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Old Jun 22, 2006, 11:59 AM   #1
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I realize this is a largly subjective question, but i'm looking for opinions on what is the sharpest standard zoom lens from any make. I'm not looking to spend more than around $500, so "L" lenses are out of the question. I'm thinking about the Sigma 18-50 2.8 EX, but i'm not sure yet? Any help would be appreciated.

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Old Jun 22, 2006, 12:43 PM   #2
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I have tried the following lenses:

Tamron 28-75 f2.8, Canon 17-40 f4L, Canon 17-35 f2.8L, and Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX. Among these, I found the Sigma to bethe sharpest in my shots.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 12:52 PM   #3
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What other lenses do you have? is the range on the wider end needed or on the long end?

What other lenses do you have at the current time? This might influencewhat lens to look at, so that you don't buy somany circular polarizer filters. Thegood filters can be expensive.

If you are looking at the 18-xx lenses, then the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 and the Tarmon 17-50mm F2.8are good ones to look at. They both can be bought for less than $500. The main draw back to these lenses is that they are made for the aps-c DSLR's, so they will not work with on full frame camera in the future.

You should also look at the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX Macro. This is a really sharp lens that can hold its own against the Canon 24-70mm L. This can be bought new for about $400. One thing about this lens, is its size, as it is a bit large. Some say its heavy, but it does not bother me.

Another nice and sharp lens is the Tarmon 28-75mm F2.8 lens. This can also be bought for less than $400.

I own the Sigma 24-70mm, and I have taken some great shots with it. This lens is sharp at F2.8 through the entire zoom range. I have read great reviews on the Tarmon too, but have not used it.

Bill
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 1:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. The only lens I have is the Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD IF which I purchased when I got my 20D a while ago. That was pretty much an impulse buy as I didnt know anything about lenses at the time. I feel its very soft at any setting, especially at 200-300mm. I'm going to buy a few lenses soon, but I want to start with a sharp standard zoom first. Yes, I would like a little more range on the wider end which is why i'm looking at the 18-50.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 1:24 PM   #5
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Have a look here: http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/lenstests


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Old Jun 23, 2006, 3:28 AM   #6
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Don't know if it is the 'best', or even if looking for the 'best' is a worthwhile pursuit, but I have the Sigma 18-50f2.8 and I don't see how anybody could be disappointed with it.
It's well built, very light for an f2.8 zoom (I guess this is cos it is for a smaller sensor only though...) comes with an excellent hood and case, is cheap and takes fantastic pics!
It does show some barrel distortion at wide angles (as does nearly every other zoom in the range that I've tried) but that's about the only thing I could see to improve on this lens. The only sharpness issues I've had have been caused by using too wide an aperture and not getting everything I wanted in focus. Autofocus doesn't seem quite as good as some canons but then this lens is a third of the price of any canon f2.8 in the same zoom range.
If you don't need to share lenses with a film body this is as good a value piece of gear as any out there IMO.
Don't know what you shoot but I use 18-24 and 50 lengths the most with this lens. I wouldn't get anything that doesn't go wider than 24 for this reason, and more zoom would be nice. Canon17-85IS and sigma17-70 look good alternatives with a bit of speed (quality? don't know) sacrificed for extra convenience.
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 7:52 AM   #7
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jacks wrote:
Quote:
It's well built, very light for an f2.8 zoom (I guess this is cos it is for a smaller sensor only though...) comes with an excellent hood and case, is cheap and takes fantastic pics!
-> That's a good thing about the Sigma EX (and the 4-years USA warranty) because the lens shade is extra (or the case) for example in other brands

However in this case I believe Tamron has the sharpest in general according to the MTF: http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...0_28/index.htm

(but then the Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 is due out anytime) :lol: :-) :G
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 9:22 AM   #8
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If you go to one of Japan's large camera stores, the Canon lenses actually come with the hood and pouch. That's how I got my ef 85 f/1.8

Of course, it's a bit more money than just the lens, but I wonder why they don't have the hood/pouch kit anywhere else.
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 9:23 AM   #9
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Hmmm...perhaps the new Tamron 18-50 and Tokina 16-50 is worth a look...
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Old Jun 23, 2006, 10:12 AM   #10
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I was thinking about the Tamron as well, but I havent seen any really good shots taken with it? The new Tokina 16-50 interests me, but who knows whens its going to be released? Also, what are the chances its going to be that much better than the Sigma or Tamron?
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