9 out of 10 points and recommendedwide aperture, IS, sharp opticsweight
I bought this lens to replace my 17-85/4-5.6 IS. I figured the constant 2.8 aperture would make up for the lack in reach. I have no regrets.reviewed May 14th, 2006 (purchased for $1,170)
This lens seems sharper than a 17-40 I had over the weekend (although I don't take enough picture of brick walls and newspapers to decide this conclusively). At least on my copy, colors are bright and do have 'punch'. Contrast is excellent - about the same as my 50/1.4 from f2.8-5.6, didn't really test other settings. Color renditioning is also very good. Vignetting is present when wide-open, but it doesn't bother me too much. Hardly there when 2 stops down.
Construction is probably the best among the EF-S lenses (it feels solid because of it's weight), although I would have liked a little more dampening on the AF ring. In your hand, it feels solidly built - I'd say almost 85-90%the way to an "L" zoom like the 24-70/2.8L.
This lens is a little on the heavy side, though. Without the battery grip on, balance is gone on my 20D. Front heavy. Having the grip on compensates for the lens's weight.
For the price, it would have been nice for this lens to have weather-sealing, in case Canon releases a weather-sealed EF-S camera in the future. Right now, I gues it doesn't really matter though, since no current EF-S camera is.
Overall, I'm very happy with this lens. I haven't done any intensive testing (I hardly do with any of my lenses), but checking my photos and A4 prints so far, the quality is definitely there. If you have an EF-S camera, and the price doesn't bother you, then I highly recommend this lens.
(Update: Did some portraits at 2.8 and they came out deadly sharp. Not bad for being handheld at 55mm for 1/15s!)
9 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp, beautiful bokeh, working distanceHeavy, slow focus
I use this lens in conjunction with a Sigma 50mm macro. Both are excellent optically, but I pull out the 100mm when I need the extra working distance (for shy subjects like bugs - especially on a 1.6 crop) or I need the narrower field of view.reviewed November 14th, 2006
The lens in exceptionally sharp and distortion-free. it is, however, relatively heavy and slow in autofocusing - especially when working way up close. in such cases, it's better to manually focus.
The focal length is not as practical as the 50mm macro (a little too long for me) but when you need the extra reach and full macro, it's hard to beat.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedBright, AF speed, beautiful bokehBecause of ultra shallow DOF (wide open), you have to get focus spot on
For a 1.6x DSLR, this is probably the best (affordable) portrait lens. Shooting wide open gives great bokeh - yo just have to double check that what you are focussing on is actually in focus because of uper shalloe DOF when wide open.reviewed November 14th, 2006
AF speed is also great and in my copy, spot on. Lens is also lightweight and well built (it's no "L", but yo already knew that).
6 out of 10 points and recommendedImage StabilizerWhen on a 1.6x DSLR, not wide enough
When I slap this on my EOS-3 (film!) it's got the almost perfect walk-around range. On a 1.6x crop DSLR, though, it's a little short on the wide end.reviewed November 14th, 2006
Colors are a little flat and lack a lot of 'pop'. It also uses the earlier generation of IS so it's not as effective and a little noisy (you can hear it working).
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp, sharp, sharp. 1:1 macro.slow autofocus
Solidly constructed and well worth every $. Autofocus is practically useless when shooting macro so be ready to focus manually (which is probably what you'll want to be doing anyway).reviewed November 15th, 2006
Perfect for product or still life macros, but may not be close enough for bugs and the like.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedlightweight, excellent optics, build qualitynone
One of the best bargains in "L" lenses and also the perfect long zoom for travelling due to its light weight.reviewed November 19th, 2006
This is a bargain L lens. You get great color and contrast, superb construction quality, and a constant aperture (plus internal zooming and focus).
Although it's not as fast as its f/2.8 variant, it's also almost a third of the price - a pretty good compromise!
