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

EF17-85
Review Date: Jul 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great range, IS, USM focus, Solid Build - A very good walk around lens.
Cons:
f4-5.6 = slow, Barrel distortion at 17mm

To begin with, this is a much much better lens than how it is being portrayed. I have been using this lens for quite sometime now and while its not the best out there, it definitely isn't a slouch either. Its advantages far outweigh its negatives and for an amateur/hobby shutterbug this could be the only lens they would ever need. My lens has managed to hold its fort against the tough weather conditions and dust I expose it to on an everyday basis while traveling across India, and I would rate its build very high in this regard.

The positives :

1. Great Travel Lens - very useful focal range
2. Sharp from 24mm
3. Very effective IS
4. Fast Autofocus
5. Build Quality
6. Nice color balance

A lot of people say Tamron 17-50 is way better than this lens but my personal experience suggests otherwise. I had the 17-50 with me for a month and while its a fast lens its performance left a lot to be desired. A friend of mine had briefed me about the notorious Tamron quality control so i decided to try an other copy of the 17-50 lens but that one turned out be even worse. I guess you need to be plain lucky to get a good copy of a tamron and for that matter a Sigma lens. I sold my tamron off and bought a nifty fity (Canon 50mm 1.8) which just blew me away with its performance.

So I use the 17-85 as a walk around lens and the 50mm as my low light, motion freeze alternative.

Hope this helps.