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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 572221 Apr 12, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $569.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.70
6.70
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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kenstee
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Registered: May 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Aug 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $469.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range. IS. UM. Weight. Quality. Price/Value.
Cons:
Cost. Like most other lens some CA/distortion at wide-end 17mm-24mm or so (easily addressed by DxO software)

The perfect lens? No. The perfect lens for me. Yes! I shoot primarily travel and this lens has it all for my needs. I guess I'm not like a lot of people here. I don't like carrying a lot of gear. I don't want to carry lots of gear. I travel light. I like to "blend-in" the best I can when traveling. I don't do tripods. I don't carry or aspire to have a bag of lens. I don't need or really want "L" glass especially given the cost and weight. What this lens has for me: Great range - I love the wide 17mm. Once you have it a lens starting at 24mm or 28mm will never do. IS which is perfect for low light and indoor situations - and really works especially combined with higher ISO if need be. So, goodbye tripod! UM for fast focusing. If this suits your needs go for it.

I found any CA and distortion on the wide end (which occurs on many lens - even "L") can be corrected using the amazing DxO software (http://www.dxo.com/en/photo/home/default.php) if it bothers you. This lens and my cheap 50/1.8 are all I carry and rarely miss a shot I want with my 350D Rebel XT. I'm not a pro but this set-up works for me. Pictures shot with this lens have appeared in major newspaper travel sections. So, it is passing muster with finicky photo editors.

After too much research I came to the realization that: 1) There is NO perfect lens. Zooms especially are all about compromises. 2) You will NEVER get any agreement about any lens on this or any other forum. Every lens gets praise and trashed. 3) Don't believe all the hype and hysteria about "bad copies." Are there any? Probably. But, 99% of the problems are due to bad photograhers NOT bad lens copies and 4) Get a lens - this or some other lens - that best suits your individual shooting style and needs and start shooting.



Aug 1, 2005
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JTitor
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Registered: Jul 17, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 29, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: USM , IS, Range
Cons:
Soft, price, CA, Barrel distortion, F4 Wide open. Where is the hood ?

I tried a few copies of this lens (friends, store). USM is fast and IS can be fun but that lens is way too expensive for the pictures will get from.

And all of you who rated this lens 10/10 , can you tell me what rate you would give to a L lens ??? 15/10 ?

I understand that some people love this lens, but it cant deserve a 10/10.


Jul 29, 2005
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grenadier
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Registered: Jul 28, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quality, Range, Image Stabilization, th perfect walk around lens
Cons:
None

My Canon 20D when delivered, had an ill fitting joint on the Camera Base. The join of the base to the back tapered from tight to a 1/32" gap, the earthing strap could be clearly seen through this gap. The Canon Service Center I contacted, said this was a common problem with the 20D and that often associated with this join problem was a focus problem. I had the 20D Inspected and they checked the Shutter, Calibrated the focus and adjusted the body parts. I now have the assurance that my 20D conforms to Canon's 20D specification!
Some users have criticised the 17-85mm lens, and other Canon Lenses. I wonder if their Camera Focus needs Calibrating? In future, I for one, will remember this when reading these User Lens Reviews.


Jul 28, 2005
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thw2
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Registered: Dec 26, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 2834
Review Date: Jul 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, USM, Good range for walk-about, Contrasty, Good colors, Centre is Sharp
Cons:
CA, Barrel distortion, Slightly soft between 17-28 when wide-open, Variation in quality from copy to copy

The first copy I had was soft on one side when wide open between 17-25 mm. So, I exchanged it and the second copy is stellar. Yes, the usual reports on CA, barrel distortion etc in wide angle shooting are true. BUT, most of these faults can be corrected in post-processing (except for softness in the extreme corners, of course).

The center sharpness of this lens is very impressive. I also have the Canon 85 mm f/1.8 lens (known for its sharpness when stopped down). Comparing both lenses at 85 mm and f/5.6 reveals NO difference. Amazing, huh? Smile That's how sharp the lens is... if you can get a good copy.

