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  Reviews by: tonyat  

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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Sep 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Affordable for a long L lens. IS and Ring USM. Good Build Quality. Great in the sharpness, contrast and color departments.
None from my point of view.

I was using a Tamron 70-300 was just not satisfied with it. I decided I needed better image quality and IS. I did like the 300mm focal length on a crop body, though. Was considering Canon's 70-300 with IS, but after a lot of research went with this lens and really do like it.

Colors and image sharpness just knock me dead compared with what I had before. The IS has increased my keeper rate dramatically. The Ring USM focusing is a great improvement. I am not a pro, but I still appreciate the build quality even if it is a little heavier.

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8

Review Date: Sep 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Affordable price. f2.8. Sharper than a consumer zoom.
Not ring usm.

Yes, it makes a little noise when focusing. Yes, the corners are not as sharp as the center wide open.

But is is sharper wide open than my two zooms that encompass 28 mm and neither zoom can reach f2.8. I can get better shots indoors and some shots I just couldn't before. Ring USM would be nice, but Canon wouldn't sell it at that price if it did.

If you have the budget, by all means get the L primes. For those like me who don't, this one fills in nicely. My rating takes cost into consideration.

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Jun 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $219.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great range for outdoor events (45-168 ff equiv). Good color reproduction and pretty sharp in its sweet spot (f7-f16). Ring USM is fast and quiet.
Not an indoor lens. It is usable wide open, but sharpness and contrast do suffer.

Some say it is an awkward focal length on 1.6 bodies. I find it quite handy at outdoor events and even for landscapes. The lens really shines outdoors when you can stop it down just a little.

The handling is pretty good and the ring usm is why I can't bring myself to get something else. For the price, there isn't anything else that is as quick.

It can be used indoors, especially if you can hit the subject with flash.

I have used it indoors without flash at my daughter's events and have usable pictures, but this is not where it is at its best. I have found f2.8 and better primes do this job nicer for me.

Sigma 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC

Review Date: Oct 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $109.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fairly sharp, inexpensive, compact.
Need to be careful mounting hoods, filters, etc, can damage focus motor unless swithed to Manual Focus.

I have had this lens for about 2 years now. Picked it up because my trusty Canon 28-105 wasn't always wide enough on 1.6x bodies. I have to say that it exceded my expectations. I compared it side by side to a friend's Canon 18-55 (non-is) and my Sigma is sharper. I also like the fact that is has a usable manual focus ring. The zoom ring is quite smooth for such a low cost lens.

I bought it to "hold me over" til I could afford something else, but when I look at the tests on Photozone, etc I can't find anything head and shoulders above it when you look at distortion, CA, edge sharpness, etc. Guess I will keep it till it breaks then buy another.