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Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

2875mm
Review Date: Dec 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp at 2.8, VERY SHARP from 4.0, Small, Lightweight, 67mm filter - I can share the filters with my Sigma 18-50 EX DC
Cons:
Slowish low light focus, Hood could have been stronger, rear lens cap aligns only at one point (minor)

I wanted to go for the new 24-105 L but could not wait, so bought this lens thinking that I could sell this after I buy the L. The 24-105 L is still not in stock in Germany. But even if it comes, I will not go for it easily since I have a stellar Tamron 28-75.

I also have a Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 EX. I use the Sigma as an indoor zoom and my Tammy as my outdoor zoom lens. While I tested my Tammy indoors in low light at 2.8, there was significant focus hunting. But rest of it was fine Good colors, acceptable sharpness and good contrast. At 4.0 my lens performs very well. Tack Sharp. The sharpest is my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX, followed by the Tammy and then the Sigma 18-50, with a hairline difference between Tammy and Sigma.

HSM would be a nice to have (especially after I used my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX)

I have heard that there are QC issues with this lens. But mine on the first try, no less (touch wood), works well with my 350D. Even if you get a bad copy, don't worry, just send it out to Tamron for caliberation (mentioning your body) and when it comes back, you will see what I wrote here makes sense.

If this range suits your needs, you are not a snob, don't mind the lesser build quality compared to the L, on a budget, and don't mind a little focussing noise without ANY compromise on picture quality, go get this lens and keep shooting.

Highly recommended !


 
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

18-50f28
Review Date: Sep 1, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: See my previous post
Cons:
See my previous post

A couple of things I forgot to mention in my previous review.

The lens hood does not block the built in flash of the XT. But doesn't matter. Once you have a filter to protect the front element, you either use the hood or the flash right. And if you want to fill in outdoors, then the built in is not so good. I would recommend a 420ex for normal use.

I am so happy with this lens that the next time I press the lens release button on my 350D (XT) will be only to clean the sensor, or when SIGMA announces a 17-85 f/2.8 EX DG/DC IF OS HSM Smile which is not heavier than 500 gms and I know that atleast for the next two years that this would only be a dream.

I would like to thank FM for being instrumental in providing quality information and helping me upgrade from a point and shoot Olympus C-750 to a world of DSLRs. I thank each and every one of you who have been kind enough to present your views on various gears.


 
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

18-50f28
Review Date: Sep 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f/2.8, SHARP, light weight, takes 67mm filters that are cheaper than 77mm ones, range, sexy hood unlike the 17-40 HAT.
Cons:
Only to mention (i.e., very minimum impacts for me) - No HSM (USM in canon's language) so AF makes noise, Zoom ring a little bit tight, but I guess i eases out as I use. Front Element moves (does not rotate)

I own a 350D (Rebel XT). This is my first DSLR. When I first got the kit, I had very high expectations of the KIT lens (18-55). After a few shots, when I tested them, I got the shock of my life and my next hunt started. This time for lenses. I started reading / surfing like crazy to get myself upto speed with basics of SLR shooting, lenses, etc..

Then i decided to go for the 17-85 IS. The range attracted me, though I did not pay attention to the speed. I tested the shots, and was still not happy. I missed my Olympus C-750 quality.

Ok, the next try was the 17-40 L. I thought it was going to be my everyday glass. Boy, I was disappointed again. I don't know how to explain, but the image quality was not upto the mark. Highly saturated colors, lack of brightness and many more to add to the list.

Then I was totally confused. If an L glass cannot satisfy me, then what else could ? I was thinking of getting out of the DSLR world and going back to my Olympus. I even tried my hands on a Nikon D50. Nikon's ergonomics was not what I was looking for. Canon is the best. I decided to give a last try by looking for a faster glass (having invested a lot of money now).

I went for the sigma 18-50 f/2.8. Man, this is THE lens. I took some tests and pics were excellent. I look for sharpness, CA, Vig and Distortions, and I am a very tough guy to please. Believe me, I had no complaints with these pics.

I am not a proessional, but I know what quality pics are. You don't need to be know how to make cars, but could well drive one and say if it is good or bad right ?

Pros :

Fast f/2.8 - I can shoot indoors and in less light environments, If you have kids (I have one) this lens is for you.

Light Weight - I dont like it when you carry something all day long, and every minute it reminds you that you are carrying it!

Image Quality - I shoot with Set 1 in my 350D (XT). My set 1 settings are the same as Parameter 1, with the sharpness set to +2 and the images are excellent (in my opinion)

Hood - My 17-40L came with a hat !! I wanted a hood, and got it with my 18-50 EX.

Recommendation - My recommendation would be to buy a 67 mm HOYA SMC UV filter (minimum) to protect the glass. I am now thinking of getting a CIR POL filter since I shoot through glass boxes during vacations when I visit mueseums.

Cons :

Well, there are no real cons for this lens in my opinion (for my needs) but to mention a few which I found in the lens:

Front Element moves - I thought it would not move since it is an IF lens, but I think IF means that it doesn't only rotate, could or could not move. But I don't care. It has a zoom lock at 18mm and that is good enough (in my opinion) to ensure safety.

No DOF Markings - You cannot set the lens to the Hyperfocal distance.

One big Con of this lens is that it is not a Canon L. It does not have a red ring around it. And so, there is no snob value. However, I like the golden ring. Looks very elegant with my black 350D - in fact better than the red ring Smile

Finally :

I gave it a 9 because of a philosiphical reason. Nothing in this universe is perfect ! Smile

If every cent you earn is important to you, and you don't earn a living by shooting, and this range is acceptable to you, go get this lens and keep shooting. Professional Quality lens (in my opinion) at a consumer price - probably only because it is not a canon !