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Saturday, 24 June 2017


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That Fuji 23mm f/1.4 is a gem. My wife shot most of her project lifeafterlifeinprison.com with the 23 (and the rest with the fuji 14mm f/2.8 for some sider environmental portraits). The 23 is really versatile -- I think of that focal length (actually 35mm in traditional 35mm camera terms, as you mention) as the classic photojournalist's prime.

Though my wife makes good use of that focal length, I tried the Sigma 35mm Art lens for my Nikon full-frame but returned it. Beautiful image quality, but my walk around kit is usually a 24mm and a 50mm, and the 35 bridges a pretty small gap between those.

I've never been as happy with any lens as I've been with the fixed 23mm (35mm equiv.) on the Fuji X100s. It's damn near perfect, IMO.

Yes, the Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 is amazing, just about perfect.

In the realm of classic manual-focus lenses, I'm fond of both the early (pre-AI) Nikkor F-mount 35mm f/2 O and the Canon FD 35mm f/2 SSC with the concave front element (and slightly radioactive thorium-infused glass). The Nikkor is particularly nice for infrared film -- no hot spot.

I love the Sigma 35 f/1.4 shot at 1.4. There's a bit of magic in how it renders the world. Everything from the tack sharp sharpness of the focus point, to the fall off of focus and the vignetting work together to create magic. But the further it is stopped down there less magic it has. It's just solid when stopped down.

It's also a fantastic lens for shooting the Milky Way.

Unfortunately, I've never had the pleasure of owning a ~30mm prime. Probably where I'll be going next.

Any recommendations for a Canon mount?

Right now my pancake MS Optical 35/3.5 Triplet has to be my favorite. It may not be the best performing 35 I have ever used, that would still be the Pentax 31mm Limited, but it makes my Leica M262 a pocket camera. However, since I rarely pixel peep anything, it certainly ticks all my boxes.

I have to admit that it is the Sony Sonnar 35mm f/2.8 ZA. I also own the Sony Distagon 35mm f/1.4 that so many people enthuse over and the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2. I might use the Loxia for landscape photography on a tripod if the focal length was right. But when I walk out the door to see what's out there, I find myself putting on the Sonnar.

It is small, light, and unobtrusive. The image quality is "good enough" for 90%+ of what I do.

"The [Zeiss] Milvus 35/1.4 seems to be the 35mm lens everyone wanted from Zeiss all these years ... "

The new Nikon f/1.8 is quite nice although a touch bigger than I would like it to be. Price is reasonable as well. That said, I've never tried your Fuji and continue to hear great things about it. I would probably give up a stop and go for the f/2 but I need to test them both before I decide. Someday perhaps but meanwhile I make do with my 35 mm f/1.4 which, despite its quirks, is wonderful.

i have used the zeiss, nikkor 35mm 2.8 and the samyang 35 mm 1.4. I found the zeiss to be the most pleasing though the nikkor was the easiest to use. The samyang is very good but is MF and is difficult to focus through modern viewfinders. The nikkor DX 35mm 1.8 is very good bang for the buck too.

Absolutely not an expert, but I do like my Sony 35 F/1.4 A-mount. A few times I have really dislike its flare handling. But I am never disappointed of it colours. I find the colours deep? And not exactly real?, but more important to me, is I find the colours interesting. It’s small 55mm 510 gram, compared to new lenses and it’s sharp enough for me.

A photo taken a couple month ago.

It’s one of those lenses, that often doesn’t test very well, but when you read the users reviews, you find a lot love for this old lens (probably conformation bias… but colors)
Link to dyxum lens db http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Sony-AF-35mm-F1.4-G_lens304.html

[That's the old Minolta lens that Sony inherited when it took over the K-M cameras. And it's still available new!


I was interested in that lens several times but it was always very expensive (still is). --Mike]

The Fujinon 23mm f/2 on my X100T. I love it so much, I have a copy of the Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 R for my XP2. There will be a lot of x100* users out there wanting to post! C'mon guys, post!

Hands down, the Fuji 23/f2. Even better that the f1.4, and lighter.

