame models.

Still, I have the following impressions about these two lenses: they're both extremely sharp, and produce very similar images in well lit conditions. The 35 excels in low light conditions and when blowing out the background with a subject within a few feet from the camera. I'm debating whether those two scenarios justify the price difference and am leaning towards "yes they do." The bokeh on the 35 can be spectacular when exploited properly, and I do find myself chasing after my 1 year old while shooting video. I don't think I'd regret having footage shot with IS.

For the record, I disagree with the "Sigma is clinical" assessment. I've seen a lot of images that look wonderful from that lens. I lean towards the Canon mostly because they both look great and the price difference is significant.

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2014, 08:59:21 AM »
For the record, I disagree with the "Sigma is clinical" assessment. I've seen a lot of images that look wonderful from that lens. I lean towards the Canon mostly because they both look great and the price difference is significant.

From some of the images that I have seen posted on the web the out of focus or 'bokeh' of the Sigma has, on first impression, looked really good. However I think that the transition from in and out of focus is quite abrupt, at least when compared with the 35L. That lens has a proper ground glass aspherical element, and I do find that on lenses when this is used there is a more 'glassy' or 'liquid' quality to the out of focus area. I'm guessing that the Sigma is pretty highly corrected for chromatic aberration to get the sharpness, and I'm sure it doesn't use a ground glass aspherical element, and the out of focus is a little more 'plasticy'. ( I'm being really scientific here).

I wonder if this is what Dustin is relating to ?

The EF 35 IS will use a moulded element, but as with the other Canon mid range primes the bokeh transition is good. Pretty clever stuff for such a sharp lens.

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #65 on: April 18, 2014, 10:29:23 AM »
For the record, I disagree with the "Sigma is clinical" assessment. I've seen a lot of images that look wonderful from that lens. I lean towards the Canon mostly because they both look great and the price difference is significant.

From some of the images that I have seen posted on the web the out of focus or 'bokeh' of the Sigma has, on first impression, looked really good. However I think that the transition from in and out of focus is quite abrupt, at least when compared with the 35L. That lens has a proper ground glass aspherical element, and I do find that on lenses when this is used there is a more 'glassy' or 'liquid' quality to the out of focus area. I'm guessing that the Sigma is pretty highly corrected for chromatic aberration to get the sharpness, and I'm sure it doesn't use a ground glass aspherical element, and the out of focus is a little more 'plasticy'. ( I'm being really scientific here).

I wonder if this is what Dustin is relating to ?

The EF 35 IS will use a moulded element, but as with the other Canon mid range primes the bokeh transition is good. Pretty clever stuff for such a sharp lens.

You've expressed it better than what I could have.  The Sigma is unquestionably one of the finest lenses produced thus far in terms of absolute sharpness.  I personally would trade a little of that sharpness for a smoother transition into defocus, but that is a matter of preference.  I find the 35IS does this very nicely, and so it was my choice.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #66 on: April 19, 2014, 04:55:46 AM »
For the record, I disagree with the "Sigma is clinical" assessment. I've seen a lot of images that look wonderful from that lens. I lean towards the Canon mostly because they both look great and the price difference is significant.

From some of the images that I have seen posted on the web the out of focus or 'bokeh' of the Sigma has, on first impression, looked really good. However I think that the transition from in and out of focus is quite abrupt, at least when compared with the 35L. That lens has a proper ground glass aspherical element, and I do find that on lenses when this is used there is a more 'glassy' or 'liquid' quality to the out of focus area. I'm guessing that the Sigma is pretty highly corrected for chromatic aberration to get the sharpness, and I'm sure it doesn't use a ground glass aspherical element, and the out of focus is a little more 'plasticy'. ( I'm being really scientific here).

I wonder if this is what Dustin is relating to ?

The EF 35 IS will use a moulded element, but as with the other Canon mid range primes the bokeh transition is good. Pretty clever stuff for such a sharp lens.

Have a look at these images, and tell me this lens has a smooth transition zone.  Notice how rough the highlights look, both in front of the focus plane, and behind it. 

http://www.photozone.de/active/magic/get.jsp?id=2787280480_kxf8wgz

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/847-canon35f2isff?start=2

Frankly the 40mm f/2.8 pancake, had as smooth of a bokeh as this, if not slightly superior, it seems to me.  The Sigma 35mm Art, appears to also have a smoother transition zone in the bokeh, than the Canon 35 f/2 IS.  Just have a look at Photozone's samples from the Sigma.  They do fault it as having "slightly busy" bokeh background, but very smooth in the foreground.  But its background highlights, do not seem to have such a pronounced "bright ring" around them, as does the 35 f/2 IS.  It would help if the exact same scene were photographed to compare, of course.

I see the IS feature as the only very good aspect of the Canon 35 f/2 IS lens, going by these samples.  Certainly a nice feature to have.  Also I will admit that for bokeh smoothness at 35mm, the Canon f/1.4L is still clearly king.  Also, if I had to guess which had the smoother background bokeh, between say the Sigma 35mm Art, and the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 ii (at 35mm), the Sigma might edge it out a bit.  Would be interesting to see a direct comparison of that.  If there are no highlights in the background, then all of these lenses can probably portray a relatively smooth blur, as most lenses can.

