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

2875mm
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $260.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: amazingly sharp, nothing beats it in this range corner to corner, very compact
Cons:
super slow AF, contrast a trace low compared to the best lenses

if it had a tad more contrast and faster AF nothing could touch it, the AF is almost absurdly slow at times though, aside from these two aspects ti would put the 24-70L to shame for incredibly less money

build is perfectly serviceable although nothing to write home about by any means but it's not like it will fall apart so it doesn't matter in the end.


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

1750diII
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ridiculously sharp, colors and contrast not bad, very compact, incredibly low CA on the long end, excellent build (it has survived things that would've destroyed some L's!)
Cons:
noisy AF, AF not good at AI servo

truly superb lens

it survived an 6' drop onto hard concrete with nothing more than the $3 front filter ring cracked and flew off the car seat to the floor with no issue and into the sand at the beach with no harm (otoh it seems to be sneaky and likes to fall! over my entire photography life this lens accounts of 3 of my 4 drops ever!)

sold the 17-40L with no regrets after getting this lens


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very sharp through 250mm, very compact, excellent contrast on wide end, low CA away from 300mm
Cons:
poor build quality, sometimes dodgy AF, weak contrast past 240mm or so, rather ugly and distracting bokeh at certain settings

really rather excellent IQ although above 240mm contrast definitely fades away/ i mean really sharp anywhere away from the longer end and even there it is more contrast and colors that are low than pure sharpness

not the best build and the original even sagged and wouldn't work in portrait orientation!

AF is kind of clunky

very compact, great for touristy stuff, can stick it in a cargo shorts/pants pocket easily


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

ef70_200_28_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: quite sharp even wide open at 200mm, pretty resistant to PF and flare
Cons:
not quite as quick to focus as the IS version

better contrast wide open than the IS version
less prone to PF than the IS or the sigma
less prone to flare than the sigma
sharper than the sigma at 200mm f/2.8
nicer colors than the sigma
focuses more accurately than the sigma
doesn't focus quite as well as the IS
better rendering of oof areas than the IS


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: superb contrast and color, fairly sharp, build quality is as good as it gets
Cons:
only f/4, bulky, not as nice as the tamron 17-50 overall

fantastic contrast
seems to be prone to copies with decentering

slower than the tamron 17-50, less reach too, much more bulky, maybe not quite as sharp either, not worth it with the tamron out there


 
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

efs60_28macro_usm
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, contrast, AF, size, fully L build quality, low CA< extremely resistant to PF
Cons:
workign distance not that large at 1:1

a superb performer

very quick and accurate AF for distant subjects
does get very endlessly hunty near macro if the lighting is not strong though

only downsides are that it doesn't work on FF (well maybe with a little tweaking and living with certain issues) and the working distance is a bit tight for nervous bugs.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: quite sharp, fast, fast AF
Cons:
AF accuracy a little bit weak for more distant subjects, extremely prone to PF



 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: exceedingly sharp stopped down, very fast at f/1.4, compact and light
Cons:
very poor build for the cost, terrible AF

every bit as good as the zeiss contax 50mm 1.4

does get some halation from f/1.4-1.8 under certain conditions

abysmal AF accuracy anywhere near wide open (and i've used six different copies, they varied from beyond abysmal to abysmal) for any subject more than like 5' away.

AF clutch a weak point and my first copy was broken right out of the box

they badly need to stick in a proper ring USM!

incredibly sharp corner to corner stopped down and decent bokeh and incredibly low CA

quite prone to PF anywhere near wide open



 
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef300mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, contrast, focusing speed and accuracy, low-light performance, as good as it gets at wide open, no CA, no PF under any circumstance, handles the 1.4x TC very well
Cons:
bulk, cost

the AF is as good as it gets and no lens i've used has been more flawless at wide open, simply zero CA, zero PF even under the worst circumstances, no purple/green to OOF areas

the bulk does make it more unweidly than the 300 f/4 so it's a tad tougher to stop tracking a player on the dime with it and it's so wide it also makes tracking a touch trickier, but it is still worth it, gives you less DOF, better focusing and image quality and lets you shoot indoors and night games.

noticeably better focusing and image quality than the sigma 120-300 (also lets in a little bit more light wide open and is a real 300mm as opposed to say 280mm or so)

frightfully expensive, but the other camera makers are even more frightful for this lens.


 
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

ef24mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: pretty sharp in the center, very compact
Cons:
way too much CA, not the worlds sharpest corners, worse than the modern zooms that cover this range and no faster

maybe it was good once upon a time, but seriously, my tamron zooms simply blow it away (as i'm sure does the canon 17-55 IS or 24-105L). just doesn't make sense in this day and age IMO.


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: does macro (duh), extremely sharp right from wide open, doesn't extend in macro range, very flat focusing plane
Cons:
AF isn't always precise for subjects more than 8' away and while fast not as fast as the 60 macro

AF isn't always precise for subject more than 8' away, but I almost soley use it for macro anyway; vastly less compact than the 60 macro (otoh gives you more working room and works on FF) and slower and less precise distance focusing than the 60 macro.

extremely sharp right from wide open and one of the sharpest corner to corner, very flat focusing plane, lets you do 1:1 at a greater distance than the 60 macro, doesn't extend in macro range


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness from wide open, incredible contrast and colors, tied for most accurately focusing of all my lenses, very sharp even used with a 1.4x TC
Cons:
can get a touch of purple/green around oof areas under certain circumstances

a realy fantastic lens, just amazingly sharp right from wide open at f/2 and fantastic contrast that makes colors seem incredibly rich and saturated. extremely accurate focusing, even at f/2 (this is no 50mm 1.4).