Review : Canon 35mm, 1.4

Review : Canon 35mm, 1.4


For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I received the Canon 35mm, 1.4 lens last week. And Oh! My! Goodness! I nearly died from excitement. I’ve been waiting for this lens f.o.r.e.v.e.r but wanted to make sure it fit into my style and aesthetic. I used it for the first time at Meg+Tim’s wedding and I loved it. Lovvvved it. I causally joked it’d take the place of my Canon 50mm, 1.2, but I’m happy to report I’m still sticking to the 50mm as my all-time favorite lens.

The 35mm is a perfect fit for what I wanted. I shot with the 24mm, 1.4 and while that’s a phenomenal lens, it was much too wide for my preference. Since I shoot primarily with fixed lenses, I needed a lens that worked well with the lenses I use the most: 50mm, 1.2 and 85mm, 1.2. The 24mm ended up being too much of a departure from my style and I feel the 35mm fills the gap just perfectly.

Okay. So why is the 50mm, 1.2 still my favorite? Well, I love it’s versatility. I can shoot within close proximity of my subjects and if I want a wider angle, I simply step back. The 35mm gives close to the same effect, but because it’s wider, it loses a bit of the editorial feel. Just a bit. I’m posting a few images and meta data to show what I mean…

I placed these two portraits of Meg side by side to explain my preferences. The photo on the left was shot with the 35mm, and the focal point placed on her left eye. While it’s a pleasant photo, it gives her a larger-than-life feeling. Which is fine, but it’s just not my taste. The photo on the right is definitely more my style. I stood a bit farther from Meg, but shooting her with the 50mm allowed me to see her within the frame, instead of make Meg the frame itself.
Left: 35mm f/1.4 1/1000 200iso
Right: 50mm f/1.2 1/2000 200iso

Here’s a photo of the bridesmaids shot with the 35mm. I did do some cropping because I shot it a little crooked, so it lost it’s full effect, but the idea is still the same. I would have preferred to photographed this set-up with the 50mm. The 35mm put too much space around my subjects and made them pieces of the frame, not the main focus…
35mm f/4.5 1/400 200iso

I also shot this photo with the 35mm and it’s perrrrrrfect for what I wanted, which is a more candid, photojournalistic feel. Sure, I could’ve shot this photo with the 50mm by backing up farther from my subjects, but I feel I would have lost the intimacy and interaction I had being in close proximity of the girls, talking and laughing…
35mm f/4.0 1/400 200iso

Like always, I shoot a traditional formal portrait of the bride and groom. You know, for grandma and Auntie Mae from Idaho. I could, of course, shoot a portrait of the bride and groom with the 35mm, but it would lose it’s traditional appeal because of the width of the lens. Which is its biggest asset, but I’ll get to that in a minute…
50mm f/3.5 1/320 200iso

Speaking of losing its traditional appeal, the 35mm is perfect for just that. Which is why I love it. The 35mm allows me to stand much closer to my subjects and interact on a new level, thus producing an entirely different image given the same environment. The portrait above and the photo below were shot in the exact same position within seconds of each other and the lenses yield such different results…and by this I mean the couple was standing in the exact same position. I swapped lenses and took two steps closer to them…
35mm f/1.4 1/800 200iso

Like always, these are merely my personal preferences and ideas. If I’ve offended you because the 35mm is your favorite lens, I’m sorry. We can have a shoot off when we next see each other. My opinion is worth nothing, but it’s mine and I thought I’d share. At the end of the day, I love the 35mm, 1.4. Love it. In fact, I shot an engagement session yesterday and I adored how it fit into my shooting style so seamlessly. My only regret is that I didn’t get it sooner. But don’t tell that to my 50mm. It’ll make her jealous.

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  1. Alex -

    Amazingly beautiful photos from what seems like a great lens, I can’t wait till I get it one day too ๐Ÿ˜‰

      11.16.10 - 4:05 pm

  2. Misty Minna Photography -

    I think the 50mm is AMAZING! But now you make me want the 35mm! I think it defiantly works better for a photojournalist style. Jasmine, I simply love your style no matter what lens. You have many fans in MI!

      11.16.10 - 4:07 pm

  3. Mary Kathryn Murtha -

    Your lenses have genders, nice.

      11.16.10 - 4:07 pm

  4. Alyssa Pelletier -

    Jasmine, I totally agree! I adore the 50 but have had my eye on the 35 for a while… Now I’ll just have to get one! Beautiful work, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 4:07 pm

  5. Dominique -

    I enjoyed reading this (Even though I’m a Nikon user!), but I think what comes across really clearly is just how in tune you are with your own style. That might sound silly but I think it takes a long time for a photographer to really be that connected with their style and how they shoot and to know what they want to achieve. You know what you like and you know how to attain that consistent look.

