35 L vs. 35 L II

lightthief

EOS T7i
Feb 23, 2014
72
5
Hello,
i'm thinking about switching from the 35 L to the 35 L II.
The IQ of my 35 L is good enough for my needs, i know how to use it to avoid it's weaknesses / can live with them.
But sometimes i have a bad hit rate, espescially in low light, with moving kids and light direkt into the lens.
Then the AF hunts and i get a miss - sometimes really bad, sometimes better. But not the way the lens delivers in 90%.

I don't want to miss more of the moments of my kids i try to catch.

Does the 35 L II focus faster, hits better in such situations:
- low light (i need 1.4 vey often)
- direct light, often close to the selected AF point

How is the AF-speed for moving subjects between MFD and 6 ft? Is it faster than the 35 L?

Thank you very much for your help.
lightthief

The attached pictures are fine, but those were 1 out of 10 wrong focused pictures (because of direct light, speed of kid)
 

Attachments

Mar 14, 2012
2,241
135
The AF of the 35L II is much better/more accurate than the original. With the original, I didn't bother using for sports because the hit rate wasn't great. With the 35L II, I have used it for volleyball and indoor basketball, and it has worked fine. The 35L II servo tracking is definitely better than the original L, but at that focal length, I think the 24-70L f/2.8 II is still the best. At f/1.4, the hit rate will be lower because the DOF is thinner, but bursts are your friend, and the lens/camera tends to snap back onto the subject after a miss (usually) or two.

For targeting a spot that is close to a direct light source, that is asking for a lower hit rate no matter the lens. The AF sensor is larger than the box you see in the viewfinder, so I would expect that the lens would focus onto the light source more than you'd like. If possible, look for a larger target (i.e. chest instead of head) or for a similar target that is at the same distance.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,880
435
My all time favorite lens!

Had the mk1 for 10 years and have had the mk2 since release. I found the original to be very nice, AF wise, but the mk2 is nothing short of epic. If you love the 35 and have the original you like, you will fall completely in love with everything about the mk2.
 

Larsskv

Enthusiast with Canon related GAS
Jun 12, 2015
748
159
Personally, I have had some issues with my 35LII in terms of accuracy at the outer focusing points. It is not bad, but I expected better. I also have a copy of the 35L, and that one seem to do better in terms of accuracy at outer focusing points.

I haven't used any of them for demanding action photography, but I believe the 35LII is a bit better in terms of AF for action.

The 35LII is sharper and has less chromatic aberrations, and it is definitely the better lens, technically speaking.

When it comes to the overall look of the images though, I am not sure which one is my favorite. They produce different looking images, and I very often appreciate the look I get from the original 35L. I like the ones from the 35LII as well, but those images have a more clinical look to them, while the 35L pictures have more mood to them - which I often prefer. I believe it has to do with differences in bokeh, and the way subjects are separated from the background.
 
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lightthief

EOS T7i
Feb 23, 2014
72
5
Thank you very much for your feedback.
It seems the 35 L II is an improvement in terms of AF accuracy and speed.
The bokeh of the old one is very often fine, but i remeber this one shot - and this doesn't look good. But i cannot remember that i have seen something like this again in my pictures.
I tried both lenses (only bokeh, cat eyes, CAs) side by side in a shop and i couldn't find something bad with the new one, and the old one, too. I couldn't test the AF with kids in low light.

I think, i will buy the version II. I have to talk to my wife ... keep your fingers crossed for me ;)

Thank you!
lightthief
 

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takesome1

EOS 5Ds R II
Aug 23, 2013
1,468
96
Maybe I had a very good copy of the 1st version.
But I have never noticed an increase in hit rate with version II, I would not recomend it for that reason.
I like that it has just a bit closer mfd.
I notice the extra weight which is a negative.
It is a bit sharper but not enough I notice.
Honestly the version I was one of my favorite lenses, since swithcing the II hasn't given me the wow factor I would have hoped for from a new version.
 

lightthief

EOS T7i
Feb 23, 2014
72
5
takesome1, you make me thinking again!
What is the "wow" you are missing now? Can you show some pictures from the old/new one - sure, not the same moment, but some examples, please?

Thanks!
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,880
435
I’ve had at least 10-11 copies of the mk1 and it’s probably one of the worst offenders with bad and superb copies, I haven’t had any in between, they are either really soft or really sharp. But if the mk2 doesn’t seem sharper then something is up, either not calibrated or other, because even the sharpest mk1 had nothing on my mk2, especially off center.

Very noticeably sharper than my 85 IS.
 

lightthief

EOS T7i
Feb 23, 2014
72
5
Hello,

oh, im sorry. I didn't say it clear enough. I'm very happy with my copy of the 35 L (I) - it is very sharp when it focusses well.

@ Viggo: I think i belong to the happy owners.
@ applecider: The blured faces ... it's my family. I don't want to show them. Sorry.

The trouble starts, when i try to focus on my moving kids. From MFD up to 10ft i wish the lens would focus faster.
When i have less light, the AF starts hunting in some situations and fails more often, especially when there are lights in the background.
My question was: Will the 35 L II be better in those situations?

Thank you very much for all input!
 

Ian_of_glos

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
227
16
England
lightthief said:
Hello,

oh, im sorry. I didn't say it clear enough. I'm very happy with my copy of the 35 L (I) - it is very sharp when it focusses well.

@ Viggo: I think i belong to the happy owners.
@ applecider: The blured faces ... it's my family. I don't want to show them. Sorry.

The trouble starts, when i try to focus on my moving kids. From MFD up to 10ft i wish the lens would focus faster.
When i have less light, the AF starts hunting in some situations and fails more often, especially when there are lights in the background.
My question was: Will the 35 L II be better in those situations?

