Canon EF 35-80mm F4-5.6 USM

This probably came as shock for myself. My 16th lens is another old classic. I got myself the EF 35-80mm F4-5.6 USM recently – to continue my quest for good IR-compatible lenses. Been exploring "classic" lenses for a while as they are really cheap on the used market today. I still own the EF 35-80mm F4-5.6 II (I gave the EF 35-80mm F4-5.6 III away recently to a colleague) and now, the best version of the 4 Canon EF "35-80mm" – the USM version. I did not bother to review the Mark III and gave it away because to me, it’s just a face-lifted version of the Mark II (which I still have it). In fact, I sent the Mark II through a proper cleaning and have it fully restored to operational again. Now it is "new" again. (To read my review on the Mark II version, click here .)

The Ultrasonic (USM) Version)

* picture: Canon EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 USM

Featuring the same body construction and identical exterior as the Mark III version, the only difference is this version uses the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for focusing rather than the Micro Motor for the other 3 versions (Mark I, II & III). Even the lens grouping are the same! So you must thinking, what’s Canon trying to do back then? Having the USM made this version the Premium Kit Lens? Well, at that time (1990s), the first generation USM are earth shattering news. So indeed, the USM are marketed as a "premium" kit lenses and have it packaged it with mid range EOS SLRs like the EOS 1000FN (Today’s XXD range) and so on while the Mark I, II & III versions are packaged as entry-level SLR kit lenses.

Tested it for IR, gotten the same result with the Mark II version (expected) which I reviewed a while ago. Except for the USM, everything is the same. Really. 

* picture: L-R Canon EF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 II & III

Some User Facts/ Information:
(If you are looking for the specs, please google yourself, it’s all over the internet.)
– Filter Size 52mm
– Lens Hood EW-54II (Sold separately).

– Average lens for Infra-red Photography (IR), Hotspotting appears from F14 onwards.
– AF Runs on quiet & faster Ultrasonic Motor (USM). 
– Manufactured as a Premium SLR Kit Lens.
– Focal Range when used on bodies with smaller APS-C sensors – 56-128mm.
– Canon EF Mount is designed for use on Canon’s EOS Full Frame & Cropped Bodies (with corresponding increase x1.6 APS-C or x1.3 APS-H)

What I Like:
– Good walkabout range when used on my 500D & 350D-IR.
– Super Cheap.
– Rare Collectors’ Item.

What I Hate:
– "Toy-Like" & Plasticky like its 3 other siblings.
– Cheap look, Cheap feel.
– Fragile and can’t stand abuse.
– No Distance Scale Meter.

*Picture Source Internet.

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