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

Review Date: May 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS (can hand hold at even at 1sec shutter), Great range, Very close to L glass sharpness from 24-85mm, 17-24mm sharp in center. Color great. The best walk around lense available! BAR NONE!
Not a fast lense, considerably heavier than the kit lense, CA very apparent at 17-20mm on the edge of the image, and also soft there (but still sharper than kit at 18mm)

The best walk-around lense available... I belive this would easly make an L lense IF the image was a bit sharper and lacked CA on the edges at 17-24mm. I consider this lense L quality from 24-85mm, and with IS to boot its awsome. FAR FAR FAR sharper than the kit lense (18-55mm). From 17-24 mm I concider this lense to be similar to the kit lense on the edges but sharper in the center than the kit lense at these focal distances. which means sharpness at 17mm is still better than the kit lense at 18mm. However, this lense has signifigant CA at the edges (not center) which the kit lense does not. Though what do you expect for such a large range (17-85mm). Show me a single lense that can do this range with out CA at wide open.. you can't, theres not one.

The lense I think while more than I wanted to spend is really not to bad of a price concidering it has IS and truly is sharp throughout the image at 24-85mm. The softness and CA at the edges at wideopen are a trade off for the large focal range. I love the IS and think it is very valuble despite the fact that its a wide anle lense. I can hand hold for over exposures over 1 sec, at 24-50mm. and get sharp pics ~65% of the time.

Of course if it was faster it would be that much nicer... but again, the compromize for the range... if you want dont want the range, than by the 17-40mm L. But I concider 40 to not be sufficent range for a multi purpose (walk-around) lense.... so until canon makes a 17-85mm f/2.8 IS that lacks CA and softness at the edges at wide open. This is the best there is for the focal range. Dont forget CA is easlily removed in PS.