      11.16.10 - 4:08 pm

  6. Jeanelle Caraway -

    I just received my 35 1.4 a week and a half ago, and love it! I appreciate reading posts like this!

    Keep Rockin’!

      11.16.10 - 4:08 pm

  7. Jen -

    I appreciate you sharing this Jasmine. Please don’t stop being yourself especially on your own blog. I only shoot with my 50mm and 35mm lenses and I’m glad to read your thoughts on them both. Thank you again and take care. =) Jen

      11.16.10 - 4:08 pm

  8. Liz -

    Jasmine I LOVED your review~ I have a 50mm f/1.4 (which is not the same one) but when I saw the b/w closeup you did of Meg+Tim I was like wow I like it. I think the 35mm is closer to my personal style so thanks for the review because I think that might be my next lens. ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 4:08 pm

  9. Diana -

    wonderful post! i use my 50mm 1.8 and I love it! I wonder what it’s like to have a 1.2…. hmmmm, I might consider renting one to check it out! thanks Jasmine ๐Ÿ˜€

      11.16.10 - 4:09 pm

  10. Sheila -

    Awesome post! The last two pictures you said were from the same position, do you mean you were STANDING in the same position? Thanks!

      11.16.10 - 4:10 pm

  11. Adelle Lumalang -

    Thank you for sharing this review, it affirms my decision to save up for the 50mm 1.2. If you ever decide to travel to Abu Dhabi, UAE please holler.
    Cheers! Adelle

      11.16.10 - 4:12 pm

  12. Bethany Fields -

    Thanks for sharing! I shoot Nikon and they just came out with a new faster 35. Considering getting it. Love your shots – especially the black and white of the bride and her maidens. ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 4:13 pm

  13. KLinh -

    Thank You sooo much. this is the most in depth review on a lens I have read in such a long time.

      11.16.10 - 4:13 pm

  14. Joe -

    hi Jasmine – great information on the 50 and 35.
    For your comparisons can you show the same shot side by side using the 50mm vs the 35mm? Just the way I think when comparing 2 different lenses.

    thanks – Joe

      11.16.10 - 4:15 pm

  15. Lindsay -

    I love your pics Jasmine, no matter what lens you shoot with you still make BEAUTIFUL pictures. I wish one day I will be as good as you. I have a question: I have a Canon Rebel XT which I have had for 50,000 images and a few years, so I am looking for a new camera, any suggestions? I shoot landscapes, animals, nature, and sometimes people. I hope you can help!

      11.16.10 - 4:15 pm

  16. Anne Ingman -

    I think your opinion is worth something Jasmine! I really appreciate these tutorials — they are so helpful. I am moving into shooting more with prime lenses and I got the 50 1.2 this year as my new lens and of course I LOVE IT. The 35 might be my next purchase!

      11.16.10 - 4:16 pm

  17. Stephanie Stewart -

    So glad to read your review of the 35mm! I’ve been thinking about adding that to my collection (but Nikon’s version), but wasn’t sure how I could use it since I too love my nifty 50 and 85mm lenses. I love that last portrait of Meg and Tim, such an intimate, beautiful portrait!

      11.16.10 - 4:17 pm

  18. Joanne Thoma -

    Good to know–thanks for going to the trouble of comparing the lenses. Awesome. Have a warm and wonderful day!!

      11.16.10 - 4:20 pm

  19. Robyn -

    I really appreciate the review, actually. Thanks so much, J*!

      11.16.10 - 4:20 pm

  20. Remy -

    The 35mm is a journalistic lens. I bought it 2 weeks ago and I really have the same feeling as yours. It fits for wedding reportage quite well. Actually, the distance to your subject with it provide this feeling of wanting to shoot the environment as well, but also focus on it much more than with a 50 that still feels like a portrait lens I agree with you.

    I hesitated with the 24 and had the intuition it would be too wide for what I like… so your view help me know thinking I was right! Thanks!!

      11.16.10 - 4:21 pm

  21. Rosi -

    Well…your secret is save with us (about your wickness for the 50) ๐Ÿ™‚
    Very good work yo’ve done.

      11.16.10 - 4:22 pm

  22. Luis Cappa -

    Hello jasmine. I speak here of Brazil and you have a crowd of admirers, with all deserving of course! I love your words because words are not just technical, but are emotional, sincere and spontaneous. Hopefully one day we look for and will offer us one of your workshops one day. May God Bless you in everything. Thanks.

      11.16.10 - 4:25 pm

  23. AndreaS -

    Awesome post. So nice to see these comparisons in settings in which I’d actually use the lenses (versus landscape shots, which is what I seem to always find in comparison posts). Never ceases to amaze me how different a moment can be captured, simply with a different lens.

      11.16.10 - 4:25 pm

  24. Melanie -

    Thank you so much for this! As a new photographer this helps me decide which fixed lens to get next!

      11.16.10 - 4:27 pm

  25. Ted -

    the 35 IS (not I.S. haha) my favorite lens and I am mighty offended!

