A reportage lens with revolutionary technology

The new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM gives professionals the choice lens for reportage while introducing technology to drastically reduce chromatic aberration.




The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM, successor to the legendary EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, from 1998, is the world’s first lens to feature Canon’s newly developed Blue Spectrum Refractive optics (BR optics) – ensuring sensational image quality across a diverse range of scenes – from news and sports scenes to weddings.

Designed for professional photographers wanting to capture their world with a natural perspective, the new wide-angle L-series lens follows feedback from Canon’s community of professional photographers and includes a range of advanced optical technologies to deliver the outstanding image quality professionals expect from a Canon L-series lens.


The lens is the first to include BR optics, a new pioneering Canon-developed lens technology featuring an organic optical material, which has been engineered at a molecular level to help significantly reduce chromatic aberration and produce sharper images – via its ability to refract blue light. The BR Optic is integrated into a compound element in the lens. Together with Canon’s high performance lens coatings, including Subwavelength Structure Coating, the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM delivers results with improved contrast and minimal flare and ghosting.

Natural light, or white light, comprises a spectrum of wavelengths, or colors, each of which realizes a unique refractive index when passing through a lens. As all colors do not converge on the same point, this disparity causes chromatic aberrations, or color fringing, to occur in an image.

Canon develops optical elements by reviewing organic optical materials, beginning with the design of molecular structures, with the aim of achieving optimal chromatic aberration correction that suppresses color fringing. With the successful development of the BR optical element, which offers unique light-dispersion characteristics that significantly refract blue light-a wavelength that, until now, had proven particularly difficult to converge to a specific focal point-Canon is able to develop lenses that result in outstanding imaging performance by correcting chromatic aberrations at an exceptionally high level.


“As the world leader in production of interchangeable lenses, having produced over 110 million EF lenses since 1987, it is with great excitement that we now introduce a revolutionary new technology to add to Canon’s unequaled optical heritage when it comes to chromatic aberration correction,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO of Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We continually strive to achieve the ideal lens performance, which has driven the development of Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, found in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens. This technology is yet another ‘first’ in optical design introduced by Canon to enhance the performance of our lenses for our customers.”

Perfect for capturing images with a documentary feel (on a 35mm camera), using its wide 35mm fixed focal length, the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM is the ultimate choice for photojournalists, sports and wedding photographers alike. With its wide-angle view photographers can shoot subjects in their natural habitat within the context of their environment, and without distortion. To create shots with beautiful background blur and standout portraits, the fast f/1.4, nine blade aperture can be used to control depth of field, as well as enabling photographers to continue shooting as light levels start to fade.


For a rapid response to scenes unfolding in front of your eyes, the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM features a ring-type ultrasonic motor to drive the extremely quick and near silent autofocus. A full time manual focusing ring allows you to make fine, real-time adjustments, whether shooting stills or movies.

Designed to withstand challenging shooting environments and prolonged use, the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM boasts the iconic design and build DNA associated with Canon’s flagship L-series lenses. Advanced weather sealing and fluorine coatings help protect the lens against adverse weather conditions and the robust body ensures durability.

With a weight of 760 grams, the new lens is 180 grams heavier than the previous model. It is also bigger, with 80.4 x 105.5mm against 79.0 x 86.0mm, but the construction, with 14 elements in 11 groups instead of 11 elements in 9 groups explains it. The larger focusing ring is a benefit of the new design, making it easier not only to focus but to find the ring.


Looking at the MTF charts for this lens, when compared to the older version, it is immediately clear that Canon has a winner. The price, $1,799.00, makes it a lens not everybody will buy, but there is no doubt this is a class leading lens Canon engineers can be proud of. The new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens is compatible with 72mm filters and will be supplied with Lens Hood EW-77B and Lens Pouch LP1219.

EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM key benefits:

  •  A wide-angle view with a natural perspective
  •  Superb low-light performance and depth of field control
  •  Sets new standards in image quality
  •  Focuses quickly and discreetly
  •  Keep shooting even in tough conditions

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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