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Canon Rangefinders - Peter Dechert and Peter Kitchingman Peter Dechert is best known for his Canon Rangefinder, Canon SLR, and Olympus Pen books, the latter two long out-of-print. He was a monthly columnist for many years for SHUTTERBUG magazine, and has contributed to many others. Most recently he has written about the pre-WW2 Zeiss 35mm cameras, but his interests in camera equipment and optics are many and varied. As a pro protographer and honorary life member of ASMP, Peter is also expert in using the gear! Peter Kitchingman - author of Canon Rangefinder Lens book Peter Kitchingman's 'Canon M39 Rangefinder Lenses 1939-71' book is the definitive source on these very interesting optics. His interests also go to the entire Canon Rangefinder system and beyond.

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Canon 35mm f1.5
Old 01-30-2008   #1
sanmich
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Canon 35mm f1.5

Could you share your feelings about this lens?

Is it comparable to the pre-ASPH 'lux?

Could it be a good general shooting lens?

I saw the excellent test of Raid / Roland (Thanks for that!!).
I'm not sure about flare (contradictory results?) but sharpness, bokeh seem ok.

AND..... What would be a good price for such a lens?

Thanks!

Michael
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Old 01-30-2008   #2
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Me want one too!

I`ve got the original shade for one, now I just need the lens........

Here`s one on evilbay on a Canon 7s with less than 2 hours left and it`s already on a great camera - this combo is worth it (if it stays under $800 it`s a bargin)

http://cgi.ebay.com/CANON-7s-RANGEFI...QQcmdZViewItem

These lenses are not so common and all the "hype" has them on the high end of $400+ right now - so anything under that`s a deal

Not enough people shoot with them - I just acquired a 35mm f1.8 Canon (a lens that`s always trashed in forums) but results back from it being on a RD-1 and it`s amazing, so that`s another one you might consider, mine`s out to get adjusted together with my Canon 7s right now, as soon as it`s back it`s going through a bunch of shoots and I`ll post here soon

I would like to see some shots with the f1.5 here - maybe some portraits

Tom
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Old 01-30-2008   #3
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great lens, I have owned this lens since the late 1980s.
I also have the pre Asph 35mm LUX and the Canon lens holds its own.
this Canon is really the sleeper lens, has nice bokeh in my opinion.
I picked up the proper lens shade for this Canon 35/1.5 lens recently for 5 dollars.
you just can't beat it.
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Old 01-30-2008   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaTom
Me want one too!

I`ve got the original shade for one, now I just need the lens........

Here`s one on evilbay on a Canon 7s with less than 2 hours left and it`s already on a great camera - this combo is worth it (if it stays under $800)

http://cgi.ebay.com/CANON-7s-RANGEFI...QQcmdZViewItem

These lenses are not so common and all the "hype" has them on the high end of $400+ right now - so anything under that`s a bargin

Not enough people shoot with them - I just acquired a 35mm f1.8 Canon (a lens that`s always trashed in forums) but results back from it being on a RD-1 and it`s amazing, so that`s another one you might consider, mine`s out to get adjusted together with my Canon 7s right now, as soon as it`s back it`s going through a bunch of shoots and I`ll post here soon

I would like to see more shots with the f1.5 here - maybe some portraits

Tom

That's a gorgeous 7s! If I didn't already have a 7....

And a nice looking 35/1.5 to go with it!
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Old 01-30-2008   #5
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here is the Canon 35/1.5 lens used at near full bore.
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Old 01-30-2008   #6
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RFF member" trittium " has a good spread on Flickr showing the Canon 35/1.5 lens use to its potential.
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Old 01-30-2008   #7
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I have not been lucky enough to own the 35mm but I had a Canon 50mm f1.5 once and recall it took very very nice photos. I sold it in the end as it was not in the best cosmetic condition (chrome flaking etc) If I knew what I now now I would have kept it. I will see if I still have some negatives. Only problem is that the photos I know were taken with them were of an ex partner. If my current partner found out, well in the words of Basil Fawlty when Sybil says "Basil, you know what will happen if I find out....." and Basil relies "You'll have to sew them back on first!" Well thats what I figure will happen to me.

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Old 01-30-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33
RFF member" trittium " has a good spread on Flickr showing the Canon 35/1.5 lens use to its potential.
IIRC, he also started a thread some time ago on this lens, including some nice shots. I went looking for it but couldn't find it, though.

