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

EF17-85
Review Date: Dec 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Focal length is perfect for walk-around, IS works wonders, light, good (not great but perfectly acceptable) quality
Cons:
Price, max aperture is f4-f5.6, QUALITY CONTROL

Bought this lens from a local store, for a family vacation. When I got home I found about 50% of my pics were too soft or slightly out of focus (all taken with AF). Returned the lens and did some more research but decided to give it another chance because this lens really has the perfect focal length range for the Rebel XT.

Boy am I glad I did! The second copy is not *perfect* but definitely good enough! Much better than the kit lens. I bought DxO Optics Pro and after running my pics through that, the quality is stunning. If you get a bad copy, don't be afraid to try again. Canon's QC on this lens seems to be pretty poor.

The IS on this lens is amazing. Canon claims 3 f-stops improvement in hand-holding and I believe it. I get just as many "keepers" from this as from my Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens. The IS doesn't stop your subject motion like the higher aperture/faster shutter will, but in most cases that isn't a big issue.

This is my primary lens now, and while I have a couple of fixed-focal-length lenses, I just find the zoom to be so convenient that I rarely switch lenses anymore. Highly recommended!