I've always been partial to the 35mm on the Hexar AF I used to use. So much so I also have the Hexar in M mount that I used to use on my Hexar RF. I don't use film much these days and the Fuji 23mm F2 on the X100F is working well for me. Maybe someday I'll part ways with a lot of gear and spring for a Leica M10 and get back to that Hexar.

My vote goes to the Zeiss Loxia on any Sony full-frame Alpha body. The images are subtle and beautiful (especially on the A7R2,) with the characteristic Zeiss "3D look." It's also a very satisfying lens for us old-school shooters - all metal and glass with a nice heft, but not too large. Added bonus: it's manual focus!

Nothing touches the "look" of my long gone first Nikon 35/f2 from about 1971. I still go back to look at images made with that. Today it is the Fuji 23mm f/2. As much for its size as anything though.

For me the Panasonic 20/1.7 for Micro Four Thirds. Historically the 1975 Leitz 35mm Summicron, but I haven't had that in decades. I've got the Nikon AIS 35/1.8 (from 1981 I believe) and it's just okay. Haven't used any of the modern exotics.

(Yes, I know the 20 isn't exactly 35mm FOV. I already had this when the Oly 17mm came out, and I've only used that a little bit for video, so no strong opinions on it, but it generally gets good press.)

It's amusing to see the maker of the Zeiss Super-Q Gigantar 40mm f/0.33 finally playing in the high-speed lens world.

("Q" probably stood for "quatsch", which basically means "nonsense"; this lens was made for an advertisement trying to counter Zeiss' reputation at the time for making rather slow lenses by making the point that anybody could make a very fast lens if the optical quality didn't matter. I heard at the time that it consisted of some enlarging condensers in a one-off custom-built mount.)

Summicron M f 2.0.

The Sony Zeiss 35/2.8 FE. Never much liked the focal length until I bought this lens, back when there were only 2 FE prime lenses. Initially I liked the 55 better but gradually I realised that the sharpness and contrast made for harsh images and the 35 just made images that I preferred. I then stared to really enjoy the angle of view and it became a lens I used almost exclusively on my A7r.

35mm/F:2.8 PC Nikkor (multicoated). Nothing really comes close.

The 23/1.4 Fujinon is a dandy. Stuff just looks delicious when shot with that lens. I also very much like the 23/2 Fujinon WR. That lens is a beauty as well--it's permanently attached to one of my X-Pro1 bodies where it is a perfect match by not interfering with the optical viewfinder. Like others, I admit to a fondness for the 23mm on my Fuji X100S. Fuji really hit three home runs with all these great lenses.

Finally, I have to say how much I really liked the little 35mm Summicron M I used when I shot with film Leicas. I owned two of these little Canadian-made beauties over a period of years, both outstanding.

I've become quite a fan of the Olympus 17/1.8. It's the first prime lens with this field of view that I ever used -- normally, I'm a short telephoto guy.

So I was kind of surprised that I enjoy using it so much. Maybe it shakes me out of my comfort zone a little. I'm very tempted to pick up a Pen F or a GX-85 and dedicate it to this lens.

For me it's the Olympus f1.7/17mm - but at least half of my preference for this lens is that the whole package with the in-body stabilisation in the OM-D EM-5 is pleasant to use and pretty near my sweet spot. The lens itself performs without flaws, and the bokeh is really nice.

I'm appreciating the oddball length 31 limited on my K1 more and more, along with it's cohorts, the 43 and 77. It's like Pentax thought they'd build in extra cropping room to the more classic 35, 50, 85 set. No big desire for a 35 at this point.

I have the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8 which I think is excellent but like a lot of modern kit it's biggest problem is it's just excellent.

I also have the Olympus 17mm f1.8 which I like but I wouldn't say it's that good a lens in modern terms, it's nicely built though with end stops and markings.

For candidates for favorite I'll go back a bit to the Minolta Rokkor 35mm f2.8 and f1.8 and the Voigtlander color Skopar 35mm f2.5.

I was interested in that lens several times but it was always very expensive (still is). --Mike]

I kind of agree, I bought mine used, for less than half the price for a new one. I think I got a good deal, but it was still expensive for me.

I don't know which one is the best, but the Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R is excellent. The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art is excellent too. I use both of them for weddings and other events.

