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-   -   Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM Lens (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/still-crazy/29910-canon-ef-35-350mm-f-3-5-5-6l-usm-lens.html)

Josh Allen August 1st, 2004 10:09 AM

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?

Jeff Donald August 1st, 2004 10:16 AM

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.

Josh Allen August 1st, 2004 01:09 PM

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.

Jeff Donald August 1st, 2004 01:13 PM

The lens was discontinued this past spring, when the 28-300mm was introduced.

Steven Digges August 1st, 2004 07:30 PM


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.

Darrell Hinton August 1st, 2004 08:20 PM

"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?

Steven Digges August 1st, 2004 09:43 PM

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.


Jeff Donald August 1st, 2004 09:51 PM

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.

Darrell Hinton August 1st, 2004 10:17 PM

Steven and Jeff, thanks for clearing that up for me.

Josh Allen August 1st, 2004 10:51 PM

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?

Steven Digges August 2nd, 2004 01:35 PM

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.

Josh Allen August 2nd, 2004 07:54 PM

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 :)

Steven Digges August 20th, 2004 10:56 AM


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.


Jeff Donald August 20th, 2004 11:58 AM

Canon still makes both versions of the 70-200mm f/2.8 L series.

Josh Allen August 21st, 2004 12:14 AM

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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