This old Canon 17-35mm f2.8 L lens used to be number 1 back in the late 90′s but it was eventually overtaken by the Canon 16-35mm which in turn was replaced by the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 MK II. Even though it’s an old lens, it doesn’t mean it’s ready for the scrap pile. Many of the problems that make this lens inferior to new models can be corrected in camera.
It’s not well advertised, but newer Canon cameras like the Canon 6d and 5d mark III support in camera lens correction. When this feature was first announced, it was limited to a hand full of L glass, but lately the list has expanded to cover not just L glass, but also pretty much any EF mount Canon lens to date.
This feature will allow in camera correction for up to 40 lenses. By default Canon cameras ship with a hand full of random lenses already selected but to get the feature working on older lenses like the Canon 17-35mm (above) you’ll need to add support in EOS utility.
To do this, you’ll need to plug your camera in to your computer. Then open up EOS utility, select “Camera Settings/Remote shooting” from the menu.
From there you should get a control box that looks something like this. If it’s not selected already click on the camera icon next to the flash symbol. You should see the “Shooting menu” displayed. About 5 selections down you’ll want to click on “Lens aberration correction”.
If all goes well you should get a window that looks something like this. Right now it’s showing only the lenses I have selected, but you can find the entire list of sported lenses here. Simply click on the “Show selected lenses only” button to view all supported lenses. Select the lenses in your collection and hit ok to save them to your camera.
Once you have a lens attached, take a look in the Lens correction menu to make sure that correction data is available. I know you can make most of these corrections in Adobe Lightroom, but it’s much easier for me to set and forget. Once it’s in your camera, it’s one less thing you have to remember when processing your raw files.