@peterm1: I agree completely about the Canon 50/1.5 -- it's a fabulous lens. I'm curious though about whether the 35/1.5 has a similar sonnar-esque design/signature.
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Old 01-30-2008   #9
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here is the 35/1.5 on my Canon IIS2, it makes for a compact rig.
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Old 01-30-2008   #10
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I've sold a 35/1.5 with "feet" distance scale and bought a mint one with "meters". Amazingly, it came from Wetzlar. The 35/1.5 is the best Canon 35mm in terms of color saturation, sharpness at f/2.8, and probably bokeh. It's prone to ghosting. A hood can help. The W-50 hood is quite common because it fits the 35/2.5 Canonflex lens as well. I doubt that it was initially designed for the RF lens. Pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1473413...s/rfcanon3515/
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Old 01-30-2008   #11
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Hey Tom, if you don't ever get a 35/1.5, you can always sell the hood to me
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Old 01-30-2008   #12
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I bought one of these in 'mint' condition on the auction site , arrived on Monday and cost 200. Will be out testing it on my VT de luxe this weekend and will post once developed.....
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Old 01-30-2008   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnar2
The color market photos are lovely........ that brings back fond memories of going shopping once or twice a week over there when I lived in Nuremberg as a civilian

Dexdog: I was told that this hood works really well on a Canon 50mm f1.4 as well...so that`s why I bought it, I think that somewhere down the road I will have the f1.5 so for now I`ll be holding on to it, but I`ll keep you in mind.....
(I will trade it for a Summarit hood, if you ever find one of those)

Tom
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Old 01-30-2008   #14
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35mm F:1.5 Canon

I sold a LTM 35mm Nikkor F:1.8 to get mine. NEVER regretted it. A fabulous nice lens.

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Old 01-31-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C. Perkins, MD
35mm F:1.5 Canon
I sold a LTM 35mm Nikkor F:1.8 to get mine. NEVER regretted it.
That's a word which can help me to save money... ;-)
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Old 01-31-2008   #16
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Thanks for all for the answers. I have seen the pictures and galleries and all in all, it seems a good lens.
Tom why do you want one after having the 1.8?
Do you think its signature is so different? It's only half a stop difference.
Will you drop the 1.8?

Don't get me wrong, I have the 1.8 which is very nice and just got the 1.5 on a kind of gambling auction:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN:IT&ih=018

Yeah, right, an enlarger lens...

I just hope it's in clean condition (so the seller says..). If it's the case, I guess I had a good deal...


It sure seems to flare easily.

I guess the hood should be on its way soon.

And a filter..

When will this end ?
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Old 01-31-2008   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich
So all in all, it seems a good lens.
Tom why do you want one after having the 1.8?
Do you think its signature is so different? It's only half a stop difference.
I`m trying to complete a pallet of Canon lenses for work, two 35mm lenses will be enough, I also want a 100mm f2.0, a 50mm f0.95 (in Canon 7 mount) and the 50mm f1.2 (as a backup lens to stop down to f1.4 - while the bokeh is a little different at f1.4 than the 50mm f1.4 is)

An enlarger lens? I did`nt see this auction and it was here in Florida, well if you don`t keep this lens let me know

Tom
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Old 01-31-2008   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich
Yeah, right, an enlarger lens...
I was watching that auction- you got a great deal!. I was tempted to bid on it myself, even though I already have a nice clean example of this lens.

I am not wild about the lens wide open, but stopped down to f2 it is a beauty.
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Old 01-31-2008   #19
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Here is a link to some of my Canon 35mm/1.5 photos that I took with Mark's lens. The website belongs to Roland.

I would love to own a clean example of such a lens one day. My Canon 35mm/1.8 is being cleaned by a professional, so I am looking forward to a better lens returning to me.

link: http://ferider.smugmug.com/gallery/2890163#155365997
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Old 01-31-2008   #20
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AHHHH

Raid! Thanks for joining.

I did studied your test yesterday before posting. Thanks for doing such a systematic comparison!

Generally, the lens seems to perform well. One thing remain unclear to me regarding flare:

On the candle flame example, the canon 1.5 fully open seems one of the best if not the best of the bunch.

On the light bulb, the same lens is obviously one of the worst

Any explanation for this?
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Old 01-31-2008   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexdog
I was watching that auction- you got a great deal!. I was tempted to bid on it myself, even though I already have a nice clean example of this lens.

