Most helpful positive review
344 of 353 people found the following review helpful
Excellent addition to our burgeoning camera bag
on 1 September 2011
I have had my eye on the old model of this lens for a while. When I decided to take the plunge, I was dismayed to find this new one had just come out, at a much higher price. After reading what little I could find about it, I came to the conclusion there isn't much difference (I couldn't find any technical difference), and ordered the old one. But I then was informed that no stock could be obtained, and my order was cancelled. I couldn't be bothered to try and find another seller who still had some, so I ended up buying this new model instead.
The first review here said the results were disappointing. Well, I can't explain that - maybe a lens/camera combination oddity, or maybe the lens was faulty. We've only played with it for a day so far, but on our Canon 60D the results are very good. No problems with soft focus. At full zoom, you can see the IS working through the view finder when you press and hold to focus, and you can just about hear the lens as it works to steady the image - it is very impressive. Focus seems fast and accurate.
One very important point which may be of interest to astronomers and the like - holding the camera pointing vertically up or down, there is NO ZOOM CREEP at any setting, the lens stays zoomed exactly where you put it. Maybe this is a feature of the new model, or maybe I got lucky and mine is just tighter than usual, or maybe it is just because the lens is new and will ease up with use. It is not stiff to turn, it seems to operate very smoothly and is very easy to adjust. But there is definitely no creep at all on our lens at the moment.
We bought the camera with the 18-55 kit lens, and are now adding to the collection. We also just bought the 50mm f1.8 which is very cheap, but the results are stunning. We are equally pleased with this new zoom. Ours is certainly not going back!
UPDATE: People with Canon cameras that support Peripheral Illumination Correction (in other words, compensating for vignetting, or darkening of the images toward the corners), such as the 60D which we have, should make sure that they download the latest update to the EOS Utility software, and then use it to upload the correction parameters for this new lens to the camera. The cameras ship with data for many of the popular lenses pre-loaded, but for the more uncommon ones, or just new ones such as this, you will need to use the utility to update the camera. The difference it makes when you have done it is really very impressive. Consult the manual if you are not sure how to do this, it is very easy - but you do need the latest update to the software, as this includes the data for this new lens. When you have it loaded, test it by taking a picture of an evenly lit blank wall without flash, first with then without this option turned on. The difference is clearly visible. If you shoot in RAW, you can apply the correction easily afterwards in the DPP software, and apparently with even more control and therefore success. But if you shoot in JPG, then this option will make a very good job of correcting it in-camera.
If you select the option in the camera menus, it tells you what the lens that is currently attached is, and whether it has the data for it or not. If it doesn't have the data, it won't do anything, even if enabled.