Reviews and Problems with Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
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Beware - Wrong Picture
5 February 2009
Summary: Beware - not the item pictured. Pictured is the L series lens, see the red ring? This lens is the much cheaper, consumer zoom lens, not a bad lens but certainly not at the level of the pictured item.
Conclusion: I bought this lens via ebay cheap for the rare occasions where 24 mm is not enough for me. So for a few pictures this lens is Ok, but on my 5D this lens is certainly no winner. It does his job and with some manipulation in ACR to remove the CA it is OK, but nothing more. Also the colours often come kind of flat out of the raw converter. This is certainly no L lens, but nevertheless I expected or hoped that it would be fine at least from the tripod and at f 8-11.
Pros: Lightweight, cheap
Cons: not sharp, not very solid construction, CA, Soft in the corners
Conclusion: Like many others I bought this to go with a 1.6x digital. Do not make this mistake! 20mm is not wide enough. The f/3.5-4.5 aperture forces the use of higher ISO. Since this lens is not very sharp at all, the added noise only worsens the softness. Stopping down helps but not much. Wide open it's too soft and stopped down past f/13 or so it's also too soft. Contrast is poor, color is muddy. Edge sharpness is very poor, even with the 1.6x crop. Distortion is extremely bad.