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Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
251 574923 Apr 12, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $569.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.69
6.69
7.6
EF17-85

Specifications:
• Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 17 - 85mm; 1:4-5.6
• Lens Construction: 17 elements in 12 groups
• Diagonal Angle of View: 78° 30' - 18° 25'
• Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system, with focusing cam
• Closest Focusing Distance: 0.35m - 1.15 ft.
• Zoom System: Ring USM
• Filter Size: 67mm
• Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.1" x 3.6", 16.8 oz. / 78.5 x 92mm, 475g


 


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tdarnall
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Registered: Aug 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Zoom range is ideal on 20D, IS, fast/quiet focusing, size and weight, build quality, balance on 20D, decent (though not exemplary) optical quality, and just plain usefulness.
Cons:
Edge sharpness at wide apertures, some CA, lens hood not included (and hard to find at first), would be great if it was even a tad faster.

I bought this for a take-anywhere lens when I didn't want to bother with a lot of gear, and didn't want to have to worry about carrying a tripod. I didn't expect L-series performance, and I decided to view the lens differently...more as a tool to take away my excuses to not carry a camera with me. It covers a practical focal-length range and has an excellent feel on the 20D, particularly with the battery grip.

Nov 4, 2004
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Julius
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Registered: Jan 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 954
Review Date: Nov 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent zoom range, well built, compact, effective IS.
Cons:
Excessive distortion and CA close to the edges and corners. Overpriced.

Pictures taken with the lens have excellent color and very good sharpness on most part of the image however sharpness falls off noticeably at the corners and close to the edges of the frame. There is more than usual Chromatic Aberration towards the edges and corners of the image but it can be easily corrected with Panorama tools or Photoshop CS on the RAW image files. It is still a very useable general-purpose walk around lens with excellent zoom range. The lens is way overpriced at $589-599, it should be in the same price range as the 28-135 IS lens.
The lens I have is the 3rd copy, the first 2 lenses had excessive softness at the left side of the image which indicates internal lens group misalignment problem. Canon’s Quality Control leaves a lot to be desired.


Nov 4, 2004
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j1mmey
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Registered: Oct 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 80
Review Date: Nov 3, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Nice focal range, nice size.
Cons:
Very poor optical quality, slow aperture, lots of CA; extremely soft, particularly at 17-28mm range, which is arguably the only reason for buying this lens over one that starts at 28mm.

I was very disappointed by the 17-85IS lens. Overall it is optically very soft. Particularly on the wide end, from about 17-28 or so, it is soft even if you stop way down. LOTS of CA, etc.

I would have rather they give me f3.5-4.5 or something than the somewhat gimmicky IS.

I'm mad at Canon because, they seem to neglect making a semi-pro wide-zoom lens with decent range; ala Nikon's 18-70 lens, which is excellent. When given the chance, they just made a crummy piece of junk lens. Don't get me wrong; if it were $300, it would be a cool lens and good value. But for $600? Rediculous, in my opinion.


Nov 3, 2004
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Wren
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Registered: Oct 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 96
Review Date: Oct 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $549.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Flexible range, IS a big plus specially on dim lighting, Good clear pictures. Works well with 20D
Cons:

I recently purchased the EF-S 17-85 IS lens as an upgrade from the base "kit", EF-S 18-55mm that it came with. It is definitely an improvement. The clarity of the pictures and color is different from the 18-55. I went to the camera shop today and took pictures using the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM and the quality of the EF-S 17-85 is not that much different. I am basing this of course from my computer screen. I did not have the chance to print any of the images. The color sharpness and the construction of the EF-24-70mm is better. I was ready to exchange the 17-85 IS for it but when I went home to compare the two, the difference was not that great for me to add the extra $700.00. I bought the 70-200mm F/4 instead. I think now that I have the right 'gear" to explore this new world of DSLR. I plan on taking lots of pictures this weekend! For an amateur and photo enthusiast, I would recommend this lens.I am enjoying it's versatility. I think this will be my 'carry on" lens for a while.

Oct 28, 2004
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EmJayPrice
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Registered: Nov 17, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 652
Review Date: Oct 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Focal Range, IS
Cons:
CA at wide angle

I bought this lens to be my walkabout on my new 20D. I was not expecting perfection, but overall I am very happy with my choice. Colour and contrast seem to be very good. Also, maybe I got a really good copy but I think it is pretty sharp.