    … just kidding.

    I prefer the 35 more than the 50 because it fits my style of shooting. I would, though, love to add the 50L to my collection for the one off shots withit.

      11.16.10 - 4:29 pm

  26. Veronica -

    It’s time to go shopping! But I am still shooting with a small sensor, so the 35 mm will be a 50 for me untill I switch to full-frame. Thanks for the input, I find your opionion MOST helpful.

      11.16.10 - 4:29 pm

  27. Joshua Gull -

    50mm and 35mm are by far my two favorite focal lengths, and for the exact reasons you’ve mentioned here. You hit the highlights and advantages of each extremely well here Jasmine. I’m a Nikon guy though so we’re only now just getting the 35/1.4 option after a LONG wait without one.

      11.16.10 - 4:32 pm

  28. Darin Crofton -

    I recently purchased the same 35mm, and have to say I immediately fell in love with it! I shot my niece’s 8th B-Day party, the day I received it, and got some amazing close-ups. Thanks for sharing your "opinion".

      11.16.10 - 4:32 pm

  29. Claudia @ Fabuluxe Photos -

    Love the photos with the 35mm but for some reason I love the 50mm more! ๐Ÿ™‚
    thanks for sharing.

      11.16.10 - 4:33 pm

  30. Shannon Wimberly -

    Drat! Now i have to go spend another, what…..$1400?

      11.16.10 - 4:34 pm

  31. Tim May -

    I have often wondered what kind of "look" it would be best for. Been looking for something slightly wider than my fifty without going away from primes

      11.16.10 - 4:34 pm

  32. Happy -

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing that!! SO helpful!!
    I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing how you sharpen and resize your photos for the web (like, in detail :)). I have read MANY tutorials and can’t see a difference in my pictures on my blog. HELP! Thank you!!!

      11.16.10 - 4:34 pm

  33. angela -

    I love the 35mm for wide angle images, instead of portraits, the 24mm is too wide for me as well. but yeah nothing lie the 50 =)

      11.16.10 - 4:35 pm

  34. JamieY -

    Thanks for this post. I actually am a full prime lens shooter right now and I just got the 35 1.8 and my favorite is still my 50 as well. Thanks for the information.

      11.16.10 - 4:36 pm

  35. oneshotbeyond -

    It’s interesting reading about your experience with this lens. I’ve been dying to try out the 85mm…but haven’t done it yet. It’s nice to have a little "play time" with photography by checking out new equipment & how it fits. Thanks for sharing.

      11.16.10 - 4:38 pm

  36. Dee Gorsuch -

    This is such a helpful post. THANK YOU! I mainly use the 50mm f/1.4 but plan to get the f/1.2 as soon as I can. The 35mm f/1.4 is definitely a future lens for me. I really appreciate your openness to share what you’ve learned and how you do things. That is one reason why you are one of the top 10 wedding photographers. You totally rock!

      11.16.10 - 4:39 pm

  37. Kristin -

    I’m not a photographer, so I don’t have that ‘eye’, but I LOVE the one on the left in the 1st set of photos! You said it’s not your taste but I think its gorgeous!! I love the one on the right also, but I feel like the left one is so soft and creamy dreamy. Is that’s post-processing or the lens? Either way, love them all ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 4:42 pm

  38. Astami T -

    I SO LOVE when you share your opinions. Opinions shape the world…
    That being said, please don’t say that your opinion is worth nothing because I can honestly say that your opinion is the foundation to my drive. It’s the foundation to my inspiration (style wise), aspiration (to keep getting better, and my perspiration (because I ran out of words that end in -ation but I do indeedy-o perspire, working hard to get those shots).
    Thanks for the review on the 35mm, 1.4. Super awesome insight!

      11.16.10 - 4:43 pm

  39. Salwa -

    I agree with Dominque’s comment! I love that you are so aware of your style that you are able to pin-point what you’re looking for in gear so that it matches (and not the other way around).

    It’s funny, the 50mm f/1.2 and 25mm f/1.4 are next on my to-acquire list, and I’ve been debating which to go for first. Either way I go, I can’t wait!

      11.16.10 - 4:47 pm

  40. Emily Dobson -

    I am continually amazed at how CRISP your images when shooting wire open. The only lens I have that is capable of shooting as wide open as I’d like is my Nikon 50mm 1.4 and when I shoot at 1.4, the image is slightly blurry…always. I even try to the no breathing trick!!!!

    Thank you for sharing. Love these photos. You are a phenomenal photographer. And one day, I WILL meet you. Oh, and I just found out my husband thinks your hot. That is grounds for a free workshop pass don’t you think????

      11.16.10 - 4:48 pm

  41. Salwa -

    I agree with Dominique! It’s great that you are so aware of your style that you can pin-point what you are looking for in your gear, so that it goes along with your style (and not the other way around).

