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

Review Date: Apr 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versatile, IS, solid construction, contrast and sharpness are excellent and above average, push-pull zoom
not as sharp as the famous 70-200L IS USM not enough luminous (F2.8 would have been *very* hot) lens hood and pricey

Evaluating a lens is a difficult process. It's always very subjective to everyone and everyone have a different story and or priorities. It always depend on what you are covering...

I have been using 28-300 zoom range for more than 3 years starting with a sigma 28-300 @ 400$. ouch.
After almost 1 year now that I have upgraded for the Canon 28-300L IS USM and here is my two cents about it.

For me, versatility is very important. On a F1 day, a downhill bike competition or at jazz shows, the 28-300 range is always there to back you up. No extra lens, no time wasted to switch lens, always ready to click and snap. This is my trade off between always been ready to snap and the image quality.

But versatility have a cost. The money cost is high on this unit vs its picture quality rating. The weight is also heavy but when I'm covering an event, the weight is personnally my last concern.

Here is my actual priorities about a lens:
1- versatility
2- light sensitivity (apperture)
3- sharpness and contrast (image quality)
4- solid construction (resist light rain and dust)
5- weight

Now if you are looking for the *best* picture, dont buy it and go for a prime lens or the 70-200L IS USM. It simply doesnt compare for the sharpness. Yes the 28-300 L is clean, yes it is sharp, but not as much as the 70-200.

The IS is doing a very good job and I became addict to it. I shot photos at 300mm 1/90s and no shake at all. It DOES work very well. This shot in fact:

The 28-300 L is a lens that you need to adapt yourself to. It have a learning curve to get the most of that lens.

If you are looking for a polyvalent lens with excellent picture quality go ahead you can't go wrong. It is well above the average lens on the market and overall, it's a L lens.

My next buy will be the 100-400L IS USM to gain more zoom.