8 out of 10 points and recommendedNice range; IS; ringtype USM; FTM; sharpnessHad to return the lens due to a mechanical problem
Next week this lens will finally be returned to me after 6 weeks in Canon's repair shop. I had some doubts about the mechanics: sometimes zooming produced a rattling noise, so I decided to return it.reviewed October 28th, 2005 (purchased for $600)
I am so glad it is coming back. Apart from the mechanical thing, this lens is superb. Pictures are very sharp and the range is ideal to make this your everyday lens.
The IS is perfect. I have the original IS in my 75-300 IS USM but this latest version is much better by far. It is less clunky and so quiet you sometimes wonder if it is working. This lens produced some very nice nightshots of the city I live, all handheld.
Colors, contrast and sharpness are all very good. I don't own a L-type lens so I can't compare but I cannot imagine there is that much difference as this lens is so good.
Highly recommended. If I change my mind after it has returned from Canon, I will let you know.
--- edit after Canon returned the lens ---
All problems now solved and I've got the distinct feeling they made some minor adjustments because the sharpness now is simply amazing: I have no need for USM in PS anymore!!! However, during a shooting last week I did notice some distinct barreleffect @ 17 - 20mm which is why I downgraded the overall rating from 9 to 8. Still, it remains highly recommended.