The 28-200mm zoom is one of the most popular lenses sold and every independent lens maker produces a version. But this focal length range can leave the landscape photographer wanting, as 28mm isn't always wide enough to get everything in view. Similarly there are times that you can't step back far enough when shooting indoors and when taking buildings you may end up cropping off the church spire. This zoom from the prestigious AT-X range offers a solution with its wider 24mm focal length.
For anyone who's used a 24mm you'll be aware of how useful that extra 4mm is. It's also starting to fall into the creative category where you can shoot from low down to gain towering perspective at 'arty' angles.
Despite having such a wide ranging zoom the lens isn't long, extending just 92mm from the mount to the filter rim and even when fully extended it's just 143mm.
It has a chunky body with a 72mm filter thread and it adds an extra 690grams to the camera weight. Not a light thing to carry around but certainly versatile.
In true AT-X fashion the lens handles extremely well and has a solid, well-built feel. Part of the weight is down to the metal mount which bayonets firmly to the body. The focusing motor is relatively quiet and functions with speed and accuracy. I used the lens on an EOS100 and was able to focus quickly or switch to manual with difficult subjects.
The markings around the lens are fairly sparce. There's a scale showing focal lengths of 24, 35, 50, 70, 105 and 200, plus a focusing scale in feet and meters. There's no depth of field scale or infrared mark.
Optically the lens delivers a respectable set of results. There's no visible distortion, even at 24mm and overall contrast is excellent.
The only thing that lets the lens down is the close focus - a disappointing 0.8m, but the competitions' 28-200mm models don't focus any closer either and that's the price you have to pay for such a versatile zoom range. You can get round this by adding a close up lens, but with a 72mm thread this can be expensive.
It comes with a blue drawstring pouch that offers limited protection and won't take up much space in a gadget bag and a bayonet attaching lens hood.
This is a really nice lens to use, it handles well, has a superb focal length range and delivers very good results. Shame about the close focus and the weight, but you can't have everything.
Test by Peter Bargh