At the wide angle it exhibits CA, but show me a Canon wide angle that doesn't. It is easily corrected in Photoshop.

On a 1.6 crop body this lens is a great all around performer.

I think some of the people who are down on this lens are expecting too much. If I want more I will use a prime or one of the L zooms.


Oct 28, 2004
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takitus
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Registered: Oct 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 28, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $589.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: great range, IS, solid build quality, not too heavy
Cons:
softer than the 18-55 kit lens!

I bought my camera with the stock 18-55mm lens and have been happy with it, but decided I needed something with more range, and was excited to pick up the 17-85.

I was pretty disappointed to say the least. The lens was solid (zoom was a little stiff) and would have suited my needs perfectly, but it was way softer than the 18-55 which costs 1/10 of the price of this lens. I would have been happy with the same quality as the 18-55, but for $500-$600, a step down in quality is not acceptable. Canon could have had something good here... too bad they slacked off on quality. I would have rather them left out the IS and just given me a nice 17-85.

I decided to return it for a 17-40L and I'm happy with it.. and will probably buy a 24-70L for the range between my 17-40L and 70-200L.

Using a digital, Im considering buying a 10-22 for some real wide angle... but since it isnt an L im going to wait to see what kind of reviews it gets. Hopefully it will be at least the quality of the 18-55 =).

I wouldnt recommend this lens unfortunately.


Oct 28, 2004
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Access
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1572
Review Date: Oct 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Sharp, good range for general use
Cons:
CA around the edges in wide-angle

Optically excellent in the 35mm - 85mm range. 17-24mm suffers from a lot of CA, even when stopped down, plus some distortion and vignetting around the edges. 35mm and up, CA is well controlled and this is a very sharp lens, closer to 'L' sharpness than many other consumer zooms.



Oct 27, 2004
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Stan Shelton
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Registered: Feb 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Oct 27, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: The focal range of the lens is very enticing.
Cons:
The lens is soft.

I was eagerly awaiting this lens to go with my 20D. In fact, I sold my trusty 17-40 L to get it. There were no reviews early on, so I went ahead and took the plunge.

Man, was I dissappointed -- in the lens and in Canon. I wasn't looking for speed, I was seeking longer focal length options and less distortion than I got with the 17-40. What I got was distortion equal to the 20D and noticeably less sharp images. I quickly returned the lens and happily purchased another 17-40. I'm interested in the focal length of the new 10-22, but will now await reviews before I purchase.



Oct 27, 2004
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Tom Piotrowski
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Registered: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 74
Review Date: Oct 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Very practical zoom range, Image Stabilisation
Cons:
Purple fringing (really bad) and softness towards the edges

I have recently acquired my "backup" camera Canon EOS 20D and the lens came as part of the kit. It's zoom makes the lens far more practical than EF-S 18-55 as previously offered with 300D and IS (image stabilisation) is a real bonus. Colour and contrast of images produced are very good. The lens suffers from serious purple fringing problem, though. In addition, when wide open, there is visible softness of the image towards its edges and on left side of frame in particular.

Oct 23, 2004
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AlexC
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Registered: Mar 16, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 78
Review Date: Oct 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Useful focal length range for 1.6x crop, close focus ability, image stabilization, compact size
Cons:
Some purple fringing

This lens on a 20D replaces a 10D plus a 17-40mm f/4L lens and a 28-135mm IS lens. So far, I miss the quality of the 17-40L, but the convenience of having one lens covering the wide-medium focal lengths is quite nice. This is a very flexible lens. It complements the 100-400mm IS nicely, making a good two lens kit for travelling. There is some purple fringing noticeable on backlit subjects, but it is minimal on my copy, certainly less so than on many current consumer point-and-shoot digicams. Sharpness is good, better than on the 28-135mm IS. Overall, recommended.

Oct 23, 2004
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coolmingli
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Registered: Oct 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 649
Review Date: Oct 22, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Zoom range, IS, built,
Cons:
lots of purple fringing on the edge, flare,

I just got this lens today, I took some test shots, I am disappointed, purple fringing is what I don't like, my 17-40 L performs much better.


Oct 22, 2004
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Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
251 574923 Apr 12, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $569.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.69
6.69
7.6
EF17-85


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