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Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Feb 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast constant aperature, sharp wide open and very sharp stopped down a bit, perfect size/weight, good build, manual focus ring functions very smoothly, focus is accurate, included hood fits securely, 7 diaphragm blades make for very pleasing bokeh, close-focusing, zoom lock very useful, oh... and don't forget the price
Nitpicking only! - Zoom ring isn't the smoothest... may take getting used to, focusing isn't very fast and seemingly inefficient as the ring spins while focusing. Those are my only annoyances in my past couple weeks' experience with this wonderful little piece of engineering.

I'm glad I was broke for long enough to really research my needs and reevaluate my options for a standard zoom to replace my EF-S 18-55. This lens has been the PERFECT companion to my 300D body and my shooting style. I found that with the 18-55, I was using the 30-55 range mostly and almost always wanting a little longer. I was also tired of its cheap, weightless feel and having to stop down to F8 for a sharp image. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't hesitate to make the same decision.

Just to be fair, the Sigma 24-70mm EX DG MACRO is worth checking out if you think you might need a tad more on the wide end. It's a little bigger, heavier, and more expensive, but I've heard from several that it's also extremely sharp.