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #66 on: April 19, 2014, 04:55:46 AM »

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #67 on: April 19, 2014, 05:42:55 AM »
For the record, I disagree with the "Sigma is clinical" assessment. I've seen a lot of images that look wonderful from that lens. I lean towards the Canon mostly because they both look great and the price difference is significant.

From some of the images that I have seen posted on the web the out of focus or 'bokeh' of the Sigma has, on first impression, looked really good. However I think that the transition from in and out of focus is quite abrupt, at least when compared with the 35L. That lens has a proper ground glass aspherical element, and I do find that on lenses when this is used there is a more 'glassy' or 'liquid' quality to the out of focus area. I'm guessing that the Sigma is pretty highly corrected for chromatic aberration to get the sharpness, and I'm sure it doesn't use a ground glass aspherical element, and the out of focus is a little more 'plasticy'. ( I'm being really scientific here).

I wonder if this is what Dustin is relating to ?

The EF 35 IS will use a moulded element, but as with the other Canon mid range primes the bokeh transition is good. Pretty clever stuff for such a sharp lens.

Have a look at these images, and tell me this lens has a smooth transition zone.  Notice how rough the highlights look, both in front of the focus plane, and behind it. 

http://www.photozone.de/active/magic/get.jsp?id=2787280480_kxf8wgz

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/847-canon35f2isff?start=2

Frankly the 40mm f/2.8 pancake, had as smooth of a bokeh as this, if not slightly superior, it seems to me.  The Sigma 35mm Art, appears to also have a smoother transition zone in the bokeh, than the Canon 35 f/2 IS.  Just have a look at Photozone's samples from the Sigma.  They do fault it as having "slightly busy" bokeh background, but very smooth in the foreground.  But its background highlights, do not seem to have such a pronounced "bright ring" around them, as does the 35 f/2 IS.  It would help if the exact same scene were photographed to compare, of course.

I see the IS feature as the only very good aspect of the Canon 35 f/2 IS lens, going by these samples.  Certainly a nice feature to have.  Also I will admit that for bokeh smoothness at 35mm, the Canon f/1.4L is still clearly king.  Also, if I had to guess which had the smoother background bokeh, between say the Sigma 35mm Art, and the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 ii (at 35mm), the Sigma might edge it out a bit.  Would be interesting to see a direct comparison of that.  If there are no highlights in the background, then all of these lenses can probably portray a relatively smooth blur, as most lenses can.

I use photozone a great deal for comparing the resolution of lenses, but to be quite honest I never look at their samples. However I've just looked now at your prompt and it's confirmed my belief; the Sigma samples are pretty useless for a bokeh assessment.

Have a look at the ones in the CR thread:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11210.45

As I said in my earlier post, my initial reaction was this looks really good, but then over time I thought they are just a little - 'clinical' - is that the word Dustin used ? From what I read Dustin has come to that conclusion over time, which makes it more pertinent,  and I'm with him on that one.

Also I mentioned earlier that the likes of the 35L, 50L and 24-70 II use a much more expensive lens manufacturing process. Mid range lenses such as the 35 IS etc. use moulded glass elements, and really cheap lenses use plastic ones.

However I agree with you on the 40 pancake - and remember you are talking to someone who ditched his 35L for the pancake  ::)   ( But don't tell anyone else that !). I don't have a use for a really fast 35, I'd much rather use a 50 or 85.

Overall I'm very tempted by the 35 IS, not for it's aperture but because it has IS and is really good across the frame when stopped down. 

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #68 on: April 19, 2014, 05:49:55 AM »
For the record, I disagree with the "Sigma is clinical" assessment. I've seen a lot of images that look wonderful from that lens. I lean towards the Canon mostly because they both look great and the price difference is significant.

From some of the images that I have seen posted on the web the out of focus or 'bokeh' of the Sigma has, on first impression, looked really good. However I think that the transition from in and out of focus is quite abrupt, at least when compared with the 35L. That lens has a proper ground glass aspherical element, and I do find that on lenses when this is used there is a more 'glassy' or 'liquid' quality to the out of focus area. I'm guessing that the Sigma is pretty highly corrected for chromatic aberration to get the sharpness, and I'm sure it doesn't use a ground glass aspherical element, and the out of focus is a little more 'plasticy'. ( I'm being really scientific here).

I wonder if this is what Dustin is relating to ?

The EF 35 IS will use a moulded element, but as with the other Canon mid range primes the bokeh transition is good. Pretty clever stuff for such a sharp lens.

