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The Best 35mm Lenses Any Photographer Should Own

I know this article’s title is the best 35mm lens. Still, this lens might also have many names, such as The full-frame lens, the all-purpose lens, the default lens for many photographers, the best lens for street photography, general-purpose photography, and so on.

Let’s move on to showing you the best 35mm lenses out there, and then we will talk a bit about why you would need a 35mm lens, what this lens is suitable for and how you can manipulate or use it in the best way possible.

A Quick Look at My Favorite 35mm Lenses

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
The Best Optical Performance
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN
10
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Bokeh at its Finest 
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
8.6
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The Most Compact Lens
Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM
Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM
8.5
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The Close-Up master
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8
8.8
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The Versatile and Fun Lens
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2
8.6
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Key Takeaways

  • The most crucial camera accessory is a lens since it improves the camera’s performance and the quality of a picture.
  • For every photographer who wants to produce stunning images, several lenses are a need.
  • The Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 is the lens to get if you’re looking for a close-up master.
  • Who wouldn’t desire a lens with such incredible performance and versatility as the Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2?
  • Since 35mm lenses are so adaptable and enhance the performance of your camera, there are numerous reasons why you should get one.

The Top 5 Best 35mm Lenses

5. Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN – Best for Optical Performance

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN

What I Like

  • Well built
  • Dust and splash protection
  • Quick autofocus
  • Full frame coverage for E and L cameras

What I Don’t Like

  • Focus breathing detracts from video

If you own a mirrorless camera and like third-party lenses, your choice would be Sigma! I am very familiar with this lens as it is one of the greatest ones I have used for years.

The main thing I love about this lens is the super-sharpness and the great photographs it brings to me, especially when I have my Sony camera in hand. It has a very easy-to-use aperture ring which allows full control.

Whenever I use this lens, I clearly notice that there is no ghosting or flare, and that’s because of its non-reflective pieces. Besides everything else, this lens has a great rounded bokeh effect.

Key Specifications

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • Elements: 15
  • Groups: 11
  • Blades: 11
  • Dimensions: 3 x 4.4 inches
  • Weight: 22.6 oz

Why should you buy it?

This lens is designed exclusively for use with mirrorless cameras and it delivers the best optical performance. Also, you will love its no-flare and no-ghosting feature!

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Sample Pictures of Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN


4. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G – Best for the Bokeh Effect 

Nikon AF S DX NIKKOR 35mm f1.8G 4

What I Like

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Bright aperture

What I Don’t Like

  • No optical stabilization
  • Some barrel distortion

Nikon for sure brings some of the greatest lenses out there, and the way they work with different cameras, especially the ones from Nikon itself, is breathtaking!

This lens is very lightweight and will definitely come with you wherever you go! The specialty of this lens is the vibrant colors it brings out of anything you will capture pictures of.

Something else that is worth mentioning is the part that, with this lens, you will be capturing the smallest details and the most important things about the subject.

Also, this lens is perfect in low-light conditions regardless of where you are and the lighting part. I use it without any problem regarding lighting. There is the bokeh effect which is not only good but it is really perfect!

Key Specifications

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture: f/1.8
  • Elements: 8
  • Groups: 6
  • Blades: 7
  • Dimensions: 2.76 x 2.07 inches
  • Weight: 7.05 oz

Why should you buy it?

It has this incredible low-light performance and it will deliver a bokeh at its finest. I am pretty sure that it will become on of your best friends that will accompany you during different types of photographs.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G


3. Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM – The Most Compact

Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM

What I Like

  • Amazing resolution
  • On-lens function button
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

What I Don’t Like

  • Some focus breathing

Whenever I travel somewhere, a lens accompanies me, and that is Sony FE 35mm F1.4 G! I love to travel, but mostly I love photography! That’s why I am saying that this lens is the one that comes with me.

Based on what I said above, you can easily notice why this lens is known as the compact one! There is extraordinary build quality which is also something to be proud of, as it includes very durable materials within.

The macro magnification of 1:2, which is found on this lens, will be one of the things that you will adore as it indicates the smallest details the subject might have.

Key Specifications

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • Elements: 14
  • Groups: 10
  • Blades: 11
  • Dimensions: 3 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 lb

Why should you buy it?

 This lens delivers excellent mobility and handling in the widest possible range of environments and shooting conditions. If you choose this lens you will be making a friend in case you are traveling and a perfect choice for photographs. 

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Sample Pictures of Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM


2. Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 – The Close-Up Master

Canon RF 35mm f1.8

What I Like

  • Bright aperture
  • Optical stabilization
  • Affordable
  • 1:2 macro reproduction

What I Don’t Like

  • Some barrel distortion

Personally, I love Canon as a brand in general, and if you are just like me, I am pretty sure that this lens will become your favorite, just as it is mine!

Regardless of where you are and where you may go, this lens from Canon is a great one when it comes to creativity in general. It is known as the lens that brings the art out of everything.

There are low lighting conditions in which this lens is a master, and most importantly, it loves to show details. Just as I listed it, you can clearly notice that it is a lens that is mostly used for close-up photography, as I use it for that.

