I am a schoolmaster at a major public school with 30 years experience. I have 3 delightful daughters and my other interests include photography, gardening and cooking. I help with www.biologymad.com for A-level biologists.
Excellent first telephoto lens.
Light in weight for its size; ultra - fast focussing
Faster lenses exist (at a price ! ); zoom range a modest x3
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I used one of these lenses on a 35mm camera for many years and now use it on my Canon 20D. It is light in weight, and, fitted with the essential but pricey lens hood, produces sharp, flare-free photos throughout the zoom range. It is easy to handle and allows manual focussing WITHOUT moving any switches to disengage the motor. In addition, the lens focusses so quickly as to be near-instantaneous and is also completely silent. The maximum aperature varies from a slow 4 to 5.6, which limits its use in dim lighting conditions, such as in a church or theatre. This is the price for the light weight design - a wider front glass makes a for a heavier, and far more costly, lens. The front of teh lens has a 58mm screw thread, allowing for teh easy attachment of a UV filter, which I would regard as essential to protect the front element. The lens fits inside a standard 'pouch'-type protective carrying bag and this is also necessay to protect the lens when carrying it about on a shoot. So... add an extra £35 or so for a UV filter, pouch and lens hood on top of the advertised (new) price; secondhand lenses usually have these supplied as standard.
I have used my lens for well over 5000 shots and many hours besides soccer pitches in all weathers and it has never let me down - STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. HD2