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Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

1750diII
Review Date: Jul 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp, small, cheap, fast AF
Cons:
noisy AF, no USM or FTM, CA at wide end

My copy is extremely sharp at all focal lenghts even wide open. Of course it's not 300/2.8 L sharp but very good for a cheap small zoom.
After having owned the 18-55 Kit lens, a Sigma 17-70 and after those only primes I have to say this lens really is a gem. Overall not as good as the 24-70L but much more useful on APS-C and while being just as sharp it is way cheaper.


 
Canon Extender EF 2x II

Extender_2x2_1_
Review Date: May 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: IQ with 300/2.8, build quality
Cons:
size (almost as big as my 85/1.8), protruding front element - only the special cap will fit

It works excellent with the 300/2.8!
IQ is very good (not brilliant but still much better than the 100-400L at 400mm!)
I guess it needs the very best lenses for this converter to give great results. The 300/2.8 is one of them.


 
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef300mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Apr 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, speed, bokeh, bulid quality, everything else
Cons:

I thought the 85/1.8 was sharp (oh yeah it is) but this lens just let my jaw drop to the floor.
I really couldn't believe what I saw when I first looked at the pictures. I even accidentally zoomed to 200% and thought "oh nice" before recognizing my fault.
The price is very good for what you get... if you pay $ and not this is.
I'm using the Lens with a Sigma 1.4x and a Canon 2x TC. With the 2x there is a slight drop in IQ but with the 1.4x it is extremely hard to notice any differences.

All in all this lens is an absolute masterpiece of engineering and absolutely deserves the praise it gets here.


 
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

113_small
Review Date: Dec 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: incredibly sharp even at f/1.4 (center), very nice colors, cheap, perfectly built, AF precission
Cons:
border sharpness

I picked up this lens about 3 months ago for my 40D and i'm still stunned every day by it's quality.
The only real drawback is the IQ at the borders (quite soft untill f/5.6) but this is only a problem if you shoot testcharts!
In real-life use I never had a problem and 90% of the time I use it between f/1.4 and f/2.8.
I guess this is one of those lenses you have to test before you buy it. It doesn't fit everybody's style in shooting.
So if you want a perfectly built, very sharp lens for available light photography on a crop camera and don't want to invest a fortune for the 35L, this is the one to look for.


 
Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Sigma_150_macro
Review Date: Jun 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: great build quality, silent AF, very sharp at close distances (straight from f/2,8), takes Kenko 1,5x TC without loosing much IQ, internal focusing
Cons:
f/2,8 useless for non-macro shots, AF hunting on 350D/Rebel XT

I bought this lens used for 450 (~600US-$) and I really love it!
f/2,8 ist quite soft at non-macro shots, but as I use it for macros and on a tripod most of the time at f/8 or greater that's absolutely no problem.
The build quality ist really impressive. The focus ring is perfectly dampted and the lens hood is the best of all my lenses. Nothing like the crappy hood of the 100-400L. No wobbling at all.

So it's well priced, great IQ, joy to use... I would definitively buy it again!