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Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
27 208099 Apr 16, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,126.67
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.47
8.95
8.7
ef35_350_1_

Specifications:
Super telephoto zoom lens with a 10x zoom ratio! High image quality is maintained. Ideal for sports and documentary photography when you need to change the framing often. The zoom adjustment ring lets you adjust the zoom torque to your liking. At the 135mm focal length, close-ups up to 0.25x are possible.


 


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Rob Greenstein
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 704
Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: All in one 10X zoom, L Optics, beautiful color. Versatility!!
Cons:
At the long end slightly soft and a bit slow if not shooting in bright scenes.

I've had mine for years and have loved using this lens. Sure it's not as sharp as a 300 2.8L but it's a 10X zoom!!

I originally bought it for shooting ski racing and only wanting a single lens to bring on the hill in a LowePro Orion AW fanny/daypack with my then A2e or 1n film body.

The lens has turned in fantastic results in such bright conditions. And, has also proven to be very useful for those longer reach portraits at the telephoto end with the slight softness actually facilitating the results.

With the film bodies, I've never had any problem with dust nor weather effects getting into the lens and the absence of IS hasn't been much of a problem either. It's all about technique I guess.

Haven't even seriously considered replacing it with the 28-300L IS lens, as this one works so well. Now that I'm shooting with a 1DMKIIn the film bodies don't get any use, and yeah there's a 1.3 crop but it's only a field of view crop not a magnification multiplier, so the composition of the shots with the 1DMKIIn's 100% viewfinder effectively eliminates any problems with the crop factor.

I almost never use the tripod collar, and haven't found handholding the lens to be too much of a problem at the shorter focal lengths. At longer lenghts, a stable position, railing, tree or some sort of support can be helpful if shutter speed isn't high.

This glass is not supposed to be compared to the L Series primes and any such comparision will achieve nothing.

Is the lens great? Yes. Am I delighted to own it? Yes. Would I buy one again? Yes. If I did not own one would I buy the 20-300 L IS instead? Not sure!


Jan 20, 2006
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rpallagi
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Registered: Feb 2, 2005
Location: Hungary
Posts: 115
Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: When you don't know what you will shot, it will never let you down. Doubles as a macro lens at 135mm focal lenght. AF speed is faster than on my 85mm 1.8...and thats a prime...
Cons:
bit slow, and lacks contrast at a long end

I just love this lens. I had a 100-400 and although it was sharper at the long end and it had IS. it stayed in the cabinet all the time. It was much heavier too, which zou only notice when you hand holding for hours.

I was on a safari in Zimbabwe and I learned real fast that 35-350 is much more useful then 100-400.IS USM. with 35-350 I could be shooting landscape in 1 second, the next an animal far away, next a portrait of a someone next to me, and next a macro of jumping spider on the ground! try that with any other lens...Even doing everyday shooting I prefer it over any of my lenses. I just wish it was a little smaller, but it handles GREAT with my 10D with grip.

Picture quality... I have mostly canon primes, and this lens is just not as sharp as any of the primes. but sharpness has never been as important for me as getting a shot or not... but it manages to put out awesome images up until 250mm, with great colors and contrast wide open. at longer focal lenghts needed to be stopped down... hard to handhold... thx god Canon's cmos sensor--- this lens ROCKS..

now if it was a 2.8 lens....


Feb 2, 2005
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John Black
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Registered: Jul 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3682
Review Date: Jan 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great range & built like a tank.
Cons:
Push/pull isn't as smooth as I would like. Weight. It's a slow lens.

I bought this lens used and paid $850 - so my review is based on that price point - not the $1499 retail price. This lens has tremendous range, but it's a big heavy lens. It's weight is the same as the 70-200L F.8 IS, so make sure you're ready for the weight. I use it on a 1DmkII, so it's fine for me. But on a 300D with no grip - no way...

Image quality is quite good - it's a 35-350 10X zoom - so if you expect prime-like sharpness --- you're dreaming. You buy this lens for convenience or because you have no idea what lens you'll need for a day out. Once the lens is stopped down, contrast picks up and so does sharpness. Plan on F8.

Sharpness is definitely better than the 75-300 IS. And the lens certainly has the "L" color - a nice saturation and bokeh is pleasing. Contrast is good once you've stopped it down several steps. It's certainly usable wide-open, but F8 is so much better. If you don't need/want the bokeh, you'll be shooting F8 to F11 in most cases.

The push pull zoom - love it or hate it. I'm not a big fan, but it's not that bad. The tension adjustment is awkward - don't care for that part. You must dismount the lens to add or remove the tripod collar.

I find this lens to be pretty fun. AF is good, not the quickest - probably on par with something like a 28-135 IS. It's a good daylight lens, in lowlight you'll need a tripod. Macro isn't bad either. Like I said in the beginning - this is a 10X zoom, so keep your expectations in check and you'll be happy with the lens. It's a solid performer and good optics considering the extreme focal range.

If I had a 10D/20D, I'd skip this lens because 35mm just isn't wide enough by the time you add 1.6x multiplier. The big deal about this lens is going from 35mm to 350mm in one lens. A 1.6x multipier pretty much kills that benefit unless you want a really, really long lens. I'm going to sell the lens and buy the 28-300L IS. It costs sooo much more than 35-350L, but those extra 7mm at the wide end plus IS make it worth it.


Jan 22, 2005
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bogatyr
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Registered: Aug 10, 2003
Location: Norway
Posts: 638
Review Date: Nov 22, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Large zoom range and versatility for reportage work, solid build.
Cons:
Less than stellar image quality, slow.

Unfortunately I cannot recommend this product.