I am very proud to say that with this lens, I have been able to capture some of the hots that I love most, and its perfect image stabilization has helped me record some of the greatest videos as well.

Key Specifications

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture: f/1.8
  • Elements: 11
  • Groups: 9
  • Blades: 9
  • Dimensions: 2.93 x 2.47 inches
  • Weight: 10.76 oz

Why should you buy it?

This lens leaves you with the possibility of capturing intricate details and texture in your subjects, and that’s why it makes it totally an option to be considered. This lens is also made for you that love close-up photography as it is a master regarding it!

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Sample Pictures of Canon RF 35mm f/1.8


1. Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 – Most Versatile

Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD M12

What I Like

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Amazing optics
  • Dust and splash protection

What I Don’t Like

  • Makes noise when focusing

Last but not least, here goes another great third-party lens that comes from Tamron as one of the leading brands when it comes to third-party lenses in general.

This lens is very versatile! Owning a great focal length and a great aperture, you will notice that you can use this lens whenever and however you want.

This lens’ BBAR (Broad-Band Anti Reflection) coating will help you capture sharp pictures without any reflection or flare, and it will help you capture in any condition.

Whenever I have to work with this lens, I say that it brings out the creative person in me, and it can also make a non-creative person fall in love with creativity.

Key Specifications

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Elements: 9
  • Groups: 8
  • Blades: 7
  • Dimensions: 2.87 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 7.4 oz

Why should you buy it?

This lens is the most versatile lens you can get since it can be used for many purposes all at once. I am pretty sure that it will help you capture different photographs regardless of what type of photography you work with.

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Sample Pictures of Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2


The Reasons Why You Need a 35mm Lens

5 Reasons you need a 35mm lens

Versatility

You should be well aware of the fact that you cannot use a 35mm lens in any kind of photography because that would be definitely unfair. However, interestingly enough, these types of lenses are very versatile! I love to use them differently, in many different manners, and I am pretty sure that you will love this feature as well. These lenses are indeed perfect for capturing landscape photographs, street photographs, and even portrait photography. 

Distance

35mm lenses are somehow known as the greatest lenses for those photographers who love to travel and love to capture pictures of the beauty of nature in many ways. These lenses will help you capture pictures, especially on landscapes, without any worry regarding the cropping that may be done. 

Bokeh

I love the bokeh effect and I really want to mention here that 35mm lenses offer the best out of it. Even though this effect is mostly used in portrait photography you should never stop yourself from choosing a lens with this effect within. If you decide to go for a 35mm prime lens over maybe a slower zoom lens, except for great bokeh, you also get the benefit of shallow depths of field.

Low-Light

35mm lenses are definitely the main ones when it comes to low lighting conditions! Whenever you are in a badly lighted surrounding, you can easily choose to use a 35mm lens as there are a lot of features that will help you. It helps a lot! The 35mm lens will make sure to solve that problem by capturing the best pictures even if the light is not that promising.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are 35mm lenses good?

35mm lenses are very good lenses that many photographers use. If you are a newbie in the field of photography, I would advise you to use one yourself as it will provide you with many things that a photographer needs.

In what type of photography is a 35mm lens mostly used?

Interestingly enough, you can amazingly use a 35mm lens in any kind of photography. Just because it has a great angle, it is a versatile lens you can use indoors and outdoors. Many wedding photographers mention the 35mm lens as the most amazing one for weddings.

Can I zoom on a 35mm lens?

When you directly search for a 35mm lens, you will notice that they are known as fixed or prime lenses, and you cannot really zoom with them. Still, if you want one with which you can zoom, you can choose zoom lenses that cover the range of 35mm. For example, 16-35mm and 24-70mm lenses cover it perfectly.


Final Words

I think that in the article above I mentioned everything that you needed to know, along with the reasons why they should be chosen and used.

Based on the lenses that I mentioned above, you can be more than sure that you won’t make any mistakes if you choose any of them. The versatility and the features that they offer will be some of the greatest things that they will provide you with!

I really hope that this article will be your biggest helper in choosing the best 35mm lens! 


Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read thus far, I strongly encourage you to do some further reading.

If you intend to build a collection of prime lenses with varying focal lengths, I have some good news for you. I also covered several other blogs, which feature the focal lengths you’ll need to hone and satisfy your photography skills.

Although the 50mm lens length is decent for portraits, the 85mm focal length outperforms it in this category. So, if you’re a portrait photographer, don’t hesitate to check out some excellent 85mm lenses.

Getting back to the 50mm lens again, the 50mm focal range is the most standardized focal range, meaning that is really versatile and it’s the closest thing that comes to the human eye. If you want your pictures to come as you view them don’t forget to check out those amazing 50mm lenses.

If you’re planning on getting personal and close to wildlife, that’s not a good idea. The same goes with sports, before you know the security will be right behind you.

Don’t worry though, I have a solution for that, and that’s none other than getting a telephoto lens.

For you sport and wildlife photographers, I have rounded up a list of great 150-600mm lenses.

Until next time, enjoy.

Michael Fortin