Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM8 out of 10 points and recommendedsharpness, image quality, fastbig (especially with the hood attached), range in APS-C
I have used the 100mm USM 2.8 Macro for 1 year and a half. Its image quality is top notch, probably one of the best Canon lenses.reviewed December 13th, 2006 (purchased for $500)
Thanks to the USM AF it's fast and silent, althought it's better to focus manually in macro photography (or focus using camera movements).
It has a switch to choose between two distance ranges for autofocus, which improves the versatility of this lens in non-macro photography.
When I switched from film to digital, I founded that the equivalent focal length (160 mm) was too far for my needs, so I ended selling it.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM7 out of 10 points and recommendedFast f1.4!!, small size, moderate price, good IQ f2 or smaller, bokehNot sharp at f1.4, vigneting, flare, AF not so good
This is probably the best 50mm that Canon makes:reviewed December 14th, 2006 (purchased for $340)
The 1.8 IQ is softer, its the construction quality is worst, as it's the AF, and only marginally cheaper.
The 1.2 is much more expensive, only a little bit faster and better built. The AF speed is the same, as it's the vigneting.
The 2.8 macro is not so fast ... not the same league.
This lens does not give information about the distance to the camera, so the E-TTL II flash doesn't work.
With an APS-C sensor the focal length is 80mm, so it becomes a kind of very short tele, not as useful a real 'normal' lens, as can be the Canon 28mm 1.8 or Sigma 30mm 1.4
The f1.4 aperture can be very tricky for composition, you have a really tight DOF and a soft image ... if you can live with that, this is your lens!!!
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM7 out of 10 points and recommendedCheap IS lens, aceptable IQ for a 5x zoomConstruction, 45mm in APS-C (not wide enough), slow and variable aperture
This is the main lens on my 30D, where it becomes a 45-216mm, not wide enough for my taste.reviewed December 14th, 2006 (purchased for $450)
The IQ is aceptable considering that it's a 5x zoom: but it's quite soft until you stop down to f8, and has CA.
The IS is its main selling point, but it's a first generation IS, so only 1-2 stops advantage, no panning suport nor tripod detection.
It focuses fast and has Full Time Manual, but at the tele end I have found that the focal length changes a lot with the focusing!!!
The construction isn't very good: the lens barrel moves a lot and sucks dust inside the lens. It also has some zoom creep.
This isn't a fast lens, the f3.5 at 28mm it's not really usable. It's f5.6 at 135mm, and you *need* to stop down to f8 to have an aceptable IQ. The IS helps, but if you are shooting a moving element you are screwed.
The bokeh and color rendition are ok, maybe a little bit warm.
Canon EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 III7 out of 10 points and recommendedVery cheap, good IQ stopped down, small and lightBad range for APS-C cameras, CA, flare, vigneting ...
This was my first Canon lens, it came as a kit with my film camera (an Elan-7), and I've get some of my best pictures from it.reviewed December 14th, 2006 (purchased for $80)
So if you're in a very tight budget it's a good option (it's a better lens than most of the zooms in compact digital cameras!!).
It has the typical weaknesses of a cheap lens: bad construction, CA, flare, vigneting, a little bit slow and noisy AF, etc.
But if you stop down to f8 the IQ it's as good as other lenses much more expensive, and all this in a small, light and cheap package (so you don't need to worry about rain, dust, front lens scratches, etc.)
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF9 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp, IQ, price, fastAF, it's fast and accurate, but a little bit noisy and no FTM
I have this lens for Canon mount and I can compare it with my Canon 28-135 IS USM.reviewed December 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $530)
First, its IQ is much better than the 28-135, and I have wide angle again, and 2.8!!! (you really need to stop down the canon to f/8).
The Tamron AF is as fast and accurate as the Canon 28-135, the only downside is a little bit of noise (I can live with that), and no Full Time Manual (just switch to MF).
Image Stabilization is nice, but it doesn't stop motion, so I prefer fast aperture (with good IQ), over IS in a wide angle lens (for a tele: no IS -> no way)
Ok, you can get the Canon 17-55 2.8 IS, and have both, but it's much bigger, heavier, more expensive ... and the IQ is more or less the same (if you really need exceptional IQ, get a good prime). $1300: too much for an AF-S lens that I'm going to sell when I go full frame ;-)
Finally, the zoom ring rotates in opposite direction to Canon (it's like Nikon's). No big deal, although it's annoying.