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Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

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60 178478 Jul 31, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $246.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.45
8.46
7.8
ef_24-85_35_1_

Specifications:
Ultra-wide zoom lens with portrait-length telephoto capability. By having multiple lens groups move during zooming, the lens was made compact and lightweight. The ashperical element suppresses distortion. High contrast is maintained at all focal lengths and sharp images are obtained.


 


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patrickwils
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Registered: Jun 12, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, light, decent build quality, useful range on 1.6x DSLR Good contrast Sharpness ok when stopped down a bit
Cons:
28-135 IS USM is not much more expensive nowadays and may be a better option for the money


Excellent small allrounder on my 10D. It seems to be a forgotten lens since the EF-S lenses exist. It offers much better optical quality than the 18-55, and the 24-85 range is still very useful on a 1.6x crop camera.


Oct 8, 2005
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christopherb
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Registered: Sep 19, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Light, fast focusing, rather sharp at f8, good walkaround range on 1.6x crop factor, price, color and contrast. Fits in the semi-soft 300D carrying case.
Cons:
Not sure wide open, really needs to be between f8 and f11 for sharp shots. Slight zoom creep.

I purchased this lens after a long debate between it and the Tamron 28-75 as my first "decent" zoom lens on my Canon 300d (I got it with the kit 18-55, a borrowed 75-300 and a 50/1.8).

The main reason I chose it rather than the Tamron was the slightly wider 24mm wide end. On a 1.6x crop factor 300D, this makes a big difference and I find the extra 4mm necessary to make it a walkaround lens for my purposes (just barely).

The good sides of this lens are the color and contrast of the lens as well as the speedy and silent USM focusing. It is also rather light (depends what you compare it to) and complements the 300D quite well giving it a nice bulk. It is also reasonably sharp at f8.

The bad sides are that it is not overly sharp when wide open and really needs 2 stops to become sharp which means that it requires quite a bit of light to use without a tripod. This is my biggest gripe and if you want to have a shallow depth of field, you also get a subject that isn't particularly sharp.

For fun, I tested the resolutions of my various lens, and ironically, though it makes more pleasing pictures than the 18-55, it is no sharper in the centre at similar apertures. That being said, the confort of use, range, speed of focus, bulk and pleasing color and contrast as well as no purple fringing (which is pretty bad on my 18-55) have made this lens, up till recently, the one that is on my camera the most.

Here is an example picture taken hand held with this lens:

http://bonnard.macminicolo.net/www/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core:ShowItem&g2_itemId=70

I have owned it since February 2005 and only recently decided to purchase a 17-40 (and 70-200). These two lenses have even better color and the advantage of being sharp wide-open. Walking around cities taking pictures, the 24mm is occasionaly not wide enough which is what prompted me to chose the 17-40.

I imagine that I will be using the 24-85 less now that I have the 17-40 (at least when taking pictures of architecture in cities) and am intrigued as to its future with the arrival of the 24-105 IS.

For its price, I can't think of another lens with as many qualities for 1.6x crop cameras.



Sep 19, 2005
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JimGriggs
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Registered: Sep 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Weight and balance are good on the camera. Well constructed. fast focusing.
Cons:
pincushion and barrel distortion in this lens and it does have some soft focus at anything less than f/8. not an "L" lens but then the price was less than I expected to pay also.

Not my first choice in lenses but it held up well in Africa and the Galapagos Islands in some fairly rough environments. As long as I stopped down (used Aperture Priority) to f/8 or smaller it was fine. Did notice some barrel distortion at 24mm.

Sep 10, 2005
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nickmeertens
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Registered: Aug 4, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 41
Review Date: Aug 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: USM, Compact & Light, Good value for money
Cons:
unsharp at 24mm

I bought this lens as a walkaround/daytime/daylight lens for my Canon 20d.

For the price it performs well. Mind you, you have to live with the fact that at its max and min focusing distance it gets a little unsharp, at 24 more than at 85mm.
The corners at 24 and wide open are only good enough for a 4x6 print for the holiday album.
From 28mm on things improve a lot, especially when you stop down a little.
Contrast and colors are fine (always use a hood). Focusing is fast and silent with the USM.

So, when you keep in mind it's limitations this is a good little lens for the price!

I am saving for the 24-70L mind you...


Aug 13, 2005
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Superbaldguy
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Registered: Jun 6, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 29
Review Date: Aug 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, excellent handling, smooth zooming and USM, very sharp stopped down to f/8, color/contrast better than the EF 28-105mm f/3.5-f/4.5, the 24mm field of view is wonderful on a standard zoom, little or no flare.
Cons:
Typical ballyhooing about these types of zooms, distortion at either end and not terribly sharp at the widest apertures. Build quality OK for the Canon USM consumer zoom range.

It seems that some people get stuck with so-so copies of any lens, and there are mixed reviews on the EF 24-85. I must have lucked out with an excellent one, as this optic easily outperforms the erstwhile 28-105mm f/3.5-f/4.5. I have only shot one roll of BCW with it, but it appears to offer much better performance than my supposedly decent 28-105.

