Home | Reviews | Lenses | 35mm Zoom | Canon

Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM 35mm Zoom

4.1 star rating
                      4.1 / 5 (30 Reviews)
MSRP : $720.00

Product Description

Highly portable lens with high optical performance and light weight of 340g. A very practical ultra-wide-angle zoom. The large front lens group minimizes peripheral darkening, and the flare-blocking diaphragm minimizes flare. Also, with lens group 2 being the zoom group, distortion is corrected.

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (30 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin Lane a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2008

Strengths:    Light , Small, well saturated pics, optically very good.

Weaknesses:    Yes it does produce barrel distortion at the 20mm end and there is vignetting wide open but now you know that you can offset that in most lighting conditions.

Bottom Line:   
This lens is small light has a metal mount which is good and costs much less than L series lenses.

I paid very little for a second hand lens on Ebay £107 and use this lens on my Canon 10D.

The lens is very good compared the the Sigma 18 - 50 F3.5 - 4.5 DC that I used before, colours are richer, vignetting is however present at wide apertures but you dont have to stop down to far to get rid of this.

Barrel distorsion is present as others do point out but that isn't bad either.

Generally I think that people tend to compare this lens with the L series which is something of a mistake as it simply isn't in that class but compared to other lenses in the same price range it has a lot to offer. Focusing is fast and quiet but frankly I like a bit of oral feedback that the lens has focussed so I don't mind some sound.

Its not a Pro lens but with a bit of care to offset the charecteristics of the lens you can get cracking results. My other fave lens in the Old Canon EF 35 - 105 f3.5 4.5 which you can get second hand for £50 and this is comparable with the best I have seen. I am very pleased with these two lenses that complement each other perfectly and leave money in the pot to spend on the wife and kids.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $107.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Sigma 18 - 55 f3.5 4.5 DC

Canon 35 - 105 f3.5 4.5 the old one

Various Nikon lenses as I used to have an 801's in the days of film.

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rafiabramov24 a Expert

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2007

Strengths:    VERY lightweight, silent USM, 20-35mm, sharp

Weaknesses:    Limiting on 1.6 crop bodies, but once you learn how to combine the two- it's perfect.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this lens second-hand off craigslist. It came with a it's dedicated Canon lens hood, a Canon EOS Rebel G 35mm body, 500 sheets of 4x6 photo paper, 400 sheets of 5x7 paper, and probably 50 rolls of various types of film. The entire bundle was $230, which I think is quite a deal.

On a 35mm (or full frame digital for that matter,) this lens is fantastic. 20mm gets a lot of picture in the frame. I can stand just a few feet away from a 15-story building and get the entire picture in the frame. The only hard thing with this lens on a full frame body is that it can be quite difficult composing the right picture- many distractions can come in the frame since the lens is so wide.

On a 1.6 crop body, this lens is quite wide as well. Testing out that 15-story building again, I simply had to take maybe 4 or 5 steps back to get the entire building in the frame. Personally, I like this lens on a 1.6 crop body better because I'd rather take a few steps back and get the entire building perfectly composed, rather than having to later edit out distractions and unwanted things that get into the frame in Photoshop due to a fullframe body.

Definitely get the lens hood for this lens (or any lens, really.)
I tried some test shots at f/8 without the lens hood where some of the sun was in the frame and there was very little, but noticeable upon further inspection flare. Throw the lens hood on and it's gone. The lens hood makes the difference of "almost perfect" and "perfect."

The USM focusing on the 20-35mm is SILENT. I put my ear up to it while it would autofocus and all I could hear was the peice from the distance scale moving back and forth. That's all.

I won't comment on distortion since I don't consider it to be a problem.

For your wide needs within a budget, definitely get this lens. I would get this lens over the 14mm and 15mm fisheye.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $230.00

Purchased At:   craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Canon EF 15mm fisheye
Canon EF 14mm

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by D Johns a Expert

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2005

Strengths:    - Sharp and Contrasty
- USM motor with FTM
- Good construction

Weaknesses:    - Large filter size

Bottom Line:   
I another Great lens from Canon. With
Digital a tends to be a bit Consevative, However the image quality is very good.
I recommend using dedicated Hood at all times.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Purchased At:   Dunne & Rundle

Similar Products Used:   Sigma 20 f1.8 EX
Tamron 17 f3.5 SP

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael J Hoffman a Expert

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2005

Strengths:    Very Sharp
Decent Build Quality
Excellent Value

Weaknesses:    Flare
Distortion of Straight Lines

These are limitations and should be expected of any consumer level zoom. These issues are able to be compensated, and for general, non-architectural photography this lens is more than worth its listed price.

Bottom Line:   
I believe this lens is too often overlooked as a serious consideration for a wide-angle zoom for the advanced amateur to semi-pro photographer. I have gotten very sharp prints at 9 X 13.5 inches. This lens has the inherent drawbacks of a consumer zoom (flare, distortion, etc) but it can be a very useful tool for general photography. There is surprising little light fall-off at its widest focal length on a film camera. The compact size and light weight are welcome attributes. This lens is a very good performer and an excellent value.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $225.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Canon EF 28-105/3.5-4.5 USM

The 20-35 is noticably sharper. size and weight of these two lenses are similar, though this lens has a very large front element (and accessories).

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Greg0284 a Expert

Date Reviewed: August 5, 2004

Strengths:    Cheaper than the L lenses. Fast focus. Reasonably sized. Sharp enough at 35mm.

Weaknesses:    Soft at the wide end. Lots of barrel distortion. Slow.

Bottom Line:   
Reasonably sharp at 35mm, too soft at 20 and 25. Barrel distortion strong at 20 and 25, significant but ok at 35. Reasonable flare resistance with the expensive Canon hood. Good build quality, fast focussing. I would not trust this lens for critical work as sharpness leaves much to be desired. Useless for shooting straight lines (as in architecture) unless you use a Photoshop plug-in such as ImageAlign to remove the barrel distortion. OK for casual shooting.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Similar Products Used:   Canon 16-35 L, 17-40 L.

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Reviews 1 - 5 (30 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!

See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »


PhotographyReview Videos