10 out of 10 points and recommendedVery rapid focus, smooth zoom and focus rings, very sharp at all apertures and focal lengths, good weight and balance, effective lens hoodhaven't found any yet
Bought this lens last year prior to a week's vacation on which it performed superbly. It's become one of my favorite lenses. Used it today indoors for candids of the grand kids.reviewed April 12th, 2009 (purchased for $610)
It just never fails to satisfy. I can use it in situations where I wouldn't have thought to use a 200mm lens before, thanks to the constant f/4.0 aperture and the way it balances so nicely on a 40D.
The contrast, sharpness, clarity and background blur of this lens is definitely first rate. The only problem is that it's sort of spoiled me for anything other than an L lens.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedIS, weight, balance, USM, speed of focus, focal length rangeuninformed critics
I've had this lens a bit over a year and I find it a pleasure to use, priced right, well designed and quite well suited to it's purpose. Does it have color fringing at wide angle settings?...yes, but only in high contrast areas; does it exhibit distortion?...yes; is it the sharpest lens on the market?...no.reviewed April 12th, 2009 (purchased for $515)
Every single lens on the market has shortcomings in one way or another. One of the fun/interesting/challenging things about photography is learning how to work well with the tools you have. Fringing, distortion and sharpness can all be taken care of on the computer if they are bothersome or detract from the image.
The focus on this lens is fast and accurate, exposures are excellent and reach is super-convenient. It's simply too easy these days to overcome anything you don't like in an image on a computer, for me to waste time bashing good glass when I could be using that time to learn more about how to use that lens to the best of my ability.