The performance of the 17-85 lens when wide open can be better. But for my photography habits, it does not matter too much. I use wide angle when I am shooting landscapes or interior architecture. For these purposes, a deep depth of field is desired and that's when the IS comes in really handy. I can stop down the aperture (improves centre sharpness between 17 and 24 mm too) and don't have to worry about camera shake. That's why this lens is just perfect for travelling.

I will highly recommend this lens for travelling because of its convenient focal length range and IS. The colors are very, very good too.



Jul 28, 2005
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Premol
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Registered: Jul 27, 2005
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great focal range, IS, fast focus system. Ideal walkaroud lens. Good build quality.
Cons:
Little soft when wide open (17-30mm), no lens hood, price.

Pictures taken with the lens have good color and medium / 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 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.

Overall: Great walkaround lens for prosummer users as a single lens.


Jul 28, 2005
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ranmandx
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Registered: Jul 9, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 545
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Range and IS
Cons:
Horribly soft poor focusing accuracy and high chromatic abberation.

I had this lens for a couple weeks matted to a 20D, i've created some nice pictures with this lens however my overall impression was that it suffered from lack of sharp images, for some reason consistent back focusing on my copy i returned it to the store. Great range and the IS really was an eye opener in how well it can handle camera shake. I however upgraded to the 17-40 to take care of the low end of the range and returned the unit, the quality of the pictures wasn't impressing me greatly and the softness at pretty much most apperatures due to focusing error (possibly the body just had that replaced as well) really dissapointed me.

If you are not too picky about your images and won't be blowing anything up to great sizes this is a perfect range and recommend it for that. Things that made me switch was chromatic abberation and lack of weather sealing, the build quality was quite good as well on my unit.


Jul 27, 2005
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dnenciu
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Registered: Jul 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 621
Review Date: Jul 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great build quality for a non L lens, great range, good image quality, IS
Cons:
CA at wide range, sometimes a little soft.

Good lens tried the sigma 18-200 before. Much better than the kit lens on the rebel xt. Image is sharp most of the time a little soft wide but improves stoped down, better than the Sigma. Build quality is great not as good as an L glass but much better than the kit and the sigma lens. IS is great in low light.

Jul 25, 2005
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thedigitalbean
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Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6242
Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: - Very useful range, particularity for travel - Sharp from 24-85 - Image stabilizer very useful - Light, Good build and finish - Very fast and good focussing
Cons:
- Distortion, barrel distortion at the low end, pincushioning at longer focal lengths - Slow - CA from 17-24

The image quality was pretty good. I noticed very little difference in color rendition between this and the 17-40L. Center sharpness is almost at 17-40 level.

There is however barrel and pincushioning distortion, and the CA from 17-24 is noticable.

That being said, given its versatile range, IS, good build and fast AF, I wouldn't wholly recommend this lens either for travel or if you are looking for one lens to suit all your needs.

I have a detailed comparison between the 17-85 IS and the 17-40L here:

http://www.aravind.ca/Reviews?17_85_efs_vs_17_40_L


Jul 19, 2005
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Napoleone
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Registered: Jul 15, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good build quality, Image stabilization, Versatility, Color, Sharpness
Cons:
f/4 - 5,6, CA on the edge of the image at 17-24mm, Only for 1.6x camera

Image quality is good but at short focal lenghts the CA is very visible in the zones with much contrast. The CA is however corrigible with Photoshop.

The IS work very well in low light condition with static subject.

A good all around lens.


Jul 15, 2005
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Gajtguy
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent Range, IS, USM focus, Image sharpness
Cons:
??cost?? but not so much for what you get

Having gotten into the Digital SLR world recently, I quickly outgrew the kit lens. The camera shop suggested an all-in-one option 28-300mm but I quickly became disenchanted with the image quality.
Once I made the jump, I went with this to complement my 70-200 f4L. What a difference. As I improve my skills, the pictures actually reflect that.
The IS is stellar indoors, in low-light and just happens to do outdoors and bright excellent. Overall, a great walk around.


