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Old 27th of February 2010 (Sat)   #1
fatdeeman
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Default EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM

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):


35mm F/5 (half a stop from wide open):


80mm F/5.6 (wide open):


35MM F/5.6:

Last edited by fatdeeman : 28th of February 2010 (Sun) at 04:42.
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Old 27th of February 2010 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM Sample Photos?

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.
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Old 27th of February 2010 (Sat)   #3
Brikwall
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM Sample Photos?

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.
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Old 27th of February 2010 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM Sample Photos?

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
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Old 27th of February 2010 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM Sample Photos?

Outdoors and stopped down a bit it has been my impression (from reading these boards at least) that most lenses will produce decent photos.
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Old 22nd of July 2010 (Thu)   #6
ernieboikastoinko
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM

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

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Old 14th of September 2010 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM

Bumping this up!

Modded for macro:

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Old 15th of September 2010 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM





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Old 18th of October 2010 (Mon)   #9
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Old 13th of January 2011 (Thu)   #10
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM


Ashley Malia-1 by ARM Photography, on Flickr
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Old 9th of April 2011 (Sat)   #11
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Old 21st of April 2011 (Thu)   #12
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Old 21st of April 2011 (Thu)   #13
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Old 2nd of September 2011 (Fri)   #14
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM

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











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Old 13th of September 2011 (Tue)   #15
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Default Re: EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 I/II/III/USM

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.


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