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  Reviews by: JLukeW  

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

Review Date: Apr 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Especially sharp at f8+ between 35 & 85mm. Excellent build quality, great all-around lens.
f5.6 is too slow for indoors, *severe* barrel distortion at (and near) 17mm, CA (Chromic Aberration) at the wide end, noticably blurry at the wide end, etc...

Maybe I have a bad copy, but this lens is awful at the wide end (between 17 and 24 especially). I would almost consider it to be a 28-85mm lens. Also, it has only taken 5 months for specs of dust to get inside the lens, noticable through the viewfinder (and looking at the lens itself).

Between 35 and 85mm this is an excellent, sharp lens. The autofocus is very quick. If you're okay with likely having to post-process every wide-angle shot you take, the full range of this lens shouldn't be much of a problem for you.

Here is a (very bad, cropped) photo taken from my front window at 17mm (with no regard to exposure). This is just to demonstrate the barrel distortion you can expect to see with this lens. A little CA can be seen too.

My advice with this lens is to stick to the 35-85mm range, and use a (likely more expensive) lens for wide angle shots. Also, I recommend a faster (prime?) lens for indoors.