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  Reviews by: Peter Szuhai  

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Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Review Date: Mar 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Inexpensive, lightweight, fast, sharp, excellent IQ, great build
Tight zoom ring, a little bit of vignetting wide open but I like the effect

I have the lens for 3 weeks now and I did not take it off of the camera. I was looking for a replacement of the kit lens and this thing is everything I wanted. It fits my (low) budget and produces amazing contrast and sharpness. I own the 70-200 f/4 and they compliment each other perfectly. The two cover my needs between 17 & 200mm under $1000 nothing can beat that.
I was worried about the focus noise but it is not that bad at all as one might think reading all the complaints. I got used to it in five minutes. My copy has no focusing issues as far as I can tell - I did shoot a bunch of tests with it.

I have no regrets, highly recommended

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Oct 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, speed
AF hunts in low light like crazy, it really limits its usefulness in those conditions

I have this lens for over three months now and I use it on an Xti which makes it 80mm long which is a good FL for portraits. I'm a novice started this hobby 5 months ago. I was looking for a cheap prime alternative of the kit zoom and I picked this up thinking that at that price I don't care if it is completely useless or I break it on the first day.
In the summer I used it outside with great success, most of the time stopped down to around 2.8 it is a little bit soft but the IQ is much better than the kit-lens (and that is the one you must compare it to because the kit lens costs about the same). The only problem I had with it that the AF was so slow that I had a hard time to track my two year old. I liked the sharpness and the colors over the kit lens so I was happy.
I really started to use it wide open indoors a few weeks ago and I am a little disappointed of the performance of the AF. The focus is really a hit or miss but more like miss in low light. If I put the lens in AI Focus it never stops hunting even shooting steady objects and put on a tripod. In one-shot mode it shows it is in focus yet when I look at the actual picture it is front-focusing badly about 50% of the time. This issue makes it almost useless in low-light with my skill level at least... Recently the weather got better so I took it out again and with enough light the focusing is so much more reliable. I would say around 80% of the time it hits.

I would still recommend it to every hobby photographer because it is a fun little lens capable of hitting home runs every once in a while but I would not recommend it for shooting important indoor family events because of its unreliable AF you can end up with a lot of bad pictures...