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Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM 35mm Primes

4.5 star rating
                      4.5 / 5 (34 Reviews)
MSRP : $499.00

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  • Camera Format35 mm SLR
    Lens TypeFixed Focal Length Lens
    Focal Length20mm
    Lens Max Aperturef/2.8
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Macro LensWithout Macro Lens
    MountCanon EF
    Closest Focusing Distance9.6 in
    Picture Angle94 degrees
    Attachment / Filter Size72 mm
    Groups / Elements11 Elements in 9 Groups
    Diameter3.1 in
    Length2.8 in
    Weight14.3 oz
    Product ID21704816

Product Description

Ultra-wide-angle lens for serious applications. Easy to hold and carry at 405g. Floating rear focusing system. Sharp images are obtained at all subject distances.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by rpcrowe a Expert

Date Reviewed: September 3, 2005

Strengths:    Low used price. I like the size and weight. I can share filters with my 28-135mm IS. I like the focal length.

Weaknesses:    This lens is not as sharp as I expect from a prime and is not as sharp as the 17-40L that I replaced it with.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this lens to get a bit wider than The 28-135mm IS which was my first lens for the new 10D. I liked the reasonable size and that I could share the 72mm filters with the 28-135IS. I am not happy with the sharpness of this lens at any f/stop and will not use it at all wide open. I don't know if this is a bad copy or not but since I don't have a warranty to return it to Canon; I will soon E-bay it off.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   E-bay

Similar Products Used:   17-40 f/4L and several other Canon and tokina lenses.

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by bcskier a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2005

Strengths:    reasonably sharp, usm focus, excellent build quality, accepts 72 mm filters

Weaknesses:    vignetting, some CA, soft at f2.8

Bottom Line:   
Reasonably sharp wide-angle lens. There is slight red-green fringing, similar to 15 mm fisheye. Purple fringing is absent. Strong vignetting at f2.8-f4, but this goes away at f8 and higher. Good centre sharpness, but the corners are a bit soft at f2.8, and this improves by f5.6. Gives a bit of a reddish/magenta color cast, e.g. skies look slightly purple, colors are warm.

I shopped around quite a while before I bought this lens. Other products tested: Tamron 19-35 (250 CAD, owned it and sold it, very blurry except at 24 mm f16, useless autofocus, severe purple fringing); Tamron 17-35 (700 CAD, store test, good centre sharpness but very soft corners at f5.6 or less, severe purple fringing); Canon 15 mm fisheye (1000 CAD, borrowed from a friend, very similar lens in many categories); Canon 17-40L (1000 CAD, store test, I could not tell the difference in sharpness between this lens and the 20 mm from my informal store test, but I'm sure in detail the 17-40 will be a bit better)

I was interested in the Sigma 20 mm f1.8 since I do some astrophotography but none of the stores in town stocked it and I did not get a chance to try it. The 82 mm front element also scared me a bit, and I already own 72 mm filters so I went with the 20 mm.

I think this lens blows away the Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 which is similar in price but does not have usm, has poorer corner sharpness, suffers from strong purple fringing, poorer build quality, no resale value, and is overrated and overpriced IMO)

I'm sure the 17-40L is a better lens, but it costs 300 CAD more. Whether it is worth it depends on your price point. At 670 CAD I think the 20 mm is correctly priced, you get what you pay for.

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $670.00

Purchased At:   Vistek

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by philski a Professional

Date Reviewed: December 22, 2004

Strengths:    Does a great job

Weaknesses:    I just know that the lens hood is going to fall off and get lost one day

Bottom Line:   
One thing I still like about primes is the depth of field scale so I bought this for a digital wide as a close substitue for the 28mm I normally use with 35mm. Not great at f2.8 but then whats new. Snaps into very usable sharpness at f4 which is what I would expect. This is the focal length that I use all the time and there is nothing about its performance, on my digital, that would give me cause for concern.

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   ebay (price in sterl

Similar Products Used:   FD lenses for many years

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Lionheart a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2004

Strengths:    Sharp at f5.6 to f8. Very contrasty lens.

Weaknesses:    Color rendition is somewhat cool. Contrast may be a bit much. Really soft wide open. Over priced by a long shot.

Bottom Line:   
A necessary addition to any arsenal. This lens gets the job done, unspectacularly perhaps, but it is a yeoman performer under all conditions.

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $399.00

Purchased At:   B&H

Similar Products Used:   This is the second 20mm f2.8 I've had (got stolen). Odd that the first one seemed to be a much better performer than this second lens.

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Christiano a Professional

Date Reviewed: July 23, 2004

Strengths:    fixed lens ..sharp ---good distortion-..
good colours-strong made. pro like..
fast ..fast

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
This an awesome lens IF you get a good sample!! the problem is that you can get a 5 star performer for less money than you think,if you get a good sample! you see canon makes a hole line of super products; 100 mm 2,0(not macro) 20-35 mm 3,5 -4.5, 24-85mm 3,5-4.5,and the 135 mm Soft and of course the 50 mm 1,8 who all has their looks against them; they are not black with a red stripe on.
In fact IF you get a good sample they beat almost anything for less than half the price of the famed L glass.
The L glass series is a little guarantee that you as a custómer get sort of high end glass ! but believe me,even L glass differ very much !
I have experienced great variations no matter the brand or name on it.
I usually buy (order) alt least three or at least test 3 different glasses and get the best for my self! it works.
back to the 20 mm; its on par with their 20-35 and absolutely good.
Try it anytime even if youre pro you will be positively surprised.Good Luck.

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   foto cav

Similar Products Used:   many types

Type of photography:   People

Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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