Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2005

Special thanks to Jirka Vejrazka for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L is one of three extreme range zooms made by Canon. Released back in 1993 the lens was and still is very popular in the press community - by now it is discontinued and replaced by the EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS. As usual we´ll have a look how the lens performs on an APS-C DSLR where the field-of-view is equivalent to 56-560mm on full frame cameras. So in this scope it can be clearly classified as a tele zoom rather than an allround lens.

The design of a 10x zoom needs to be complex in order to deliver an acceptable quality so Canon used 21 elements in 15 groups with two UD elements. The lens features 8 aperture blades. In order to limit the compromises regarding optical quality at the tele setting Canon preferred to keep the size to a reasonable maximum so it is neither a small (167x85mm) nor an especially light-weight lens (1385g). The minimal focus distance is 0.6m resulting in a max. object magnification of 1:4 at 135mm (the min. focus distance is longer towards the tele end). The filter size is 72mm.

The lens has a push/pull zoom design as you can see in the product shot above (in case you wonder: parts of the lens are taped). This approach allows a fast change of the focal length but a fine tuning of a setting is a little more difficult here. Typical for long tele zooms the EF 35-350mm L extends significantly towards the 350mm setting and the petal-shaped lens hood adds some extra centimeters. A push/pull zoom is doomed to suffer from lens creeping so Canon added a control ring to lock the lens at a desired position. As to be expected from a Canon L lens the build quality of the EF 35-350mm is just great with a metal body. The focus ring in the tested sample was quite stiff. The AF drive is a ring-type USM (ultrasonic) variant and combined with a rear-focusing group it provides an very fast and near silent AF operation.

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