Good beginner lens, nothing special.
Great lens for beginners because of its low price. It's also fairly light for its focal length. It can produce a few nice photos provided you know what you're doing. But that's about where the pros end.
If you're looking for super-sharp professional quality images, you're going to have to look somewhere else.
The focus is soft to begin with, but once you go over 200mm it gets dramatically worse.
The Auto Focus has a lot of trouble with low-light situations, and is fairly picky while in AI Servo. Not to mention slow. I've had a couple instances where it took nearly 10 (ten) seconds to focus.
There's also an issue with Chromatic Aberration. Everyone loves pincushioning and purple fraying around their subject, right?
Anyway, aside from the soft focus, slow AF, and CA problems, the lack of the Image Stabilizer is truly the major downfall to this lens. I recommend using a tripod above 135mm, and I don't even attempt hand-shooting over 200mm after dozens of failed shots.
For a superior quality lens with a similar focal length that doesn't break your bank, I recommend picking up the 55-250mm IS II instead.
May 20, 2013
Infinity focus is blurry
Purchased December 2012 with bundled T3i.
Nice lens with wide zoom range.
Manual focus at the infinity setting is blurry, you have to back it off just a tad. Internal focusing mechanism just not up to old standards. You can not just set it to infinity and shoot.
Many posts on web about the out of focus at infinity issue. It is a problem I did not expect to have. Not critical but really annoying.
March 24, 2013
Got this with my T3 kit in a bundle for Black Friday. First foray stepping away from point and shoot. Read a lot of reviews and complaints. First off, it's not an L lens so people need to stop comparing. If you realize what you have, then you are good to go. As far as the 200mm to 300mm zoom goes, it's imperative to use a tripod or you will get nothing but blur. I tried this and was disappointed until I used a tripod/monopod. The zoom, with manual focus, can get you that good to sometimes great shot all the time. Until you are ready to step your game up, this is a very good lens to learn the basics. Just remember what you have and your expectations will be reached.
January 4, 2013
Not much to say... it's average lens all-around. Not a bad lens, but not really good. It has great range, but you will need a tripod, for sure. Images are nice, but not perfect. Great lens for beginners because of price. No USM, and no IS make it pretty plain. I bought a 55-250mm IS lens to replace this one. If I know I'm going somewhere where I'll need the extra zoom, and I plan on bringing a tripod, I will bring this one out of the closet for a bit. If you're looking to buy a telephoto zoom, save up for a couple more months and get the 55-250mm IS lens. For what it's worth, you absolutely can't argue with the value.
December 9, 2012