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  Reviews by: tjsimonsen  

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

Review Date: Oct 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good centre sharpness wide open. Extremely sharp across the frame stopped down. Fairly robust and yet compact. Pretty fast AF. Noticable disortion wide open.
Corners are soft wide open at all focal lenghts. Nosy AF. AF precision in low light so-so

OK I got this lens today, so this is a fairly preliminary review. But so far I'm pretty impressed, especially considering the price. The build quality of the lens is very good. Not comparable to Canon's L glass, but still I feel that it is a lens that can survive some field use and abuse.
Wide open the centre sharpness is definitly OK, but the corners are pretty soft, perhaps due to the field curvature reported by others. But stopped down a bit it becomes insanely sharp. Between f5.6 and f8 it is at least as sharp as my 100/2.8 macro at the same appatures. And with a pretty good close-focus distance at 50mm it can easily be used as an 'emergency macro'.

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8

Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light-weight and compact, fairly cheap, sharp stopped down, fast and precise AF despite conventional micro-motor, good standart lens on a 1.6x body.
Somewhat soft wide open, CA visible in critical situations.

For the prize this lens is a bargin!
It's small, light and compact, and corresponds to a 45mm on a 1.6x body (40-55mm was my preferred range for landscape and everyday photography on a film camera).
Wide open it's a bit soft (which off course can be desired in some situations), but between f4 and f11 it's very sharp. The buildt quality is pretty good, the lens feels solid and the focus ring is smooth, if not partucular dampened. The lens even survived that I dropped it on a concrete floor (with a thin felt carpet on), though I don't recommend this action ;-).
My only complaint is that there is visible CA in critical situations. And that can be fixed in PS, besides my guess is that it will only be visible on large prints (8*12'' and larger).

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Aug 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp stopped down, good bokeh, fast AF, full time MF, IS, great versitility.
Soft wide open, long and slightly off balanced at 400mm, push-pull zoom, price

After having owned this lens for a while and tested it in quite different conditions, my conclusion is that it's a great all-round wildlife lens.
It is, however, NOT a prime. And wide open at 400mm it's considerably softer than the 400/5.6, stopped down to f8, it becomes a pretty sharp lens. It may still be a bit softer than the prime (at the same apature) if you pixel-peep, but I doubt that the difference will be visible even on a 12''*18'' print. The excellent bokeh, the close-focus distance of 1.8 m (at 400mm) and the floating lens element-group doubles the lens as a good close-up lens for butterflies and dragonflies as well (though by no way a hidden macro as some indicate).
The overall build quality is excellent: it's build like a tank and the AF is very fast. It is, however, slightly off balance at 400mm and the push-pull zoom will NEVER be my cup of tea - I'm getting used to it, but I'll never love it! The IS works well and it's a usefull tool, but not a life-saver - you still need your basic telephoto skills.
All in all, it's a great allround lens within it's limitations, by in my opinion at bit over-prized (not a word from me about it being f5.6 - if it was an f4, it would have been three times the weight and five times the prize!).