I am not wild about the lens wide open, but stopped down to f2 it is a beauty.
dexdog, Do you know how it performs after f/2 compared to slower lenses (f/1.8; f/2)?

If it is comparable, maybe it is the ultimate lens:

excellent after f/2 and with the provision of almost one stop for tough situations...?

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2008   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich
AHHHH

Raid! Thanks for joining.

I did studied your test yesterday before posting. Thanks for doing such a systematic comparison!

Generally, the lens seems to perform well. One thing remain unclear to me regarding flare:

On the candle flame example, the canon 1.5 fully open seems one of the best if not the best of the bunch.

On the light bulb, the same lens is obviously one of the worst

Any explanation for this?
Hello Michael,
The light intensity is much higher for the bulb lit scene than for the candle lit scene. With the candle light, the room was nearly dark, whereas with the bulb light, there was strong front light.

The lens could be a low contrast but high resolution lens. With the bare bulb, the lens showed its lack of resistance to flare up, whereas with the candle it showed its high resolution in a scene where there is no flare.

I am not a master lens designer, as you know. I sometimes make a guess based on my limited knowledge on lenses.


Also take into account that with some lenses being older lenses [in the test], there can be inconsistencies ocurring due to aging.
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Old 02-01-2008   #23
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Raid, in your very nice park portaits I notice some typical background behavior for this "pushed for speed" lens class: unsharp background behind the center and "coming back" to the sharpness area in the corners. That gives an expressive structure but can also be annoying with background of certain structures, i.e. tree twigs, causing "swirly bookeh". Most extreme with vintage Plasmat lenses. Probably this is caused by undercorrected spherical aberration.
What is great on the Canon 35/1.5 in this class is that it is very well corrected for center sharpness and color saturation. It's less "cold" than the Canon 50/1.4. I cannot imagine that the PRE-asph. 35/1.4 Summilux comes out any better.
What I noticed with my lenses: backlight flare of my (very clear) 35/1.5 is well controlled, better than with the 35/1.8 (very light haze) and the 35/2 (clear), much better than the older (chrome) 35/2.8 (which is clear as well).
In contrast (price for extra speed) the 35/1.5 more prone to ghosting than the others if the sun is near to the picture frame. Maybe this corresponds to your light-bulb test behaviour (strong light source). But with real low light, it behaves nicely (as the 50/0.95 too).
At f/2.8 my 35/1.5 beats any other Canon RF lenses in terms of sharpness and contrast. At f/5.6-8 it is more contrasty than the 35/1.8 but not the 35/2. I would take the 35/1.5 as a standard lens with a reserve for high speed. It is big in diameter, but not heavy or protruding. 48mm filter (like the 50/1.4) is good as well. In screwmount it can be beaten only by the UC-Hexanon 35/2, but this is nearly one stop slower and a much younger design.
I think Canon did it very well with their super-fast 35/1.5 in 1958. Universal usability is much better than with the 50/0.95. Consider it's 50 years ago. Yes, it's underrated from a user's view.

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Old 02-01-2008   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich
Thanks for all for the answers. I have seen the pictures and galleries and all in all, it seems a good lens.
Tom why do you want one after having the 1.8?
Do you think its signature is so different? It's only half a stop difference.
Will you drop the 1.8?

Don't get me wrong, I have the 1.8 which is very nice and just got the 1.5 on a kind of gambling auction:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN:IT&ih=018

Yeah, right, an enlarger lens...

I just hope it's in clean condition (so the seller says..). If it's the case, I guess I had a good deal...


It sure seems to flare easily.

I guess the hood should be on its way soon.

And a filter..

When will this end ?
Looks like you got a great deal there, I paid almost twice this much for a 'mint' example (It was mint too!)

Happy shooting!
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Old 02-01-2008   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnar2
What I noticed with my lenses: backlight flare of my (very clear) 35/1.5 is well controlled, better than with the 35/1.8 (very light haze) and the 35/2 (clear), much better than the older (chrome) 35/2.8 (which is clear as well).
In contrast (price for extra speed) the 35/1.5 more prone to ghosting than the others if the sun is near to the picture frame. Maybe this corresponds to your light-bulb test behaviour (strong light source). But with real low light, it behaves nicely (as the 50/0.95 too).
At f/2.8 my 35/1.5 beats any other Canon RF lenses in terms of sharpness and contrast. At f/5.6-8 it is more contrasty than the 35/1.8 but not the 35/2. I would take the 35/1.5 as a standard lens with a reserve for high speed. It is big in diameter, but not heavy or protruding. 48mm filter (like the 50/1.4) is good as well. In screwmount it can be beaten only by the UC-Hexanon 35/2, but this is nearly one stop slower and a much younger design.
I think Canon did it very well with their super-fast 35/1.5 in 1958. Universal usability is much better than with the 50/0.95. Consider it's 50 years ago. Yes, it's underrated from a user's view.

have fun, Frank
Frank, thanks for the detailed answer.

