Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published April 2006

Special thanks to Mario Bobertz for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM was released back in 1992 and it's one of the older designs in the current lens lineup. On APS-C DSLRs the field-of-view is equivalent to 32mm so it looses its ultra-wide character towards a moderate wide-angle lens here.

The optical construction is made of 11 elements in 9 groups without any special glass. The aperture mechanism features 5 blades. With a min. focus distance of 0.25m the max. object magnification is about 1:7. The lens feature a floating system for close focus correction. The EF 20mm f/2.8 USM has a size of 78x71mm and a weight of 405g so it is roughly comparable to an average standard zoom here. The filter size is 72mm. A lens hood is available as an option.

The lens has a decent though not stellar build quality based on good quality plastics. The focus ring operates quite smooth but it was slightly wobbly in the tested sample. The EF 20mm f/2.8 USM has a true IF design so its length remains constant regardless of the focus setting. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer remains easily possible. Despite its design age the lens features a very fast and near silent ring-type USM drive incl. full-time manual focusing (FTM) in one-shot AF mode.

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