Review: 23 year old Canon-lens

Growing up, my mother documented much of my early life with a Canon EOS 1000F paired with a 35-80 mm 1:4-5.6. I probably have this amazing dedication from her part to blame for my interest in photography. A couple of years ago however, this trusty camera of her began acting up with not focusing correctly, so she switched to an analogue compact camera out of convenience, that have also served her well. Both she and I had our suspicions that the problem with the Canon might be the lens, and not the body, but we didn’t have any other lenses, and no other Canon bodies in the house to try our suspicions, as I am a Nikon shooter myself (sorry mom).  That is, until last week when I was lent a Canon EOS 1100D to use with The Company’s (the ones who signs my payroll that is) Sigma fish-eye lens (click here to see my first photos with it!)

With a fresh house in the house (photo “pun” intended) I decided to see if it actually was the auto-focus of the lens that was faulty. So I mounted the 35-80 mm on the 1100D and headed out to my usual hunting grounds. And much correct it was in fact the auto-focus of the lens that after a long faithful time in service, pretty much had put itself into retirement.

AREKU Spring Photography-13

With that said, for a kit lens from the early 90’s, I’m impressed how well it holds up today – (at least) 23 years later! I took some different landscape shots, both to try the focusing (which worked decent when the subject was well lit and in contrast) and the dynamic range of the 1100D, which I was also pleasantly surprised with. This is after all a digital entry level camera, with an old entry-level kit lens. Not to bad.

AREKU Spring Photography-5-2

Since I’m a bokeh enthusiast, much thanks to Kai Wong, it was needed to see how well the lens acted wide open. The bokeh isn’t really that buttery smooth as I’ve gotten used to from my go to Pentacon (f/2,8), but it’s acceptable. In the shot with the barb wire, I actually finds it rather pleasing!

AREKU Spring Photography-6-2

AREKU Spring Photography-7

The lens is pretty standard in how easy it flares, no surprises there.

AREKU Spring Photography-10

AREKU Spring Photography-11

This is just be placebo, but I always feel like my photos do get a small hint of analogue feeling when shooting with an older lens. The photo below directly made me think about some shots I took with my Minolta Maxxum back in the days. Which is a good review, haha! AREKU Spring Photography-12


Summary: This lens have, with kit-lens standards met, survived pretty well! Despite the AF being a bit torn, I absolutely found it manageable. As any experienced photographer would advise you – what you put in front of your camera body is more important than the body, to some extent. With that said, if you get the chance to pick up this lens for a small buck, do it. It will maybe give you some of the enjoyment I got out of it!

One Response to “Review: 23 year old Canon-lens

Leave a Reply