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  Reviews by: Simon S  

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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Aug 9, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Versatile Airshow/Wildlife lens A good copy is great IS works well handheld
QA issues Heavy Slide zoom does pull in dust. Some copies a bit soft.

After a recent failure of this lens I returned it to Canon UK for repair. There is a known problem that affects some of these lenses where the zoom jams and needs stripping down for repair.
I asked the technician to check to see if he could recover some sharpness at the 400mm end as although not poor, the image is always soft at any aperture.
The lens was returned within a week and the optics are far sharper across the whole range of the lens.
So if yours is a bit soft, it might me worth sending it to Canon for a clean and tweak!

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Feb 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Built like a tank Fast focus Sharp under the right conditions IS a bonus if you have a steady hand. Attracts a lot of attention
Dust pump! pust pull focus takes some getting used too. Heavy. Not a lens you can master in a day. You DO need a tripod for best results. Attracts a lot of attention

This is the lens most Canon users state as being the best in it's Class. The Canon 100-400L has two modes of image stabilization for hand held use and panning. My first experience of the lens where promising. Good sharpness wide open at 400mm with good light. However, if the light is less than ideal, the lens produces soft images whatever the aperture and shutter speed. This lens take a lot of getting used to and you may find the images you get are at first only average.
Give it light and a tripod with the aperture at f8 and it is a great performer. Just don't expect miracles straight away.
Oh and yes it is a dust pump!

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Feb 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great sharpness and Contrast Well made Light weight Fast enough to focus but a bit hunty in low light. Tamron seem to care for there customers!
Tamron's QA department need a wake up call!

This is a lens I bought to replace an aging Canon 35-70 lens I dropped on the floor and trashed it.The Tamron gives great sharpness throughout the range and seems to peak quite early at around f4.5.
This is a great lens is the ideal walk around lens and the fidelity of the colours seem spot on.
This will stay in my collection a long time.

Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

Review Date: Dec 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp throuout the zoom range Pin sharp at f3.5 ! Built well wirh nice smooth action Fast to focus
Tamron need to sort out there QA issues to avoid damaging there reputation of making good lenses.

After droping my old Canon zoom from a chair and breaking off the zoom ring .it was time to buy a repalcment.
I have heard mixer reviews on this lens ,and was in two minds whether to buy it. So I set off to my local Camera shop (Park Cameras) with my 20D to try one out in the flesh.
Unfortunately when i got there it was raining and dull so a good test of the lens was not going to happen.
My first impression of this lens was how bright the viewfinder was in comparison to any of the other lenses i own. So I took a few shots in the shop at various settings and a few from the doorway of the shop.
Viewing on the screen of the camera is not ideal for testing lens sharpness but the shop had no way for me to view the images other than a photo printing machine that had a crappy tv monitor on it. The images seemed fairly sharp throughout the range of aperture settings I tried so the sale was made.
The following Sunday I took a trip to Brighton to give the new Tamron a workout. When I got home and downloaded the images to the PC ,I was staggered by how sharp and contrasty the results where. There is a slight fall off in edge sharpness wide open but I am not worried about this at all.

All I can say to potential buyers is try it first and buy the one that works with your camera. It is no good going to your local shop and testing this lens ,liking it and buying it somewhere else. This lens is very variable in quality and matching is vital.

Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical

Review Date: May 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great feel in use. Smooth fast focusing. Sharp image
Some CA 35mm wide open Filters are NOT cheap!

A great alternative to the pricey L Canon glass that is used as a benchmark to all Canon fit lenses.
Focus is fast ,though a bit noisy ,zoom has good feel with no creep whatsoever. 17mm gives good sharp images even at f2.8 ,but you need to take care when using full zoom. If you don't stop down to say f5.6 on a bright sunny day , there is a real threat of colour fringing (CA) around high contrast areas of the image.