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  Reviews by: skmdc  

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Canon Deluxe Backpack 200 EG

Review Date: May 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $43.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Holds ALL my gear! Great price. Fairly comfortable. Great camera stabalizer in a pinch!
Main zipper can be "tricky".

This bag is a godsend. I looked at the more pricey bags at a camera shop and was just about committed to ordering one online when I stumbled on this one. It was so cheap I just knew it couldn't compare. I wouldn't have ordered it but I found a picture of one open and holding gear and darned if it didn't look as good as the pricey models.

I took a chance and ordered it and haven't regretted it since!

I've read reviews that this bag is "cramped" for a 20D. Can't relate. I have a 20D and it's fitted with a tripod plate that expands it's size at the base somewhat. My camera fits perfectly in this bag and is held snuggly but not too tight with the tripod plate on. This bag holds all the lenses I have. It also holds all filters in orginal packaging, my giotto rocket and cleaning fluid, lens paper, blah blah blah. I throw everything in this bag and go.

As for comfort I can't compare this to other brands because I've never been on lengthly hikes with them, but with this bag I have and it performed quite well.

The build seems very sturdy so far and I love being able to organize all my gear. The one draw back--very teeny--is that the zipper can be a pain. It's a little hard to get started. Other than that this bag is fantastic.

One side beneifit I didn't consider is this bag is a great little camera stablazer. My camer cradles quite nicely on the top and allows me to stop down quite a bit when taking macros. I find myself constantly using it for macros and some wide angles. Much less tedious than a tripod!


Tamron 28-300MM F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD VC AF

Review Date: Mar 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: great all purpose lens, light weight, sharp images with good light, very acceptable on both ends of zoom, good color represenation, good daytime lens.
Somewhat cheap in construction, a little soft in certain situations (low light w/ full zoom), sometimes not nice bokeh--but sometimes creamy and nice--too inconsistent.

This lens is not a pro lens. I have a sigma ex 70-200 that I can compare it to and in many situations that lens is sharper and definately has nicer bokeh. However, that lens is also a HUGE beast that can make shooting sometimes a pain. I really LOVE my sigma for low light situations that require a long zoom (think sports or wildlife) but I wanted a lens for "everyday" and I've found it with this.

First let me clarify that I have the "Promaster" but it is made by Tamron. If you can find the promaster version get it because they slap a lifetime warranty on it.

When I first purchased my 20D a friend recommended this lens. I didn't know at that time that Promaster was made by Tamron and I had trouble finding an online dealer. I purchased a Sigma (not my ex) 28-300 mm instead hoping it would be as great as my friend said her Promaster was. I can't describe how AWFUL that lens is. It produces images so soft, even in great light, that you can see the blur on the tiny LCD! I couldn't use it.

So I purchased my Sigma EX (after MUCH research) and loved it except for the weight and size. It's just not suitable for certain situations (think vacations and runabout picture trips). While on vacation we were in a mall and I found a camera store that sold Promaster. They had the lens so I asked to try it out. The dealer informed me it was really a Tamron. Even in the low light of the mall I got nice results right off the bat. Wanting a light weight, good all purpose zoom I immedately slapped down the cash and bought the lens. It has made shooting fun again! I don't change lenses nearly as much now and my camera is light for easy toting.

I get fairly sharp images at both ends in good light. In the best light I describe it as TACK sharp but it degrades somewhat in low light. Unlike other reviewers I find the color representation right on. After reading the previous reviews I compared pictures I had to the actual objects I shot and couldn't see a difference with my eyes! Since I enjoy shooting during the day and outdoors this lens is great for me. I can get wonderful portraits with it and I'm very pleased all around. I even get nice results in low light situations--but not always. But it's much better in low light than the awful Sigma I mentioned earlier. This lens is a big noisy to listen to, but not overly terrible and it can hunt in low light.

Each lens has a purpose. The purpose of this lens is to take good pictures during the day without having to change lenses for every situation. If I have to have a true wide angle or light gets low I'll be forced to switch. But for the majority of situations this lens is great. And it does take acceptable macro shots. My friend who uses this lens is taking a stock photo class. She has L-glass zooms, wide angle and macros, but she still uses this lens 60% of the time and gets her images approved for stock submissions. So while it's not a "pro" lens it is a fine lens for many people.

So writing this review and giving this lens an "eight" overall rating I'm not comparing it to $2000 L-glass. That would be an unfair comparison. But for the price range this lens performs far above expectations for me. In a perfect world they would make a 300mm zoom lens this light weight with 2.8 throughout the zoom--but that's not possible. For the money this lens is keeper.