Disclaimers (be patient and read):
a) I'm not a Canon user. The lens was kindly loan to CS via Edmund by Jel Corp (local Tamron distirbutor). The 1DsMk2 + EF35-350mm lens was loaned to me courtesy of paradigm (aka Desmond). ie. none of the equipment is mine.. which leads to..
b) I left the 1DsMk2 at default settings... I know how to use Canon cameras (I'm an equipment junkie.. and formerly Canon user). Just that setting the 1DsMk2 requires me to be ambidextrous... which explains the slightly softer than my liking pics straight from the camera. You have to read here to find out why it matters later.
c) This is a quick user review, due to the shortness of time before CS has to return the on-loan lens. If you want nuts-and-bolts, up to the 100th decimal place accuracy kind of reviews, please wait for Dpreview.
I'm not usually a big fan of uber-zooms. For one thing, I've a fetish for constant-aperture lenses cos I tend to shoot wide open and at AP-mode. So, I do prefer lenses that stay at the same aperture setting regardless the focal length. And till today, there's yet a constant aperture uber-zoom lens on the market. Closest, AFAIK, is the old Tamron AF 28-105mm/f2.8, which I've seen only once on the re-sale market some years ago. And, this is not exactly an uber-zoom lens. For a constant aperture uber-zoom lens... while not technically impossible, the cost of manufacturing is going to be crazy for the general consumer. As a point of reference, the Nikon AFS 300mm/f2.8 prime lens uses a 52mm filter... drop-in rear filter. IIRC, the front element is 120mm....
But, if you are going for a walkabout/travelings, without carrying your 200L dry cabinet worth of lenses, you can't beat the convenience of an uber-zoom lens. The new Tamron AF 28-300mm/f3.5-6.3 (IF) Macro Aspherical LD Di joins the line-up of uber-zooms available on the market right now.
#1 - how it looks like on the Canon 1DsMk2
I find that this is a super-compact lens. According to the specs, it weighs in at about 558g. Paired up with, in this case, the 1DsMk2, it makes an ideal traveling companion.
And in case you haven't figure out by now, this is a FF lens - ie. it can be used on a APS-C DSLR body. You just have to remember to multiply it by whatever the crop factor is (x1.5, x1.6 etc..). I decided to test it on a FF body just to give an accurate picture of what it is supposed to show.
Canon has their own uber-zooms too. You have either the Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM or the Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM. Yes... I know that they are L-lenses. And, yes... I know they cost a heck lot more than this Tamron. Which is the point of this - if you want a walkabout/travel lens but not willing to blow a couple thousands, you might want to look at this Tamron.
#2 - how the Tamron compares in size with the Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM
(when fully extended)
The size alone makes the Tamron more palatable for me already... hehe...