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EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM

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Thread started 27 Feb 2010 (Saturday) 17:42   
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fatdeeman
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Wales, formerly southampton UK
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These lenses seem to have a terrible reputation and if you search the net it's not hard to find such descriptions as "worst lens in world" and "only good as a dust cap"

I was looking for this lens a while ago for dirt cheap to convert into a macro lens with the old frontal element trick, I bid low on two separate lenses on ebay and ended up winning both.

I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the lens, I was expecting poor results with bad colour and contrast and a lack of sharpness but this was not what I saw when I loaded up the raw files. Admittedly capture one tends to be one of the sharper raw converters but even so I found the images were very much of a usable quality with plenty of colour and punch. Even wide open the sharpness is acceptable at both ends of the zoom range.


A little bit of curves and levels in Photoshop and the images were easily keepers. Maybe my 8MP sensor puts a relatively low demand on the lens but it just seemed to perform a lot better than all the reviews led me to expect.
Obviously it's not perfect and the build quality is low (although it brings the benefit of light weight) but for the price it's a bargain, the only real downside I found was that the autofocus was not outstanding and it was wise to recompose each shot a few times to make sure the lens got it right one of the times, maybe this is why the lens gets a reputation for softness?

You can click on these to go the the flick page and view full size versions:

80mm F/5.6 (wide open):

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4392499428_b355a28cb7_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/43924​99428/]external link

35mm F/5 (half a stop from wide open):
IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2729/4392496534_e37295ba5e_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/43924​96534/]external link

80mm F/5.6 (wide open):
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4056/4392319016_2795f114d0_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/43923​19016/]external link

35MM F/5.6:
IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4391546593_6876dc9d7f_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/43915​46593/]external link

Post #1, Feb 27, 2010 17:42:48


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deathcake
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Not bad at all. I've been looking at ebay listings as well and thinking about getting one of these for cheap to play with. The images certainly seem sharp enough.

Post #2, Feb 27, 2010 18:20:49


[gear][recent workexternal link][flickrexternal link] Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. - Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Brikwall
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Joined Apr 2007
840 posts
Atlantic Canada
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I got one of those lenses with my original Rebel film camera back in 1991. Shooting film, the only thing I didn't like about it was that it was too long on the wide end. I didn't have any other issues with it that I can think of, and I don't recall sharpness being an issue at that time. Of course, I didn't print anything larger than an 8x10 and slides looked fine when viewed in an average-sized living room.

That being said, I wasn't happy with it after I switched to digital (which came after a hiatus from photography of several years). I may have used it once or twice on a D-SLR, but that was it. I'm not sure if the digital camera simply magnified its flaws, or if I had become much more discriminating. Probably a combination of both.

But it's like many other things in photography - we tend to dismiss some things too readily when a little patience, and a lot of understanding of the inherent flaws, would make a world of difference. I was aware of the flaws but just didn't have the patience to deal with them. It looks like you do, and are doing fine at making a silk purse out of one of Canon's sow's ears.

Post #3, Feb 27, 2010 20:18:44


Dan
Some gear, some experience, and no talent.
Web: http://www.macdonald-photography.comexternal link | http://ambientlight.ze​nfolio.comexternal link |
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CheshireCat
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Sunny California
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This has been my only lens for a few years on my EOS [Analog] Rebel XS.
I have the III version and I swear it is the crappiest lens I've ever used on a SLR.

Back then, it was my first reflex camera and the film was almost always B/W, so I didn't notice or didn't care much.
But looking at all the shots I made with that lens, I can now see how bad it was and I wish I had known better !

Shooting digital you may mitigate in PP the lack of microcontrast, the dull colors, the huge CA... but even so I think the results are poor and the time better spent otherwise.

My copy R.I.P. with the Rebel XS :)

Post #4, Feb 27, 2010 22:02:04 as a reply to Brikwall's post 1 hour earlier.


1Dx, 5D2 and some lenses

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Persephone
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Outdoors and stopped down a bit it has been my impression (from reading these boards at least) that most lenses will produce decent photos.

