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Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

The Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is a good walk around and everyday use lens option. I have found that it is not as sharp as my 17-55mm f/2.8 in low light and wide angle photos. For macro the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is not as good and sharp as the 100mm f/2.8 so not the best for little insects and flower photos. When you are using the full 200mm zoom lens to get photos of things like birds that are in the distance it is not as sharp and clear and the 70-200mm f/4L. None of that means this lens is bad. For one lens that covers that range of focal length it is really fairly good.

For some reason this lens is not complete with USM which is a disappointment to me. The focus time is not too bad however and the motor is not as noisy as I was expecting it to be. The focus was actually fairly quick and without a lot of constant adjusting in poorer light conditions. This lens is good for sunny days with a circular polarizer. It makes for a great hiking and out in nature camera. One great addition to this lens is the use of the zoom lock switch. This helps prevent lens creep and would have been nice if some of my other lenses had this. You don't have to worry about your filters not staying put either because the lens does not rotate when it is focusing.

You have to flip a switch to over ride the auto-focus for the micro motor design. The zoom ring and focus rings placement is a little problematic if you use lens hoods. If you are keeping with auto focus then this will not be an issue but it could be a bit awkward to use with a lens hood. Another problem is that the focus ring is to lose so it makes it hard to get a fine focus. This makes it even harder to do macro shots. You can work around this a bit by focusing as best as you can and then fine tune it by tweaking the zoom a bit.

The image quality is good but at about 18mm or 200mm used wide open then it can be a bit soft around the image edges. Stopping down to around f5.6 to f11 it will help bring out sharpened edges. I think all the draw backs are about the same as any other lens with this zoom range. One other drawback is the weight. This lens can weigh more than some camera models. This can make handling the camera and lens together awkward. It can also be prone to some barrel distortion on the wide open end.

Over all it is a decent lens that is a good option if you do not want to be switching lenses back and forth between shots. However for finer photography one might be better off keeping with their separate lenses. It's a good lens to keep on the camera to be prepared for that shot that comes up suddenly.

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 09:45:55 +0000

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