Fast mid range lenses

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Got a great tip from the comment on low light lense. So if you have Canon here are some good choices:

h2. Less than Full Frame prosumer

* “EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM”:http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-17-55mm-f-2.8-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx. It isn’t an “L” lense only because it works only with non-full-frame cameras. So Canon 40D and below. However, it is sharper at all focal ranges than the EF 24-70mm F2.8/L IS USM. The main drawback is that it is only for smaller frame cameras.
* “Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II”:http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-17-50mm-f-2.8-XR-Di-II-Lens-Review.aspx. It is OK fast and optical quality at least in this smaple was excellent. Again, the biggest issue is that it doesn’t have a stabilizer.
* “Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 EX DC”:http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-18-50mm-f-2.8-EX-DC-Lens-Review.aspx. These Canon lenses cost at mint at close to $1000. The Sigma is way cheaper, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. It is not as quiet and doesn’t focus as fast especially in low light (when you need the focus presumably). Also optical quality is decent. The sample they reviewed wasn’t symmetric in sharpness. Flare is also a problem. And for me a big issue is that it doesn’t have image stabilization. Get this as an upgrade from the slower and very cheap kit lense the EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6, but if you can afford the Canon, go for it.

This leaves a little bit a hole in that the next F2.8 lense is the 70-200 so there is a hole in ranges, between 55 and 70.

h2. Full Frame

If you have a full frame camera or are thin\king about getting one, then the choice are:

“EF-S 24-70mm F2.8 IS USM”:http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-24-70mm-f-2.8-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx. As noted above, this works full frame and is very fast and quiet. Pretty much the choice if you have a full frame (Canon 5D and above) camera. I have a 28-105 and it is nice to have the zoom, but it really isn’t 24-70mm f/2.8L and the 70-200 F2.8/L is really the perfect choice for low light

As a final aside, I had been thinking about the 85mm F/1.2, but word is that for sports, it just focuses too slowly to really be useful, so will stick to pushing the ISOs on these F2.8 lenses for this season.

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