If your lens collection consists of this, the 17-40L and a 50mm/1.4, you'd pretty much have all the pro quality you need at about $1600 - less than the price of one L/f2.8 zoom.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedinexpensive, lightweight, sharp, wide aperturecheap build quality, slow and (sometimes) innacurate AF, colors a little drab
For the amount of money you'd spend ot buy it, this is the best bargain of any lens in the universe.reviewed November 21st, 2006
Build quality is what you expect - cheap, but images don't reflect that. Just make sure you focus accurately.
For the price, don't bother to put a protective filter on this thing - it just degrades quality and you;re better off risking a scratch and just buying a new copy of the lens if tragedy does strike.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedbuild quality, wide zoom range, great colorheavy, slow AF
This is a great lens that puts out punchy color and contrast. It is, however, heavy (for its relatively slow apertures) and AF is slow. It is also kind clumsy to switch from AF to MF (on the Canon model) since it requires two steps.reviewed November 30th, 2006
9 out of 10 points and recommended"L" image quality and construction, lightweight for an "L"; full-frame"only" f/4
This is one of the best value L lenses out there, with the 70-200/f4 being the other. Both are "only" f4, but are good enough when yo have moderate to bright light. Image quality is excellent in color and contrast, which is to be expected.reviewed December 3rd, 2006
6 out of 10 points and recommendedcheap price, light weightcheap quality
If what you are looking ifor is a cheap, light lens for "non-critical" travel and quick shots, then this is not bad, all things considered.reviewed December 3rd, 2006
Hey - it's a kit lens - designed to be cheap and to give super amateur results to get you to buy a more expensive lens. Once you figure it for that, then you know what to expect.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedgreat range for full-frame; nice color and contrast; reasonalbe pricenone, except for unusual 67mm filter size
As a nice, light zoom for a full-frame camera, this is almost ideal. You get 24mm (wide!) and 85mm (perfect for portraits). It's also reasonably well contrsucted and gives good color and contrast.reviewed December 3rd, 2006
Sure, it's not an L but for what you pay, you get close enough - price differnce considred. It's also quite good looking!
9 out of 10 points and recommended20mm and f1.8 - simply no competitionslow AF
If you want WIDE and FAST, well, there simpy is no other way to go. IQ is not bad, considering price and the technological breakthroughs (and compromises) for this lens.reviewed December 3rd, 2006
AF is not HSM, so it's slow. It also tends to front-focus (at least the copy I had).
8 out of 10 points and recommendednear prefect walkaround range, IS, lightweightslow apertures, EF-S
This is the near-perfect walkaround range for a lens (would be nice to get 24mm equivalent). IS helps a lot to make up for the slow apertures.reviewed December 3rd, 2006 (purchased for $600)
IQ is not bad, but considering the price of this lens, it would have been nice to have at least a max aperture of 3.5-5.6 - kinda like it's full frame equivalent the 28-135 USM IS and maybe just a little better IQ.
6 out of 10 points and not recommendedlong rangeneeds a lot of light, a monopod/tripod, or strong arms; heavy
When shooting in bright daylight (and a high enough ISO to get shutter speeds in the 1/1000+ range) then you can get reasonably sharp images from this lens on the long end.reviewed December 3rd, 2006
However, it's heavy, LONG and requires strong arms/shoulders and/or a tripod/monpod if you plan to use it for more than a few minutes.
The range is awesome, but this is one product that would have really benfited from some sort of image stabilization. perhaps if you have this built in to your camera body then you might get better results than on my 20D.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedSUPER zoom range, light weightpoor sharpness, cropped sensors only
This lens gives you the convenience of having probably 90% of the focallengths you will need on a APS-C sensor DSLR.reviewed December 4th, 2006
As you can imagine, the super zoom range is a compromise on the IQ of this lens, especially on the long end where you have a small maximum aperture.
