Canon has announced the EF 35mm F1.4L II USM, the second generation of its popular wide-angle prime. It uses newly-designed Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, which claim to correct chromatic aberration better than any other existing technology.

The 35mm F1.4L II includes a total of 14 elements, two of which are aspherical and the other being 'Super UD'. It offers 9 aperture blades for pleasing bokeh (and gorgeous 18-ray sunbursts, we hope) and a minimum focusing distance of 0.28m/11in. It also claims to be more durable than its predecessor, with dust and water-resistant construction. The Mark II is considerably heavier, though, weighing in at 180g/6.3oz, or 31% more than the original model.

The Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM will be available in October for $1,799. 

The 35mm F1.4L II is Canon's first lens to use its Blue Spectrum Refractive optical element (officially called BR Optics). This element does just exactly what it sounds like - it refracts shorter (blue) wavelengths of light that are particularly difficult for current optics to converge to a single plane, which traditionally results in longitudinal chromatic aberration that manifests itself as fringing. The BR optical element, which is made of organic material rather than glass, is sandwiched between two traditional elements to create a BR lens.

Update: Canon has published an MTF chart and some official sample images from the EF 35mm F1.4L II. Take a look at some samples in the gallery above and visit Canon UK for more. You can see Canon's published MTF charts below for the EF 35mm F1.4L II and its predecessor.


CANON U.S.A. INTRODUCES NEW CANON EF 35MM F/1.4L II USM LENS

New L-Series Lens is First to Feature Canon's Proprietary Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics – That Achieves a Higher Level of Chromatic Aberration Correction For Superb Image Quality 

MELVILLE, N.Y., August 27, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens for EOS system cameras – a wide-angle fixed-focal-length Canon EF lens that is the world's first* to utilize the Company's newly-developed and exclusive Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics). This new optical technology utilizes organic material newly developed by Canon to achieve a higher level of chromatic aberration correction than other existing technologies resulting in outstanding high-quality imaging performance. 

“As the world leader in production of interchangeable lenses, having produced over 110 million EF lenses since 1987, it is with great excitement that we now introduce a revolutionary new technology to add to Canon's unequaled optical heritage when it comes to chromatic aberration correction,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO of Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We continually strive to achieve the ideal lens performance, which has driven the development of Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, found in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens. This technology is yet another 'first' in optical design introduced by Canon to enhance the performance of our lenses for our customers.”  

Canon's proprietary Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics) incorporate a new organic optical material with unique anomalous dispersion characteristics for use in camera lenses. The molecular design of BR Optics refracts blue light (short wavelength spectrum) to a greater degree than other existing optical technologies including UD glass, Super UD glass and Fluorite, to control color fringing as effectively as possible. When placed between convex and concave lens elements made from conventional optical glass materials, BR Optics help to produce sharp images with outstanding contrast and color fidelity by thoroughly reducing axial chromatic aberration. 

In addition to BR Optics, the new lens incorporates two aspherical elements and one UD glass element in a 14 element, 11 group optical formula. The EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens also features Canon's proprietary Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating (SWC), applied to the rear surface of the first and second aspheric lens elements to help combat flare and ghosting caused by light rays entering the lens at a large angle of incidence. The lens also offers best in class minimum focusing distance at 0.28m (approximately 11 inches) resulting in an increased maximum magnification of 0.21x - ideal for capturing close-up subjects. Autofocusing is swift and virtually silent due to a rear-focus optical system and Canon's original Ring USM focusing motor. Full-time mechanical manual focusing is also available even when the lens is set to AF mode.  

The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens features improved durability over its predecessor. As with all L-series lenses, this new lens is highly resistant to dust and water ─ making it ideal for outdoor photography, even in harsh conditions. The high-grade design of the lens provides users with a substantial and luxurious feel, as well as optimal operability.  In addition, a fluorine coating on the front and rear lens surfaces helps to repel liquids and dust particles, and makes the lens easier to clean. 

Pricing and Availability
The new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens is compatible with 72mm filters and will be supplied with Lens Hood EW-77B and Lens Pouch LP1219. It is scheduled to be available in October 2015, for an estimated retail price of $1,799.00. For more information including specifications and an MTF chart, please visit http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/lenses/ef_lens_lineup/lens_wide_pro.

CANON DEVELOPS NEW CAMERA-LENS OPTICAL ELEMENT THAT ENABLES EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS OF CHROMATIC ABERRATION CORRECTION

MELVILLE, N.Y, August 27, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., has developed Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR), a new optical element for use in camera lenses that corrects chromatic aberrations at an extremely high level to achieve superb imaging performance.

The new Canon-developed BR optical element offers characteristics that significantly refract blue light, which lies within the short-wavelength range, to achieve impressive levels of chromatic aberration correction for outstanding imaging performance. The BR optical element, positioned between two glass lens elements to create a BR lens, will make its debut in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM wide-angle fixed-focal-length lens, which is scheduled to go on sale in October 2015.

Natural light, or white light, comprises a spectrum of wavelengths, or colors, each of which realizes a unique refractive index when passing through a lens. As all colors do not converge on the same point, this disparity causes chromatic aberrations, or color fringing, to occur in an image.

Canon develops optical elements by reviewing organic optical materials, beginning with the design of molecular structures, with the aim of achieving optimal chromatic aberration correction that suppresses color fringing. With the successful development of the BR optical element, which offers unique light-dispersion characteristics that significantly refract blue light—a wavelength that, until now, had proven particularly difficult to converge to a specific focal point—Canon is able to develop lenses that result in outstanding imaging performance by correcting chromatic aberrations at an exceptionally high level.

*As of August 27, 2015


Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM Specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length35 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountCanon EF
Aperture
Maximum apertureF1.4
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements14
Groups11
Special elements / coatingsBR (blue spectrum refractive optics), 2 aspherical, 1 Super UD elements + fluorine coating
Focus
Minimum focus0.28 m (11.02)
Maximum magnification0.21×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleYes
Physical
Weight760 g (1.68 lb)
Diameter80 mm (3.15)
Length106 mm (4.17)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Filter thread72 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo