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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM

ef75_300usm_1_
Review Date: Apr 12, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Cheap; long focal length; fairly quiet AF;
Cons:
Poor build quality; Poor optics;

If your looking for a beginners zoom lens, pass by this one and get a Canon 100-300mm f4.5-5.5 USM. You won't pay much more but you'll get a reasonable step up in quality. I took very few photos with this lens that I liked.

 
Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

ef100_300f45_56_1_
Review Date: Apr 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $190.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Quick and Quiet AF. Pretty sharp pictures when stopped down one f-stop. Great price
Cons:
Needs a lot of light, zoom will extend by itself when angled down, I don't take any important shots past ~150mm...it loses quality quickly after that.

This is a good lens for the money. It's probably unusual, however, I use this lens quite often for portraits. It's a little long for a portrait lens on a 1.6 crop, but I like the bokeh. As others have said, if you can't afford a L, get this lens. It's definitely a step up from the 75-300. Buy this lens instead.

 
Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

1750diII
Review Date: Apr 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $390.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, close focusing distance for non-macro, good walk around lens (compact)
Cons:
Noisy AF, rear cap difficult to get back on

Great lens for the money. Sharp wide open...only slightly better when stopped down. Fast focus; however, rather noisy AF. This is a great walk around lens on a 1.6 crop.