    It’s funny, the 50mm f1.2 and 35mm f1.4 are next on my to-acquire list, and I’ve been debating which one to go for first. Either way, I’m excited!

      11.16.10 - 4:49 pm

  42. Marie -

    I was really hoping to get the low down on that sculptured blob of tofu chicken with a sprig added for effect rather than photographer jibber-jabber today. Although, I’ll add a 35mm lens to my wish list…right after my shoot-sac of course.

      11.16.10 - 4:52 pm

  43. Mercedes -

    (commenting on the off chance my husband will read it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I agree with you about the 24! That is all. It is possible to have too much muchness.

      11.16.10 - 4:57 pm

  44. Erica Velasco -

    Great post…I was considering this lens as an add on and maybe it would be worth it =)

      11.16.10 - 4:58 pm

  45. Gregg -

    Love the review. You’re right, at the end of the day it’s about personal preference and style. Well now you’ve got both so can use each to suit your style. Lovely work…thanks for sharing!

      11.16.10 - 5:01 pm

  46. Romonia Isaac -

    I have been waiting for this ost since I saw your Twitpic kissing the box!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the shots, both the 50mm and the 35mm and thank you for your insight. You saved me some time because your review is ten times better than any review that I would read on a website that is selling the lens!!! F’real! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for sharing the metadata and the images so that we have a complete visual idea of the lens. I am still loving the 35mm J* and I think I may go with it rather than a fisheye lens. I have a 28mm, 50mm and a 85mm so the 35mm would fit perfectly with my style and what’s in bag already. I agree, the 28 is nice but wide and I find myself cropping more than I would like to. Thank you for sharing these lovely images from Meg and Tim’s wedding [loved the bridesmaids in different dresses Meg and you looked radiant]!!! Beautiful couple and I am in love with both shots of them; the 50mm shot and the 35mm close up. Beautiful.

      11.16.10 - 5:08 pm

  47. LEOLAK -

    Your opinion is worth very much lady! Thanks for the in-depth review…I always enjoy these kinds of posts…wait..I enjoy all your posts! Thanks for continuing to share the knowledge!

      11.16.10 - 5:10 pm

  48. IPBrian -

    Now you have gone and made me want another lens. Darn you Jasmine Star… ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 5:23 pm

  49. Manda Levy -

    I love, love my my 35mm 1.4, but my 50mm 1.2 is on its way from b&h right now. Jasmine, do you still use magic sharp on your photos?? They are stunning!

      11.16.10 - 5:33 pm

  50. Tanda Maguire -

    I bought my 50mm 1.8 because of you and it is my favorite by far!

      11.16.10 - 5:39 pm

  51. Tira J -

    Oh Jas! Your opinion matters to me. I trust it completely. So, I have the trusty 50 1.2, the fab 85 1.2 and the not so impressive to me 24 1.4. The 24 1.4 has only made it to my camera maybe 3 times in the past year and I plan on exchanging it for the 35 1.4. It’s been a plan for a while. I agree, it doesn’t mix well into everyone’s shooting cocktail. Lately, you will be so impressed to know that I have been shooting more and more with my 50 1.2. I find that I really only LOVE my 85 1.2 on single subjects like my seniors and the 50 1.2 is so much faster and works great with families. Off to barter with my hubby that I need the 35 1.4 now. Barter? Is that what it takes? Have a beautiful day. xoxo

      11.16.10 - 5:39 pm

  52. Jackie -

    thanks jasmine for the review!

      11.16.10 - 5:45 pm

  53. Megan -

    Beautiful shots (of course!) and great advice. Thanks Jasmine!

      11.16.10 - 5:45 pm

  54. Artemis Clover: The real L.A. love story. -

    the 50 mm 1.2 was my first big lens buy. then i jumped to the 24 mm 1.4. now i want the 35!! seems like a good in between. the 50 is sooo buttery but sometimes just a bit too close and i can’t get the whole landscape. i love the lens review!

      11.16.10 - 5:48 pm

  55. gladys jem -

    i love the 35 so much because of how close I can get to clients and getting the type of photos like the last one you posted of meg and tim. i love those types of photos. thanks for posting this jasmine! and im excited to have you use the 35 for your last wedding of the year ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 5:54 pm

  56. gladys jem -

    and auntie mae from idaho? i just about died from laughter.

      11.16.10 - 5:55 pm

  57. Christopher -

    Cool lenses. Your comment about the last two images being shot in the exact same position with two different lenses may need some clarification, though. The subjects maybe haven’t moved, but you are in much closer with the 35 or else there would be more of the background appearing within the frame because of the wider view at 35mm.

