8 out of 10 points and recommendedFairly sharp, very extensive focal length range, VC works wellSomewhat expensive, feels cheap
Most people probably want a superzoom and want to get the best one. For my style of photography the the Tamron 18-270VC comes out on top.reviewed March 15th, 2009 (purchased for $680)
First: all super zooms are compromizes and do not match the quality of a shorter range zoom and not even close to primes. They make up for it by giving the user a wider range of possibilities when taking pictures without the need to carry a great deal of equipment and without switching lenses. They are very useful for just walking around on a sunny day. For low light, other lenses are generally better suited.
Comparing: Nikon 18-200, Canon 18-200, Sigma 18-200, Tamron 28-300VC (on full frame) with Tamron 18-270VC.
Sharpness: Nikon and Sigma were soft on the telephoto end. Canon was soft on wide end. Tamron was pretty good through the range to a little soft at 270mm. The Canon is notable for being very sharp at 200mm. 28-300 is sharp at the wide end, but soft at telephoto.
CA: Nikon and Canon clear winners here.
Contrast: Tamron and Sigma were better than Canon and Nikon but all were OK.
Bokeh: Tamron clear winner. Canon was jittery.
Focus: Canon very fast and accurate. Nikon good, Tamron good, Sigma a little awkward (on Canon body)
OS/VC/IS/VR: All work well. I think VC is best, but a little quirky.
Build: Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Tamron. The Tamron feels very cheap. The Nikon feels very well built. Tamron 28-300, focus was off and the lens telescopes when pointed down. Very annoying.
For sports, the Canon is the best choice because of the fast focus and very good telephoto. The Nikon and Sigma will disappoint because of the lack of sharpness. The Tamron is a little slow at focusing.
For me, because of the sharper wide angle and the good bokeh, I like the Tamron and can live with the cheap build. For telephoto I generally like to blur the background so the lack of sharpness in the corners is not much of an issue.
Tamron 28-300VC. Not as good overall as the 18-270, but does offer a super-zoom solution on full-frame.
5 out of 10 points and not recommendedSmall, lightImage quality mediocre. Too slow for a prime. Odd filter size. Filter size does not match kit lens.
This lens fell far short of my expectations and does not do the E-P1 system any favors.reviewed September 20th, 2009
It is only slightly faster than the kit lens with less contrast and only slightly sharper in the corners. For a prime lens this is not good.
Should have been at least f1.4 and have better optics. I have used a Nokton 40mm on the E-P1 and it blows this lens away for sharpness and contrast.
Really Olympus - what were you thinking - this is something I would expect in a point-and-shoot. You should have released at least one high quality lens with the E-P1. If it wasn't for the Nokton my E-P1 would be on the used market.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedSmall, light, decent image qualityFocus can hunt in low light.
Compared to a Canon 100-400L on fullframe? This lens does pretty darn good. If your into micro-4/3 this is a great lens to keep in the bag. My 100-400L rarely leaves the house - this one I carry almost everywhere.reviewed September 20th, 2009
I have used this on a G1 and the E-P1. Focus can hunt especially on the E-P1 in low light but works well when used in manual focus.
OS works on E-P1 but NOT when camera based IS is turned on. Camera based IS seems to be better.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedSmall, light, good image qualityTelescoping is strange. Filter size is very odd and doesn't match 17mm. No hood.
Acceptable quality for a kit lens.reviewed September 20th, 2009
The collapsing lens is a little strange, but it does make the camea smaller and easier to put in the bag. When collapsed smaller than the Panasonic G1 kit lens.
Image quality is comparable to Panasonic G1 kit lens - I would give a slight edge to the Olympus.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedVery good image quality. Sharp at all focal lengthsZoom ring reversed from standard Canon. Bokeh is not as nice as some other lenses.
An excellent lens.reviewed January 9th, 2011 (purchased for $1,390)
I have 100-400L, 50L, 35L, 135L and 100L macro. I sold my 70-200f4L after buying this lens. Also I have the 70-300DO.
Bad: Heavier than 70-200f4L. Bokeh is not as nice as 70-200f4. White, larger and noticable compared to the street worthy 70-300DO. I would like to see a version with similar black colour and texture of the 100L macro. No tripod ring (shame on you Canon). Hood doesn't go on smoothly. Stupid Canon lens caps. Get with the times Canon and give us center pinch to make it easy to take off the lens cap when the hood is on. Allows you to make a smaller hood as well!
Good: Very sharp at all focal lengths. Very good colour and contrast. Very fast AF. Excellent IS. I can handhold 300mm down to 1/30 regularly. Focuses quite close. More reach than 70-200 without much loss of speed. Pixel sharp on 5DII and 7D. Maybe a little heavy, but I am willing to carry all day. I like the slighly more subdued white colour. I like the zoom ring near the end of the lens although this is revesed compared to other Canon zooms. Very well balanced with most of the weight close to the camera so it handles like a lighter lens than it actually is.
Not for regular indoor or night use but few long zoom lenses are.
I thought I would never give up my 70-200f4L but for my vacation/street type photography this is my choice. For regular portraits one might prefer the 70-200f4 because of the more pleasing bokeh.
This is a winner lens and makes the vision of a two lens kit that much closer. Now all I need is a 24-70f2.8IS.... come on Canon I've been waiting 4 years!