The number of full-frame prime lenses covering a 20mm focal length with a fast maximum aperture of f/1.4 are few and far between. Though it’ll be most popular with people who specialise in astrophotography, its stunning optical performance can be applied to landscapes, interiors and architecture. It’s a large and heavy lens that features a focus distance window and bulbous front element. A permanently fixed petal-shape hood protects the latter. It returns its best results across the frame at f/4 and is just as sharp in the centre at f/1.4 as it is at f/8. It’s an exceptional prime for shooting in low-light conditions. The only downside is that it’s not weather sealed.
Canon has knocked it out the park with the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM. Photographers and videographers who lean towards a natural, reportage-style approach to their work will be blown away by its performance that records beautifully blurred backgrounds at wide apertures. It’s phenomenally sharp when it’s stopped down between f/2.8 and f/4 and resolves a gorgeous look to images wide-open at f/1.4. Execution of a blue spectrum refractive optic sees it control chromatic aberrations extremely well and vignetting towards the edge of the frame is tasteful too. All in all, it’s an extraordinarily impressive 35mm lens that can’t be praised highly enough.