Yes, it is a tad soft in the corners at wide apertures and there's barrel distortion at 24mm and pincushion at 85mm, but that's to be expected. However, stopped down to f/8, it performs wonderfully. I see this lens is very well controlled for flare, a surprise despite it's largish front lens element and similar experiences with wide angels, in general. It is a *must* that you get the EW-73II shade - I could never understand why people don't get the dedicated hoods for lenses. It helps improve contrast and shooting against the light.

Having 24mm in a zoom is most useful, as I have never liked standard zooms starting at 28mm that much; the 28-105 went well with my 20mm f/2.8 that I recently sold, but the 24-85 incorporates four valuable focal lengths - 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm, all of which I have owned in fixed optics in the past.

The 67mm thread for filters is a bit of a PITA, but I have the stunning EF 70-200mm f/4 L, which uses the same ones; I already ordered a Tiffen Pro Mist 3 SF filter, the most useful for me and the type of work I do.

I am excited to now own just two zooms for all my film work, coming from 5 lenses that made my Domke F-1X bag just too darned heavy. Now, with the announcement of a new Canon full-frame DSLR that is actually affordable, my investment with Canon seems a bit safer as I will, someday, have to say goodbye to my A2 bodies and go totally digital.

Thumbs up, Canon.


Aug 11, 2005
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Asmodeous
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Registered: Aug 9, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 139
Review Date: Aug 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Light weight, build quality.
Cons:
Some distortion at wide and long ends, zoom creep, low light focus lock.

I originally bought this lens with my EOS-300v film camera, I think it's the Kiss model elsewhere, and tranfered it to my drebel.

Overal it takes good pictures. Bright and contrasty. The auto focus speed is good and focus lock is great, It has never hunted like the 75-300 IS usm does. I find it has some trouble in low light focus locks in situations where all my other lens will focus lock.

At the 24 and 85mm ends its pretty soft. But I avoid that by using my other lens, 18-55mm kit up to about 30mm and my 75-300mm from 75mm and up.

The zoom creep came in after about 18 months. But, I keep my camera in a top load bag (lens pointing down) and I used to keep this lens on the camera at all times.

In general, it's streets ahead of the woeful 28-80/90/105mm, basically all the plastic mount lens, but it won't compare to the 24-70mm L. You get what you pay for.


Aug 9, 2005
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fintax
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Registered: Apr 3, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 122
Review Date: Jun 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, great focol lenght
Cons:
Not an L

I have been using this lens as my all-purpose walk-around, and it has served me very well - good sharpness, color, saturation. It's a good compliment to my 17-40 and 50 f/1.8 lenses.

I just purchased an 85 f/1.8 which at first glance produces excellent exposures. Maybe I'm becoming a "primes" shooter, but will keep the 24-85 lens anyway for its versatility and "you can take only one lens" situations.


Jun 29, 2005
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Trip Jeff
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Registered: Jun 15, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Range, Weight, Versatility
Cons:
Plastic, No Weather Protection, Front element will slide out when pointing down

I bought this lens a couple years ago when I bought my Elan 7. As a poor student at the time, it was a significant upgrade from the cheaper kit lenses. I knew from experience that a particular shot I had been after for years (Salisbury Cathedral) could not be made with a 28mm and was determined to get it on my next trip. The shot was captured, I was happy and the print hung on my wall for years.

The bulk of my photos are made when I travel, and I don't travel resort-style. This lens has made some long hauls with me, including a serious 8-day hike in remote Newfoundland and 7 weeks in South America. It has served me faithfully and delivered phenomenol results for the price. The lens has been dropped on rock, soil, asphalt and sand and never missed a beat. (My heart did though, and I learned a few new curses each time.)

The extra 4mm on the wide end has proven to be extremely valuable. You do get some very small rounded marks in the corners, moreso if you use a polarizer. But rather than hang the prints on your wall as is, take the time to have them cropped slightly by your processor.

The results I have obtained with this lens are very sharp, with excellent contrast and colours. This is so even in some less desireable conditions. I shoot on film and custom crop my enlargements. I have been able to make some extreme crops (8x10 blow up with a crop of 50% of the original image) and still retain good detail.

If you're a pro who needs to make a living off your photos, then you should invest in an L-series model. But if you're like me and can afford to take a few crappy shots, then this lens will serve you well.



Jun 15, 2005
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Tom_W
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Registered: Jan 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5384
Review Date: Jun 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, compact, USM focus, very useful range, good color & contrast.
Cons:
Needs to be stopped down 2/3 stops, wide end barrel distortion.

Bought used on FM - Great lens for travelling light, which was the primary purpose of my buying the lens. I already have the 24-70 but I wanted to assemble a useful kit of lightweight lenses for carrying around when hiking or touring on foot. This lens along with the 70-300 DO lens fits that bill perfectly.

