10 out of 10 points and recommendedIQ, build, speed, compact sizeBad purple fringing at 1.8
Having sampled the delights of the Nifty Fifty on my EOS 7D, I thought that it'd be fun to go slightly longer and get the 85/1.8. I wasn't disappointed.reviewed November 3rd, 2013
Bad bits first...
Purple fringing can be quite bad at f1.8, plus the lens is very edge-soft when wide-open.
Good bits, as there are loads of 'em...
Once stopped past f2.5 it blossoms into a wonderful bit of photo-taking glass. USM is fast, the bright viewfinder also a major bonus. In terms of sharpness and richness of colour/IQ it beats my 24-105L easily - in fact the combo of 50/1.8 & 85/1.8 has really got me thinking to I really need the 24-105L? I'm thinking not - just the 'red ring snob' in me makes me keep the L glass.
Very highly recommended - just don't take pictures of chrome/silver-plated stuff at f1.8!
10 out of 10 points and recommendedPretty much everythingCannot think of anything
I'll say it here and now - this is one of the best pieces of glass I've owned. It's small, light, beautifully built, has stunning image quality - even wide open it's super-sharp with the smallest amount of softening at the edges. A perfect 'people' lens - I just bung it on 1.4 and leave it there 90% of the time. No excuses such as 'ooh I need to stop it down to sharpen it up' needed with this lens. Very highly recommended.reviewed March 31st, 2014 (purchased for $450)
10 out of 10 points and recommendedFabulous IQ - up with the very bestEr...haven't found any yet!
I got this to complete my 3-lens set for my recently bought X-Pro1 and it's just blown me away. It's beautifully made, light, works very smoothly. The zoom ring is still quite stiff but this should loosen off over time I think. Also it does extend a LONG way when thrown out to 200mm - that really is it for downsides, if they really are? The upshot though is the image quality which is staggeringly good - I simply cannot fault it. A 55-200mm zoom, with OIS which is cheaper, and as good as a Canon 70-200 F4L IS? You betcha.reviewed March 23rd, 2014 (purchased for $550)
I'm delighted with it, and whilst it's really the only choice for Fujistas who need a longer f/l they need not be disappointed. This is a cracker of a lens.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedFabulous IQ - ridiculously good for the moneyTruly cheap build quality
I bought this as a used lens from my Canon dealer a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for our summer holiday and had just enough time to get a feel for it - both in the hand and for its performance - before we went away. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first...reviewed August 31st, 2013 (purchased for $80)
Build quality - it's very light, it rattles a bit, and feels like I could break it squeezing it in one hand. It doesn't always lock-on first time with focusing, USM lenses are better in this respect.
Its image quality is beautiful - I've now started to realise why the pro's say that 'every Canon owner should have one in his/her bag'. It's soft at f1.8 and doesn't really start to sing until f2.8 but from then on it's a dream. Rich colours, and with pin-sharp resolution that even shades my 17-40L. Its compact size and low weight make my camera feel so much more wieldy too.
By far and away the best £60 I've ever spent on camera gear. I LOVE this lens.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedFocus speed, solid build, great IQ, 5 yr warranty (UK)Stiff zoom ring...that's it!
I bought this lens a few months ago, and tried to do a lot of homework before visiting my photographic dealer, discounting several lenses which didn't reach the starting grid. I then short-listed 2 Canons - 70-200 F4L USM (non-IS) and the much-loved 70-300 IS USM. The salesman threw in the Tamron as a wild card and I'm seriously glad he did.reviewed June 22nd, 2013 (purchased for $460)
We spent 2 hours in the store making detailed comparisons using my MacBook (with 2 other guys in the shop offering very valued, experienced but un-biased opinion) including making crops of each image. On all settings, the Tamron edged out the Canon 70-300 fairly easily, and the Canon was excellent to start with! Against the 70-200 F4L, the Tamron loses slightly when wide open, but once stopped down to F5.6/8 the differences were extremely hard to find, with the Tamron only losing <very> marginally at the corners. In several of the images I took, we really couldn't tell any difference between the Tamron and the Canon L - it even came to the point that we couldn't remember which images were from which lens, they were that close.
Downsides? It's slightly soft at 300mm/F5.6-8 but as I very rarely go there it's a non-issue. The zoom ring is also stiff at the moment, hoping this eases off over time. It's also a big lens - and I have large hands. I'm also not a big fan of the zoom ring being at the front of the lens and that it turns opposite way to my other lens (Canon 17-40 F4L) which feels odd at the moment. Not a deal-breaker though.
Doesn't feel special like the L lens either, but of course not much does and it would be cruel to expect a 300GBP lens to do so
For one 1/3 the price of the Canon 70-200 IS (L) the Tamron is surely a great buy and very highly recommended.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedExcellent IQ, nicely built, lightDoesn't feel 'special' for the price.
I've had this lens a couple of months now, it replaced a Tokina AF193 (19-35mm) zoom which a friend had kindly let me borrow. Used on an EOS 40D, the upgrade on the Tokina has been obvious, but to be honest not the earth-shattering improvement I'd expected - proof that the Tokina is a very good little lens. The 17-40L was clearly better when compared to the EF-S 17-85 & 15-85 (I tried them back to back in the shop) though.reviewed June 23rd, 2013 (purchased for $850)
Good: There's a sense of 'rightness' about its image quality, it's very sharp pretty much from the get-go and doesn't seem to mind where the F-stop is set. The lens is nice and light too.
Not so good: Optically, my Sigma 10-20mm/f4-5.6 is sharper from 17-20mm when stopped down. It doesn't <feel> special - the zoom ring whilst quite smooth, feels slightly cheap. Ditto the focusing ring. For what I paid (540GBP) I'd expect better. Doesn't feel anywhere near as solid as my old Nikkor AI lenses did, for example. Different era though, to be fair.
The photos the 17-40 takes are very good though, and I have no real complaints.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedBuild, excellent IQ, priceSoft in corners until f8
Bought this little beauty very recently and have put upwards of 200 shots through it at a guess. Getting used to having an UWA has been loads of fun (was quite novelty to start with) and I think this lens will spend more time on my EOS 40D than my others - it's just so darn useful!reviewed June 28th, 2013 (purchased for $450)
Good: It's neatly built - not quite up to L-Series standards of course - but zoom and focus action is very smooth and well-damped. Finish is good too. It's sharp in the centre from wide open, improving markedly by f8 which is where its sweet spot lies.
Bad: At the price? Not much really - it's soft at the corners when wide open, there's some CA present when focusing close-up. I have heard stories of variable quality between different examples - seems Sigma's QC isn't always up to scratch.
Summary: Great value for money, nicely built and great performing lens. I'm extremely happy with mine.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp optics, built like a tank, bargain priceNone, especially when it's so cheap.
A friend of mine kindly let me borrow his AF193 whilst I was deciding on a 'full time' lens for my EOS 40D. To my surprise (especially at the price) the Tokina is superb.reviewed July 3rd, 2013
Good: It's beautifully built, feeling very solid. It's sharp right to the corners when stopped down beyond f5.6 and focuses very quickly. I did a back-to-back with my Canon 17-40L today and in good light (ie sunshine outdoors) the Tokina is virtually identical, only with the Canon showing slightly richer colours. If anything, the Tokina is slightly sharper!
Bad: Seems cruel to criticise at this price.
Summary: If there's a true bargain out there in photo-land it's called the Tokina AF193. I'm seriously considering selling my 17-40L and going FF, using the Tokina as a super wide-angle. It's a fabulous little lens. Buy one (for not much £!) and enjoy it.