For vacations where critical quality is not as important as packing light, then this is the most convenient lens for its intended audience. For serious pro work, however, IQ is not quite there.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedultrawide, great build, constant f/4APS-C only
Awesome feel and build and great resolution (compared to my Sigma 10-20). It also feels mcuh more 'pro'.reviewed December 13th, 2006
Can't think of any cons except that it won't work on a full frame camera and it zooms the 'wrong way' (counter-clockwise) comapred to my Canon zooms.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedbest build quality; f2.8; "L" contrast, color, and resolution, weather sealingHEAVY, reverse zoom takes getting used to
I got both this and the 24-105/f4L since I couldn't decide which one to get. In the end, the 2.8 won out (I preferred the 2.8 over the 4 plus IS).reviewed December 13th, 2006 (purchased for $1,200)
Optically, both are practically the same, with a bokeh advantage to the 2.8L (especially, of course, at 2.8!) and somehow it just feels a tad bit better in your hands.
Warning: this is one HEAVY lens. WHen you first pick it up, you appreciate the heft, but after a few minutes, your arms and shoulders will complain. It's really the big trade-off for the quality and finish of this monster.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedsuperb IQ, IS, practical range, constant f/4, build quality, weather sealingnone, really
I got both this and it's brother the 24-70/2.8L. Although I really really can't say anything bad about this lens, I ended up favoring the 2.8L because I prefer the one stop light advantage over IS.reviewed December 13th, 2006 (purchased for $1,120)
That being said, though, if you don't mind f4 then this lens is perfect - 24mm (my favorite!), super image and build quality, and IS - all in a nice (relatively) compact shell.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedf1.2, "L" build and image qualityHEAVY HEAVY HEAVY and slow AF
This is the ULTIMATE portrait lens, bar none. Af is slow, though (due to the heavy elements) and I hear the "II" version is faster.reviewed December 13th, 2006
It produces just about the best bokeh I have ever seen!
8 out of 10 points and recommendednice portrait FL, relatively cheap, sharpa bit too long on APS-C DSLR
This is one FUNKY lens with the soft focus activated. It creates a very 70's or 80's looking glam shot (think Alexis Carrington from Dynasty!).reviewed December 13th, 2006
When not using the soft focus feature, this lens is sharp - as you would expect from any prime portrait lens. It may be a bit too long for portraits on a APS-C DSLR, though.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsmall size (relatively, for FL and 2.8 macro), Good IQ, working distanceslow AF
I got this to "complete" my macro lenses (100mm and 50mm) for the times I need more working distance. This lens is relatively lightweight for the specs.reviewed December 13th, 2006 (purchased for $600)
However, for the safety of the working distance you lose out on DOF (it's much shallower) so you'll need to stop down to get more things in fous - which means you'll need to be working in good light to handhold this lens. This is especially moreso in an APS-C DSLR.
It is an excellet lens when it comes to IQ, which is to be expected from a "true" macro lens such as this. As with many macor lenses, AF is slow (because of the working range).
9 out of 10 points and recommendedreasonably priced, ultrawide, good build quality, fast AFcould be faster, soft corners
For an ultrawide solution for an APS-C DSLR, there is no better bang for the buck than this lens. Contruction quality is better than most first-party consumer zooms, and IQ is acceptable (although corners are a bit soft).reviewed December 14th, 2006
It is small and lightweight.
Despite its shortcomings, I still recommend this lens whoeheartedly because for the price, there is really no better ultrawide solution for a cropped senser, IMHO.
