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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
60 178253 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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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9795
Review Date: Jul 31, 2013 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Small size, useful range, good IQ (see below)
Cons:
Average build quality, zoom creep, extends a lot, no IS, old design

I first wrote a review of this years ago, back in 2004. I found the lens poor to average on a 10D.

This is an updated review after using and testing the lens on a 6D with RAW (lightroom 5) processing.

In short, it's really very good indeed and more or less indistuinguishable from both my Tamron 28-75 and my Canon 24-105L.

Of course the difference is the processing. Use the available LR lens corrections together with LR's CA and sharpening controls the lens can really sing.

Yes there is a small loss of detail in the extreme corners at 24mm at all apertures but the rest of the frame is very crisp. At 85mm it is very sharp indeed.

In short, this is an older, average lens with a superbly useful zoom range that can be vastly improved by modern technology and should not be consigned to the scrapheap just yet



Jul 31, 2013
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Gunzorro
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Registered: Aug 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 6500
Review Date: Sep 26, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Good focal range.
Cons:
Disappointing optical performance.

I bought used to see what the lens would be like. It offers a useful range, but unfortunately, not optical performance that can be used for top quality, or even good enough for professional work. Spend the extra to get a 24-105L.

Sep 26, 2012
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unclechuck
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Registered: Mar 11, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 792
Review Date: Feb 19, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp overall, esp f/8 and beyond. Good color.
Cons:

You can learn a lot on FM forums and of course, reviews.

I bought this lens here after seeing references to the 24-85 in individual posts; looked it up and found the 95% user recommendation.

95% cannot be wrong and the lens I got proves it. Seriously folks $150 +/- ?

You can't afford not to have it --- if you own it you will use a lot more than you ever expected --- and marvel at the output.

To all who pointed me this direction, a sincere Thank You!


Feb 19, 2012
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Gerald Johnson
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Registered: Dec 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 13, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $129.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, performance, weight
Cons:
plastic

I bought this lens on Ebay for $129 wanting a lighter, smaller alternative to my Tokina 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8 lens. I use the lens on my Canon 1D MKII camera which has a 1.3x crop factor, making the effective focal length of this lens 31mm to 110mm. Unlike the huge and heavy Tokina lens this lens is small and light and can stay on my Canon 1D MKII without the camera falling forward at rest. That alone was a pleasant surprise.

But even more pleasing are the pictures that this little gem produces. I've owned the Canon 17-40mm L lens as well as the 28mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4, and 85mm 1.8 Canon primes, so I do have some basis for comparison. All I can say is if you're thinking about this lens...buy it! Yes, the L series lenses have a better build quality and the primes are faster...but for general shooting this lens is a steal.

Forget all the technical mumbo jumbo. Buy this lens and see if you like it. I think you will.


Oct 13, 2011
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DemonAstroth
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Registered: Sep 9, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 105
Review Date: Apr 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Size, sharpness, cost, relatively fast.
Cons:
No IS, older design.

This lens can be very sharp. Most of the time is very sharp, and it is very inexpensive. This is one of those lenses one needs to know about if one is shooting crop.

The 24mm wide end is significantly wider than the 28 of other alternatives, it is USM, and at least on a crop sensor (7D) the images are sharp.

However, it feels like an old lens, there is no IS, the zoom and focus ring are not well dampened and are sort of small.

Regardless of the few negatives, the lens is an excellent value and has a very useful focal length. It is very sharp and if one can put up with the lack of IS and the non-constant aperture, it can truly shine.


Apr 5, 2011
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Snopchenko
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Registered: May 18, 2010
Location: Russia
Posts: 2112
Review Date: Sep 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: great range, sharp, compact,
Cons:
build quality not stellar

This is a great walkaround lens on my 1D Mark II N. Very good focal length range means that I can put it on the camera and take nothing else with me unless I really need to shoot ultra wide angles.
Even when used alongside the 70-200 and the wideangle lenses it finds its uses. This lens is really sharp when slightly stopped down (I'm yet to use it wide open so I'll hold my judgement), the colors are maybe not as good as the 70-200/2.8 L IS but not objectionably so. The barrel distortion is noticeable at 24mm. At longer focal length I have to be careful to avoid motion blur, being used to stabilized longer lenses.
The lens is very compact and this helps with stealthier shooting in some areas. The double extending barrel looks flimsy though and the lens will probably collect dust through the holes between its elements though. Ring USM is a pleasure to use, always fast and precise and silent to boot.
For the money, it can't be beaten. Maybe FF owners would find the border quality lacking but most lenses don't fare well on FF at wide apertures, or at all, so there's little to be desired. It's a pity that Canon has discontinued this lens in order to shove $1000+ L lenses down our throats. Me, I'm lucky to have snatched this little gem.