I was never happy with the Nikon 35mm lenses for film SLRs that I had over several years. Something just wasn't right with them. That prodded me to buy a Leica M6 with a Summicron 35mm lens. It fulfilled all my expectations, and then some.

While I have the 1.4 versions of Fujis 23 and 35mm lenses, the "Fujicron" f2s really hit the mark for my daily carry. The X-Pro2 with the 23, 35 & 50mm f2 is an amazingly small package as a kit. The 23mm f2 is quite sweet, only missing the manual pull feature of the f1.4, but I find the 50mm f2 on my camera more often than I thought I would. These lenses, combined with any of the current Fuji bodies, make a kit that hits all the sweet spots for me. I don't see me changing for a long time. Digital has finally reached the point of long term usage for me.

My favourite 35mm lens is the one on my Nikon 35Ti compact film camera. Because it's attached to my Nikon 35Ti compact film camera. Also, it is a lovely lens in its own right.

The Olympus 17/1.8 is the 35mm eq I use on an OM-5.2.

Small, bright and smooth and with the electronic shutter a silent package.

Very reminiscent of my wife's silver Miata, except for the exhaust note.

OM Zuiko 35/2.8 lens. It's my "dying gasp" lens.

Double hands down for the 35mm lens attached to my Sony RX1Rii. Really - it's the best!

I have a Canon FD 35 something or the other that I liked way back when. Today I am firmly in the Fuji camp and have to say the Fujifilm XF23mm f/1.4 is now my favorite. I use it & the XF 35mm f1.4 quite often on both the Xt-1 and X-pro1 bodies.

The Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35mm F2.5 C LTM. The smallest (and only 35mm) lens I own with which I took this picture:


I don't really like this length much but I'll agree with Hugh on the 127mm Ektar.

The Canon FD 35/2 "Chrome Nose" was nice too.

Now can we talk about important - 50mm on 35mm film that is - lenses? :D

To me, by some margin, the manual focus Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 for M4/3. I also have the Leica summicron M f2.0 and the Olympus 17mm f1.8, but the cinematic rendering of the Voigtlander is seductive. Closing it down, its sharpness becomes outstanding. My most used lens, and for different subjects.








The best 35mm lens ... is a 40mm? Maybe 45. I dunno, always thought 35 was too wide and 50 too narrow. Or maybe 35 was too narrow for a wide angle, and 28/40-something was a better combination.

The best 35mm lens I ever used was in an Olympus XA. Lord, I wish I could use that thing all day long, every day. So sweet, and tiny! 35mm and 2.8, a bit of vingnetting wide open, which I liked, and odd specular highlights, which really didn't bother me. A charming lens, and a perfect focal length for me.

Today I use the Panasonic 20mm/1.7, despite having other options around. It's just the right length for almost everything I do. Sure it's not as wide as a true 35mm, but thanks to the 4:3 ratio, it's every bit as tall. Another sweet, unassuming lens. It just draws really nicely. Every once in a while, I'll get harder textured bokeh than I'd like, but it really shines for half-body portraits wide open. Nice detail at the point of focus, and a soft lightness in the background. When I shoot square, it has the exact same field of view as a classic 80mm lens on a medium format TLR. So much fun to do that with a waist level finder - a tilt screen on a Gx7 :)

I own a 35/1.4 Nikkor, pre-AI, and don't use it much. I learned that there have been several revisions, and I think they tweaked it for different uses over the years. Did you know they still make them, and sell new ones for a pretty penny? Mine's a beat up PJ lens, with a dented metal hood. Bigger than I'd like to carry, and heavy too. Not a patch on the modern 35/1.4's for weight and size. It's cool and all, there's nothing quite like the focus falloff on that kind of fast wide lens, but I don't use it enough to get a real feel for it. I wish I could say something intelligent about it's bokeh, for instance, but since it doesn't sit on my "daily driver", I just don't know enough to comment. My hunch is that it's really nice for certain kinds of pictures, but beyond that...?

