Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM Lens at DVinfo.net

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Old August 1st, 2004, 10:09 AM   #1
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Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM Lens

I am planning to purchase my first high-end Canon lens (most of my stuff now is non-L and/or Tamron). When shooting at the motocross track I would like to have one lens that allows me to zoom a good distance across the track, but at the same time can take the occasional candid wide angle shot.

The Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM Autofocus Lens seems to fit that description nicely. What do y'all think?
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Old August 1st, 2004, 10:16 AM   #2
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This lens is discontinued and replaced by the 28-300mm IS L lens. the addition of the IS is welcome but I would consider the relatively slow maximum apertures (f/3.5 - f/5.6) a drawback for any type of motorsports. My first preference would be the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L series zoom. This is a staple for sports photographers and considered my most pro's one of Canon's best lenses. If you compare the MTF charts you'll see the lenses aren't really in the same class.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 01:09 PM   #3
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Thanks Jeff.

How long ago was the35-350 discontinued? B&H still has it listed as in stock, but perhaps those are just left overs.


My only complaint about the 70-200 is the more narrow zoom range. But, you are probably right about the max aperature.

Hmm...decisions, decisions.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 01:13 PM   #4
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The lens was discontinued this past spring, when the 28-300mm was introduced.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 07:30 PM   #5
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Josh,

I have both the 35-350MM and the 70-200mm 2.8, I also shoot a lot of motor sports. Of course Jeff is correct. I use the 70-200 much more at the track. Another consideration is that the 1.4 and 2x extenders work with the 70-200 but not the super zooms. The value of the 35-350 and and itís 28-300 sequel is not to be underestimated. I often advocate that one of these lenses should be the first lens purchased when you want to start moving up to good glass. It covers such a great focal range it can keep you shooting sharp pictures while you wait to invest in other expensive lenses. I would rather own one, slow and heavy, Canon 35-350mm L series lens than 4 Tamrons or Sigmas with faster apertures. I know that upsets some people, Iím not trying to knock the companies or users of those products. In my opinion you just canít manufacture quality glass cheaply.

Even though I have 3 of Canonís 2.8 zooms, I still use the 35-350mm. I think of it as my utility lens, the versatility is amazing, it is tack sharp, and I could use it for a boat anchor if I needed to. It is an excellent choice for your first high end lens.

Also, when I shoot motor sports, I turn image stabilization off most of the time.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 08:20 PM   #6
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"Also, when I shoot motor sports, I turn image stabilization off most of the time."

Steven, I do not do much photography of moving subjects so this may seem like a stupid question. But, why would you turn IS off?
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Old August 1st, 2004, 09:43 PM   #7
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Not a dumb question at all. With IS on I can hand hold my 70-200 at 200 and take a sharp picture (of a still subject) at 1/30 of a second, that is impressive technology. Thatís when it works the best.

When shooting motor sports the IS usually takes to long to activate, I am often shooting before it kicks in. You can see it activate in the viewfinder when panning, the image ďjumpsĒ. If you are in a situation that does not require IS you are placing extra drain on batteries and asking the lens and cameras processor to perform an extra function that is not necessary. I turn it off and on a lot. For example, if I am trying to freeze action at 180 MPH in daylight it is off. If I am using a slow shutter to blur everything but the car, it is on, this works best when you have a predictable line to pan, and time to pick up the car early. Racing generally happens to fast for IS, it is off most of the time.

Steve
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Old August 1st, 2004, 09:51 PM   #8
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IS can also misrepresent your framing on pans. You think you have your subject (car) framed correctly , then the IS corrects for something and the subject gets moved off the framing.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 10:17 PM   #9
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Steven and Jeff, thanks for clearing that up for me.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 10:51 PM   #10
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Yes, thanks to both for the great input.

Steven, the benefits you mention regarding the 35-350/28-300 are precisely the reasons I was thinking of going with it. But it is interesting that you primarily use the 70-200 at the track.

Is the speed (as Jeff mentioned) the main reason you use the 70-200 at the track?
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 01:35 PM   #11
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The speed is only one reason. The 70-200mm 2.8 is a superior lens in several ways. It is brighter, lighter, and easier to handle. The one touch zoom is much better than the clunky push/pull zoom on the 35Ė350mm. The big zoom is a compromise, not the ultimate solution. It is a great place to start.

And Jeff brought up the ultimate flaw with IS, composing a shot of anything at 180MPH is tough, the last thing you need is a lens "feature" suddenly changing it for you.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 07:54 PM   #12
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Hmm...more things to think about.

It appears you can buy the 70-200 for a few hundred less if you get it without IS. Would that be advisable given the typical shooting situations I am in?

Sorry for all the questions :)
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Old August 20th, 2004, 10:56 AM   #13
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Josh,

Iím sorry it has taken me so long to reply, I pop in and out of here as my schedule permits. I think the 70-200mm without IS is the previous model, it may be hard to find new. I would say get the lens with IS, it is a nice feature; you just need to know when to use it. Did you buy a lens already? Ask all of the questions you want.

Steve
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Old August 20th, 2004, 11:58 AM   #14
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Canon still makes both versions of the 70-200mm f/2.8 L series.
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Old August 21st, 2004, 12:14 AM   #15
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Thanks again Steve and Jeff, you guys are really so helpful!

I have not yet purchased, but I hope to do so this coming month. Based on both your recommendations I am fairly certain I will get the 70-200 f/2.8 L with IS. Hopefully I will be posting some pics taken with it soon.

Thanks again!
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