Have a look at these images, and tell me this lens has a smooth transition zone.  Notice how rough the highlights look, both in front of the focus plane, and behind it. 

http://www.photozone.de/active/magic/get.jsp?id=2787280480_kxf8wgz

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/847-canon35f2isff?start=2

Frankly the 40mm f/2.8 pancake, had as smooth of a bokeh as this, if not slightly superior, it seems to me.  The Sigma 35mm Art, appears to also have a smoother transition zone in the bokeh, than the Canon 35 f/2 IS.  Just have a look at Photozone's samples from the Sigma.  They do fault it as having "slightly busy" bokeh background, but very smooth in the foreground.  But its background highlights, do not seem to have such a pronounced "bright ring" around them, as does the 35 f/2 IS.  It would help if the exact same scene were photographed to compare, of course.

I see the IS feature as the only very good aspect of the Canon 35 f/2 IS lens, going by these samples.  Certainly a nice feature to have.  Also I will admit that for bokeh smoothness at 35mm, the Canon f/1.4L is still clearly king.  Also, if I had to guess which had the smoother background bokeh, between say the Sigma 35mm Art, and the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 ii (at 35mm), the Sigma might edge it out a bit.  Would be interesting to see a direct comparison of that.  If there are no highlights in the background, then all of these lenses can probably portray a relatively smooth blur, as most lenses can.

I use photozone a great deal for comparing the resolution of lenses, but to be quite honest I never look at their samples. However I've just looked now at your prompt and it's confirmed my belief; the Sigma samples are pretty useless for a bokeh assessment.

Have a look at the ones in the CR thread:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11210.45

As I said in my earlier post, my initial reaction was this looks really good, but then over time I thought they are just a little - 'clinical' - is that the word Dustin used ? From what I read Dustin has come to that conclusion over time, which makes it more pertinent,  and I'm with him on that one.

Also I mentioned earlier that the likes of the 35L, 50L and 24-70 II use a much more expensive lens manufacturing process. Mid range lenses such as the 35 IS etc. use moulded glass elements, and really cheap lenses use plastic ones.

However I agree with you on the 40 pancake - and remember you are talking to someone who ditched his 35L for the pancake  ::)   ( But don't tell anyone else that !). I don't have a use for a really fast 35, I'd much rather use a 50 or 85.

Overall I'm very tempted by the 35 IS, not for it's aperture but because it has IS and is really good across the frame when stopped down.

Fair points, and I will remember that (and I won't tell anyone, this is just between you and me!  :P  Btw I sold my pancake and I don't miss it much, but the guy that bought it was a bit of a jerk!).

However, just to be clear, those two links to sample pics I posted, were for the Canon 35mm f/2 IS, not the Sigma.  Frankly I think the Sigma will be the next lens I buy.  I definitely would love using it.  But at this point I'm not buying anything.  I'm only selling things.

I can certainly see how you would have to have stabilization, if you are wanting to shoot landscape or other slow or still life, hand-held...with a narrow aperture.  Like I said, that seems like the selling point of this new Canon lens. 

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #69 on: April 26, 2014, 10:08:32 AM »
OK Dustin,
One more question as I'm probably going to pull the trigger on my next lens in the next few weeks. The Canon's price drop pushed you to seriously consider the 35/2. So my question is, if the Canon stayed at its original price or was the same price as the Sigma today, and you had to make the decision, all over, which would you choose? I understand there were many factors governing your choice and that price was only one them. Just curious how much of an impact price was.
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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #70 on: April 26, 2014, 10:32:54 AM »
By the way, Canon direct has the 35mm f/2 IS refurbished (with 1 year warranty) for $409 right now. That was enough to get me to finally jump. 3 copies left!!
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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #71 on: April 27, 2014, 12:48:56 PM »
OK Dustin,
One more question as I'm probably going to pull the trigger on my next lens in the next few weeks. The Canon's price drop pushed you to seriously consider the 35/2. So my question is, if the Canon stayed at its original price or was the same price as the Sigma today, and you had to make the decision, all over, which would you choose? I understand there were many factors governing your choice and that price was only one them. Just curious how much of an impact price was.

I probably wouldn't have bought either of them.  I don't think the Canon is worth $849, even though it is my choice of the two.  I'd have stuck with my Tamron 24-70 VC and looked in a different direction.  I suspect I'll be having a similar debate regarding the Sigma 50 vs. a new Canon IS prime before long.
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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #72 on: April 27, 2014, 12:49:18 PM »
By the way, Canon direct has the 35mm f/2 IS refurbished (with 1 year warranty) for $409 right now. That was enough to get me to finally jump. 3 copies left!!

That's a great value at that price.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #72 on: April 27, 2014, 12:49:18 PM »

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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #73 on: April 29, 2014, 03:46:50 AM »
By the way, Canon direct has the 35mm f/2 IS refurbished (with 1 year warranty) for $409 right now. That was enough to get me to finally jump. 3 copies left!!

That's a great value at that price.

sucks to not be in america i would have bought one at that price for sure
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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2014, 09:23:00 AM »
I am going to check this lens out tomorrow. The thing I like about this lens from specs is that it is lighter and smaller as the Sigma 35 f/1.4, it has IS and f/2 (compared to the pancake 40mm)
It may be a better indoor/streetphotography lens on my 6D as the Sigma 35mm - which is bigger and heavier.
But I am still in doubt...
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Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2014, 09:23:00 AM »