What's the difference between the Canon EF 35mm f/2 lens that was available in 2008, and the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens now available, apart from the £200 extra price difference?
The lenses are two totally different designs for the Canon EOS EF mount that have the same focal length and maximum aperture. They share little else in common.
EF 35mm f/2:
- Introduced in 1990 shortly after the introduction of the EOS system in 1987.
- 7 lens elements in 5 groups.
- 5 blade aperture diaphragm.
- 0.25 meter minimum focusing distance with 0.23X maximum magnification
- 67.4mm wide x 42.5mm long weighing 210 grams.
- Arc form micro-AF motor with no full-time manual focus. (Turning the MF ring while the lens is set to AF can damage the AF motor or gearing)
- Fewer internal lens surfaces have anti-reflective coatings.
EF 35mm f/2 IS USM:
- Introduced in 2012, 22 years after the EF 35mm f/2.
- 10 lens elements in 8 groups including a glass mold aspherical lens that effectively corrects for various aberrations, including curvature of field, making possible higher image quality than its predecessor.
- 8 blade circular aperture diaphragm.
- 0.24mm MFD with a 0.24X MM.
- 77.9mm wide x 62.6mm long weighing 335 grams.
- Ring type Ultrasonic Motor AF with full-time manual focus.
- Multi coatings on most internal lens elements to reduce flare and ghosting.
- Image Stabilization rated at four stops.
The newer EF 35mm f/2 IS USM is a modern lens design created for use with digital cameras. The EF 35mm f/2 was a film era lens that, while a good value and performer for its time, shows its age a bit when used with digital cameras and held up to the higher level of scrutiny expected by most photographers today.