9 out of 10 points and recommendedQuality Build, Low Weight, USM and fast Auto Focusing, Fast ApertureHaven't found anything that can't be corrected in post processing
I purchased this lens after reading many of the opinions here, and reviews. My first time out with the lens was an outdoor concert which it handled well. I have course have to learn how to zoom with my feet. The second outing was a bike race. Once I figured out that 2.8/3.2 are best for fast moving action, the pics were sharp and spot on. For portraits and bokeh shots, this lens is great. No problems there at all. The 28-135mm IS USM sits in the bag now, and th 85mm spends most of it's time on the 30D body.reviewed June 6th, 2008 (purchased for $350)
8 out of 10 points and recommendedConvenient focal range, Image Stabilised, Ultrasonic Motor, Light WeightWobbly telescopic rings, No lens Hood, Slight softness at 135mm
I've spent 3 months with the 28-135mm IS USM and it's always worked as expected in a variety of shooting situations and conditions. While it doesn't have the background blurring power of my 50 and 85mm 1.8 primes, it's not half bad. If the subject is far enough away from a busy background you can get a pretty smooth blur.reviewed July 1st, 2008 (purchased for $300)
The USM is fast and AF is accurate and quick even in low light where most lenses will hunt for a second or two.
Image stabilisation is pretty good for an older implimentation. My pictures are more sharper from frame to frame than not.
Nice to have a metal mount!
I was very annoyed to have to pay $35 for a separately sold lens hood.
Conclusion: This is a very good walk-around lens. It will capture expansive landscapes while delivering tightly framed portraits from a decent distance.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedBuild Quality, Smooth Zoom without creep, Finish Texture is nice, good general purpose rangeSlightly soft wide open, extends to go to wide angle, loud AF
I've used this lens for over a year now and it's certainly true what is generally said about it; soft wide open at 70mm and f/2.8. It get's much sharper on the wide end, even at f/2.8 but even better from f/3.5 onwards. You don;t realize the softness until you actually use a sharp lens by comparison. My 70-200 F4L is sharp wide open from corner to corner. My 50 1.4 is much sharper from f/2 onwards. I would say the optimal sharpness is reached somewhere around f/5.6 or so.reviewed October 7th, 2009 (purchased for $350)
Aside from that I've found this lens extremely useful. The images are very close to Canon's 24-70 glass with slightly muted colors and contrast as compared to the Canon.
It's a perfect lens for studio work which I do. At small apertures from f/8 down to f/11 this thing rocks. The fun continues even for hi-iso applications when stopped down.
It's also a good piece of glass to have in your gear bag when travelling. My copy has been to several countries in all kinds of conditions from snow, rain to hot. It's never failed at the only reason to own it - it's wide focal range. The build is rugged and you pay for it in the weight. I'm not complaining though...I was hiking on Baffin Island and dropped it and my 1D when I lost my footing. The lens had minor scuffs but the camera had to be sent in for repair.
It's much better than the average kit lens, but if wide open performance is important, look elsewhere. It's passable but if sharpness is critical, you have to stop down or use something else.
NOTE: I had mine calibrated when I discovered it was out of tolerance to my crop body. Since then it's been fine.
Many of the images on my Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/tallchocolateguy and Blog www.leightonmiller.wordpress.com were taken with this glass.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedSolid Build, Sharper than Canon's 50 1.4 wide open, good color and contrast...and fastSlight focusing issues, heavier than Canon's equivalent, large filter size
I used it extensively over the past year and it rocks. The Canon is much better in corner sharpness from f/2.8 onwards.reviewed October 7th, 2009
Excellent for low light and natural light work.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedSolid build, light, sharp wide open, fast AFstill trying to find something to gripe about
This lens is awesome.reviewed October 7th, 2009 (purchased for $600)
I hear lot's of grumbling about theslow aperture being f/4. It's never limited me in anyway, in fact with the new hi-iso bodies, it's a moot point in many cases. I shoot portraits, products, landscape and wildlife with this lens and wow.
Sharp wide open and right across the frame from edge to edge. Color and contrast are stunning...I smile whenever I pixel peep.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedLight Weight, Fast Auto Focus, Good Contrast & Color, SharpnessDelicate AF system, No Hood, Small focus ring
I bought my copy used at a steep discount. The AF focus was not working, so full manual usage. I've read that the performance wide open is soft...I didn't really see that in my copy. It's very useable at f/1.4 but it does leap in sharpness from f/2 onwards. Sharp across the frame at f/2.8 on my 1D bodies.reviewed November 14th, 2009 (purchased for $150)
The color and contrast are very good for the money but I do wish it came with a larger focus ring and a lens hood. The AF mechanism is so flimsy that a drop from a short height is guaranteed to wreck it. There have been cases where the AF stops working for no apparent reason.
I found a link to a FIX here: http://leightonmiller.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/i-fixed-my-50mm-1-4-usm-lens/
I fixed my copy and now the AF works just fine.
Other than the AF issue and small focus ring, the lens performs very well and is usually stuck to one of my bodies.