9 out of 10 points and recommendedValue, Image quality, Build qualityMinimum focus distance, Lack of image stabilization
This is one of those great lens values that comes along and makes you re-think the amount of money you've sunk into "L" glass.reviewed December 23rd, 2006 (purchased for $800)
I love this lens, and use it mostly for "people" shots (weddings, headshots, and sports). The bokeh is pretty smooth, the focus speed is *just* slightly slower than the Canon version (but still very fast & accurate), and the colors are very true-to-scene.
I wish (like a previous poster) that I could trade this version in for the new one with better close focus, but oh well. Additionally, image stabilization would be nice (but how much would the price increase?)
Overall, highly recommended.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedVersatility (focal lenth range, IS, weight)Some slight issues with distortion, vignetting, and CA
This has been said countless times before, but I'll throw my hat into the ring....reviewed December 23rd, 2006 (purchased for $512)
It's not perfect, but it is a *fantastic* walk-around lens for all of the reasons I listed in the "Pros" section.
As has been said, there are some issues (especially at the lower focal lengths) with image quality. However, I have yet to find any problems that couldn't be corrected in post-processing.
Especially for those with DxO Optics pro....their correction algorithms make this lens absolutely shine!
Slightly expensive, but I still think a good value. If you're only going to buy one or two lenses, I think this is a great choice for one of them.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedImage qualityExtending barrel
I have to question some of the reviewers who dramatically state that the AF is "sooooo" slow. Did you make sure the limit switch was activated and that the clutch was disengaged from MF?reviewed December 23rd, 2006 (purchased for $380)
I have several USM and HSM lenses, and while this AF isn't as fast or quiet, I still think it is perfectly acceptable. Besides, how many people actually use AF for Macro? That's just asking for trouble.
Anyway, this is a nearly perfect optical lens. That, coupled with a price that is about 25-30% less than the Canon equivalent was enough to sway my purchasing decision.
It is a bit ugly when extended out all the way, but not that big of a deal. If you think you're going to squash a bug with it as it extends, then you *really* need to re-think your hobby/profession, because your technique is terrible.
Overall *highly* recommended.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedExcellent optically & typical "L" build qualityLens barrel extends
What can I say that hasn't already been said? :-)reviewed December 23rd, 2006 (purchased for $1,200)
It's a great lens. Easy to use, although the 24mm end is with the lens extended, which is different from any other lens I've used. Usually you extend to zoom, but this one is the opposite.
Slightly too normal/tele on a 1.6x body, but that's not the lens' fault.