EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
This lens is my new lens, just bought it on April 14th, 2008. This lens replaced my general zoom lens that I have before, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. This lens has wider aperture compare to EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM so it will produce very well bokeh. Bokeh is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens, for the detail information about bokeh can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM also good for low light portrait because it has wide aperture that give faster shutter speed. I attached this lens with my Canon EOS Kiss Digital X (Japanese name of Canon EOS 400D). EOS Kiss Digital X has 1.6 crop factor, that makes the focal length equal to 56mm (use EF 35mm f/1.4L USM) in full frame camera. Compare with general zoom lens like EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM or EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM this lens is better for sharpness and color; It also has 1.4 aperture which produce nice bokeh. Compare with EF 35mm f/2 or EF 50mm f/1.4 USM; EF 35mm f/1.4L USM has better color, sharpness and contrast. If you use EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, you can use it at 1.4 aperture and you can still get the good result although the sharpness isn’t good as you use it at 2 aperture.
As a fixed lens flexibility maybe become a problem, especially for beginner photographer. It also not easy to use 1.4, you need to hit the focus exactly, otherwise you will miss the focus. The price should also be a problem, this lens is about the 39000 NTD (New Taiwan Dollar) or $1100, I think it’s quite expensive. If you want to try this lens but you couldn’t reach the price you can consider about EF 35mm f/2 or EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. Also you can consider a third party lens like Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM, but it can be attached only in 1.6x crop camera (not in full frame camera).
Technical Specification for Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wideangle lense:
Type: – Autofocus lens type with manual focusing mechanism
Focal Length: Fixed focal length 35mm
Focus Adjustment:- Autofocus; ring-type USM with rear focus design
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch and electronic full-time manual focusing possible during autofocusing
Zoom Adjustment:- Nil. Fixed Focal Length Lens
Closest Focusing Distance:- 0.3m (1.0ft)
Maximum Magnification:- 0.15X
Drive System:- USM with full-time manual focusing
Distance Scales: Provided via window on metres/feet.
Angle of View:- 54° 38° 63° (horizontal, vertical and diagonal)
Aperture range:- f/1.4 – f/22
Number of Diaphragm Blades: – 8 blades
Minimum Aperture: – f/22
Depth of Filed Scale: f/4.0, f/11, f/22
Filter rotation: No
Filter Attachment Size:- 72mm front mounting
Lens construction:- 11 Elements in 9 Groups with an Aspherical lens elements (at 9th element)
DOF data for Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM:
Other review can be seen here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-35mm-f-1.4-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx