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Jon How does the weight compare for the 28-90 on your Canon vs a similar 24-70 of 24-105 L lens? Is it as well balanced?
I keep looking at this lens, but don't know how serious I should be about getting one.
Ah, I'm probably not the one to ask about its haptics with the 1ds3 as I don't handhold. 99.99% of my images are tripod mounted, with maximum DoF and a landscape or wood in view, so bearing that in mind, here's my thoughts.
I'm not overly concerned with distortion, but I've found the lens can display colour fringing and more annoyingly veiling flare. The variable aperture is frustrating and can catch you out if you've come from recently using a constant aperture zoom. I've solely used manually focused lenses for the last 9 years (incl tilt shift lenses) and despite owning the lens for over a year, I haven't found the 28-90 an easy lens to know intuitively, even when using a decent live view. I'm still trying to intuitively understand the focal length/distance setting/aperture and the effect of magnification with respect to DoF, colour fringing and resolution of fine detail.
I couldn't recommend this lens for woodland photography, the R 35-70/4 is far better for veiling flare resistance and less prone to colour fringing. Also, I can't comment on the 28-90 WO performance, its a look I don't need for landscapes.
I haven't owned either of the 24-70's, I do own the much maligned 24-105/4 and I thought my copy fairly good, however the 28-90 has better resolution of fine detail and colour. Build quality wise the 28-90 is well engineered, better than any Canon L I've owned. Also, I've yet to notice any dust/pollen on internal elements, so the tolerances/sealing(?) must be OK and I've had no issues with using it in heavy rain/sleet/snow.
Despite Erwin Puts's comments, in my experience I don't believe the 28-90 has better performance than the 28v2*, 60 macro and 90/2.8 or the 35-70/4 in some situations and I suspect the the 21-35* (between 28-35) but it comes close and that makes the 28-90 competitive when minimising weight, space or changing lenses is going to cause grief with pollen/dust contamination OR when a zoom can frame a scene that two legs can't.
One final thought, over the Xmas period I looked back retrospectively at images made in 2013 and despite all the aforementioned negatives, some of the most satisfying were made with this lens.
Hope that helps.
* Note to self - One day do a comparison field test of the respective 28's (21-35, 28v2 and 28-90)