5 out of 10 points and not recommendedcheap pricecheap quality
This lens came free with a Canon entry-level film camera, which is why I have one.reviewed December 14th, 2006
It's cheaply built (it is a kit lens, after all), and made for entry-level general photography. I doubt if anyoe would really ever buy one if it didn't come with the camera.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedreasonable build, image qualitybad range for a APS-C DSLR
I used this on a Canon film SLR as a walkaround, and it was a good lens (back then). IQ is fair, considering the price, and maybe if this lens were $50 cheaper I could consider it a bargain.reviewed December 14th, 2006
It's way better than the usual kit lenses that used to come with film SLRs in terms of IQ and build but for a DSLR, you might want to go someplace else.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedconvenient focal rangeimage quality not good enough for large prints, poor color
The main reason to get this lens is convenience. It's lightweight and has probably over 90% of your FL needs. It's the perect match for an APS-C DSLR (especially the smaller ones) for travel and casual snaps - provided you don't plan to print large prints.reviewed December 14th, 2006
Output lacks 'punch' but if you're willing to do some post-processing you may get some pleasing results.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedwide FL range, well-builtjust above average on IQ
I used this lens years ago on my film SLR (Canon EOS 3) as a walk-around lens. It was a little heavy, but for the convenience, I couldn't complain.reviewed December 14th, 2006
Provided you don't need to output large prints, this lens should be more than adequate. 24mm is also a nice feature comapred to the (then) 28mm wide offerings of other ultra-zooms.
This lens is also built VERY well. it doesn't feel cheap at all. In fact, it feels like a really high quality lens.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp, "true" macro lensEF-S only, no AF limiter, can't be used with older canon extension tubes
A great macro lens for APS-C DSLRs - sharp, gets really close and with the 1.6x factor, makes for a good working distance.reviewed December 14th, 2006
However, unlike other macro lenses, you can't limit the focus range so it can make the lens hunt over the entire range before locking focus.
Also, because of the rubber ring in the EF-S mount, it won't work with the older Canon extension tubes - you'll have to get the "II" version for it to fit.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsuperb image quality, fast and silent AFEF-S only
This is the best ultrawide solution for canon APS-C DSLRs. Much better than any third party lens (albeit more expensive). It rivals Canon's "L" lens in IQ (although it doesn't have the constant aperture), but contruction quality is a little plastic-y.reviewed December 15th, 2006
All-in-all, however, it it fits your budget, I highly recommend this lens.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp, value for moneycolors lack "pop", looks "third party-ish"
For it's price, this lens holds it own against Canon's 17-55/2.8 - really a great value-for-money lens.reviewed December 22nd, 2006
It lacks great color off the camera, but with some PP, it can deliver.
Construction quality if above average, but if it matters to you, the lens just "looks" very third-party-ish. I know it's superficial, but sometimes you just want a nice solid feel and LOOK when you buy a quality product. Tamron couls sell more of these if they just made it look more "pro looking", I think.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedultrawide and ultrafastexpensive, not "bang for the buck"
If you need a fast (f/2.8) ultrawide zoom, and your budget will allow it, this is a great lens to have in your kit and I wouldn't hesitate recommending it. Corners are a little soft wide open, but hey - this is a 2.8 ultrawide zoom, don't expect miracles.reviewed December 30th, 2006
For those on a smaller budget, Canon's 17-40/f4L is less than half the price of this lens but is *almost* there in performace (sans 2.8, course).
5 out of 10 points and not recommendedlight, cheapbad IQ and build
This lens is cheap - that's prettty much sums it up. Oh, and it's light too.reviewed December 30th, 2006
If you need a cheap and light lens, then this is probably it - if that's all you need. You will compromise on image and build quality big time, though. Even ultrazooms (18-200mm lenses) can deliver better IQ.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedgood build and image quality, great value for money; f/2.8AF not comparable to USM in speed, silence, and accuracy
This is an awesome lens for the price. Not quite Canon's 24-70/2.8L (although some will argue that if you get a really good copy then you might be in that league) but almost there.reviewed December 30th, 2006
Colors are good and photos show good contrast, but a little soft on the corners (again, compared to the Canon L).
Build and feel is great, but you have to get used to the zoom (it goes the "other way" from Canons) and the dual switch AF/MF.
