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

Review Date: Aug 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely versatile: works well from bees to landscapes, from wide-angle groups to zoomed in faces. Image stabilisation works very well. Also, about 15kg lighter to carry than my kids.
F gets to 5.6 quite quickly, so not good for indoor or low light shots. Doesn't work with extenders, so what you see is what you get.

My first high quality camera was the Canon 5D Mk II, which came with the surprisingly good 50mm F1.8. The 28-300 was my next lens. I didn't fully appreciate it until I got some more lenses. Superb flexibility and everything just worked.

It's only more recently since I've got the 70-200mm F2.8 that I realised how much the ISO rating took up the strain of the F5.6 limit on indoor shots. But then, 70mm is a bit long for these, so even then I miss the 28mm end of the 28-300mm.

My nearest improvement to this single lens is a combination of F50 1.2L for wide angle (I'm a bit short of lenses at the wide end!), the in-comparison-narrow-zoom-range 70-200 F 2.8 for low light and x2 extender for longer reach.

Conclusion: for a one-lens holiday, this is the one.