Duane Kucheran , Apr 11, 2005; 12:19 p.m.
I bought mine used about 2 years ago and use it primarily for snapshots as it's small and yet versatile. I remember reading a review of it that tends to echo my observations. One thing I remember is that the center resolution wasn't as good as some other zooms but that the corner resolution didn't fall off as much.
have a look at this site: http://members.aol.com/canonfdlenstests/default.htm
I'm looking at a print made with one right now. It doesn't have the resolution of a prime but is good considering it's a fairly simple zoom. I'd say it has better contrast than the 35-105 f3.5 but not quite as much as a prime. Because it's a short, slow lens, I don't find it able to blow out the background as well as faster or longer lenses, but nonetheless, the bokek isn't bad. It does make crisp and colorful images and for the price I'm pleased with it.
My sample has quite a bit of distortion on the wide end - I can't remember if it's pincushion or barrel but it's obvious even in the viewfinder. My other lenses in that don't act the same way.
One warning, these lenses are fragile and it's very easy to break it off the camera ahead of the mount. Some samples have been reglued and are even more likely to break.