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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Jul 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent performance even at 300mm; Light and compact; Superb image stabilization; Relatively inexpensive for the performance level provided
Cons:
None within the working aperture limits of the lens.

This is a sharp performing light-weight travel lens that packs neatly into a small space and is easy to carry with you anywhere. Performance stopped down one f/stop is superb, and it provides excellent images with an APS-C camera, even at 300mm. Image stabilization works superbly. I wish I had bought this lens sooner.

My experience with the lens and lens performance data compared to L-lenses is posted here:
http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/70-300IS/index.htm


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

1750diII
Review Date: Jun 12, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $419.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Low weight and compact OK image quality for small jpg's and 5x7's
Cons:
Poor quality control; 1st copy wouldn't autofocus on XTi Slow noisy focus Image quality so so

I bought one to see if it would be sharp enough for f/2.8 portrait work with an APS-C camera. I wouldn't use it to produce 8x10 prints.

I tested two new lenses, the first wouldn't autofocus. The second had 50% MTF and resolution performance that was generally on the low end against other comparably priced lenses (Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 Macro).

I have summarized my experience here:
http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/17-85compare/index.htm

There are many happy Tamron 17-50 owners. It could be that I just got two bad copies in a row. If you buy one, make sure you have the option to return yours for an immediate exchange with your dealer or return for refund if yours is defective.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Jun 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Of the 85L: Super shallow plane of focus and superb bokeh. Of the Mark II over the Mark I: 1) 1.8x faster autofocus; 2) Better resistance to flare.
Cons:
The EF 85mm f/1.8 will do almost everything the 85L will at 1/6th the cost, smaller size, lighter weight.

I have reviewed this lens at length here:
http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/index.htm

The biggest improvements of the Mark II lens:
1) 1.8x faster autofocus: Autofocus in the EF 85mm f/1.2L Mark II is now fast enough to use in sports and other fast moving action photography;

2) New lens coatings: Flare is markedly reduced which results in better image contrast in unusual lighting situations;

3) Round aperture diaphragm to f/2.5: Results in smoothed out of focus aperture diaphragm patterns at apertures from f/1.4 to f/2.5

4) Electronics changes to support E-TTL II flash function



 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 1) Wider field than 17-40L; 2) f/2.8 for extreme low light situations; 3) Similar size, weight and build to the excellent 17-40L.
Cons:
1) Not quite as sharp in corners/edges as the 17-40L, 2) More lateral chromatic aberration than the 17-40L

I was very happy with performance of the EF 17-40mm f/4L. However, there were too many times when I couldn't quite get the field of view I needed, so I bought the 16-35mm f/2.8L.
The performance price for the wider field and f/2.8 is slightly less sharpness in corner and edges of field and more lateral chromatic aberration. Oh, yes, the 16-35 costs twice as much as the 17-40. The trade off was acceptable to me. Not everyone will agree.

Details posted in review here:

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/16-35/index.htm