Post #5, Feb 27, 2010 22:11:30


Gear list
"Do you think it was my choice to wed a man I did not love? Live a life I did not choose? I was betrayed by the very gods that once saw me as their own. But no more." - Περσεφόνηexternal link, God of War

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ernieboikastoinko
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Here's my 35-80 contribution. f/11 @ 74mm + 5D

IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69/vvg2002/HBWL-5-800.jpg

Post #6, Jul 22, 2010 01:58:15




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LiberationFrequency
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Bumping this up!

Modded for macro:

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://lh3.ggpht.com ...r9rZwVQjnxE/s720/Ed​ge.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Byte size: ZERO

Post #7, Sep 14, 2010 16:15:30




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fatdeeman
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IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4121/4899683088_eed25228b5_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/48996​83088/]external link

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4077/4899682634_5a28185f71_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/48996​82634/]external link

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4076/4898017903_aa3e8fe2e2_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/48980​17903/]external link

Post #8, Sep 15, 2010 10:34:58 as a reply to LiberationFrequency's post 18 hours earlier.


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ernieboikastoinko
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IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69/vvg2002/wog-12.jpg

Post #9, Oct 18, 2010 01:50:17




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Austin.Manny
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IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm6.static.fl​ickr.com ...5352874727_372a084b​48.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

Ashley Malia-1external link by ARM Photographyexternal link, on Flickr

Post #10, Jan 13, 2011 19:29:10


450D Gripped | Σ 30 f/1.4 | 85 f/1.8 | 18-55 IS
LumoPro LP180 | Yongnuo YN-460 |
RF-602

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fatdeeman
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IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5222/5604017555_b224f30a10_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56040​17555/]external link

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/5604016801_ba1f0fd6b3_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56040​16801/]external link

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5227/5604600850_3ce2086c23_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56046​00850/]external link

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5067/5604015143_f9f153abdd_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56040​15143/]external link

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5066/5604014549_b0251b83ab_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56040​14549/]external link

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm5.static.fl​ickr.com ...04013851_4fcb51e63a​_b.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4101/5604597818_9ee82399a1_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56045​97818/]external link

Post #11, Apr 09, 2011 18:49:15 as a reply to Austin.Manny's post 2 months earlier.


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fatdeeman
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IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5230/5639875757_0aa84996f7_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56398​75757/]external link


IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5103/5639875313_4d51140aa0_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56398​75313/]external link



IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5268/5639874137_6297ee9472_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56398​74137/]external link


IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5109/5640447264_bac4923388_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56404​47264/]external link


IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5108/5639873403_f2e4fb3c7e_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56398​73403/]external link


IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5148/5639873035_ede7c870bf_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56398​73035/]external link


IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5309/5640446062_008f61bd9d_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56404​46062/]external link

Post #12, Apr 21, 2011 07:40:40 as a reply to fatdeeman's post 11 days earlier.


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fatdeeman
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IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5146/5639874895_ddb4c31283_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56398​74895/]external link


IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5183/5640447974_56ef5c89f3_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/fatdeeman/56404​47974/]external link

Post #13, Apr 21, 2011 07:41:11 as a reply to fatdeeman's post 31 seconds earlier.


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http://www.lensporn.ne​texternal link

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TS656577
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This is more of my every day lens. I use it for shooting projects I'm doing such as car work, detailing etc. I know it's not the best lens in the world and I have other lenses I like much more, but for the price, it's not THAT bad. Here are just a few shots

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3245/4564385219_7d478c50a7_b.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3571/4564385241_f5f53d33bd.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4011/4564378983_3ef809bffd_b.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4059/4565010126_09c346fff0_b.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4566689599_251c306b55.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/4566689519_2187899853.jpg

Post #14, Sep 02, 2011 06:31:41




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llazlok
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I used my 35-80mm (from my old RebelG film camera) on my wife's 40D while waiting for some new lenses to ship. It worked pretty well.

IMAGE: http://michaelamyphotography.smugmug.com/Other/Summer-Wheatly/i-62nxB4C/0/XL/IMG2341-2-XL.jpg
IMAGE: http://michaelamyphotography.smugmug.com/Other/Summer-Wheatly/i-C4pBrqz/0/XL/IMG2350-XL.jpg
IMAGE: http://michaelamyphotography.smugmug.com/Other/Summer-Wheatly/i-2JNhDm4/0/X2/IMG2380-X2.jpg

Post #15, Sep 13, 2011 12:01:32 as a reply to TS656577's post 11 days earlier.




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