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  Reviews by: mpanoff  

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

Review Date: Dec 1, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: IS, zoom range, fast focus, build quality
CA and distortion at the wide-end, flare, contrast, front tube extends leading to potential dust problems

Let me start off by saying that I purchased a refurbished model, but hopefully it was completely to Canon spec. After using the lens for almost a month, I returned it.

I liked having the flexibility of the zoom range, but it really under-performed at the wide-end. Excessive distortion and CA problems, especialy at the edges of the frame (at f/22). It also seemed very sensitive to lens flare, which I think contributes to the contrast problems, very washed out colors.. especially if you are shooting towards a bright light source. In terms of cost, it is very close to a 17-40mm, whicj is what I replaced it with. Unfortunantly I don't have the reach now. That's the compromise, if you're mostly shotting from the middle to long-end, it is very sharp with minimal distortion.. plus the IS really does work.

If Canon could just clean up the wide-end, this would be a killer lens.