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  Reviews by: ktomkins  

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Canon EOS 50D

Review Date: Nov 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Higher resolution, auto sensor cleaning, live view, lower noise at hi ISO
Lack of raw processing software

I have both a 5D and a 30D. I purchased the 30D mainly as a backup for the 5D. However, I find that I often prefer the 30D when going to a party to snap some pics because of the built in flash. So when it came time to upgrade, I chose to upgrade the 30D to the 50D.
When I first got my 50D, I took some shots in low light at ISO800. The noise in the shadows was horrible. I played around with it for a few days and it seemed much worse than my 30D. When I called Canon, they said that maybe I had gotten a bad body, so I returned it for an exchange.
The new body gave me similar results. I figured that I had to be missing something. I was processing the raw files using ACR in CS4. Just for the heck of it, I tried the DPP that was included with the camera. What a HUGE difference. The shots were now ALMOST as good as my 5D. That told me that it was the software, NOT the camera that was the problem. After doing a little digging, I found out that Adobe Labs had some new camera profiles in beta that handled the 50D. I downloaded them and tried them out and they performed much better. They still are NOT quite as good as DPP, but they are much better than the profiles that ship with CS4.
So, if you are having problems with your raw files, try using DPP or downloading the beta profiles from Adobe Labs. Adobe really needs to get their act together with this!! For the money you pay for Photoshop and all the upgrades, you would expect them to keep current with their camera support.

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

Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: nice zoom range
Severe distortion, vignetting, and Chromatic aberration

I was really disappointed with this lens. It was quite sharp throughout the range, but there was also a lot of barrel distortion and CA throughout the entire range. The CA was no better than the $400 28-300 Tamron that I also have. It also had a lot of vignetting at 24mm. I ended up sending it back.

Tamron 28-300MM F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD VC AF

Review Date: Apr 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price performance
Gets a little soft past 200mm

This is a great little lens for the price. It is light and a great performer for such a wide zoom range. I have been using this lens on my Rebel 300D for some time. I had a Canon 28-135 for a while before I got this lens. I sold the Canon because this lens was sharper and had MUCH less CA than the Canon glass did.
I just purchased an EOS 5D along with a 20-300 L series lens. I tested the two lenses on my 5D. Between 28 and 70, the results were almost identical. The Tamron actually had less vignetting than the L series did. CA and sharpness of the two were virtually identical. After 70mm, the L series was noticably sharper and had less CA. However, when you realize that it costs about 5x as much as the Tamron, you would expect that.
I am sending back the L series lens for a different one. However, I am keeping this one. It's a great lens for the price.

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

Review Date: Apr 1, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $2,199.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Wide zoom range
Weight, poor wide angle performance

I purchased this lens along with an EOS 5D body. I have been a big fan of Canon lenses and cameras for many years. (I started with an AT-1 and 50 mm lens). I had really high hopes for this lens since it was an L series lens. After taking several groups of test shots, I am very disappointed with it. I will be returning it on Monday.
As far as the push/pull zoom goes, I think that is a matter of preference. I had a Vivitar series 1 lens that I used on my AT-1 for many years. I found it quite easy to use. I really think that the folks who are complaining about that feature are really nit-picking.
I also have a Rebel 300D with a Tamron 20-300 lens. I used that same lens on my 5D and compared the shots with the L series lens. From 28mm to 70mm, I could barely tell the difference between the lenses. Both of them have a good deal of CA in that range. This was the most disappointing aspect of the L series lens. The L series lens also had way more vignetting in that range. The Tamron has almost none. When you consider the fact that the L lens costs about 5 times as much as the Tamron, it is really a big let down.
Once you get past 70mm, the L lens really begins to shine. It is tack sharp and the CA is almost zilch. However, when you consider the price of the lens, it really sucks that you can't use the full range of the lens. After considering the price and the weight and the poor low end performance of the lense, I just can't recommend it.
After digging around the net a bit more, I found a site that had actually run some tests on this very lens using the DXO software. Their tests are right in line with my experience with this lens. Lots of CA and distortion in the 20-70mm range.
If you want a decent walk around lens, I would save the bucks and get the Tamron 20-300. I love mine.