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Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

by Canon
4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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  • EF mount; standard zoom lens
  • Internal focusing; full-time manual focus; aspherical lens
  • 24-85mm focal length
  • f/3.5-4.5 maximum aperture
  • Micro UltraSonic Motor (USM)
9 used from $94.00

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

LENS, EF 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 USM FOR


The Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens has multiple moving lens groups that enhance image quality and make the whole system more compact and lightweight. This lens uses an ultrasonic focusing motor (USM) that gives you silent, high-speed autofocusing. Canon eliminated all the mechanical couplings in this lens and added a custom-designed autofocus motor as well as a microprocessor.

Built into the system is a replica aspherical lens element that minimizes optical distortions to give you sharp images. The flare-cutting diaphragm helps the lens produce a high-contrast image, even in tough lighting. Its high zoom ratio of 3.5x allows you to take tighter shots of your subjects. It's fully compatible with all EOS cameras.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 5.2 x 4.6 x 4.3 inches
Item Weight 13.4 ounces
Shipping Weight 1 pounds
Item model number 2560A002
Customer Reviews
4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #844 in Camera & Photo > Lenses > Camera Lenses > Digital Camera Lenses
Date first available at Amazon.com November 14, 2000

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Terrance M. Carroll on July 11, 2001
I've had this lens for a few years now, and I absolutely love it. It is compact, sharp, and dependable. I'm a wide-angle shooter, so this one is just about perfect. Canon's USM is beautiful. Unlike Nikon, Canon seeks and achieves quiet, fast, and accurate auto focusing. Coupled with a light and quiet EOS camera body, and you've got an excellent documentary kit, great for shooting people in close and personal. At 24 mm, this lens gives excellent range for close work, with lots of depth and sharpness, making focusing and composing a cinch in evolving situations. My only gripe with this lens is its manual focus ring. I grew up with manual focus, and I love excercising that skill, but this lens has nothing more than an obligatory, plastic, and poorly placed focusing ring that discourages manual work. Fortunately, Canon's autofocusing system is phenomenal. Round-out your EOS kit with a Canon SpeedLite (compatible all the way down to 24 mm).
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Okay, so you are like me and think that standard 18-55, 17-55, or 17-50 zooms are too short for some outdoor events, but telephoto lenses are too long. SO you want a good in between. There are several choices including the Canon 17-85mm, Canon 28-135mm, the Canon 24-85, the Canon 28-105mm, and the Canon 24-105mm. While I would really prefer the Canon 24-105mm L series, it is very expensive, heavy, and large. The ones that start at 28mm aren't wide enough, so that leaves the 24-85mm.

The 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 lens is excellent for a midrange medium zoom on a 1.6x camera. Image quality, even wide open, is far better than the 18-55 kit lenses, plus you get USM with FTM, and a wider aperture. However, this lens really is best used in the F5.6-11 range, where the sharpness is quite good. Contrast and color are excellent at pretty much all apertures. Focusing is fast and accurate, and it has a nice distance meter.

The main downsides to this lens are it's mediocre build quality, which is a little wobbly at least on my copy, and the focus and zoom rings could have better feel. However, if you are comming from the kit lens or another cheap lens, it is right on par.

If you compare it to the 17-85mm, the 24-85mm isn't as WA and doesn't have IS, but it has FF capability, much better edge and center sharpness at all apertures, a faster aperture, lower price, and is a little more compact.

For full frame cameras, it covers a very important range, the wide zoom, which often used indoors, would preferably have good F2.8 IQ for indoors, something like the Tamron 28-75mm, or preferably the Canon 28-70mm, which is excellent indoors FF.

Overall, if you can get the Canon 24-105mm instead, it's definitely a much better lens in every respect. But if you don't want to spend that, this is a great lens at 1/3 the cost.
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This lens is almost superb for its price! It's a middle-class lens, what appears in the following:
- it has bigger light-factor (3.5-4.0 vs 4.0-5.6 in the low-class lenses). This gives you more possibilities, for instance to use faster shutter speeds or to decrease the depth-of-fild for special effects)
- the first (outer) lens doesn't spin what gives you an opportunity to use square filters; using a poliriser becomes as easy as any other filter.
- the USM (Ultra Sonic Motor) gives you a really super speed of focusing and completely silent engine. You'll catch the fastest actions and nothing will distrub your object!
These are the most important and useful features of the lens. I should also admit, that the focal distance of this lens is almost ideal for everyday photography, because gives you an opportunity to shoot from landscapes (~24-50mm) to portraiture (~50-85mm) with an equal simplicity and quality.
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Here's another case where it all depends on how you use it and what you expect. Personally, I like really sharp images. This means, I can photograph something that has a lot of detail and examine the corners of the image at 100 - 200% and "read" what's there. If this sounds like you, then this isn't what you're looking for (unfortunately, neither is the 24-70 L but its much closer).

If you just enjoy taking pictures and want a good, "walk around" lens that's not ridiculously heavy, you'll love this lens--and believe me, I envy you.

Sharpness. Its reasonably sharp at all apertures except wide open. No big deal since few lenses are great, wide open. Nothing is blurry (at least on an SLR with 1.6 crop factor) but nothing will make you break into a smile at the devastating crispness, either. Best f-stop was between 5.6 and 8, just where it should be.

Chromatic aberration. Not great, but there is something about digital cameras that makes even the most well corrected lenses show some "CA". If you can live with good-not-great sharpness, the CA shouldn't be a concern.

Barrel distortion. Gracious. The test at photozone_de should have prepared me for this, but at the 24mm end this lens is almost in semi-fisheye territory. So....flowers, people and landscapes, fine. Walls, windows and anything flat or square, not fine. Correctable in Photoshop but tedious to get just right.

Construction. Space age Polycarbonate (plastic). Seems fine to me. From the comments on "build quality" you'd think every doctor on vacation in Tahiti was embedded in Afghanistan. Its a precision item, made out of plastic but it looks to me like it will be fine, unless dropped.
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