For the last several months, I’ve been a 35mm focal length kick. I’ve always loved the 50mm and the 28mm lens too. I’ve even dabbled in the 24mm zone as well.
I’ve enjoyed the 40mm pancake lens for my EOS System, but shooting manual film cameras lately, I’ve never given the 35mm lens a chance.
Last year I picked up a Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35mm f3.5 lens and now I think I found the focal length I’ve been missing. So I found a couple of more lenses for my other cameras systems.
Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 35mm f3.5 M42
This was my first one and this is a great lens. All metal construction with a very comfortable knurled focus ring. It’s very smooth and has a comfortable focus throw. At f3.5 it’s a bit slow and dark in the viewfinder. Now mounted to a mirrorless camera, darkness is not really an issue.
I like how compact this lens is. I mount my lens to a Pentax Spotmatic F, which is not a small camera. This lens works very well on this. Where this lens gets into trouble in regards to handling, is the aperture ring is very narrow and sits close to the camera body. It’s not too bad when mounted onto a lens adapter for a mirrorless camera.
Besides, nice handling, image quality is quite good and it handles lens flare beautifully. This lens is a champ.
Below are some sample images taken with a Sony A7II and the FujifilmX-T1.
Canon FL 35mm f2.5
I like this lens. It’s a pleasure to use. There are some quirks to this lens, but once you get the hang of it, all is good.
If using this lens on a Canon FD camera like the AE-1, A1, or even a T90, you have to use stop-down metering if you plan on in-camera metering. It’s a hassle, I know, but it works well.
This particular FL lens has trouble fitting into a mirrorless adapter unless you remove the aperture engagement pin. You can read more on that here.
There is a lot to like about this lens. It handles well, it takes great pictures and what more could you want.
Some pictures below.
Nikon Nikkor-S 35mm f2.8
The newest to me lens is proving to be quite a nice lens for my visual style. This is a non-Ai lens, but the person that owned it before me Ai’d it so it works well with my FM2n. My copy is in beautiful shape.
It’s not a very heavy lens, but still feels very well built. I really like the knurled focus ring, it’s very smooth and has a comfortable amount of focus throw. The aperture ring is nice and wide. It’s easy to click into place, but they don’t click into half stops, but the Pentax does anyway.
This is not the sharpest lens of this group, and it does has a fair amount of vignetting when wide open. Stop it down, and everything looks great. I like the character of this lens, I’ve only used it a little bit though. I like what I see.
Some pictures below.
I don’t think anybody could go wrong with any of these lenses. They all do a fine job mounted onto mirrorless cameras. I can’t believe that I’ve never paid attention to this focal length. I guess that’s what happens when you get stuck in ways.
Funny enough though, I’ve really liked the 40mm focal length of that Canon EF 40mm STM. I just picked up a Hexanon 40mm f1.8 and really like it.
However, the extra 5mm is really nice to have when walking around on the street. The Zeiss 35mm T* on the Yashica T-AF seems to work well for those point and shoot cameras.
I think 35mm is going to be my go-to focal length for street shooting. When shooting digital, I like the Nikkor over the Pentax and Canon FL lenses. I love the image quality of the Pentax, but it’s quite slow. The Canon FL is great to focus, but having to make sure that aperture switch is always in place is a bit of a hassle.
When shooting film, I won’t hesitate to grab any of these lenses, but choosing a camera may have become more difficult.