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

Review Date: Jan 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wide range, fast focus, FTM, build quality, Versatility, IS
Distortion at 17-24mm, Price, small max aperature, EF-S

The 17-85 is a versatile lens and since its purchase, has been on my camera nearly 70% of the time. It swaps in and out with other lenses to extend the telephoto range, and (often) to enhance low-light abilities.

While the IS is great for landscape shots, it is not a substitute for a larger aperature when indoor shots are required.

The image quality is pretty good. It is not as sharp as the 70-200 or a stopped down 50 f/1.8, but does provide a notable increase in detail and quality over the kit lens. Distortion is significant at 17mm but can be fixed in pp. The allure of the versatility and range of this lens led to purchase it over the clunkier combo of the Sigma 10-20 and 24-70.

The price at between 450 and 550 is a bit higher than I would have expected. I feel that 350-400 would be a more appropriate range, seeing as the 35mm equivalent lies within or below that range. The discrepancy lies in the EF-S lens' smaller size (barely) and newer IS.

While I would love to have a 17-85 lens with IS that is L quality, the price is high, but right, at less than 1/2 the price of a 24-105.

Build quality is good. Not the same as L but not noticably behind.

I would give this lens a 6 because of distortion at the wide end (which is what gives this lens much of its appeal), small variable aperature, EF-S incompatability issues with film cameras. But IS, good image quality, solid build, and dynamic versatility encourage me to give it an 8.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jan 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, focus speed, size, build quality, price
Lens hood loosens over time, white color clashes with my gray 350D and draws attention, zoom ring jiggles a bit after 6 months of use, only 200mm? no major complaints.

The 70-200 f/4 is my first piece of "L" glass and I have been impressed thus far with its performance.

Images are very sharp even wide open and the autofocus is very fast and accurate. FTM helps when dealing with multiple subjects and a large aperature. Build quality is much better than the canon consumer lenses I have used, and I have no major complaints about the lens whatsoever. The vast majority of reviews which have preceeded mine are accurate in touting the lens's sharpness, speed, quality, and price.

The only complaints I have are relatively minor. The lens hood does not stay as tightly as when I first put it on, but it is by no means about to fall off, only it shakes slightly to the touch. Surprisingly, the zoom ring does now as well, only very slightly, however this did not happen when I first purchased the lens. It is very slight and not a problem in any way. It still feels rock solid compared to anything else i've owned.

I gripe at times that I wish it could be a 300mm but I knew it wasnt when I bought it so it's my own fault for not getting closer.

I give the lens a "10" based on its price, build, focus speed, and quality. I can't imagine a much sharper picture or faster focusing speed, and the price is very managable.