Home · Register · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1      
2
       3       end
  

Archive 2017 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?

  
 
johnctharp
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


If you can get the 17-55/2.8 IS for <US$500, you won't get a better lens today. I'd take it.


[I'll also note that it is certainly an aging lens, and that Sigma makes two alternatives in their 17-50/2.8 OS and 17-70/2.8-4 OS | C; the latter zoom is a modern design and well recommended but obviously not a constant f/2.8, while the former could probably use a makeover but is certainly a serviceable alternative]



May 09, 2017 at 08:36 PM
matthewm
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


Thanks for all of the responses and thoughtful discussion. I'm well aware of the changes in depth of field in regards to sensor size, focal length, aperture, distance to subject, etc. I'm mostly looking for something faster than the 3.5-5.6 of the 18-135 (which is a very nice lens especially for video) and that offers more range than the ultra fast f/1.8 or f/2 zooms.

I'll be on the lookout for a 17-55.



May 09, 2017 at 09:02 PM
Gochugogi
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


I owned a 17-55 IS USM for many years and it was great about 90% of the time: sharp, fast focusing and smooth zooming. However, my copy flared like crazy with sunsets or bright streetlights in the frame (actually ghosting), so not a great landscape or night lens. I sold it and bought the 15-85 USM and can basically point that lens at anything.


May 09, 2017 at 09:29 PM
ultimaterowdy
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


when I moved to FF I was sad to have to say good bye to 17-55 2.8 IS. Such a useful lens. the experience made me ultimately migrate towards a standard 2.8 zoom on FF as well... for a lot more money. I think it is absolutely a viable option.


May 09, 2017 at 10:04 PM
Archibald
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


Note that the 17-55mm/2.8 lens suffers from autofocus inconsistency when focusing on subjects from around 10 ft to infinity. The error is random, but can be quite drastic. Thus when trying to focus on a distant scene, the focal plane can fall at 10 ft in front of you. It is not too noticeable when stopped down, and it is not a problem when shooting at typical indoor distances.

The issue is not well known, and most owners of the lens deny there is an AF problem. But there is anyway. Canon has acknowledged this to me in a phone call after quite a bit of back-and-forth on the issue.

Here is an example. Aperture was f/5.6. The center AF point was used, and placed on the distant trees. Why are those trees blurry? Distant haze? Camera shake? User error? No, it was an AF focus error. The foreground trees are sharp. (Uncropped pic.)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4162/34446689481_497fd9bd61_o.jpg



May 10, 2017 at 12:10 PM
DesertFoxPhoto
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


LensAuthority has the 17-55 lens right now for $570 which is fairly reasonable. For the price, you get a pretty decent zoom range comparable to a 24-70 on full frame and the image stabilizer is really helpful when shooting at 55mm. You might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere, but LensAuthority has a three day inspection period and each lens is tested and any defects fully disclosed before it goes out the door.

https://www.lensauthority.com/products/canon-ef-s-17-55mm-f-slash-2-dot-8-is

- Matt H.



May 10, 2017 at 12:24 PM
pshyvers
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


Mikehit wrote:
Just because it is knocking on a bit does not avoid that - not sure how 'modern sensors will change that.


Certainly could be the case that an older lens that was once optically great on 8MP bodies, is now out-resolved by 24MP sensors.

Or, again as sensor pixels shrink, the value of IS increases for the same focal length, and new lenses have improved IS. You need more IS to resolve every pixel on the higher density sensor, at the same shutter speed.



May 10, 2017 at 12:50 PM
matthewm
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


pshyvers wrote:
Certainly could be the case that an older lens that was once optically great on 8MP bodies, is now out-resolved by 24MP sensors.

Or, again as sensor pixels shrink, the value of IS increases for the same focal length, and new lenses have improved IS. You need more IS to resolve every pixel on the higher density sensor, at the same shutter speed.


That's kind of what I was getting at. I know some of the older Canon lenses (especially the lower-end lenses from the film days) are getting harder and harder to recommend based on high-resolving modern digital sensors. They just can't keep up...



May 10, 2017 at 01:16 PM
Archibald
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


matthewm wrote:
That's kind of what I was getting at. I know some of the older Canon lenses (especially the lower-end lenses from the film days) are getting harder and harder to recommend based on high-resolving modern digital sensors. They just can't keep up...


Those old and revered lenses from yesteryear... they really are crap compared to modern lenses.

I had the Pentax SMC Takumar 500mm f/4.5 lens, very desired back in the day, and very expensive. But the performance compared to today is truly awful. The chromatic aberrations are so bad you can see them in the viewfinder. It is not surprising when you consider that the Tak had only 4 elements, compared with 16 in today's Canon 500mm II, as well as aspheric elements with exotic materials and coatings.



May 10, 2017 at 02:16 PM
FrancisAlberto
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


I have the 17-55 2.8 IS. I personally think that it is a little bit overrated and at the time was a bit over-priced. For what you can get a 2nd hand model right now itís a steal. There's several things to consider thou. What is the purpose of the lens? do you plant to use it as a general walk around? do you need IS? I took a photography digital class last fall in college as an elective and I found that being forced to shoot under different circumstances forces you to see the weaknesses of technique and load out. I had this lens since 2007 and I love how convenient it is.

17-55 2.8 IS is convenient because it gives you IS, a decent walk around range and it has a nice 2.8 max aperture. There have been times when I was exceeding the comfort zone of ISO and I needed more speed to maintain sharpness. With IS it can make some shots shoot-able without a tripod, but it wonít work miracles.

