This very compact telephoto zoom lens is relatively light and incredibly versatile. It is an excellent performer, capable of capturing crisp images with fantastic color saturation and striking contrast. This excellent model was introduced in 1991, together with the "World Famous Trio" of true "Ring Type" ULTRASONIC upgrade lenses! It came out along with the EF 70-210mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and the mighty EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM long telephoto lenses. These three outstanding lenses literally changed everything!
Canon EF 35-135mm USM Lens
Canon introduced this model as the perfect "Travel Lens". Its compact size, combined with its extremely wide focal range, make it ideal for situations where you can only carry one lens. This model has proven to be a solid favorite for vacation photography (especially with my family). If you can find one of these highly respected gems in really good condition it could easily become your most frequently used Canon EF lens.
It is a highly sought-after model with "FTM" Full Time Manual focusing, superior "Ring" type USM motor, a real distance scale window and infrared compensation indication. It is threaded for common (affordable) 58mm filters and accessories. It has the heavy duty STAINLESS STEEL METAL LENS MOUNT, which is getting harder to find these days. This lens was discontinued in 1997, but may be found on eBay if you watch carefully.
Canon announced quite a number of very important technical advancements when this lens was unveiled. One of the new features is called "FTM" (Full-Time Manual) focus. This allows you to make fine focus adjustments WHILE THE AUTO FOCUS SYSTEM IS ENGAGED! This is especially useful for setting the exact focus point in a close shot. It will allow you to emphasize a particular picture element while other parts of the image are intentionally blurred by a narrow depth-of-field. This lens has the Top-of-the-Line "Ring" type USM Ultrasonic AF design. There are 14 lens elements in 12 groups. Focusing is performed internally, know as "Rear Focusing", the front lens does not rotate at all, making it much easier to use circular polarizing (CP) and special effects filters. These features insure that focusing will be lightning fast, impeccably precise and dead silent!
Image quality dramatically outperforms the popular "standard kit" zooms, and is at least equal to the much more expensive EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 USM !!! Sharpness and contrast are quite impressive throughout the entire zoom range. While very good wide-open, the image sharpness gets really crisp when stopped down to f/8 or so. In spite of the impressively wide zoom ratio, only slight distortions are visible, and then, only at the wide-end of the focal range. Flare is very well controlled. I have captured many sunset photos with this lens and they are consistently free of flare problems. Pictures produced through this lens are quite sharp, "contrasty" and relatively rich in color saturation. One very important advancement that was announced by Canon was, "A molded glass (GMo) aspherical lens element (12th) is used to correct astigmatism to achieve sharp definition and to make the lens compact."
The large "oversized" zoom ring is very comfortable to use and it quickly goes from 35mm all the way out to 135mm, in about a quarter turn. The barrel extends for zooming, but the front lens element does not rotate at all. The position of the zoom ring relative to the focus ring makes this lens almost as easy to use as a "One-Touch" lens design in manual focus mode. In Auto Focus mode, it is just a pleasure to handle.
If you are still using the cheaply constructed lens that came with your EOS camera, YOU MIGHT WANT TO UPGRADE TO A HIGHLY RESPECTED LENS WITH MANY FEATURES THAT YOU WILL USUALLY FIND ONLY IN "L" SERIES PROFESSIONAL MODELS.
Note that when this model is used on a Canon Digital SLR, like the Rebel XT, XTi, 40D, 30D, 20D or 10D, this lens has a "Field Of View" that is equivalent to a 55-215mm zoom lens. That's due to the 1.6 X "crop factor" effect. This is a great focal range for portraits, nature and sports photography. This is the perfect mate to use with a Canon EF 20-35mm wide angle zoom, especially on any EOS Digital SLR with a less-than "full frame" image sensor.
This model is very compact in size, about 3.75" at 35mm to 5.5" at full zoom. It is reasonably light-weight at only 15 oz. It has a very solid "feel" with smooth operation. The wide angle to medium telephoto range make this an ideal "travel" lens, just as Canon promised. You will find that it could stay on your camera almost all of the time. It's great for everything from interior shots to portraits, architecture, landscapes and nature photography. It covers about 80 to 90% of your normal photographic needs.
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