Jul 13, 2005
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Jay-Mella
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Registered: Jul 2, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 11
Review Date: Jul 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great zoom range, IS, optics clean, lightweight, good build. great color and contrast plus it's Sharp!!
Cons:
none

this zoom is the best choice i could have ever made to go along with my 70-200.
i need a flash, but so far the IS and high ISO capabilities of the 20D have saved me the expense of buying a flash.
great color and contrast and sharp.........did i say sharp?
people complain about the wide end, but mine at 17mm@f/4 is sharp as i can expect. i print my pictures and 8.5x11 prints are sharp as expected.


Jul 3, 2005
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nolpj
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Registered: Oct 2, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good Lens for what I needed when I first went Digital.
Cons:
No Lens hood in the box, rather expencive as an extra.

Have used this lens for location work and weddings with no problems. would be nice if there was a faster aperture though.

Fast in operation though with no hunting in low light conditions.

As good as any of my old Nikon lenses.


Jul 3, 2005
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ritz05
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Registered: Jun 6, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: I bought this Lens at shop Pixxass, Chemnitz,germany. I new this Lens is difficut a good copy and I told Pixxass to send me a good copy, and they did. There is Barrel distortion at 17mm and pincushion distortion at 85mm, but nothing PT lens not can repair. I made some shot with this lens, wich can be seen at http://www.pbase.com/ritzlau/test_17-85is I am satisfied with the Lens.
Cons:



Jul 3, 2005
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mondas42
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Registered: Jun 30, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jul 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very Quick and Quiet, with a good range. I.S. is very useful. Hasn`t been of my camera
Cons:
A bit Expensive, but nothing else in this range comes close

I bought this lens to replace the 18-55 that came with my 300D. I thought I would use it until I could afford a "L" series with a similar range. After nearly 8 months of use I think I will keep the lens and save up for a 20D instead. This lens always gives me clear sharp pics and is very quiet and quick. It has so many uses, with the Macro facility, that whilst, not up to a dedicated Macro is a welcome addition on this lens.The price is a little steep, but where else are you going to get a 17-85 lens with image stabiliation from?

P.S. Price is in UK pounds


Jul 1, 2005
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devereux
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Registered: Jun 30, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: weight, versatility, sharpness, color
Cons:
dirt inside the lens

I am only posting this to second the reviewer who mentioned dirt getting inside this lens. To be sure, this is my travel lens. It is on my 20D 100% of the time. I love the pictures I get from this camera/lens combination; this is definitely the desert island combination for me. I keep it in my Lowe case between shoots, but it gets bumped around and put down in a lot of strange places when I use it. After 8 months in the back of my car and 3 trips including 3 weeks in India, this lens has enough dirt inside that it has to be cleaned. (Any lens that changes volume when you zoom will have a tendency to get dirty inside, but this one seems particularly vulnerable, much more so than my old 28-135 IS that has about the same design and build quality.)

This camera/lens is not my 1DmkII with an L-series prime on it, but this trusty little combo is almost always with me, making it the camera of choice in lots and lots of situations. I have been amazed at how close this little combination will come.


Jun 30, 2005
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dmanthree
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Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Review Date: Jun 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Range, size and weight, IS, sharpness, color fidelity.
Cons:
Price.

After reading the many reviews, I tried this lens as a walk-around solution, and it's a wonderful lens. I've printed shots from this lens up to 13" x 19", and they look very nice, and compare very well with the 17-40. The AF is quick and silent, the IS works as you'd think, and the range is near perfect for a single-lens solution. My only complaint is price; it is expensive, but so far has no real competition (a walk-around with IS). I certainly don't regret purchasing this lens.

Jun 28, 2005
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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 572221 Apr 12, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $569.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.70
6.70
7.6
EF17-85


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