Just to make sure: by ghosting you mean those round or aperture-like shaped light spots that appear when the sun is in a corner or just outside the frame?
And by flare you refer to the glow that appear around a strong light source in the picture?

Also, your comparison puts this lens really as an "all around" piece of gear but you start to compare at f/2.8

f/2 is very important to me as I find myself shooting in door a lot with TX @ 1/30 f/2.
Did you remark how the three lenses compare at this aperture?

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2008   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silva Lining
Looks like you got a great deal there, I paid almost twice this much for a 'mint' example (It was mint too!)

Happy shooting!
Thanks!

I think we are making it a better deal at each contribution...


But hey, I've got mine, You've got yours,....Let the price climb

well ok, let's wait for Tom to have his
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Old 02-01-2008   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid
My Canon 35mm/1.8 is being cleaned by a professional, so I am looking forward to a better lens returning to me.
Raid,

Who did you send it to? Mine is near mint glass, but the focus ring is stiff

Tom
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Old 02-01-2008   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaTom
Raid,

Who did you send it to? Mine is near mint glass, but the focus ring is stiff

Tom
Tom

Canon lenses are, from the few i had in my hands, usually very easy to re-lube.

My 1.8 was also stiff and it was the first one to get the helicoid cleaned and relubed.

All you need is a spanner wrench and the right grease (I use Lithium automotive grease).

let me know if you want to give it a try. It's fun, too.
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Old 02-01-2008   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich
Just to make sure: by ghosting you mean those round or aperture-like shaped light spots that appear when the sun is in a corner or just outside the frame?
Yes, plus artefacts coming from internal reflections like this one (the 35/1.5 delivers some strange ghostings...)



as opposed to



Quote:
And by flare you refer to the glow that appear around a strong light source in the picture?
Yes, but it's often just visible as a "haze" in the middle part of the picture, like this one:



I believe this kind of flare is very common with Gaussian wideangle lenses. The Summicron IV-gen 35/2 has exactly the same kind of flare with a bright sky as backlite. For landscapes this can be very annoying. Newer designs like the ASPH.-Summicron 35/2, the ZM-Biogon or UC-Hexanon don't show it (or much less)

Very bad with this kind of flare is the Canon 35/2.8. Opposed to it, the 28/3.5 (designed in the same year 1951 and even looking similar from diagrams) is quite free of it!

To be precise, at f/1.5 sharpness is only present in the very center of the picture with the 35/1.5. But in many cases this is just enough, i.e. when you have a three-dimensional subject and small DOF anyway. Light-loss to the corners can look bad too. You need to think about before using this lens wide open, or to have just good luck. At f/2 it is much better, plus you get nicer bookeh and colors than with the Canon 35/2. From f/2.8 on the Canon 35/1.5 is very strong.

have fun, Frank
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Old 02-01-2008   #30
sanmich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnar2
Yes, plus artefacts coming from internal reflections like this one (the 35/1.5 delivers some strange ghostings...)



as opposed to





Yes, but it's often just visible as a "haze" in the middle part of the picture, like this one:



I believe this kind of flare is very common with Gaussian wideangle lenses. The Summicron IV-gen 35/2 has exactly the same kind of flare with a bright sky as backlite. For landscapes this can be very annoying. Newer designs like the ASPH.-Summicron 35/2, the ZM-Biogon or UC-Hexanon don't show it (or much less)

Very bad with this kind of flare is the Canon 35/2.8. Opposed to it, the 28/3.5 (designed in the same year 1951 and even looking similar from diagrams) is quite free of it!

