Canon Announces New 35mm f/1.4L II Lens with Improved Chromatic Aberration Correction

Canon 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Canon has introduced a brand new full-frame 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens to replace aging model first released in 1998.

Courtesy of Canon Rumors, here's an MTF comparison between the new version and the old version, which shows the II lens to be significantly sharper:

They've also announced that they've developed a Blue Spectrum Refractive optical element to be used in this lens, which helps significantly reduce chromatic aberrations. Here's a little more on that technology:

Canon's proprietary Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics) incorporate a new organic optical material with unique anomalous dispersion characteristics for use in camera lenses. The molecular design of BR Optics refracts blue light (short wavelength spectrum) to a greater degree than other existing optical technologies including UD glass, Super UD glass and Fluorite, to control color fringing as effectively as possible. When placed between convex and concave lens elements made from conventional optical glass materials, BR Optics help to produce sharp images with outstanding contrast and color fidelity by thoroughly reducing axial chromatic aberration.

Canon Blue Spectrum Refractive Optical Element
We're likely going to see this technology in all of the new versions of their lenses, and it should improve the performance quite a bit when it comes to color fringing/chromatic aberration, especially shooting wide open, as this is where you see the most fringing. I imagine if Canon ever develops new cinema primes with completely different optics than their still lenses, these are the kinds of fancy elements you're going to see.

And here's more on the design of the lens itself:

  • EF Mount L-Series Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • 72mm Filter
  • Min. Focus Distance: 11"
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4-22
  • Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics
  • Two Aspherical Elements, One UD Element
  • Subwavelength and Fluorine Coatings
  • Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor
  • Full-Time Manual Focus Override
  • Weather-Sealed Design
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Weight: 1.67 lbs.
  • Availability: October 2015
  • Price: $1,800

This is a pro lens, so it's coming with a professional price tag of $1,800. Though that is a lot compared to many still lenses, it's only a few hundred more than their current 35mm, so this was never going to be a bargain lens in the first place. We should see this lens coming down the road in October at some point, but you can pre-order right now    

Your Comment

13 Comments

I am happy with Sigma Art!

August 27, 2015 at 3:54AM

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Rayhanur kabir
Director, DP
340

I was thinking the same! You could get both a 35mm and a 50mm for the same price as the Canon 35mm. And the Sigma Art lenses produces really nice images.

August 27, 2015 at 5:27AM, Edited August 27, 5:27AM

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Morten Furre
Director, Editor, Screenwriter
283

Cool. If the lens provides the same optical quality as zeiss otus then it is a very good price. Good optics, 1.4 fstop, auto focus, weather sealed, robust and 1800$. Not bad at all. Lately I prefer old lenses they've got more character. Check out my recent shoot out on http://renderstory.com/anamorphic-urban/

August 27, 2015 at 3:55AM

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Einar Gabbassoff
D&CD at Frame One Studio
1354

Same here, just picked up a cheap 50mm Nikon e series 1.8/f and it has more texture and clarity than any lens of the same price.

August 27, 2015 at 4:35AM, Edited August 27, 4:35AM

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Emerson Shaw
Student
723

I bought all three art lenses for 2k when sigma had the special .... I think that was a better bang for buck than this one lens for $1800.

August 27, 2015 at 8:56AM

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Walter Wallace
YouTuber
1726

Apparently Canon doesn't care about price competition. I think the newer generation of photographers and videographers will want to spread their dollars out more in the lens category. Oh well. I'm sure some people will buy and or rent it.

August 27, 2015 at 9:28AM

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Dantly Wyatt
Writer, Director, Content Creator.
1004

When I was at the Sochi Olympics, I was chatting with a photographer on the half pipe who had two 1dx bodies dangling from his neck. One had, I believe, a 100-400 mm zoom attached and the other had a Canon 35mm. He got his telephoto shots, then relaxed and continued our conversation as the athlete descended a little further. Just when the athlete shot up over us in mid-air, he grabbed his other Canon body, the one with the 35 on it, put the viewfinder up to his eye and rattled off two dozen in-focus shots in the span of two seconds. Then he resumed our conversation as if nothing had happened. Try that with your Sigma Art lens. I know a lot of people like to complain about the cost of Canon products, but c'mon, put some thought into what these tools are meant for and understand that they are not direct competitors for a variety of reasons. Canon designs and builds an entire ecosystem from sensor to lens to work perfectly together, without compromises to make sure you don't whiff your opportunity to get the shot. To professionals in fields like photojournalism, getting the image is the end-all be-all, either you got the shot, or you got nothing. This is a still photography lens that can also be used for video, and in that regard, it will be much better that anything else available for that use, at least on a Canon body. Sure, you can find a cheaper lens for your needs, good for you. You can make a movie with an iphone. What's your point? Plus, I imagine if you're going to be using any cinema EOS systems, the autofocus communication with a lens like this will be superb. Different strokes for different folks, y'all. Not everyone has the same needs, but if you do need something like this, there's nothing else like it, unless you are a Nikon person, which exactly zero of the photographers I worked with at the Olympics were. I guess all those guys from Sports Illustrated, Getty Images, Olympic News Service, Reuters, Associated Press etc. were all just stupid idiots that drink the Canon kool-aid right?

August 27, 2015 at 11:39AM

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Derek Olson
Directomatographeditor
691

Its funny when a new professional highend cinema camera comes out, there would be some guy who would acknowledge the world that he is happy with his consumer mirrorless photocam. What some people misunderstand is that a pro level use of equipment is much different then shooting friends and trees in a backyard. The same goes for lenses. 1800$ is nothing if the lens is as good as they promise. Pop it on a the C300 mark ii and all you need is a good pair of eyes and hands.

August 27, 2015 at 12:35PM

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Einar Gabbassoff
D&CD at Frame One Studio
1354

Thanks for writing my reply first and saving me the trouble.

August 31, 2015 at 12:15PM

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While comparing Sigma Art lenses to Canon's L series, you all might as well compare S4s and Rokinons.

I for one, will be focusing on their new organic element and the eventual fall of mankind to living lenses...

August 27, 2015 at 2:01PM

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Matthew Emmanuel
Camera Operator
603

The chroma in the original 35mm L was driving me nuts. Rokinon's 35mm Cine DS has probably a tenth of what Canon's original had. So, good for Canon if they finally fixed it. Congrats, I guess.

August 27, 2015 at 9:57PM

7
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Finally!!! an article about equipment I don't need, time to comment

August 28, 2015 at 11:11PM

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Frogy
398

Yeah, but for FILMAKERS, the newly announced Tamron 35mm f/1.8 STABILIZED lens will make this Canon thing moot...

August 29, 2015 at 9:16PM

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Vidrazor
647