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Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Aug 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sturdiness (Build, Material, Quality, Feel), Versatile (without compromise on quality), Reasonably fast (based on action photography)
Heavy, Balance (you need a pro body to balance it on a tripod), Expensive, Size.

I made a bold decision to use this 1 lens and I sold off all my other zooms and primes. I believe I'm at the best position to evaluate this lens because for the past 1 year, I've been using this lens for all my applications which includes :

1. Closeup (with closeup filter)
2. Product
3. Nature
4. Travel (to places below zero degree celcius, snowing, strong winds, high humidity almost 90 and at altitude of over 4000m)
5. Mountaineering
6. Events (convocation, D&D, weddings)

The only problem I have besides footing the bill after I impulsively flashes my credit card is the constant weight that I have to bear. Because I only carry this one lens, even when I'm walking around, I must bear this weight as well. But compared to my previous 17-35, 28-70, 70-200 with TC, flashes etc, I'm at least happy that its at a weight that I feel relieve with especially my camera bag have also downsize a bit.

Unless you have a strong forearm like me, you should have a camera strap sling over your neck especially true if you have a 1 series body with power booster. With this lens and a camera, you really can "experience" a whole lot of photographic opportunity.

Last year I actually fly to the same place with the first trip without this lens and the second, the 28-300. The photos taken back from the 2nd trip really broadens my photographic mind as there are far so many things that different focal length can offer at that same moment which changing your lenses would have lost them forever already.

With a very sturdy build, there is no place you cannot carry this lens and afraid that weather will wear it down.

With the IS, I've not experience a lot of battery drain even though I'm using a film body. A couple dozen rolls with IS always on after a few days still keep the battery going and strong.

The IS actually works. At least 3 stops or less. I've handheld at 1/30 and have no problem at all. Bear in mind I use it primarily on film so bluring is definitely a big issue for me.

AF is good but not as solid as the 70-200 f2.8 which I think has one of the fastest and solid AF locking. But I attributed to its large aperture and if you compare apple to apple, the 28-300 will have no problem with that as well.

The push pull has one irritating fact and that is the wind generated because I usually loosen the tension all the way and push pull really fast. Interestingly this air suction does not always generate so much if you do it repeatedly. Its usually the first push or pull that attract the wind, if you do it to track arbituary flying objects, you shouldn't be smacked too much by the wind.

I like to use a monopod with it as its so much more comfortable shooting with it. Just be sure that the head can support it if you are using one.