Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon 20mm f2.8


Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here


I bought this lens while I still had the 20-35mm zoom. The two lenses are a similar size, with the 20mm prime being a little larger. However, the zoom has a very wide hood thatís difficult to keep on the lens while in a bag whereas the 20mm hood is pretty compact.

The zoom was pretty good at 20mm so the prime isnít hugely different, though mine is a little better at wide apertures. As I often shoot at or close to wide-open  this and the extra stop were the main drivers to buy it.

The dynamics changed a little when I purchased the EOS 350D. With digital it is always possible to increase ISO to compensate for smaller apertures, and the zoom adds some practicality over a prime. However, the 20-35 zoom range is small and not that useful. I therefore ended up keeping the 20mm and buying the 10-22mm (which took the impractical 20-35mm lens hood).

When I bought the EOS 5D the 20mm prime was the only super wide that I have to fit it. Image quality was OK but wasn't brilliant. To resolve this I bought the 17-40mm zoom and found it far superior. Hence the 20mm is no longer in my collection.

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