      11.16.10 - 5:57 pm

  58. angel canary -

    I agree, the 35mm is a great lens, but can’t do it all. It does take a little bit of practice to get used to it, because the dof is different with the 35mm than the 50mm. Instead of f4, I think you would have liked a much lower f-stop with the 35mm on that photo with the girls because it’s laid out differently than the 50mm. The 35mm gets much more in focus than the 50mm, at the same f-stop. It gets confusing, but I had to study the dof chart and calculator and experiment with it to get a similar "feel" as I get with the 50mm. I hope that makes sense. Enjoy your new lens!

      11.16.10 - 5:57 pm

  59. Jessica -

    Thanks for this review! I’m pretty amateur, so I am probably missing something obvious, but I’m wondering about the comparison of the first two photos. How different would they have looked if you stood back and took essentially the same shot (making up for the lens difference, of course)? It’s hard for me to see the difference when they are such different photos, I guess. Can someone help me?

      11.16.10 - 5:58 pm

  60. nathalie -

    ooh .. your 50mm is a lady ๐Ÿ™‚ mine is a boy .. maybe they can catch up in the future?! And so should we!! Very nice post Yasmine! Thank you for sharing this!

      11.16.10 - 6:02 pm

  61. Danielle Aquiline -

    Thanks for this review, Jasmine! This lens is definitely next on my wishlist. I think it would be idea for large family portraits. I’d also love to use it–instead of my current 16-35mm–at receptions.

      11.16.10 - 6:21 pm

  62. Lyndsay London -

    I use the 35 ALL the time. And, I totally agree with what you have shared. The picture comparison says it all!! It gives a surprisingly different look and feel. I really can’t wait to get the 50!!! Thanks Jasmine! You rock!

      11.16.10 - 6:25 pm

  63. Pua -

    Definitely one of my FAVORITE lenses – the 35mm 1.4! GREAT review!!

      11.16.10 - 6:30 pm

  64. Allison Carenza -

    I love my nikon 24-70 2.8 for everything but the low light situations. That way I’m always ready, and being I primarily shoot kids I need to be! Great post, so informative!

      11.16.10 - 6:36 pm

  65. Adriana H.G. -

    OK, I suck. I can’t see the difference between the effects of the 50mm vs the 35mm! I mean, I cannot see why taking the last pic of the post with the 50mm (adjusting the distance of course) wouln’t give the same results… :'(

    Well, maybe I just need tu buy them both and give it a try of my own! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks as usual for sharing your fabulous work J*! You rock!!

      11.16.10 - 7:09 pm

  66. Holly -

    Thanks so much for this review. I love my 50mm, but was checking on the 35mm. Sounds like 50mm may be sufficient for me for right now I can hold off on the new lens till later on!

      11.16.10 - 7:15 pm

  67. Jason MarkHarris -

    I am loving the 50mm 1.2 and looking to get the 85mm 1.2, then it is will be the 35mm for sure. moving over to primes.

      11.16.10 - 7:17 pm

  68. Dave -

    Awesome review! Thank you! The 35 1.4L has been by far my favorite lens for years and I am completely offended by your critique ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ve never tried the 50 1.2… always been a bit scared of the known focus issues…but you are swaying me…I might have to cave soon.

      11.16.10 - 7:26 pm

  69. Natalie -

    Thanks for the great review!!

      11.16.10 - 7:30 pm

  70. amanda thiessen -

    love your perspectives on these!

      11.16.10 - 7:38 pm

  71. Diane -

    Thanks Jasmine for this. I love how you broke down the critique by using comparison scenarios. I want the 35mm now! ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 7:59 pm

  72. Marcie -

    I keep thinking that the 35 should be my next purchase — since I do a lot of families and would like the wider angle — but I still don’t know. I think I’d have to try it hands on first to know if it is a good fit. Thanks for sharing though! And I cannot believe how sharp your photos are at 1.4 that is unreal ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 8:07 pm

  73. Nicole Diehnelt -

    Today, I decided to quit being a closet stalker and tell you how inspirational and talented you are. Seriously! Wow! Thanks for this great post and countless others.

      11.16.10 - 8:08 pm

  74. Yuliya -

    I enjoyed reading your review, it’s just what I would say about the two lenses, but you say it so much better ;). I love both of the lenses in their own way and one cannot replace the other for sure.

      11.16.10 - 8:21 pm

  75. Leslie Styler Photography -

    Thanks Jasmine for posting this and using the examples. It was truly helpful. May the Lord bless you and your work!
    Your extremely talented.

      11.16.10 - 8:43 pm

  76. Chalea -

    Awesome! i love when you do posts like this… very informative especially for photographer’s like myself who are expanding their lens collection !

      11.16.10 - 8:56 pm

  77. victoria -

    i appreciate choo.

      11.16.10 - 9:55 pm

  78. anda -

    haha, oh jasmine, i love how you put a disclaimer up regarding your review. how could anyone be offended by someone else’s lens preference? i like how you provided the side-by-side examples. and yeah, the 35 is still my fave, but so are you — so no worries ๐Ÿ˜‰

      11.16.10 - 10:18 pm

  79. Molly Kate -

    I love to see how a lens can make such a difference.

