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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

1ef200mmf_28_1_1_
Review Date: Mar 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $560.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp, very fast.
Cons:

A dream to hold and shoot with. Oh, and did I say very sharp, yes!! It differs from the original by only the change in the retractable hood, which I like. Purchased refurbished from B&H. If you can find one like this and like primes you will be extremely pleased especially with a 1.6 mag factor on a digital body - how about a 320mm/2.8 lens for under $650!!!

 
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

05_03_1_
Review Date: Nov 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp. excellent build quality. quick focus. very smooth working.
Cons:
not

I tried it against my primes on a tripod. I keep a lens database of all my lenses and shoot them in nearly the same setting in front of my house against bushes with color and pattern. This lens is as good across the board as my 50, 85 or 200L, but all in one package. Real live photos have been great. For $750 less I could not justify the Canon 2.8 version with IS. Both are heavy and for me usually end up on a tripod.

 
Tamron 28-105MM F/2.8 LD Aspherical (IF)

28105mm_1_
Review Date: Oct 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $585.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Excellent focal range.
Cons:
82mm filter, but the new version is less. Heavy, but oddly feels like it balances well with my 1Ds. Nothing that would keep me from buying this lens again.

I use it my on 1Ds now. I bought this for my wife when we were still shooting film. We kept noticing how sharp and contrasty her shots were. I was using mostly Canon primes. But we had to pay attention to keep track of her shots because I couldn't tell the difference! So the short of it is, I took it for my 1Ds and she has another lens sans the mag factor for her D60.

Sometimes I think we are all too "trained" to think that only "L" lens or the Nikon equiv. are the only ones for good pictures. Clearly this lens will never be the item holding back my progress photographically - as usual it will be me - not the equipment. Especially not this lens.

I bought mine used and if you can find one, especially with the new version out, take it. You won't regret it.