The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is yet another lens I like to call ďcheap.Ē I would like to once again stress the point that you do indeed get what you pay for. The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is a very inexpensive lens at $300.00 or less, and it also weighs very little at 380g.
The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens comes standard with the powerful ring type USM (Ultrasonic Motor) drive which enables you to have lightning fast focusing, with a silent motor so you donít scare away the wildlife. It also helps to be able to focus quickly and accurately when you donít think conditions will permit.
The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is a fairly decent build quality and is composed of 15 elements in 12 groups.
The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens has a filter size of 67mm and is compatible with the Canon EW-73II lens hood.
The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens measures in at 2.9"" x 2.7"" / 73mm x 69.5mm. This makes it one of the smaller lenses for your bag, and one of the lighter ones.
The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens comes standard with both AF (autofocus) and MF (manual focus) modes. The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens also has Full-Time Manual Focusing which enables the photographer to focus manually even when the autofocus mode is turned on. You simply set the camera to ONE SHOT AF mode and then press the shutter button down halfway. While you have the shutter button down halfway you may turn the focus ring to focus manually. Having this function on the Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens will help new users avoid stripping their focus rings while doing manual focusing in and autofocus mode.
The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens has a little bit of noticeable vignetting when it is wide open between about f/3.5-f/4.5, but it seems to become less and less noticeable as you stop it down.
The image quality of the Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is really not too bad considering the low price you pay for the lens. At 24mm the Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens performs surprisingly well, it is not perfect but performs better than many of the more expensive lenses in itís same class. At 50mm the lens actually performed better wide open than when I stopped it down to an f/8, which was a fortuitous surprise. At 85mm it was clearly sharper between f/5.6-f/8, and seemed to soften wide open and stopped down more than an f/8.
The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens has some noticeable issues with chromatic aberrations at 24mm, but this problem seems to be consistent on most wide angle focal lengths. The chromatic aberrations are easily remedied using the camera raw editing tools available.
All-in-all the Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens came out with an overall mid-level performance. The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens totes some strong features, but equal to those strong features are weak ones. I think the biggest drawback on this lens is itís performance at 24mm, you seam to get soft images with chromatic aberrations, which are never a likable combo. On the flip side it is surprisingly sharp at other focal lengths and in some cases competes with the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L. I think it is well worth the money you pay for it.