As strange as it might sound I could not get on with Leica Summicron 2.0/35 that I purchased new couple of years ago. Hated the hood and its square plastic cover that kept falling off, so I practically did not use it. Finally sold it and purchased a silver Biogon ZM 2.8/35 with its elegant metal bayonet fit lens hood. Incredible image quality and pleasure to use.

The FA31 Limited. Mounted on my K5 it makes me happy. A beautiful lens & it's built of cast iron.

Of course the DA21 Limited should get a mention. Sharp, unobtrusive, light. Wonderful for Street.

Leica's 35mm summicron-M, the unpopular (among Leica nerds) gen4 aspherical model. Tiny, perfect. I am primarily a 50mm shooter but when I put this on my camera I get addicted to it for weeks on end.

Fujinon 23/1.4, hands down. I have the 23/2 as well, faster focusing, smaller, lighter, just not as good optically. The 23/2 in the X100 is also excellent and very flexible. The Olympus 17/1.8 is good on m43, just not in the same league as the Fuji lenses.

Another vote for the Sigma 35/1.4 Art.
I'm not a big user of that focal length, but the Sigma gives pleasing results and feels solid in use.

My current favourite is the Panasonic-Leica 15mm f1.7. Its a bit short of 35mm equivalent -even in the 16x9 or square formats I use a lot- but still versatile. I really like the images it produces, but what makes is special for me is how it fits on the GX7 it lives on. The combination just feels (and looks) right.

35mm was always my favorite lens, and back in the day, the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 for Contax/Yashica was "it". I worked with and owned Nikon equipment for years before going to Contax, and I always had problems with all the Nikon 35mm's, and I tried them all, trying to look for a sharp one! When I converted and used this, I was "home". (I always thought the best Nikon wide, bar none, was the 28mm f/3.5, and used to own a mint copy for years; except it wasn't 35mm).

Now? I like my 17mm f/1.8 Olympus just fine...but digital just doesn't control the same "love" as the film days.

Olympus 17mm f1.8. It has very tolerant draw, allowing for goid street captures with good, coherent rendering even at wider apertures. It is also small and fast to use.

The one in the classic Hexar all-in-one camera. Their M-mount 35 was pretty good too.

The Nikon 35/2.

With my digital cameras I never bonded with a particular 35 or 35-equivalent. I really like what the Olympus 12mm (around 24-e) lenses do in 4/3rds though. Although they ought to seem much wider, something about the image format makes it look more normal.

Fuji x100 23mm f2. Really stellar quality and it's a great walk around package becasue the camera is so portable (slips in a pocket).

It also fits in nicely for me as part of a 2 body system with the xPro2

Lumix 20mm 1.7 for micro four thirds.

My Pany/Leica 15/1.7 lens (I know that is a 30mm field of view) really lives on my Pany GX8. Glorious.

Another vote for Fuji's 23 f/1.4. I think it is the best all-rounder they make, and spectacular for scenery, street and 'loose' portraits.

However, I was always more of a fan of a 28mm FOV because I could crop more freely. Fujirumours reckon a new 28 mk2 is on the cards, in which case I will be very happy.

The existing 18mm has lovely contrast, but the CA in the corners is a bit alarming, and its edge sharpness is nothing spectacular. However, it is small - almost a pancake.

I hope the new version keeps the good parts.

I enjoy the Nikon 35mm 1.8G on my D750. I've read nice reviews of the 35mm 1.4G but it's out of my price range, and I find myself feeling grateful for the line of 1.8G primes that fit my budget and the D750 so nicely, a good price/performance spot for me. But likely middle of the road for this blog post.

My first 35mm was a Canadian made Summicron on on an M2. It got stolen around '85 and I always preferred that Canadian lens to the more modern Summicron I replaced it with.
The 35mm f2 on the Hexar AF was equally splendid, albeit with a bit of barrel distortion.
The old Canon 35mm f2 EF seemed quite excellent when I used it, but I was never much of an SLR guy.
I really like the 35mm focal length, that's for sure...

To David Dyer-Bennet: Actually, the Panasonic 20mm on m4/3 matches the 35mm focal length almost exactly - in the vertical direction. You get 35mm FOV and perspective, just with the sides of the frame chopped off. The 20mm was my main lens in m4/3 days.