      11.16.10 - 10:50 pm

  80. Juli L. -

    These posts are so helpful! Thank you for sharing. I like both portraits in the beginning for different reasons, but I see what you mean with the bridal group shot in the second picture and I absolutely love the very last photo. ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.16.10 - 10:53 pm

  81. Rob @ Photographer Gone MAD!!! -

    I NEEEEEEEED This lens!!!

      11.16.10 - 11:20 pm

  82. Life with Kaishon -

    Good to know : )
    Laughing my head off about if you offended someone and how you can have a shoot off the next time you see them. You always, ALWAYS make me smile!

      11.16.10 - 11:24 pm

  83. Jess Robertson -

    this was really helpful! thanks so much for the awesome review and sharing more of your beautiful images ๐Ÿ™‚ the 50mm 1.2 is my absolute fave, as well!

      11.16.10 - 11:30 pm

  84. Amanda Geier -

    Thank you for the wonderful review! I’ve been debating between this lens and the fifty, and this helped!

      11.16.10 - 11:37 pm

  85. Rich Park -

    great review of the 35mm 1.4! my wife and i took your advice and rented the lens and we found that she loves the 35mm and i love the 50mm. the 35 definitely brings a different feel when you get in tight and close with the subject – thanks for writing this post!

      11.16.10 - 11:50 pm

  86. Alejandra Vidal -

    I love that you reviewed this lens! For the longest time I had completely forgotten that my camera has a cropped sensor, so my 50mm looks similar to a 85mm. When I rented the 35mm I fell in LOOOVE!! Then I had to remind myself that this is what a 50mm REALLY feels like! haha. After renting the 35, I *completely* understood why people loved the 50mm and I’m looking forward to getting a full-frame camera soon!!

      11.17.10 - 12:03 am

  87. Kelly Beane -

    I want a 35 SO bad! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      11.17.10 - 2:11 am

  88. cassandra-m -

    I was debating the 24mm & 35mm. Thanks for posting this girl.

      11.17.10 - 2:37 am

  89. Michelle Hebert -

    Cool, thanks for the comparisons! It really helped to see the difference!

      11.17.10 - 3:00 am

  90. mat gardella -

    Finally a review that lacks all the tech/geek info about f-stops, depth of field jabber, and optical elements… truly a pleasure to read and know that you can enjoy something without talking technical and still get the job done! Putting the PHUN in Photography is what it should be about… thanks J.

      11.17.10 - 4:14 am

  91. Jen -

    these are such great shots! I have the 35mm, but I’ve had my eye on the 50mm for quite sometime! I think I’ll have to stick to the cheaper version until I win the lottery ๐Ÿ˜‰

      11.17.10 - 4:18 am

  92. erika -

    I think the reasons you listed for not liking it as much are the reasons I need it! I love that first one that you labeled "larger than life" =)

      11.17.10 - 4:27 am

  93. Rudi -

    Thank you for this great review! I love the black and white picture of Meg and her bridesmaids you took with the 35 mm. The 35 mm definitely gives you the feeling you’re into the action. Especially the last picture. It feeles like you can almost touch them! But I still like the 50 mm as well.

      11.17.10 - 5:37 am

  94. Tracy -

    I’m really confused! Could you please clarify your position on the last two images? I don’t understand how, if you are in the exact same position, your 50 mm lens allows so much more into the frame than your wider 35 mm? Did you crop the last image? Or are just your subjects in the same position and you have moved much closer? I guess I have the same question about the first two images. Why would you need to step back with the 50 mm to make Meg fill the frame? Shouldn’t you be able to stand closer with the 35 mm (than with the 50mm) and still have more in the frame?

      11.17.10 - 6:15 am

  95. Brice Lin -

    Great review! Thanks for sharing this with us! The pictures being showed side by side helped a lot as I’m actually contemplating on buying a new wide angle lens myself! Anyway, I’ve read your blog for a few months now, figured I should’ve dropped a line sooner. I always love reading your blogs, they’re so warm and natural, not business-like. Looking forward to more photos/stories!

      11.17.10 - 6:46 am

  96. Ashley Daniell -

    I love this lens!! It’s become my favorite and I find myself forgetting to take it off! I still love my 50 (1.4 not 1.2 unfortunately) but the 35 is on my camera more. Now I’m looking for something wider next!

      11.17.10 - 8:26 am

  97. peter hearl -

    I got my canon 35mm f1.4 two months ago, and i love it, its a great lens for indoors.

      11.17.10 - 9:07 am

  98. Yvonne -

    Thanks for the review. My main lenses are the 135mm f/2L, 50mm f/1.2L and the 35mm f/1.4L They all give me different looks and feels to my images. I like how you show that between the 50 and 35 here.

