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  Reviews by: scottleslie  

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Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

ef400mmf_56_1_
Review Date: Apr 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. Light. Fast AF. Build quality.
Cons:
Minimum focus distance (not a big problem)

I have just three words for this lens: superb, superb, superb.

 
Tamron 200-500MM F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

200500mm
Review Date: Oct 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Surprisingly very sharp, great zoom range, good AF lightweight, nice close tolerances on manufacturing.
Cons:
Lens hood a little long, vibrates in wind. The actual bayonet mount on the hood is quite weak.

I was a little leery when I bought this lens, my first "super-zoom", after having used high quality Nikon and Canon prime telephotos for the past 20 years. I wanted something a little more versatile than those, so I bought this Tamron. I can now say that I have no regrets, at all. Maybe I got a particularly sharp copy, but this lens is as sharp wide open at 500mm as my Canon 400mm 5.6L lens. I know there are those of you who are thinking that I don't know what I'm talking about, but I've been photographing wildlife for 20 years now (professionally for much of it) and checking the images between the two lenses, the Tamron is virtually the same. I've also checked it against a Sigma 400mm tele-macro (which is well known as a sharp lens) and the Tamron is definitely superior when shot wide open. Of course the 200-500mm performs even better at f8 or f9. At shorter focal lengths the lens is superb, as well. After spending all those years hefting around big, fast glass, the advent of great high ISO performance in the newest digital SLR's means that the speed advantage is all but gone, and the 200-500mm is a viable alternative for the work I do, mostly editorial work for books and magazines, etc.