Ummm...(admittedly failing)memory recalls that the little Leitz/Minolta 40 f 2 was sharp and tiny and played well with the CL model from some years ago. Yup -- shoulda kept them both--exquisite Kodachrome and Tri x results but in addition a very satisfying form factor and a pleasure to handle.

My favorite wide angle of all time was the 38mm Zeiss Biogon on the Hasselblad Superwide, Mine was the T* version on the last Suoerwide (903) But of course it is wider on 2 1/4 and only a film lens.
Also for film, when I shot Nikon was the wonderful 35mm f/2.0.
I shoot FF Canon now and have been very happy with the 35mm f/1.4, (although the Mk II version is supposed to be better in every way, as pointed out in the Roger Cicala post you referenced)
But to my pleasant surprise , the new Canon 16-35 f/4 is astonishingly good at all focal lengths. Everything looks crisply and correctly drawn. My new favorite lens for the 5D mk II.

Since Hugh got to talk about large format and I also have a Crown Graphic with the 127mm Ektar which IS wonderful as is the 10 inch Wide field Ektar ( for 8x10 a 35mm equivalent.
But the most astonishing Large format lenses I own and have used are the late vintage multicoated Super Symmars --I have the 110mm and 150mm, both cover 8x10 (at least for interior architectural work- you might lose corners with the 110 at infinity)

When I use that angle of view, the Nikkor 35mm 1.8 G gets on. It is one of the new f1.8 primes Nikon has released to replace the film era "D" primes. It is reasonable in size, weight and cost, and delivers without fuss.


I have agree with Darlene and Gordon. I now have three 35mm lenses: 23 F1.4, 23 F2.0 and the X100F. I love them all but use the F1.4 the least. The lens on the X100 series cameras is amazing. If someone were looking at buying a Fuji interchangeable lens camera, I would definitely not over look the 23 F2.0. It's a really great lens. Lately all I use on my X Pro2 are the new 2.0 lenses. They are all fantastic.

I'll throw in my favorite, the Pentax 35mm f/2.8 macro. Loved it's color rendition, sharpness and clarity. Sadly, it could not be used as a true 35mm as it only covered aps-c


Soligor 35mm f2.8 M42 (Spotmatic 500)
Nikon 35mm f2.8 (Nikon F)
Nikon 35mm f2.0 (Nikon F2)
Zuiko 35mm f2.8 (OM1/2)
Pentax Super Takumar 35mm f2.0 (first version, 1963-1967, large lens) Pentax ESII
Leica 35mm Summicron IV (M4/6)
Leica 35mm f2.0 aspherical (M4/6)
Sony/Zeiss 24mm f1.8 (Nex7, A6***)

Over the years I have made many of my finest images with these lenses. I still have all of them, but if I had to keep one, it would be the Pentax Super Takumar 35mm f2.0 (first version), not only because it has a wonderful image 'quality', but I would never be able to find another good one!

My favorite 35mm equivalent lens is the fixed Carl Zeiss T* Tessar lens on my Yashica T4 Super compact film camera. Gorgeous lens in a very light package. I have never really found a true digital counterpart, but I guess the Fujifilm X100 series comes the closest.

By far, my favorite lens I've ever used in any focal length is the 35mm f/2 Zeiss on the Sony RX-1. I've even come to like the camera it's attached to although I sometimes wish it had IBIS.

The other 35mm lens that I've really enjoyed is the Minolta 35/1.4 AF lens. Wide open it's pretty funky (which I sometimes like), but at mid apertures, it's really wonderful.

I rented an A7rII with the 35/1.4 FE lens. I liked using this combination, but the lens doesn't balance on the camera very well and it was the most unpleasant thing to carry on my shoulder of anything I've tried (the lens causes the camera body to hang at an angle that left me with a bruise on my hip). I was a little surprised to find the A7rII with the FE 35/1.4 weighed almost exactly the same as the old Minolta 35/1.4 on the A99 and was a lot closer in performance than I was expecting.

