top of page

5 reasons the 35mm is a great lens!

Previously I've talked about the 85mm and how much I love it these days, I even talked about the combo 85mm and 35 mm...

So it was about time for me to be a little more specific about the 35mm.

We are talking 35mm on a full-frame body and more precisely the L version that can open at f1.4. It's a standard in the wide-angle lens family so I had to put my hands on it one day... it took me 6 years to actually have one in my hands long enough to test it and work with it.

So let's not waste your precious time:

1/ it's a Versatile lens! You can use it for anything... From portrait to landscapes, it is of course, amazing in tight spaces and awesome in the wild. I used it for sports, for fitness shoots, and Gymnastics shots and It didn't disappoint. You can get right Into the action, close but not too close!

Margot captured during a quick Bball shoot in Strasbourg

5d mark IV - 35mm F1.4L II 1/125 sec at f8 ISO200

2/ It's a secret to no one I love wide angles, and it's always nice to have more of the background included in your shot. You capture effectively your subject and its environment. This gives context especially when you stage your shots. If you are not a bokeh fanatic trying to compress and blur out your background in each one of your shots then this lens is for you.

My buddy Lyria Van Moer 5d mark IV - 35mm F1.4L II 1/200sec at f6.3 ISO200

Behind the scenes: Test, fail, learn, repeat!

The beautiful Claire Aves in London

5d mark IV - 35mm F1.4L II 1/640 sec at f3.5 ISO100

Behind the scenes: Prepare for the worst!

This leads to number 3, this one is for all you beginners out there. I've talked about this before and you've probably heard it a thousand times the 50mm is close to what the human eye perceives. So the 35mm is not that far away... If you wish to make your first steps in the wide-angle game the 35mm is perfect. It doesn’t push the background too far from your main subject, and it delivers images with minimal distortion!

The duo Lyria and Nhât

5d mark IV - 35mm F1.4L II 1/200 sec at f8 ISO250

Behind the scenes: Test, fail, learn, repeat!

4/ It’s a prime lens... and not any prime lens. The 35mm Mark II f1.4 focuses quite fast, it is not the heaviest in the L series and delivers awesome performances. At f1.4 this little beast can save your butt in low-light situations.

5/ This lens makes you think! Let me explain, you may find at times that the 50mm is too constricted, a 24mm might be a bit too much, especially if you are not used to it, and a little bit of experience is needed to cope with the closeness and the visible distortions that it gives. I think the 35mm gives you just that right additional step in and forces the interaction with your subject without invading your model's space. The fact that you can include more of the background in your shot will have you think a bit more about your compositions, how you will keep your shots balanced, how can you fill the frame.

Then bendy Miranda Menzies

5d mark IV - 35mm F1.4L II 1/200 sec at f5.6 ISO320

The also Bendy Emma Contorsionniste

5d mark IV - 35mm F1.4L II 1/125 sec at f8 ISO200

For unknown reasons, I stayed away from this lens for many years maybe because I have the 16 - 35mm and 24 - 70mm... And when looking back I noticed I was naturally stopping at around 35mm for a lot of my pictures.

For some of these past shots, I would have loved having that option of opening beyond F2.8. And yes I got to admit if you look closely images are slightly better.

So If I had to choose only one lens, If I had room for only one would it be the 35? Probably... What about you? Which prime lens is the most versatile one according to your work?

Let me know!


bottom of page