Top critical review
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The closest you can get to a versatile DSLR in this budget range
on 23 December 2013
I hate to expand my reviews to anything more than necessary so I'll make it quick.
This is the best focal coverage one can get for Canon, only surpassed by 28-300mm (which costs some £1900), so if you do not like to juggle your lenses too much and would rather not take a dozen primes for a trip, this is the best choice if you 'just want to take photos'
The built quality is rather cheap, when pointing the lens down it would often 'slide out' resulting in maximum focal length (which does not happen that often, but still).
The vignette is visible on wide side of the lens (at least on full frame cameras), the edges are extremely blurry so one is probably best off cropping images afterwards.
Should you buy this lens?
Yes, if you want to own a zoom lens and are ready to upgrade from the kit (nothing is worse than a kit lens so you are fine here). If you are not concerned A LOT with your quality (e.g. your photos won't be printed in Vogue or National Geographic), then this is probably your best bet. The only other option is carrying 3 primes, which is handy in a studio but silly on holidays.
Should I pay 400+ for this lens?
Definitely not, save up another 100-200 and get 24-105 which is WAY superior.
Should I get it for 200-300?
Why not mate, why not.
I still like this lens but I wonder if it's not better to just go with a decent compact camera for the same price. If you must have a dslr though, that's way to go.