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Archive 2013 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L
  
 
kezeka
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


I have read some good things about this lens and there is currently a metaphorical low hanging fruit on eBay that I am considering bidding on. I don't know much about these older lenses and how likely they are to bite the bullet at any given moment. This one has been well used and looks the part but I am ok with that. It ostensibly functions perfectly fine still.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EF-20-35mm-F-2-8-L-Lens-/140925876992?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item20cfd63b00


So what say you veterans of the Canon world - is this worth bidding on or pass?



Mar 10, 2013 at 05:34 AM
stanj
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


Not really by today's standards, really. The 17-35, 16-35, 16-35 mk2, 17-40 are all notably better optically. So while yes back in the 80s this lens was great, for today's high pixel density sensors, not so much.


Mar 10, 2013 at 05:37 AM
kezeka
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


No one seems to have ever been that impressed with the 17-35 and I haven't heard much praise heaped upon the 16-35 either. Good to know that the 20-35 doesn't resolve quite as well though.


Mar 10, 2013 at 05:43 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


I did quite well with the 17-35 for about a dozen years! It was a great lens until the 16-35II.


Mar 10, 2013 at 05:46 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


The 17-40 is decent and reasonably priced. You can also look at the Tokina 16-28/2.8 if you can live without the use of filters.

EBH



Mar 10, 2013 at 05:56 AM
kezeka
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


I was on the fence about the 17-40 since I have heard that the 5D2 pushes close to the limits of its resolving power as well. As for the Tokina, what's the point in having a wide lens on an island if you can't throw a CP filter on it?

Honestly, the 20-35 just peaked my interest because it would be nice to have an inexpensive all metal lens to use as a walk-around when a 35 just doesn't cut it. If the 20-35 isn't worth it I probably wont be getting anything soon.



Mar 10, 2013 at 06:06 AM
stanj
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


The 17-35 got a bad rap by some reviewers, among them Fred himself, back in the early days. My own tests of the 17-35 (which I had since the 90s on film) against the 16-35 didn't show the 17-35 nearly as flawed as others experienced it, but then again, I like my 400 DO. I think it stands undisputed that the 17-35 is no worse than the 20-35, and it can be had pretty cheap while adding 3mm and much faster focusing (not that it matters so much with an UWA).


Mar 10, 2013 at 06:56 AM
Rickuz
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


16-35L II and 17-40L are better than the 20-35L, BUT they all suck when it comes to sharpness across the frame, especially when compared to Nikons 14-24.

Will this be the year when we finally get a good landscape UWA zoom from Canon? 16-35 III, 17-40 II, or perhaps a 14-24?



Mar 10, 2013 at 07:04 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


The 20-35 2.8 and magic drain pipe were the look of early 90s photo journalism. I've seen lots of used ones that looked like somebody used it as a shot put and nail driver. Probably stopped a few bullets for a lucky PJ...


Mar 10, 2013 at 07:12 AM
Snopchenko
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


Gunzorro wrote:
I did quite well with the 17-35 for about a dozen years! It was a great lens until the 16-35II.

That was the route I went - I had the 17-35 on my 30D and then 1D Mark II N but eventually got the latest and greatest. Can't say the 17-35 was bad optically - I had some fine shots from it - but what turned me towards the 16-35 were the sealing (the 17-35 is not sealed like most older L lenses) and the MFD (28 cm vs. 42 cm). Otherwise the 17-35 felt surprisingly modern for a lens made in 1996 (UK date code). You won't get that with the 20-35 (it doesn't have USM, etc.) I'm seeing quite a lot of used 17-35s on the market so why not go that route?



Mar 10, 2013 at 08:14 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



kezeka
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


Honestly, was just hoping to pick up the 20-35 for less than $500 to have something to cover the wide end for those rare occasions that I can't just pull out my 35L. Hard to justify spending more than that when I don't have any real use for a wide angle besides some creative work on the side.

Good to know that the 17-35 isn't as bad as it has been made out to be. I read Fred's and Rockwell's reviews of it and came away with the idea that it just wasn't made well compared to the 16-35 or 20-35.



