Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
Article Index
Introduction
Analysis

Distortion

Normally you would expect rather extreme distortion from a 10x zoom but the issue is actually pretty well controlled. At 35mm the lens shows quite strong but not excessive barrel distortion. At 50mm the EF 35-350mm is basically distortion-free before changing to slight pincushion distortion at the other tested focal lengths.

35mm:

50mmmm:

100mm:

200mm:

350mm:

As usual you should probably expect more distortions towards closer focus distances.

Vignetting

The EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L is a full frame lens so it can take advantage of a sweet spot effect on APS-C DSLRs and it shows - vignetting is basically no important issue with this lens. At 350mm the issue is a little more pronounced at f/5.6 but at only EV 0.6 it shouldn´t be visible except in very critical scenes.

MTF (resolution)

Naturally a 10x zoom comes at cost of a bigger compromise compared to more conventional zoom lenses. However, the EF 35-350mm L solved this ambitious task pretty well. Throughout the entire range the center performance is very good sometimes even peaking in excellent results at medium aperture settings. At the borders the story is a little more complicated. At 50mm and more so at 350mm the border results are soft but increasing rapidly when stopping down. At the other tested focal lengths the quality is quite decent even at max. aperture.

It is worth to notice that the sample suffered from a slight centering problem in the medium zoom range.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are a weak spot at the wide end of the focal length range. At 35mm the average CA pixel width exceeds 1.6 pixels at the most extreme setting (f/5.6). At 50mm the problem remains quite pronounced but beyond CAs are no big issue anymore.

Sample Shots

Due to network bandwidth limitations I can't provide any sample images at this stage.

Verdict

Despite its ambitious zoom range the Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L is capable to deliver very decent results throughout the zoom range. Naturally there´re some flaws here and there (border quality) but it all remains within acceptable limits. Unlike the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC it also proved to deliver good results under field conditions where it was a joy to use with its very good build quality and fast and reliable AF. It is also and maybe even especially interesting for APS-C DSLR users who want to limit their bunch of lenses. Combined with an ultra-wide zoom this lens can complete a decent ultra long range setup (without a large aperture option though).

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:discontinued
      
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