To be precise, at f/1.5 sharpness is only present in the very center of the picture with the 35/1.5. But in many cases this is just enough, i.e. when you have a three-dimensional subject and small DOF anyway. Light-loss to the corners can look bad too. You need to think about before using this lens wide open, or to have just good luck. At f/2 it is much better, plus you get nicer bookeh and colors than with the Canon 35/2. From f/2.8 on the Canon 35/1.5 is very strong.

have fun, Frank
Franck

Do you know what made the difference between the two pictures of this cute kid?

Does closing down the aperture reduces flare?
or ghosting?

About the ghosting, maybe a good hood could help?
do you remember if you used one one the first picture?

I have to say that the flare you show on your landscape reminds me of what I had from time to time on my last version summicron-M 50mm. I was so amazed it was from the lens, I was convinced it came from the camera and sent it to DAG (that did a great CLA on it BTW). It appears this lens ('cron-M) allows for some kind of reflection on the inner hood, after the rear lens surface. At a certain angle, with strong light just at the edge, outside the frame, the lens would reflect the light onto the film and get this ugly hot-spot.

I sent the lens to Don and he repainted the hood with a matte paint. So far so good...
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Old 02-01-2008   #31
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Hi Michael, I remember that I used the W-50 hood on both kid pictures, and with the second one (the third of three), I additionaly take my hand to cover the lens (the W-50 is quite small). Stopped down ghosting was gone.
See it as an excellent f/2.8 lens with 2 stops reserves for special conditions.
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Old 02-02-2008   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnar2
Raid, in your very nice park portaits I notice some typical background behavior for this "pushed for speed" lens class: unsharp background behind the center and "coming back" to the sharpness area in the corners. That gives an expressive structure but can also be annoying with background of certain structures, i.e. tree twigs, causing "swirly bookeh". Most extreme with vintage Plasmat lenses. Probably this is caused by undercorrected spherical aberration.
What is great on the Canon 35/1.5 in this class is that it is very well corrected for center sharpness and color saturation. It's less "cold" than the Canon 50/1.4. I cannot imagine that the PRE-asph. 35/1.4 Summilux comes out any better.
What I noticed with my lenses: backlight flare of my (very clear) 35/1.5 is well controlled, better than with the 35/1.8 (very light haze) and the 35/2 (clear), much better than the older (chrome) 35/2.8 (which is clear as well).
In contrast (price for extra speed) the 35/1.5 more prone to ghosting than the others if the sun is near to the picture frame. Maybe this corresponds to your light-bulb test behaviour (strong light source). But with real low light, it behaves nicely (as the 50/0.95 too).
At f/2.8 my 35/1.5 beats any other Canon RF lenses in terms of sharpness and contrast. At f/5.6-8 it is more contrasty than the 35/1.8 but not the 35/2. I would take the 35/1.5 as a standard lens with a reserve for high speed. It is big in diameter, but not heavy or protruding. 48mm filter (like the 50/1.4) is good as well. In screwmount it can be beaten only by the UC-Hexanon 35/2, but this is nearly one stop slower and a much younger design.
I think Canon did it very well with their super-fast 35/1.5 in 1958. Universal usability is much better than with the 50/0.95. Consider it's 50 years ago. Yes, it's underrated from a user's view.

have fun, Frank
Hello Frank,

I try not to get attached to any of the borrowed lenses in a lens test. This particular lens I liked a lot for the some of the reasons that you have mkentioned above. I carefully selected the OOF background. This is something that I am used to, as I favor the older lenses anyways.
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Old 02-03-2008   #33
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Six years ago when I joined ebay I stated that the 1.5/35 Canon was my favorite lens, and it probably still is for an all-round 35,but for colour saturation my 2.8/35 Topcor has no equal. Unfortunately although I bought it cheaply here in Australia,
when they do occasionally appear on ebay the vendors usually have stupid buy it now prices. I have several LTM 35's, and one day soon I'll do a comparison of each over three apertures for my own amusement.
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Old 02-03-2008   #34
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the 35mm/ f 2.8 Topcor is one fine lens.
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Old 02-07-2008   #35
Silva Lining
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich
Thanks!

I think we are making it a better deal at each contribution...


But hey, I've got mine, You've got yours,....Let the price climb

well ok, let's wait for Tom to have his

Heh!

Well, mines been out for it's first test run, loaded up on a Voigtlander R3M (I used the whole viewfinder as a 35mm frame ) With PanF and Ilford Delta 100, Souped in Ilford DDX and scanned with a Minolta E5400....



MORE HERE

Hopefully, I'll be taking more this weekend...
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