Arizona Adventure / Lens Test

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM vs. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Josh and I had a chance to get away from the cold of Bend, Oregon and head to Scottsdale, Arizona for a few days. We didn’t take photos the whole time, since we were trying to get some rest as a recovery from this past season. We did take a few to document our adventure. Plus, we got to take some amazing engagement photos of one our amazing 2019 couples! You can see some behind the scenes photos here. Also, we took some time to do a lens test to see if we will be adding a new little lens to our family. I’m not sure I came to a conclusive decision yet, but it was fun to do a test I can go back to before a I make another huge investment in our gear. All photos taken on the Canon Mark 5D 1V.

I love this fine art cactus photo! I wish had a place to hang it as 6 foot tall print.

I love finding old treasures like these amazing windows hidden behind a parking garage!

Cactus and palm trees… the perfect elements to make a weekend retreat relaxing.

So, this is what we do when arrive early to an engagement session. Yes, it’s my husband taking a photo of me, taking a photo him 🙂

He just can’t resist the classic Zoolander pose!

Why do I look like I’m dancing?? See there full session here:

Lens test!

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM vs. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

(Rented lens 35mm vs. lens we have owned for years- 16-35mm.)

I’ve been thinking of adding this 1.4 35mm to our kit for years. I finally got a chance to test it and thought it would be the perfect chance to really compare and see if there is a huge difference between these two lenses, or just the added bonus of a few extra stops (this may be the huge difference).

Obvious difference: the 16-35mm can capture a wider image of the scene. If you need the extra architecture in the frame then having the ability to go wide is a huge benefit of this lens.

Here’s where we get technical…

The images below are a great comparison of the images the camera takes.

Below you will see a group of 4 images. The top 2 images are raw. The bottom two are the edited comparison of the top two images.

The image on the left was taken with the 16-35mm at the 35mm length at an f/2.8, while the one on the right was taken with the 35mm prime lens at f/1.4. The images were taken at ISO 100 at 1/320 sec shutter mid day in open shade.

The image above was taken with the 35mm prime lens. Shutter 1/320, f/1.4, ISO 100.

The 4 images below were taken with shutter 1/320, f/2.8, ISO 100. The images on the left were taken with the 16-35mm and the images on the right were taken with the 35mm prime. Editing settings are the same for all images below.

The image below was taken with the 35mm prime lens. Shutter 1/500, f/1.4, ISO 100.

So there you go. Both lenses are great and provide a good amount of detail.

Pros of 35mm: less distortion, more contrast, better bokeh and separation from the background. Main benefit of the lens is the extra 2 stops of light which is big if you are shooting in low light.

Pros of 16-35mm: Captures wider frame.

Here’s what we do on vacation! This shoe photo is kind of classic for us. When we first started dating we took a photo of our feet at the fair on one of those foot massager things. So we thought we’d do that again 10 years later on our hike.

Thought I’d start sketching again. Can you see why I chose photography over actual art??


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