Best 35mm (f/1.4 and faster) as of 2018?

Started 6 months ago | Questions thread
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Stesinou Contributing Member • Posts: 723
Best 35mm (f/1.4 and faster) as of 2018?

Dear Fuji gurus, what is the current state of the community wisdom about which fast 35mm available in today (2018) market is most recommended? New, used, vintage on the adapter - no matter.

What I have in mind. In between 23/2 and 56/1.2, I see a good place for "classic all-purpose 50mm fast prime lens" which for Fuji X means 35mm. By "fast" I mean f/1.4 (which in terms of DOF is equiv. to f/2.1, hmm) or the faster the better. Requirements:

  • fast, good for very low light (think late evening in the pub)
  • acceptable sharp wide-open,
  • good-to-excellent picture quality with regard to bokeh and "magic"
  • AF is optional
  • weight up to 0.5kg is Ok, but more weight should have a solid justification by the image quality

Right now I am evaluating the following options, ordered by my personal bias:

  1. Fuji 35/1.4 (in MF mode if needed) - seems to be the winner all-around, esp. in "magic". No.1 my shortlist.
  2. Mitakon 35/0.95 - my second best favorite (if I am wrong, then why?). No.2.
  3. Samyang 35/1.2 ED AS UMC CS - I guess it is identical to Rokinon 35/1.2 ED AS UMC CS - has plenty of positive reviews but compared to Mitakon f/0.95 which one has the better picture? No.3. BTW Rokinon also has 35mm T1.3 lens exactly the same MSRP and all the specifications are identical (only weight differs by a few grams) so what's the difference?
  4. 7ARTISANS 35/1.2 - this one is cheap as hell and "you get what you paid for" but maybe a starting point for learning using MF in low light? No.4-5
  5. Neewer 35/1.2 - also cheap as hell, but not available yet, maybe the same lens as the previous one but different label? No.4-5

Νο.6 is an option to find some vintage or otherwise used, manual-only, but fast 35mm (better not FF, but whatever arrives around in the good price/condition ratio) whatever mount it would be - M42, Leica, Pentax, Nikon etc. - and use it with the adapter. The first candidate is (used or refurbished) Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AI-s with the adapter.

KERLEE 35/1.2 is also somehow interesting, but 0.66kg (it's FF after all) against 0.58kg Samyang and MSRP is two times larger. ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35 weights like a brick and costs like a space rocket.

Note on 35/1.4 AF lenses like Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens, Canon, Nikon. They are pricey, heavy (due to FF), their unused AF system adds extra weight, so I see no reason to try these even for free.

Any suggestions for what to search for? What are historically the best fast manual 35mm lenses from the past film-SLR times? I mean "fast" to be f/1.4 or faster because for f/2 I can go Fuji XF 35/2 and get the decent picture and good fast AF, too, with zero risks. Is Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AI-s the only candidate for position? Did other brands have something similar at that ancient times?

Did I overlook some other viable 35mm option? If yes, what is it?

Thanks in advance!

p.s. There are also some "outsiders" around, listing these just for curiosity.

Handevision IBELUX 40mm F/0.85 (link to one preview of 2015 ) manufacturer does not list this on their site anymore but used are available, though 40mm (not 35) and the price bites

SLR Magic 35mm T0.95 Hyperprime Cine II Lens (link to one preview of 2015 ) is heavy, but...

SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 CINE II Lens - what is it?

Leica SUMMILUX 35/1.4 lenses are nice but for their price of a space rocket even when used, Fuji XF 35/1.4 is the obvious way to go. Same story with Zeiss Distagon and Voigtlander Nokton lenses.

 Stesinou's gear list:Stesinou's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Fujifilm X-T20 Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Fujifilm XF 23mm F2 R WR +6 more
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