      11.17.10 - 1:51 pm

  99. Jasmine* -

    UPDATE: I just wanted to clarify my statement for the last two photos (and the post now reflects this change as well): The couple is standing in the exact same position, but I changed my lens from the 50mm to the 35mm, and took two steps closer to them! ๐Ÿ™‚

      11.17.10 - 2:33 pm

  100. Matt -

    Darn! I thought my bag was complete. Time to start saving again.
    Thanks for the review.

      11.17.10 - 3:19 pm

  101. Danielle Kanka -

    Love hearing your thoughts on the 35mm. I use mine all the time and I love the wideness. Now after looking at your photos and reading your analysis, it makes me want to break out my 50mm for more of my shots.

      11.17.10 - 5:00 pm

  102. Marina -

    great review! what lens do you recommend when traveling to another country? what did you use in Italy? thoughts?

      11.17.10 - 5:34 pm

  103. Mikaela -

    This is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the lenses ๐Ÿ™‚ Loooove those two black and whites!!

      11.17.10 - 7:17 pm

  104. Erin -

    I frinkin love you Jasmine Star! You are so willing to share your knowledge..something a lot of photographers are not at all willing to do.
    Thanks for being so awesome!

      11.17.10 - 7:55 pm

  105. Heather -

    Great post. Lovely to see the differences in the lenses and in your shooting style. How do you change lenses so quickly? Is it just that you’re super good and you’ve been doing it forever, so you’re quick? Where do you carry your lenses. I don’t have fantastic equipment, but I do have a canon 450D with the kit lens and the 50mm 1.8 (which I absolutely love, btw. I’m saving for a lens with larger aperture…baby steps). I had an insert made for my purse I carry everywhere to carry the camera and both lenses with me all the time. I just can’t seem to change lenses that quickly. I always feel like I’m making people wait on me…that’s probably my biggest problem. Thinking that I’m wasting their time. I think I need to get over that.

      11.17.10 - 8:44 pm

  106. Shuva Rahim -

    That is a great post. Thanks for taking the time to explain your preferences, and reasoning. I just ordered the 50 1.2, so I’m eager to see what it can do for me!

      11.18.10 - 12:33 am

  107. Emma Godfrey -

    Great review – these posts are always so helpful. I love that you share your opinions, your style and your Exif! I already have a long list of lenses to save up for but will have a zoom 24-105 after Christmas, so I’ll have to be a lazy girls for a bit!

      11.18.10 - 10:34 am

  108. AnneMarie -

    Helpful comparison. I took my 50mm 1.4 to Europe and almost got run over a couple times when backing up into the street for the perfect shot. You’ve got me interested in the 35mm. ummmm….

      11.18.10 - 7:54 pm

  109. JamesC -

    It’s great to see a comparison between two fantastic lenses. Always learning a lot from your posts.

      11.18.10 - 8:33 pm

  110. Marian Majik -

    Nice review. I am thinking about 35mm f1.4 as my next lens to complete my 50mm f1.2 and as I see it’s good choice. Thank you Jasmine.

      11.18.10 - 10:31 pm

  111. Jenna Danelle -

    I would love to try out this lens, and now I want to try it out even more! You are so amazing! I love reading your opinions on everything not only because I respect them and love hearing about how you work things into your style, but because you have such a great way of sharing them!!! @Heather – shootsac is the savior of all photogs that want to be quick shooters! At least that is my thoughts, check it out – they rock!

      11.19.10 - 12:33 am

  112. Gabriela Fuentes -

    I love this wedding, so natural and comfy. Absolutely beautiful pictures.

      11.19.10 - 3:20 am

  113. Lydia -

    Because of you, I am now the proud owner of the 50 1.2!!

      11.19.10 - 3:34 am

  114. Brett Harker -

    Hello Jasmine,

    I also just recently added a 35mm 1.4 to my bag, and am very happy with the addition. Your shoot is amazing as usual.


      11.20.10 - 12:34 am

  115. Brett Harker -

    Have it, love it.

      11.20.10 - 1:13 am

  116. Lillian -

    Thanks for the informative post. I LOVE my 50mm 1.4 and can’t wait to get the 1.2 someday. I have wondered about other prime lenses like the 85mm and the 35mm. Thanks for taking the time out to review them!

      11.20.10 - 1:39 am

  117. RAMYAD London Wedding Photographer -

    I used the 35 F1.4 for the majority of the bridal prep and I loved how much easier it was to get a lot of the room in the photo, isolating the subjects at F1.4, how sharp it is at F1.4 and so easy to use. Having said that, I do own the 50 F1.2 and 85 F1.2 because of J* and I love all three lenses ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree that each one has it’s own purpose and so use it for the style you are looking for.

