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

ef28-300_35-56lisu
Review Date: Feb 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Great close focus capability, push-pull zoom, great zoom range, fast focus acquisition
Cons:
Weight,

I have used this lens effectively for weddings and have been thankful for its zoom range and sharpness. On a full frame 5D and now 5D Mk II it pulls back for table shots and groups and has the reach to grab a candid across the room. The 3.5 -5.6 capability has not been an issue for wedding reception and event photography. Faster glass would probably be more appropriate for the actual wedding unless you can use flash.
I recently took it to the Everglades mounted on the 5D Mk II and shot it up against my 7d with a 100-400. I was surprised to find when all images were dumped to a common folder and ranked this lens accounted for about 80% of my top ranked keepers. Part of this success could be the 5D vs. the 7D, not really a fair fight.
As birding lenses go this would probably not be a first choice for most but at Shark Valley in the Everglades the huge (6'+) wing spans of the great egrets and storks at 4' to 40' range demand the wide end and close focus ability of this lens. See samples at: http://dallasjj.smugmug.com/Animals/Birds/Shark-Valley-February-2010/11165438_kHpDC#782608537_wxM2A.