5 out of 10 points and not recommendedcheappractically unuseable - especially in the long end, poor colors and contrast
Don't let this lens' cheap and long zoom price tempt you - it's too slow to use on the long end in anything but the brightest sunlight and if you plan to print 8x10 or larger, you may be disappointed with the results.reviewed December 30th, 2006
10 out of 10 points and recommendedawesome image and build qualitynone
One of the finest ultrawide zooms ever made. On a film (the only full frame Nikons) SLR, this delivers superb IQ from edge to edge.reviewed December 31st, 2006
Build quality is up there - this feels solid and performs likewise. A perfect photojournalism workhorse lens for a F100 or F5.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsuperb IQ, lightweightnone
The perfectr portrait lens is, dollar-for-dollar, better than it's "L" counterparts for general portraiture. Lightweight, fast focussing, and WOW bokeh.reviewed December 31st, 2006
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsuperb image and build qualityslow AF *but see below
I am a fan of Sigma's EX series lenses - superb build and IQ, and when equipped with HSM, fast, silent and accurate. Of all the thrid-party lens manufacturers, I think Sigma ranks up there.reviewed December 31st, 2006
AF for this lens is slow as all "true" macros are - and mostly due to the extended (and accurate short distance) focus range. Macro afficionados are used to this and won't mind. Casual users might.
4 out of 10 points and not recommendedlighteverything else
This lens usually comes as part of a kit (along with an entry level film SLR). It's lightweight, which pretty mich sums up the good stuff I can say about it.reviewed January 5th, 2007
Otherwise, it's built like a free toy from cereal box and is optically a non-performer.
5 out of 10 points and not recommendedlightweight, USMeverything else
This lens usually comes as part of a kit (along with an entry level film SLR). It's lightweight, which pretty much sums up the good stuff I can say about it. Oh, plus at least this version come with USM.reviewed January 5th, 2007
Otherwise, it's built like a free toy from cereal box and is optically a non-performer.
3 out of 10 points and not recommendedcheapeverything else
This is pretty much just like it's 28-90 low-end cousins, but with a shorter (and much less useful) focal range. Just like the others, though, it feels like a toy.reviewed January 5th, 2007
10 out of 10 points and recommendedSUPERB image quality and constructionnone (if it fits your budget, that is!)
If you have a 1.6x crop DSLR, this is the "classic" lens for it because it approximates a "normal" focal length.reviewed January 5th, 2007
Image quality is what you would expect from a L-series prime - sharp, contrasty, and with great color. Bokeh is also excellent.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedW-I-D-Eimage quality not right up there
This is one of the widest rectilinear lenses you can get, and with L-series quality to boot. However, it's not quite on par as other L lenses (maybe it needs an updated version).reviewed January 5th, 2007
For it's price, though, I'd recommend the 16-35/2.8L zoom - sure it's not as wide, but optically better and you get the zoom to0.
5 out of 10 points and not recommendedlightweight, USMhorrible build and image quality
Dont confuse this lense with teh Canon EF 28-15 3.5-4.5. This one is really not as good in all aspects - build, IQ, AF. I'd recommend the other one, but not this one.reviewed January 5th, 2007
9 out of 10 points and recommendedgreat image qualitynone
On a crop camera, this is the much cheaper alternative to the 35/1.4L as a "normal" lens. For many - the price difference between the two doesn't translate to an image quality difference. This lens is 90% of the 35L at 30% of the price.reviewed January 5th, 2007
9 out of 10 points and recommended"normal" on a APS-C DSLR, great IQAPS-C only
I tried out this lens in my search for a "normal" lens for my 20D. I compared the Canon 28/1.8, 35/1.4L and this. Truthfully, the're all within range of each other in image quality.reviewed January 5th, 2007
The 35L edges out a little bit (it should - it's 3x the price of the other two!), and has superior build. I'd put this lens next, but it loses out some points in being APS-C only (I still use film cameras and will go full frame soon).
Build quality is superb (as with all in Sigma EX line). If you can live with the APS-C crop, then you won't regret this buy.