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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Aug 9, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Good Walk-around focal length, solid build, IS, reasonable weight, weather sealing
Cons:
Soft pictures wide open, improves at f/5.6, sharp at f/8, but so do less expensive lens.

This is an overpriced lens. The "L" rating is a bit of an overstatement. My previous EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS had similar sharpness at comparable focal lengths/aperatures. Currently my $300 Tamron AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4.0 SP Di LD ASL IF is sharper wide open than the Canon is at f/4.
You can get the 17-35 and the 28-75 f/2.8 Tamrons for about half the price of this lens.
This lens is downright disappointing for its price. If you are stuck on OEM then try Canon's other EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L which is undoutedly a better choice, albeit a bit heavy.


 
Tamron 17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

1735mm
Review Date: Aug 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, huge price advantage being ~25% of EF16-35 f/2.8L, 50% of EF 17-40 f/4.0, less than 1 lb
Cons:
no full time manual focus, slower than USM focus speed, lack of weather sealing, zoom ring reversed from Canon, build not as solid as Canon lens

Simply an outstanding lens. Exceptional value. Very sharp, colours a bit cool but close to Canon.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Aug 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Full-time manual focus although you don't really need it as it focuses bang on every time,
Cons:
None

close to "L" in quality, great for portraits assuming it is effectively 80mm (50mm x 1.6), solid colours, light weight

 
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

18-50f28
Review Date: Mar 8, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $410.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Compact size; F2.8; less expensive than L
Cons:
Lacks Full Time Manual Focus

I'm using this lens on a Canon 300D. I really wanted to like the lens, but in lower light levels the AF does have some difficulty in focusing correctly, even though the camera focus indicator shows the lens is properly focused.

In bright conditions using F5.6 or higher, the lens is very sharp. That said there is a slight front focus issue, which is more noticable on close-ups using F2.8.

I ended up buying the EFS 17-85 F4-5.6 IS which is now on my camera most of the time.