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

EF17-85
Review Date: Mar 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IS, handling, range, reasonable IQ for price
Cons:
variable and somewhat slow max aperture, some distortion and CA at 17mm (fixable in PP)

I have used this lens for a very large number of shots over the almost 3 years I have owned it. It really has never let me down. I have done travel photography with it as my main lens on a trip to Europe, I have done landscape stuff back here in the states with it, as well as people pictures.

Pros:
- The IS is great. It was literally the difference in getting decent shots or not in many dimly lit churches and museums in Europe.
- The 17-85 range on a crop body really is quite excellent for a walk around lens
- For me, the IQ has really been good. Granted, up to now I have not really has any L quality glass to compare it to, but I have take a number of shots I am very happy with with this lens.
- The size and weight are very manageable, and it has a nice balanced feel on my 40D.

Cons:
- some CA and and distortion, mostly at 17mm. I fix it in PP
- Sometimes there is just not enough light (even considering IS), to get the shot with this lens.

Summary:
Are there better lenses than this one out there? Absolutely. But for the money, it is a nice package of range, reasonable if not outright stellar IQ, and price. I think this lens gets somewhat of a bum rap, it can take excellent pictures.

ML


 
Canon EOS 40D

40d
Review Date: Mar 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Handling, live view, AF, image quality
Cons:
small preview jpgs used on back LCD for preview, LCD resolution, no lens microadjust

I have had my 40D for over a year, and have shot about ~4,000 shutter clicks wit it, so I decided to review it for anyone out there trying to decide if they want one.

The camera is an excellent model from a already very mature camera family. If you have used any of the predecessors to this camera, it will feel very familiar and easy to use right away. I think it is currently in a very sweet spot of Canon's lineup when price, features, and IQ are concerned. While the 50D does have some nice features the 40D lacks, the price difference is not trivial - over $300 (using current B&H body only pricing as a guide...)

If I still had my 350D and wanted to upgrade, it would be a tough decision between the 40D and 50D. But for me now, I find that the 40D noise, resolution and image quality are very good, and I just am not compelled to consider an upgrade at this point. The 40D is an exceptional photographic tool, and I will have to get a lot better before I find it limiting my results in any significant way.

ML