It's a bit soft wide open, but useable if you need it. It is better as a daytime, outdoor lens when you can use f/5.6 or smaller aperture. F/8 is great. The color and contrast are great, and sharpness is pretty good as well. It's got pretty even sharpness across the field. It sits well in it's position as mid-range glass.

I had a used copy of this lens once before and it wasn't up to par so I quickly sold it off. This copy, I'm happy to say, is significantly better.

The lens handles well, easy to operate the zoom and focus rings, though it isn't as easy to manually focus as some L primes (but it's significantly less expensive, too).

It's a good buy ($310 at B&H) if you want a zoom that starts wider than the typical 28-xx lenses but aren't able to spend a great deal.


Jun 13, 2005
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abargath
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: Iceland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Descent contrast and colours. Small and light, good as a walk around lens. Sharp when stopped down to preferrably f8.
Cons:
Pretty soft unless stopped down. Seems sharper at the wide end than the long end but never tested this, just a feeling. Make sure you get the hood with this lens cause flare can be a problem otherwise.

Optically itīs nothing special, hardly bad but not good either. Excellent snapshot lens though, focus is resonably fast for a non L and colour and contrast are pretty good.

This was my first lens back in march 2003 when I first got the 10D. I was very happy with it until I got the 50mm 1.8 and then I just couldnīt see past the 24-70L that I got to try out one weekend and I sold this lens in febuary 2004 and got the 24-70L.

I donīt miss this lens one bit but I still recommend this lens for beginners and people looking for a decent zoom in this range, itīs a pretty good all around lens and you get good value for your money.


Mar 28, 2005
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kcmh
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Registered: Jul 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 134
Review Date: Feb 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $108.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast focus, light, does not stand out on my 10D like a L lens
Cons:
a bit slow, not a 24-70L

I happened upon this lens at a local store they messed up the pricing and had it for $108.00, instead of the normal $300 or so dollars.(new) I bought it just to have it! I was using the Sigma 18-125, good lens. My 24-85 has a great USM, quick perfect focus, and great color. I would recommed this lens, but I would also advise the person that Tamron's lens is faster and might be better, when you find a good copy.



Feb 18, 2005
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johsch
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Registered: Oct 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Feb 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $195.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness and contrast.
Cons:
Slight barrel distortion at 24mm.

Just picked up this gem on Ebay and I am really impressed with it's overall peformance. Its not an L lens but it's close behind. I wanted this lens to go with my 17-40L when I need a little more reach. The build quality is fine, not as good as the 17-40L, but the picture quality more than makes up for it. I'd recommend this lens to anybody!

Feb 10, 2005
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edwardkaraa
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: Thailand
Posts: 7465
Review Date: Dec 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: inexpensive, light weight, reasonably sharp.
Cons:
some zoom creep, otherwise non for the price.

i wasn't very hot for this lens after reading some of the reviews but i really needed a light weight zoom for travelling. i tried this lens in a food studio session, and the results are not bad, though not as good compared to the other lens used, the 50mm 2.5 macro. i don't regret having purchased it.

Dec 12, 2004
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Rusty1
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Registered: Oct 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 832
Review Date: Nov 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $239.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, very good color/contrast, fast focus, compact-light wieght, not exspensive, shares filters with 70-200L/f4
Cons:
older champagne/siver model not easy to find

Found an older champagne/silver colored one that was originally made as kit lens for the upscale Canon IX APS from 1996 or so. For whatever reason these seem to be better quality than present model.
Sharp wide open with very good color and contrast. 100% crops at 24mm and 40mm F4 compare very well with 17-40L. The L is better but you have to look close. Makes a great companion to the 17-40 and 70-200
One caveat, the first champagne/silver one I tried was no better than current black ones, there are soft ones out there.


Nov 18, 2004
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9842
Review Date: Oct 26, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Light, reasonably cheap, good focal range
Cons:
Slow, soft, pretty awful on digital actually

I've owned the lens for ages but only recently taken it back off the wife to try on my 1D2 as a general purpose lens.

It doesn't do. It isn't fast or sharp enough at any aperture to get much out of the camera.

The barrel is rather flimsy and is distinctly 'prosumer'. I can't recommend it.

Buy a Tamron 28-75 2.8 instead, much better.


Oct 26, 2004
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Russ
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Registered: Jul 22, 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 5
Review Date: Oct 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharper than I expected after reading reviews etc. Well built for the price. Nice colour
Cons:
Some zoom creep.

Having read reviews, ratings from photodo and photozone, I concluded this is an average piece of glass and bought one because of the range (I already have a 28-80 USM Mk1 but 28 = 45 on my 300D (DRebel) and 24 at least gives me a more useful 38 equiv.

I also regularly use a 50/1.8 Mk1 which is superb but I must say, so far the 24-85 is not far behind, better than my 28-80 and much much better (as expected) than the mediocre 18-55 kit lens.

Really cannot complain FOR THE PRICE, which is half that of the 17-85 IS or the 28-135 IS.


Oct 10, 2004
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Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
60 178478 Jul 31, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $246.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.45
8.46
7.8
ef_24-85_35_1_


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