A favourite? The olde 2.8 Contax Distagon. Just a reminder that there was a time when Zeiss could design slr lenses that were not just optically good but also had perfect size & weight.
Today the curious idea has taken hold in Oberkochen that all canikonistas want are lenses from the category big & bigger. Not so, Carl!
A newly designed Zeiss 35mm, with Contax form factor, a Milvus Streetwalker, now that would be something…

The Zeiss 35/2 (ZF/ZE, Classic or Milvus) is outstanding. I could be happy with just that lens on a D700.

+1 for the Fujifilm 23mm f1.4

Jeff Kott +1. The RX1 lens is amazing, but is it really a lens when it cannot work with any other camera? I would say NO, because it's laid almost on top of the film plane. The sensor position is as much a part of the design as anything else.

Orthogonal usage alert!

I just finished taking the glass out of an old T-mount Weltblick 35/3.5 lens. I've been playing with images taken with larger than pinhole glassless "lenses". The results are very different than one might expect, which I discovered quite by accident while installing a pinhole in a lens cap.

My first experiment was with an Industar-50-2. As I had guessed, the front and rear glass modules easily unscrewed, leaving me with just the diaphragm, an adjustable "larger-than-pinhole", with opening range of ~12 to 2.5-3 mm.

Calculation showed that a 35 mm lens that closes down to f22 should have a minimum opening of about 1.6 mm. It was harder to get the glass out, but with a stop screw removed, the aperture mechanism can close smaller than the f22 setting, sub mm, I think. It gets asymmetric as it gets smaller, though. If I'm a good boy, stop nattering online, do a couple of chores, and the sun comes out, I may get to play with it this afternoon.

(Nice segue around the questions? I never much liked 35 mm on FF film. More a 28 mm guy on film, and zoom starting @ 24 mm -eq nowadays, when I'm not in tele and macro land.)

Well there's the now famous Sigma 35/1.4, which always got the job done for me, but never really excited me. Too clean? Too big? Hard to say. A lens I've always like shooting is the Zeiss ZM 35/2 Biogon, a bit soft wide open but offers that Zeiss pop on other apertures and comes with interesting bokeh.

I also like the imaging qualities of the Nikkor 35/1.4 AI-S, though it doesn't offer quite the large aperture crisp current designs do. The Sony 35/2.8 is growing on me, it can produce annoying effects or very nice images depending on subject.

I'm don't really use this focal length much, I'm more used to 50mm(equiv). However, since acquiring an Olympus 17mm f1.8 for my Panasonic GH4, I'm going to fix it to the front and give it a reasonable go.

It might have to fight with the Olympus 12mm f2 that I've just bought - a very temporary price drop of £100 on Amazon was too good to pass up.

On using it I find the rendering, particularly the contrast, lovely. It also has a manual focus clutch feature that probably won't get used that much.

I've had a few over the years I really liked.

4. The Contax/Yashica Zeiss f2.8 35mm. Good sharpness and relatively inexpensive for its day.
3. Minolta MC Rokkor-X 35mm f1.8. Big and heavy, but coupled with Kodachrome, it turned out some really tremendous colors, sharpness and contrast.
2. (Tie) Sony Zeiss E f1.8 24mm and Sony Zeiss FE f2.8 ZA. Both great walkabout lenses.
1. Zeiss Loxia f2 35mm. Kind of a throwback operatioanally, but the resilts are worth the effort.
I have to give honorable mention to the Konica Hexar. Its 35mm f2 lens was the equal of any other lens I ever shot, and the camera was smooth, quiet, and light weight. Even had a "Silent mode" that truly was silent. Alas, the
lens and body were one, so I couldn't keep the lens when it was time to move on....

Without a doubt the Zeiss 35mm f/2 for M mount. I use it on my lowly Leica M2. For too brief a time I used it with Kodachrome. It also lovely with Tri-X. My second favourite is the old Nikon 35mm f/1.4 with the yellowish glass element (because of some radioactive coating. It's wonderful for B&W. The thing is massive though. I bet it weighs more on its own than the Olympus OM-D EM-5 and 17mm f/1.7 combo.

The Sigma 35 1.4 might as well have been glued to my Nikon when i had it, loved the results but it was a bit of a cow to handle. The 23 Fuji on my X100 and X100s was wonderful, I'm trying to decide between the 23 1.4 and 23 2 for the XT1.