Mar 10, 2013 at 08:22 AM
Snopchenko
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


Even locally (and this place isn't exactly known for cheap gear(s), the 17-35 cost me $600ish in 2008. I sold it for a $100 profit two years later and seen the price go as high as $900ish later. Hopefully that gives the idea of the resale value of that lens (and I hope it's as true across the pond from here).


Mar 10, 2013 at 08:28 AM
kezeka
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


The hardest part is finding the old gear in the first place! I generally tend to avoid eBay since everything tends to get marked up over there but no one is selling either a 20-35 nor the 17-35 on FM at the moment. Probably going to end up monitoring the forums for a while .


Mar 10, 2013 at 08:31 AM
rcheliphotog
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


There are two types of people who complain about modern sensors out resolving lenses like the 17-40 or the 20-35: those who print billboards and movie posters and those who spend more time pixel peeping than shooting.

If the 20-35 fits your FL needs and is better suited to your budget than a 16-35, I say go for it.



Mar 10, 2013 at 09:14 AM
galenapass
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


rcheliphotog wrote:
There are two types of people who complain about modern sensors out resolving lenses like the 17-40 or the 20-35: those who print billboards and movie posters and those who spend more time pixel peeping than shooting.

If the 20-35 fits your FL needs and is better suited to your budget than a 16-35, I say go for it.



....or perhaps out of the end of a coke bottle. Why not? Only pixel peepers would complain about that. How about dispensing of lenses entirely and just shoot with a pin hole camera. I say go for it! Stop thinking, action first!!!




Mar 10, 2013 at 02:37 PM
stanj
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


kezeka wrote:
Honestly, was just hoping to pick up the 20-35 for less than $500 to have something to cover the wide end for those rare occasions that I can't just pull out my 35L. Hard to justify spending more than that when I don't have any real use for a wide angle besides some creative work on the side.


Then get a used 17-40. The best bang for the buck, and definitely better than the 20-35 except for the f-stop.



Mar 10, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


Check out my flickr page - you'll see some test shots there.


Mar 10, 2013 at 05:34 PM
molson
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


kezeka wrote:
Good to know that the 17-35 isn't as bad as it has been made out to be. I read Fred's and Rockwell's reviews of it and came away with the idea that it just wasn't made well compared to the 16-35 or 20-35.



The 17-35 f2.8L was marketed during a period when Canon went through some serious quality control issues (much like Nikon owners are experiencing now...).

The first 17-35L I had was incredibly bad, with elements misaligned so bad you could actually see it looking through the viewfinder. I bought a second copy later on that was very good and comparable to the 16-35L (which also had a few QC issues of its own early in its product life).

I've also been thinking of picking up a used 20-35mm f2.8L. I liked this lens back in the film days, but it suffered from a fair bit of chromatic aberration. I think the new RAW converters do an excellent job of correcting flaws like this, so I would be curious to see how the lens would perform with current cameras and workflows. Like the 80-200 f2.8L, it had a distinct look to the way it rendered an image.

My only concern would be that you probably can't get these lenses serviced anywhere now.



Mar 10, 2013 at 05:48 PM
kezeka
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


I just checked and canon is no longer servicing either lens, which makes me more than a little apprehensive about picking up a thoroughly used one off eBay. Otherwise, they seem to be hearty little lenses that capture great photos.

It is interesting to hear about the history of development for canon wide angles from everyone though. Kind of makes you wonder what people will be saying about today's gear 20 years down the road.



Mar 10, 2013 at 05:53 PM
gel685
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 20-35mm f/2.8 L


I have one, but haven't tried the other lenses to which it's being compared here. Awesome at 35mm, needs to be stopped down at 20mm to get good quality. If you look at the reviews section here at FM, it rates close to the 17-35, the 17-40 and the first version of 16-35. Mid-State serviced mine recently, but parts were not needed. I just checked the auction with 30 minutes to go and I'd definitely try it for that price.--Eric.


Mar 10, 2013 at 08:38 PM
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