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Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L

17tse
Review Date: Aug 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Much wider than 24mm, Sharp to the corners, Minimal CA, Minimal distortion, Excellent built, Excellent front lens cap design
Cons:
Protruding front element, Cannot use filter

I have been using 24mm TS-E MK 1 for a few years, mainly for architectural photography during travelling to Europe (for holiday). I found it not wide enough for many situations, where I could not stand back anymore to have the view that I wish.

Now the 17mm TS-E allows me to do so.

It is sharper than 24mm TS-E MK 1 and has much less CA. It is also sharper than my 16-35 MK II when used as a normal 17mm lens, and has less distortion too.

I mainly handholding the camera when using 24mm TS-E. Handholding 17mm TS-E is more difficult but still OK, if you use grid screen and not looking for 100% perfect alignment. But using a tripod and bubble lever is definitely better.

I only use its shift capability and found tilt capability little use for the type of photography that I take. The DOF of 17mm stopping down is already big enough in most cases.

The main negative thing about this lens is the protruding front element, which is risky for damage and attracts attention. My way to protect it is to point the lens down when walking in a crowd. Putting on and off the lens cap may mean lost in shooting opportunity.

Some sample photos during my recent trip to Austria. About half of the photos inside this album are taken using 17mm TS-E.

http://www.pbase.com/davidkwlau/austria_2009


 
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

28-75mm
Review Date: May 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price very competitive, covers useful focal length, relatively lightweight, F2.8 maximum aperature
Cons:
Poor QC, Built quality average, focusing speed average

I read a lot of good reviews and give it a go. The first copy is very soft at f2.8. Fortuantely the second copy after exchange is much better.

I compared it against the Canon 35/f2 and 50/f1.4. It is not a fair comparsion but the Tamron holds well against these 2 lenses. At f2.8 the 2 primes beat the Tamron to the ground but once stopped down to f4 one can only tell the difference at 100% chop, and there is no difference at f8 even at 100% chop.

In its focal length, it performs better at the wide end than the tele end.

It is a great lens for travel. I am using 20D and together with the Canon 10-22/f3.5-4.5 I can cover 16-120mm range with just 2 light weight lenses.