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

28-75mm
Review Date: Dec 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp, 2.8L, good price, light
Cons:
focus is not fast as L lens

As others said, this is poor man's L lens. That is true. It is sharp even at f/2.8. This is my second Tamron lens. My first one is 17-35mm. Both lens are very sharp. This lens focus accurate and fast, but not fast as USM lens. I have Canon 28-135mm IS lens. I will miss the IS and extra 60mm range, but this lens' quality is far better.

 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Dec 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light weight, sharp in all range, very effective IS, black
Cons:
Average build quality, lens rotate as focus changes, long minimum focus distance, slow focus and hunt

As so many reviews recommend this lens, I choose this one over 70mm-200mm 4L. I was disappointed when I use it the first time. The focus is slow. It is the slowest lens I have so far. It hunts and can't focus in dark or light area in my house. Focus distance is 1.5m, too long when using 70mm. However, I am glad to have IS when I use it next day. I can tell the big difference with IS on and off. It saves me many pictures. Its relative short length also fit in my camera bag very well. Now, I am happy to have it. I recommend people buying this lens for outdoor or large indoor area photography.