That Nikon 35 f/2 AF was a great lens that I never realized until it was sold and missed it. Funny how that works...

Without a doubt, my favorite is the 35mm 2,0 that is permanently stuck on the front of a Konica Hexar AF.
There is just something special about the way that lens draws a picture.
It almost, only almost, makes me want to shoot film again!

[I once tried to start a "Konica Hexar Club" on CompuServe. [g] --Mike]

I had a 35mm f3.4 Skoparex for an ancient Zeiss Icarex. I have no doubt it's the worst performing lens mentioned on this thread but I liked the look it gave me my shots.

As for modern lenses, I'm perfectly happy with the EOS 35mm f2. It's cheap as chips and performs well enough.

Please excuse the grouch but, what is this obsession with bokeh and shooting wide-open? How many of the world's best photos fall under this category?

I'm not a fan or user of 35mm lenses. I'm a 28mm/40mm kind of guy.

The Fuji 23/1.4 is superb and one of the best lenses I've used, optically speaking. As superb as it is, I find I don't use it much. I also have the new Fuji 23/2 WR, and I like that lens better because it is more compact and lighter than the 23/1.4, but it has a contrastier look that works in well in many, but not all circumstances.

The 35mm FOV lens that is my favorite, though, is the 23mm f/2 on my Fuji X100F; the combination of that lens and the 24 megapixel sensor on the F model is just magical.

Let me be another to vote for the MC W.Rokkor f/2.8. It worked as a 52.5mm on my NEXs and now sits properly as a sharp 35mm on the A7. A keeper.

The Zeiss Biogon 2/35mm ZM: insanely sharp and "surgical" on my Leica Monochrom (CCD). Second best, the Leica Summicron 35mm pre-asph: smoothly 3D-esque and elegant rendering, to say so.

The lens that came with my Sony Rx1.

The Auto Takumar 35mm f3.5 is indeed a little gem; the 35mm f2.3 a slightly larger and more interesting one.

I'm very fond of my old Nikkor 35mm/2 O-C. For a time, it was practically glued to a F3 loaded with BW film, while I used my F90 with slide film and zooms. That combination was about the only time shooting BW and color film simultaniously worked for me.

I had every intention to like the AF 35mm/2, but it never really 'spoke' to me and I used the Sigma AF 28mm/1.8 instead. It became my 'normal' lens with the transition to digital and when the D700 arrived I replaced it with a Nikkor AF 28mm/1.4D. The 28mm/1.4 became my go-to wide angle lens since then.

The AF-S 35mm/1.4G got a nice rendering, but its too bulky and the AF is just slow enough to annoy me regularly. For about a year now it sits in its box waiting to get sold (its really hard to part with a good lens).

I'm still fond of the old Nikon 35/1.4 AI-S lens, at least on a Nikon 35mm body. Everyone knows about the (in)famous coma wide open but otherwise it's a lens that draws beautifully. Can't say I fell in love with the Leica 35 Summicron.

Pentax Fa 43 1.9.
A longish 35, [has the structure of a 35 mm lens]

Zeiss ZM Biogon 35mm F2. Incredible snap and easily out-resolved 3 copies of the 35 Summicron 35mm ASPH in my own personal tests. (And no focus shift)

I also have a great copy of the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 LTM - but the .9M close focus makes things difficult.

I'm a bit late for this party, but I see nobody has mentioned the modern-but-classic Voigtlander Ultron 35 1.7. (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1182782-REG/voigtlander_ba327b_vm_35mm_f_1_7_ultron.html) It has a Leica M mount, but of course can be adapted, at least to Sony E. When adapted it is not quite perfect out of the box (it can be modified with a front-filter); the thick Sony sensor glass causes field curvature, so corners can be a bit tricky sometimes. Nevertheless, it has been one of my most used lenses over the last year. It can have a Zeissy brilliance and pop, but it has a smooth (and as Mike has been saying this week) coherent bokeh that is among the most pleasing of my lenses. I use it as both a bokeh lens and a brilliant sharp lens, and it has a range of character in between.



in between:

Oh, and sharp wide open, so good at night:

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