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A Diamond in the Rough: A Good Affordable Tool When Used To Advantage
on October 5, 2010
I haved owned the Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 V USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras for nearly one year. I purchased this lens used for a very small amount of cash. After learning what this lens does best ... I have been generally pleased with the exposures that I have made with it. Sometimes the exposures with it really pop and that has kept me from selling it. This is so even after I have purchased "better lenses." I did take some test shots to post. See the bougainvilla, cat, and "Wild Thing" test images above. Before uploading they looked a lot better. It is unfortunate that Amazon is unable to display good images.
It has been my lot (my budget) to own a few of what the world has labeled "bad lenses." In general, I have not found the lens to be "bad" but instead to be a "good lens when used appropriately." It does have its problems and it is not an L series quality lens. But, I try to subscribe to the old quote that goes something like this:"It is a poor workman that blames his tools."
I am going to share excerpts from a posting that I read that has kept me from selling this lens. I read this "johnhopkins" posting about this lens on the "fredmiranda-com photo site." Johnhopkins from the United Kingdom posted it Sep 20, 2005 according to "fredmiranda-com." The poster "johnhopkins" stated that he had tested this lens against a Canon 24-70L. He found that:"The 28-80 could not match the Canon 24-70L in colour and contrast, but at f/11 there was no difference in resolution anywhere in the zoom range. At 28mm the 28-80 performed pretty respectably (though not as well) relative to the L zoom. Resolution at f/11 was identical to the L and only a little worse at f/5.6-f/8.
Performance drops off further in the zoom range. At 50mm the 28-80 performed as well as the 24-70L at f/8-11 but resolution tailed off at f/5.6 and especially at f/4.5. The corners especially were poor.
At 70mm the 28-80 only really performed well at f/11. Resolution was still OKish at f/8 but tailed off badly at f/5.6."
My recent tests of the lens and my use of the lens for the most part confirms the (fredmiranda-com,johnhopkins) conclusion that:"If used at f/11 anywhere in its zoom range or at f5.6-f/11 at 28mm then this lens can produce very decent results. Set the camera to Aperture Priority f/11 and leave it there if possible." I to have also found that my copy has decent performance at 28mm.
I think that this lens is a good value for just a little cash.