Reviews and Problems with Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
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Nice bang for the ...you know what!
12 December 2012
Summary: Purchased lens on Amazon and everything went just fine. Lens arrived in peach condition. Everything on the lens functions as it should and for the money; it gives a good focal range. Pictures taken with it are wonderful. The only reason it does not get a 5 is because, well I guess it isn't L glass. But, if you are starting out; you can't beat it. I would definitely recommend this to a friend.
Summary: This lens isn't being made anymore, but you can still buy it used. It is a gem of a lens. I started photography with a Rebel xsi, then went to a Rebel T1i and finally a 5D Mark II. The single change in my gear that made the most difference was buying a flash, but second to that was this lens. This lens is exceptionally sharp. The focus motor is quiet and fast. and its extremely light. Did I mention the colors and sharpness? They are outstanding.
Conclusion: This is a great walkaround lens on my 1D Mark II N. Very good focal length range means that I can put it on the camera and take nothing else with me unless I really need to shoot ultra wide angles. Even when used alongside the 70-200 and the wideangle lenses it finds its uses. This lens is really sharp when slightly stopped down (I'm yet to use it wide open so I'll hold my judgement), the colors are maybe not as good as the 70-200/2.8 L IS but not objectionably so.
Conclusion: I bought this lens on Ebay for $129 wanting a lighter, smaller alternative to my Tokina 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8 lens. I use the lens on my Canon 1D MKII camera which has a 1.3x crop factor, making the effective focal length of this lens 31mm to 110mm. Unlike the huge and heavy Tokina lens this lens is small and light and can stay on my Canon 1D MKII without the camera falling forward at rest. That alone was a pleasant surprise.
Conclusion: This lens can be very sharp. Most of the time is very sharp, and it is very inexpensive. This is one of those lenses one needs to know about if one is shooting crop. The 24mm wide end is significantly wider than the 28 of other alternatives, it is USM, and at least on a crop sensor (7D) the images are sharp. However, it feels like an old lens, there is no IS, the zoom and focus ring are not well dampened and are sort of small.
Conclusion: I use this lense on a 5D-I. It is small, light and the 24-85 range is very useful on a full frame camera. Optically it is OK but not great. For landscape shots it needs to be stopped down to F11, and even then the corners still look smeared at most focal lengths. Color and contrast are not as good as my 17-40 but this can be fixed in post processing. Pictures look sharp up to 12 x 18. At 20 x 30 loss of sharpness and definition are obvious at close viewing distances.
Conclusion: I have this lens for 2 years on a 400D in a set with EF-S 10-22, EF100 2.8 macro, EF100-400L, and the results are comparable In correction to my previous review, it is much sharper than the EF50 1.8 at f:8 CA in corners, and somewhat less color saturation than an L-lens are the only minusses, and Canon DPP does not know this lens for corrections Do not miss IS See no reason yet to upgrade to EF24-105 L
Conclusion: I bought this lens for a song on eBay. I have been pleasantly surprised by it. It is light, fast focusing and has a decent range. I own the 24-105 L but hesitated to take it out on long days because of its weight. This is a great walkaround lens. Sure 17mm would be better, but it is only 24. I tried the 17-85mm and found it softer and much heavier. I find the build quality to be better that the 28-135, so it's not an issue. On a crop camera the results are quite good.
Pros: Great ,lightweight walk around lens. Better than expected quality.
Cons: Nothing really. There is a bit of zoom creep, but on a short zoom like this who cares.
Conclusion: I acquired a used copy of the 24-85mm EF USM as part of a larger deal. It was a thow-in. I wasn't looking for one, but now that I've got it, I played around with it. First impression was that build quality was really not great. The barrel slops around dramatically, and if the held vertically, the zoom will slide right out to the extent of its range. However, when I looked at the pictures I took (30D) I was pleasantly surprised.
Pros: image quality was better than I expected
Cons: build quality was a bit worse than I expected