      11.20.10 - 11:20 am

  118. Yura Liamin -

    Just got myself Canon’s 50mm and absolutely fell in love with it – such a pleasant departure from the few zoom lenses I’ve been using. Saving up for a 85mm…

      11.21.10 - 3:26 am

  119. Kristy Berends - Photographer -

    Does anyone know what body she shoots with on these? Just curious if there would be a big difference between a full frame camera and a cropped…

      11.21.10 - 12:08 pm

  120. Vicki Derks -

    Love the fixed focal lengths. Thanks for the side by side demo.

      11.21.10 - 7:15 pm

  121. Jodie Lemke -

    You rock Mrs. J Star!! Thanks so much for sharing. I can’t wait to get my 85.. When I watched you on Creative live i was reminded that its important to invest money back into my business when i book a wedding. It stead of going into debt or whatever! I appreciate you!

      11.22.10 - 8:04 pm

  122. Sarah Danaher -

    the 35mm is next on my list. love it! thanks for the review!

      11.24.10 - 8:06 pm

  123. Paul -

    Him jealous…. everyone knows lens are male :-)… try the 24 1.4 on the 1d mark IV you’ll find a new lease of life the autofocus is so quick and it makes the 5d markII feel like a toy.. (even though I love my mark II)…

      11.24.10 - 10:53 pm

  124. Richard Shephard -

    Great to hear you talk about distance and your interaction with the subject like this and see the different intentions of your images. Would love to see you describe other lengths like 85mm in this way. PS. Lovely pictures in photo pro magazine (UK) this month

      11.29.10 - 5:04 pm

  125. Kevin Wrenn Photography -

    Great shots Jasmine. I love the 35 1.4 as well. My goto lens for sure!

      11.29.10 - 8:07 pm

  126. Christina Lee -

    Great post as always Jasmine! I really appreciate how you post information on how to use certain lenses or the effects that can come from using certain lenses. It really gives a visual to all the numbers of the lenses. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do agree with some however, about you might want to clarify the differences between the last two photos, because from the look of the last photo, it seems you got a lot closer to the couple. ??
    Thanks again!

      11.29.10 - 8:13 pm

  127. clippingimages -

    best wishes for this couple…………

      12.7.10 - 6:50 am

  128. Lyn -

    Hi Jasmine, Great shots. I love how you capture the special moments. I have to say you are good with the 35mm, but my preference with your shooting style is the 50mm. The 50 mm has a nicer effect on a facial features.

      12.31.10 - 2:50 am

  129. David Moore -

    Thanks for a really interesting post. I’m trying to decide between the 35mm 1.4 or the 85mm 1.2 (I already have the 85mm 1.8). Having both the 35mm and 85mm Ls would be a great set up for me. But I know you love the 50mm too – I’ll have to give that a try.

      2.10.11 - 7:19 pm

  130. nicole blumberg photography -

    Jasmine, when you are shooting to get more then one person in focus in a picture what aperture do you tend to use?

      3.18.11 - 11:50 pm

  131. James -

    In the first right picture, you shot it with 1.2.

    Was everything sharp? Because it is so thin! I almost never shoot at 1.2, and find 2.0 till 3.5 the sharpest with the 50mm 1.2.

    Why did you choose 1.2? So curious ๐Ÿ™‚

      4.28.11 - 5:20 pm

  132. Jason Mark Harris -

    Great Post J*

    my 35MM just arrived. just in time for wedding tomorrow. perfect.

      5.27.11 - 3:57 pm


    I was just about to purchase the 35 1.4, now I think I’ll take a look at the 50 1.2

    Thanks for the great post

      3.13.12 - 2:44 pm

  134. Uriel Coronado -

    good post, good pictures and good analysis. I’m about to buy the 35mm 1.4 and every time I like more

      5.16.12 - 5:57 pm

  135. Darius Ivan -

    Thanks Jasmine, just what I was looking for. Keep writing

      12.10.12 - 2:43 am

  136. Jennifer -

    I specifically searched your blog for THIS very reasonโ€ฆthe 35 vs 50mm. I don’t feel resolution on the topic. Searching for a prime for low light situations and wondering if the 50mm will put me in cramped positions if I’m shooting indoorโ€ฆhmmm. You’re phenomenal. Love your shooting style and personality. ๐Ÿ™‚

      8.22.13 - 3:08 pm

  137. Suz Crosbie -

    I love my 50 f1.2 and tend to mostly use my 16-35 f2.8 for the bridal prep, so considering getting a 35 f1.4 for my bag. The main reason is so that it handles the low light in the bridal prep rooms better than the 16-35. I think I will be happy with the purchase.

      9.4.14 - 11:02 pm

  138. Tatyana -

    Love the last image! Really shows the versatility of the 35.

      2.16.15 - 11:20 pm

  139. Melissa -

    35 is my new favorite too!! I got stuck on the 50mm for a while probably because most everyone uses it as a go to for EVERYTHING, but the 35 makes everything look so 3D and poppy shot with the same composition!!

      8.29.15 - 6:39 pm

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