I tested it in February 2004 during a trip to the Swedish Kolmaarden Zoo, and while one can see the versatility in a zoom, it is very clear that if one wants high quality pictures the 35-350 is not the answer. My 300mm 4.0 IS proved considerably sharper. This lens is useful for reporters who take pictures for newspapers, provided a fast lens is not required, but for those who want the ultimate in image quality it is not.

Often it is argued that with new digital SLR's fast lenses are less important. That view is mistaken. With a fast lens one has much more freedom, and slow lenses will offset the advantages of digital by requiring one to set high ISO and still not get very fast shutter speeds. With faster lenses one dan crank up the ISO and then get speed.

But the main problem with the EF 35-350mm 3.5-5.6 L USM zoom is the consistent lack of sharpness of detail. At all focal lengths it lags significantly behind good primes, and for the quality conscious nature photographer it is advisable to look elsewhere. I recommend the 300mm 4.0 IS instead, or of course the 300 2.8 IS if you can accept the price and the bulk.


Nov 22, 2004
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Dean Treml
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Registered: Aug 9, 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 333
Review Date: Aug 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Zoom range, versatility.
Cons:
One touch zoom, sharpness.

This lens is a bit of an enigma. It spends a lot of time in my cupboard. It is a terrific range and I use it for specific jobs. It is great for outdoor, slow-moving sport, such as yachting, especially in the pre-starts where one boat can be some distance away while another one is right alongside. It is also good for news jobs that have constantly changing shooting situations, again outdoors only. This lens is not the fastest focusing L lens off the rank, and the one touch zoom is a bit violent at times !! My other comment would be that while this lens is OK for digital use, it is not sharp enough on tranny, particularly at the top end, 330-350mm range. Good to throw on your camera when you want to travel light and have no specific requirement, but I suspect the new 28-300mm replacement with IS will be a much more usable lens.

Aug 10, 2004
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hodad66
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Registered: Oct 2, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 28
Review Date: May 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great zoom range, good sharpness & contrast, very solid build quality
Cons:
Heavy after a full day of treking but a monopod helps

This is my shoot everything lens. Having come from an Oly 2100UZ the 10X was a must & it seemed to make sense to keep one lens in place to control dust on the sensor. Love the lens & with a 16-35 or 17-40 you have it all covered!! Samples at:
http://www.pbase.com/hodad66/galleries


May 17, 2004
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jonniewalton
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Registered: Jul 11, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Aug 10, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Its strength is the range, at all focal lengths the images are crisp, there are times when this lens just stays on the camera all day due to its versatility. Its not as sharp as my 300 f2.8 but I wouldnt expect it to be. Even when going holiday, this and my 16-35 L series lens are all I need. It really is versatile.
Cons:
I dont like the push pull zoom much, I find it frustrating especially at time when I have locked the ring to "tight" when I suddenly decide to change the zoom range focal length.



Aug 10, 2003
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John57
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 53
Review Date: Jul 9, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,480.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom Range, Build, Image quality
Cons:
Weight, Cost

I bought this lens to use on a 10D. I haven't had it long but have taken alot of shots and have been really impressed with the results - others said it was very soft but I have not found that to be the case. It is streets ahead of other 'standard' zooms for quality.... it is just very expensive and heavy!

Jul 9, 2003
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Unregistered
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Location: United Kingdom
Review Date: Jun 20, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: 35-350 is a lot of range.
Cons:
F5.6 is not a lot of light.

Possibly something for the working hack. Not something for wildlife or sports. I have a number of other "L" series lenses and this one just does not seem to cut it with the rest of them

Jun 20, 2003
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rlay
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Registered: Mar 11, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Apr 28, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros:
  • Quick versatility (from 35-350 and in between, very quickly)
  • L-series sharpness with the ďproperĒ shutter speed handheld or otherwise with a tripod.
  • With the 10D higher ISO (800 + 1600) speeds give this lens more usability.
  • Cons:
  • Lots of range means you must be aware of the focal length to match the shutter speed (takes some getting used to)
  • Sliding zoom mechanism is awkward
  • Heavy
  • Wish it were a little faster on the long end.
  • Autofocus doesn't work with X2 Teleconverters

  • I bought this lens to compliment my D30 a few years ago, and Iíve used it in backpacking/outdoors situations when I didnít want to carry much. Along with a 17-35/2.8L, this is all the equipment you would need for simple outdoors photography. Iíve taken the occasional great outdoor portrait with this lens. I didnít like to use it indoors (preferring to use shorter focal lengths and primes Ė like the 50/1.4).

    Now with a 10D, Iíve rediscovered how wonderful this lens is with the great high ISO performance on the 10D. I would rarely shoot above ISO 400 with my old D30, but now even ISO1600 looks very film like on the 10D. Thus, this lens performs really well in low light and gives me the ability to hand hold with it more readily on the telephoto end, even indoors. The 10x playback on the 10D also allows you to more readily check the focus of a shot and re-shoot if necessary. I could see where someone in photo journalism could use this as their only lensÖ.. especially on a 10D.


    Apr 28, 2003
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    Rossman
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    Registered: Feb 24, 2003
    Location: United States
    Posts: 5
    Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

    Pros: Image Quality, Optical Zoom Range
    Cons:
    A bit slow, push-pull design

    This was my first "L lens" and am very satisfied
    with the overall image quality and color presentation. A bit on the heavy side but that is the penalty for a 10X performer. Comes with a great lens hood and removable tripod collar.
    Improvement needed: Optical stabilizer and rotate
    zoom control instead of push pull. The USM AF is very fast and accurate. This is my streetsweeper glass and will stay in my bag for long time! It is used with my 1D.


    Mar 30, 2003
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    Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM

    Buy from B&H Photo
    Reviews Views Date of last review
    27 208099 Apr 16, 2013
    Recommended By Average Price
    93% of reviewers $1,126.67
    Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
    9.47
    8.95
    8.7
    ef35_350_1_


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