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  Reviews by: Mark McCardell  

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

Review Date: May 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: IS, tack sharp 50-85mm, Price
significant distortion at 17mm

Im new to this forum, but not to photography.
A common theme I see on the reviews is comparing consumer level glass to L glass. Thank god you guys dont do car reviews. I can see it now: The build quality on the $15k Kia Spectra just doesnt match the build quality on the $90k Mercedes SL500.
Do you see what I am getting at? Its pointless to disparage what is obviously a consumer lens because it doesnt match up with a $1.5k lens.

Thats being said on to the review.

I bought my nephew a Rebel XT and wanted him to have a good, basic all purpose lens that he could learn photography with. After shooting with this lens, I decided to look no further.

The good stuff:
Great range for a cropped sensor. Slap this on and the average user is never going to buy another lens. I have gone on hikes with my nephew and he has produced good shots of everything from birds to closeups of bugs.
IS: I was initially skeptical of this feature. After playing around with it indoors in poor lighting I came away impressed. It turned several very bad shots into relatively decent shots. I think this feature is VERY useful for the consumer level.

The bad stuff:
Massive distortion at 17mm. Probably the worse I have seen on a Canon lens. However, I have yet to use a lens that was perfect.

Over all this is a very good every day lens. Is it L quality? Of course not. When was the last time you saw an L zoom selling for <$500? So stop complaining that its not an L lens.

I would recommend this lens to any amateur/consumer photographer. You wont be disappointed.