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  Reviews by: ibizargak  

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Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Review Date: Oct 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $374.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Fast focusing, light, reasonable price, solid build.
Inconsistent AF. Lack of IS at this price DOES matter.

It took me a while to realize this lens was focusing inconsistently. In fact until I did some super zooming with the LiveView function on my new XSi I had no idea how sharp this lens could be - if properly focused. I had received the camera with the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens kit lens. Which was a decent little lens, just too slow for me I believed. I also had no idea how much I have come to rely on IS after using the Canon 17-85 for years. Again I believed this lens was too slow for me. I thought long and hard about my lens choice for this camera body, and this was the best I could reasonably afford. The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is insanely expensive. I can say that even slightly out-of-focus this lens is as sharp as the EF-S 17-85 was. Colors are a little neutral but I've corrected that in camera functions. It focuses quickly and the noise you supposedly hear is so short in duration as to be scarcely noticeable. I'm going to have this lens re-calibrated and then I believe it's going to be my carry-around lens. But I am extremely disappointed I received a front-focusing copy and I hesitate to recommend this lens because of that. Other wise the sharpness is comparable to my cheap but tack-sharp EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

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

Review Date: Nov 7, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $569.00

Pros: Fairly light, fairly compact, quite fast focusing and silent, fairly nice bokeh in the right conditions, solid build, black is not too conspicuous, fairly sharp on 1.6 body, "reasonably' priced compared to 'L' series. OUTSTANDINGLY useful focal range. Always focuses on the red dot no back-focus issues for me at all. Top of the line for hobos like me.
Fairly heavy, fairly huge on a DRebel body, fairly darned expensive

I've had this lens for a year now and I gave it some bad knocks when I had only had it a week, in my initial review. Well, I have mellowed out a lot after some experience with other lenses and with the perspective of time and some 20,000 shots since then on my digital Rebel. This lens is the lens that is on the camera all the time. It's quite fast focusing, the IS is indispensable at the longer ranges of the zoom and I've really gotten to rely on that. I added a lens hood and some of the flare/wash-out issues I had at first disappeared, and I got to know the lens much better. I've dragged this lens through woods and bad weather, knocked it around a lot now and it's still my faithful servant. 17mm even at the 1.6 crop factor still gives plenty of that wide-angle effect, yet I can get a good fairly medium-range zoom effect too at 85mm which roughly equals 135mm on a normal frame body.
I have felt hindered by the f/4-5.6 aperture range... but most of my subject matter does't move that much and being of steadier hand now I find myself taking more and more advantage of the IS, which is very intuitive and helpful.
My only other experiences other than stolen shots with expensive lenses in camera stores, are the 50mm 1.8, EF 35mm f/2.0 and the kit lens. I prefer the background blur on the 1.8, of course. Otherwise this lens is in a whole other realm. It's ten times faster focusing than any of them, ten times more useful. That 35MM f/2.0 blows by the way, but that's another review and maybe I didn't give it a chance, but I think I did.

I personally could not justify the cost of a higher-quality L series lens ...and I don't see any that can match the zoom range of this lens anyway for a walk-around lens.

Here are some sample pictures, not the best I have or the worst of this lens, but I wish there had been some around like this when I was agonizing over this lens.

I am glad I bought it, after all. Some of the images are 100% crops, full-size and one reduction, I don't have that much file space. Also I'm sorry can't leave these on here indefinitely. But I hope it gives you some idea of the quality and drawbacks of this outstanding lens.

I hope one day, to have a better lens, but it would have to be a hell of a lens to replace this one, and I'm sure it will cost a hell of a lot of money. For now this is all I need or really want, or all I want or all I really need, and I'm satisfied. I pawned a lot of things when I lost my job, but this lens was not one of them :-)

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

Review Date: Aug 21, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $569.00

Pros: Very fast. IS really does work. Massive feel. Images are tack-sharp with the aide of lens-shade. Competes with L series lense, in fact for the price, you can't do better, this lens is on my Rebel at all times. Outstanding zoom range.
expensive. CA on fringes.

After a year I have come to know and love this lens. It's solid as a rock. It was me who didn't know how to use it. It is made for the Rebel, in fact other than the 50mm which is a bit sharper, I doubt you'll ever need a normal lens. It's big and heavy, but worth the weight. I wrote a negative review a year ago, I wish I could take that back.

for under 1300 bucks, buddy you can't find a better deal, the Rebel (pawn the standard lens) and this lens (find a broader zoom factor)

I used to shoot with my old Yashica 1:2 and my Nikon 1:2. I know what sharp is and these digital lenses cannot compare. But then again I'm not paying 29 cents a print at Walmart anymore.

This damn zoom lense is outstanding, rugged and seems to have taken all the abuse I could muster so far.

The Canon 17-85 is a great lens. If I had 1 lens and I do, this would be it, and it is.

Steve Bennett

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

Review Date: Nov 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $549.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Zoom range, image stabilization.
Price. And, it's heavy.

I've had a lot more time to evaluate this lense. It is a heavy bit of glass to throw on the dRebel, though I don't know what others may think of that. It may be a bit much for you 300D users. I haven't yet found anything so great about it, other than the good zoom range. My first impressions of IS is that a wider apererature is a better bet. The IS is a funny, uncontrollable servant that just seems to kick in when it wants to. It has good clarity, but not great. I haven't had any photos taken with it so far that make me swoon as the cheap little f/1.8 50mm has caused. Color is good but that is an easy matter to control with parameters. This thing is freakin' heavy. AF is fast but not I think lightening fast. The IS is always moving things around, sometimes not the way I want. I really do think a faster lens is a better idea rather than the IS. Of course this lens is better than the 18-55 kit lens, but I can't really say it's 6x times better, that's the price you'll pay. All in all, I would say this lens is twice as good as the kit lens. I agree with those who say this lens should be on a par price-wise as the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, at around $400 it is a good buy, but reaching up to 500-600? I don't thing it's a good buy, I feel as though Canon is gouging this 1.6 crop factor market for all it's worth.

I feel as though I am stuck with this lens's frustrating and unpleasant. This is not a pro-lens, no way. I shot the heck out of Thanksgiving at my home with a lot of guests and the lens just was no way fast enough, I just don't think you can cover this zoom range with this low aperature and no pro-flash going on. So even at ISO 800 and above, it's just a get-lucky kind of shot deal. Nature stuff, it's not really, really sharp even stopped down and with the IS off, mirror lock on, etc. Here it is 10x better than the kit lens but still not sharp enough to be called remarkable. And the slowness of the lens, is a major stricture.

Reasonable clarity. Good color. Heavy even 'massive' lens. IS is just pretty much gimmick stuff unless your are riding in a boat or car, or don't see the need to steady yourself, at least at this focal range, I think it's malarky. I am not really happy with this lens and I am one of those people who tries to be happy with what they got. At this price, I must recommend not buying this lens.

I have some 100% crops on file at

that may help you a bit please don't hesitate to contact me if you are considering spending a lot of savings on this lens.

I am stuck with this lens because I put every penny into it. Saved 2 months I don't think it's worth it but what can you do at this crop factor?

Maybe, if like me, your wife is never, ever going to let you get another lens, this zoom factor would decide you and you'll settle for the middling quality of the images. That's what I'm a gonna do.