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  Reviews by: Amy Klaver  

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Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Jul 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Nice focal range, f/2.8, smooth bokeh, IS, light and easy to carry around, fast AF, sharp.
It's been said a thousand times but...DUST. Price. Plastic build. No weather sealing (!). EF-S.

Overall, this was a really great lens to use: as my Pros state, it's sharp, lovely wide aperture, smooth and creamy bokeh, fast, has Image Stabilizer etc. It has served me well over the past few months and I honestly love it to pieces. However, due to the dust issues alone, I'm inclined to say that I'm going to have to give this lens up.

The definitive moment I decided this was only over the weekend when I went up to Warnambool, Vic, Australia. The weather was atrocious - blistering winds, lots of seaspray and rain. I never took my camera down to any beaches, nor did I take it out in the rain. I merely stood on the viewing platforms of the look-outs to take my shots. However, when I went back to the car, just before going to the 12 Apostles, I was horrified to see such a large amount of specks of dust under the glass. Looking back, I can't think of what else I could have done to prevent the dust/sand getting into the lens. There is absolutely no weather sealing on this lens so when you zoom out, the lens is completely vulnerable to the elements.

I bought this lens to replace my 17-85 f/4-5.6 and, natually, the quality in comparison is prestine. I came here to decide whether or not to buy this lens and I got some great advice to consider. However, I mst admit that I didn't really take a lot of notice when people called this lens a 'vacuum' as not everybody experienced dust issues, so I took my chances and hoped that I'd be one of the luckier ones.

I'd recommend this lens to anybody who doesn't do much nature photography and would use it more for indoor use such as studio work, weddings etc. It works wonders in low-light situations due to the combination of a wide aperture and IS (I could handhold the camera at 1/4 sec), portraits, still life and practically anything where dust or moisture won't be of great concern.

I don't want to give up this lens, I really don't, but I honestly don't think I have a choice. When I'm out and about in the unpredictable Melbourne weather, I need to know that my equipment can stand up to the job. Should Canon ever release this lens with L series build quality, I'd have no hesitations to buy it again.