Sep 28, 2010
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Vandergaze
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Registered: Mar 19, 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 10, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $170.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp already wide open both at 24mm and 85mm, Vignetting at widest aperture, pincushion abberation
Cons:
champagner silver looks ridiculous on my 5D, little plasticy, simply not a strong light-giver, minimum focussing distance at 0.5m not always enough

Completely sharp. Great Bokeh

Jun 10, 2010
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altair2020
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Registered: Jan 12, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small, light weight, good range
Cons:
optical quality could be better

I use this lense on a 5D-I. It is small, light and the 24-85 range is very useful on a full frame camera. Optically it is OK but not great. For landscape shots it needs to be stopped down to F11, and even then the corners still look smeared at most focal lengths. Color and contrast are not as good as my 17-40 but this can be fixed in post processing. Pictures look sharp up to 12 x 18. At 20 x 30 loss of sharpness and definition are obvious at close viewing distances. High contrast scenes such as snow against blue sky or rock show noticeable color fringing. Not a bad lense if used within itís limitations: shoot raw, F11 or 16, donít enlarge beyond 12 x 18 or 13 x 19 unless the photo is to be view from a distance.

Apr 29, 2010
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primeshot
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Registered: Jan 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nice travel lens. Light. Good optics. Good range on a full frame camera.
Cons:
Some distortion on the wide end.



Nov 1, 2009
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nikoniand70
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Registered: Mar 29, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: good quality nice heavy lens zoom ring and usm fast focus , silent
Cons:
none

i have the "goldfinger" edition , the silver / champagne coloured version orgiinaly designed for the Eos Ix aps camera but now on my Canon eos 300D.

the zoom ring is one of the things i bought it for, and the positive reviews on other fora on the internet

This lens weighs 300g and that is part of the metal lens bajonet and the usm motor , the range on a cropped body like the 300 D is 38.4mm - 136mm which means that you lose the wide angle on the Canon eos 300 D

the build quality is a lot better than the ef-s 18-55 IS , but orogininaly priced about 200 dolar higher, you notice it is a better lens.


May 17, 2009
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willis
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Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 472
Review Date: Jan 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small light, nice range, quite sharp even wide open, good contrast, decent colour, very fast focus.
Cons:
Some distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, not L build, no IS.

Excellent for the money, good performance even on FF. Zoom a bit wobbly but as with most of Canons mid range consumer zooms it seems pretty tough despite this. Mine is six years old and still going strong.
Shame it's a bit slow and has no IS but what do you expect at this price.


Jan 29, 2009
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HMZRHS
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Registered: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Brunei
Posts: 62
Review Date: Jan 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: colour,light weight,flexibility in mm range.sharp
Cons:

I got this lens from my Canon SLR IXUS (APS film) and i hook it up to my 1D MKII.Recommed for landscape photography and wedding events.

samples with 1D MKII

http://suprasonic.aminus3.com/image/2008-12-29.html


Jan 8, 2009
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palombian
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Registered: Sep 22, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp, fast USM, light, cheap
Cons:
CA in corners, wobbles a bit

I have this lens for 2 years on a 400D in a set with EF-S 10-22, EF100 2.8 macro, EF100-400L, and the results are comparable
In correction to my previous review, it is much sharper than the EF50 1.8 at f:8
CA in corners, and somewhat less color saturation than an L-lens are the only minusses, and Canon DPP does not know this lens for corrections
Do not miss IS
See no reason yet to upgrade to EF24-105 L


Sep 22, 2008
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peddr
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Registered: Dec 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 88
Review Date: Sep 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great ,lightweight walk around lens. Better than expected quality.
Cons:
Nothing really. There is a bit of zoom creep, but on a short zoom like this who cares.

I bought this lens for a song on eBay. I have been pleasantly surprised by it. It is light, fast focusing and has a decent range. I own the 24-105 L but hesitated to take it out on long days because of its weight. This is a great walkaround lens. Sure 17mm would be better, but it is only 24. I tried the 17-85mm and found it softer and much heavier.

I find the build quality to be better that the 28-135, so it's not an issue. On a crop camera the results are quite good.


Sep 13, 2008
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stepvan
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Registered: Jul 1, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: image quality was better than I expected
Cons:
build quality was a bit worse than I expected

I acquired a used copy of the 24-85mm EF USM as part of a larger deal. It was a thow-in. I wasn't looking for one, but now that I've got it, I played around with it. First impression was that build quality was really not great. The barrel slops around dramatically, and if the held vertically, the zoom will slide right out to the extent of its range.

However, when I looked at the pictures I took (30D) I was pleasantly surprised. Many of the shots are quite sharp, color and contrast are nice. The focal length (equivalent to 38-136mm on a 1.6 sensor) is a pretty handy range for a walk-around lens. it's small and lightweight. USM AF works fast. Very easy to live with while travelling.

It's certainly not an 'L' lens, and it's not very fast; but, it's a pretty decent compromise (price/performance) for a travel lens.


Jul 1, 2008
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d4ni3lz
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Registered: May 25, 2008
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: price, light, good range, USM, deliver nice images, all round lens, and sharp
Cons:
Zoom creep, wobble, images soft in wide open

nice walking lens and the price is really good for this lens.
The sharpness is good, maybe not great as L lens, but really acceptable (maybe above your expectations).


May 25, 2008
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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 178253 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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