Thank you very much for all input!
Which camera body are you using? I own a 35mm F1.4L ii that I use on a 5D mk4 and occasionally on a 5D mk3. The focussing on the 5D mk4 is quick and accurate, even in low light but it is often slow on the 5D mk3. My understanding is that this is because the 5D mk4 is much better at focussing in low light than the 5D mk3 and it does not indicate a problem with the lens.
Unfortunately I have never used the 35mm F1.4 mk1 so I cannot say how it compares with the mk2, but what I would say is that the 35mm F1.4L ii is one of my best lenses - probably the best and the only problem is the extortionate price.
 

sanj

EOS 5D MK IV
Jan 22, 2012
3,131
25
In real life no difference that will spoil your photos. My advice: Save your money if you have to take wife's permission.

Google photos taken with both lenses and you will see.
 

Larsskv

Enthusiast with Canon related GAS
Jun 12, 2015
748
159
With regards to focusing in low light. My 1DXII is much better than my 5DIV for photographing running kids in low light. I got a much better hit rate and faster focus lock with the 1DXII and 50L, than I got with the 5DIV and 24-70 f2.8LII, when photographing under the same low light, indoor circumstances. That says a lot, because the 24-70f2.8 LII is a top AF performer, and the 50L is not regarded as such.

I do believe upgrading your camera body will be much more effective to improve AF than changing your 35L for the 35LII.

I would also expect the 24-70 f2.8 LII to focus better than any of the 35L lenses in low light.
 
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lightthief

EOS T7i
Feb 23, 2014
72
5
I use the 35 L on my two 5DIII with the same experience/hit rate/sharpness...

A 1DX (I/II) is out of range. I need two bodies for events/weddings.
I have used the 5DIV once and i was impressed by it's AF with my 85 L II. But i didn't bought it .... other story.
May be i should think again about the body upgrade.

I have spent some hours looking at pictures taken with the 35 L II. It is a great lens. But the improvement i'm searching for is better AF at low light.

It seems the 24-70f2.8 LII has a fast and good AF - but 2.8 will kill me. I don't have 2 stops of light - and my flash skills are bad. :-\

Difficult decision.

Thank you all!
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,380
380
119
Get a used 1DX, it will give you the two stops of light and the focus speed and accuracy.

I worked with used 1 series cameras for years and never regretted it.
 

Larsskv

Enthusiast with Canon related GAS
Jun 12, 2015
748
159
lightthief said:
I use the 35 L on my two 5DIII with the same experience/hit rate/sharpness...

A 1DX (I/II) is out of range. I need two bodies for events/weddings.
I have used the 5DIV once and i was impressed by it's AF with my 85 L II. But i didn't bought it .... other story.
May be i should think again about the body upgrade.

I have spent some hours looking at pictures taken with the 35 L II. It is a great lens. But the improvement i'm searching for is better AF at low light.

It seems the 24-70f2.8 LII has a fast and good AF - but 2.8 will kill me. I don't have 2 stops of light - and my flash skills are bad. :-\

Difficult decision.

Thank you all!
You should look into using a flash for its assist IR-light. On some camera bodies you can use it, but keep the flash from actually firing. Good luck!
 

lightthief

EOS T7i
Feb 23, 2014
72
5
Larsskv: Thank you for the information about the IR-light. I will check this and try to learn how to use.
privatebydesign: The used 1DX here are more expensive than a new 5DIV with cashback. But i will think about it.

Thank you all very much!
Lightthief
 

drjlo

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 27, 2012
802
1
Larsskv said:
When it comes to the overall look of the images though, I am not sure which one is my favorite. They produce different looking images, and I very often appreciate the look I get from the original 35L. I like the ones from the 35LII as well, but those images have a more clinical look to them, while the 35L pictures have more mood to them - which I often prefer.
I, too, am often surprised by how I often prefer photos from older "less sharp" lenses than recent batch of super-sharp lenses. I have the 35L, 50L, and 85L II, and while their sharpness have been eclipsed by new lenses, I am not sure if the overall picture has been..
 
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Larsskv

Enthusiast with Canon related GAS
Jun 12, 2015
748
159
drjlo said:
Larsskv said:
When it comes to the overall look of the images though, I am not sure which one is my favorite. They produce different looking images, and I very often appreciate the look I get from the original 35L. I like the ones from the 35LII as well, but those images have a more clinical look to them, while the 35L pictures have more mood to them - which I often prefer.
I, too, am often surprised by how I often prefer photos from older "less sharp" lenses than recent batch of super-sharp lenses. I have the 35L, 50L, and 85L II, and while their sharpness have been eclipsed by new lenses, I am not sure if the overall picture has been..
I agree!

I have much love for the 50L and 85LII as well.

I bought the new 85 f1.4 L IS a few months ago. It is a very good lens, and it is better than the 85LII in every objectively measurable way - sharper, less CA, shorter minimum focus distance, faster and more precise AF, weather sealed... While it takes very good looking images, I prefer the pictures I get from the 85LII.

My "secret" when using the 50L and 85LII - for portraits - is to use them at f2. I know people say they buy a f1.2 lens to shoot it at f1.2, but people should really explore the quality of these lenses at f2-f2.8. They are plenty sharp at f2, they have nice contrast and clarity, they have a nice amount of depth of field, and they make subjects stand out from the background in a very pleasing way.

In my experience, the 35L is very nice already from f1.4.
 
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takesome1

EOS 5Ds R II
Aug 23, 2013
1,468
96
lightthief said:
takesome1, you make me thinking again!
What is the "wow" you are missing now? Can you show some pictures from the old/new one - sure, not the same moment, but some examples, please?

Thanks!
I wouldn't have any that show that difference. They both have done a great job.
The reference was about money, I just didn't see a significant improvement (if any) for the value of the money.