What I don't like about the lens is that it's heavy and the AF is fuzzy, but I think that's mainly due to my 30D preferring the use of the center focus. After the class that I took I started to favor manual focusing and the lens does not fail. The focusing portion of the ring is a bit on the small side but it's not horrible. I think that the a/f might be more consistent on a more modern body, or anything after the 7D. Itís not poorly built but for the money at the time they could have gone metal alloy instead of heavy plastic. Minimal focus distance is not good and it canít do macro or extreme closeup. Minimal Focus distance is 1.2í or. 0.35m but something like the Canon EF-S 18-55 IS STM can do it at 0.82í or 0.25m. For the price at the time they could have made it an L lens, with the option to move up to FF, itís not like itís a light compact lens.

I wouldn't worry about the sharpness resolution as much on some of the lenses listed as long as you donít get something ancient pre-digital. A good lens does not only consist of good sharpness, itís about how it renders the image, bokeh, sharpness, color, distortion. Also think about the sharpness at the different apertures, Iíll do 2.8 fine but I think the lens sharpness comes to life at F4. 22mp vs 8mp regardless of the lens itís mounted to will show more movement on the higher density sensor do to the longer travel distance per pixel per movement. So same lens newer or older model will give the edge on blur to the low MP camera. Newer IS will give you one stop but on some of the options below you lose some maximum aperture.


17-55 2.8 IS has about 3 stops IS
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD claims 4 stops
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM 4 stops
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM 4 stops
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art No IS, no stop improvement
Not really on list but I think would complement the 17-55 2.8 IS Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM 4 stops.

Iíd be tempted if you had the bling to sell the other lenses and grab either the 17-55 2.8 IS for the convenience or the sigma 18-35 1.8 and combine it with the 70-300 IS II if you don't mind the missing range gap. Iíve heard good things of the new 70-300 IS II

My only regret with this lens is that I want to move up to FF in the future and have no idea in to what lens to move up to. It puts me in a position that I would end up selling the lens if I moved to FF. I like the idea of a Pentax K1 and having IS no matter what lens I strap to it. Is Full Frame a possibility? I think since youíd be buying used it wouldnít sting as much reselling. If the Canon had IBIS I was tempted to buy that Laowa 105 F/2 STF lens that was on the sale section a week or two ago for the creamy bokeh.

I can try to post some samples of my lens if you are interested, but I don't know if id be any useful since I have an old 30D. If you lived in my area I would have offered to go shooting with you and let you use my lens. Maybe you can rent one or another member might offer you the chance to try theirs. Id look up for MTF chart that shows resolution using a comparable high MP body. DXO mark has a sketchy lens comparison tool that you can pick a canon body from a list and you can see how lenses score compare to each body for that lens. Maybe that could be helpful if you are more into that kinda stuff.




Edited on May 11, 2017 at 05:29 AM · View previous versions



May 11, 2017 at 05:19 AM
johnctharp
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


FrancisAlberto wrote:
For the price at the time they could have made it an L lens, with the option to move up to FF, itís not like itís a light compact lens.


To note, there are no EF-S (APS-C) L lenses- literally none. The lenses that some use to 'move up' to FF from crop are the 16-35L series and the 17-40L, as they cover the wider 'standard' range on crop from about 25mm-50mm, and there is no option for f/2.8 and IS available; the only lens of that specification on the market is Tamron's ginormous 15-30/2.8 VC, and all of these options cost as much as a used 17-55/2.8 IS.

At best, we can expect an updated 17-55/2.8 from Canon at some point, but APS-C lenses do not appear to be a priority outside of having the basics covered, especially with full-frame cameras coming down in price.

(I'll also add for reference that Nikon's better-built 17-55/2.8G is both older than Canon's version and unstabilized; neither company seems to be pressing 'high-end' crop lenses, as Nikon's latest fast crop zoom is their 16-80/2.8-4E VR)



May 11, 2017 at 05:27 AM
FrancisAlberto
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


I know. I just feel that at that price point it left a bad taste because the lens should have been build with better body components, or cheaper, or even thrown in a a cheap lens hood. At the time the lens was $924 dollars. I guess it doesn't look so bad when you look at the price of the 16-35L, and the 17-40 F4 was not bad priced but the aperture was smaller.
I think lenses might be coming out at a slow rate because Canon is also shifting a little more resources towards the M (mirror-less) platform.



May 11, 2017 at 05:38 AM
Mikehit
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


Lenses have always had a slow refresh rate, and now the quality is so good it is hard to make a significant advance in performance. The law of diminishing returns is kicking in hard.


May 11, 2017 at 09:03 AM
johnctharp
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


FrancisAlberto wrote:
I know. I just feel that at that price point it left a bad taste because the lens should have been build with better body components, or cheaper, or even thrown in a a cheap lens hood. At the time the lens was $924 dollars. I guess it doesn't look so bad when you look at the price of the 16-35L, and the 17-40 F4 was not bad priced but the aperture was smaller.


Build quality isn't bad, and it's representative of when the lens was made. It's just really old. See the 15-85 for a more updated design, but even that is old; Canon simply hasn't put out a serious EF-S standard zoom in a long time.

Mikehit wrote:
Lenses have always had a slow refresh rate, and now the quality is so good it is hard to make a significant advance in performance. The law of diminishing returns is kicking in hard.


Well, they're focusing on pro glass too, which more and more is likely where their bottom line resides, shifting from Rebels.

As for mirrorless investment, I wait with baited breath- but I haven't seen it. Not serious, anyway.



May 11, 2017 at 09:27 AM
tr1957
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


Maybe take a look at the Tamron 17-50s as well. Opinion here seemed to be the non-VC version was a bit better optically.


May 11, 2017 at 10:28 AM
Archibald
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


FrancisAlberto wrote:
What I don't like about the lens is that it's heavy and the AF is fuzzy, but I think that's mainly due to my 30D preferring the use of the center focus. After the class that I took I started to favor manual focusing and the lens does not fail. The focusing portion of the ring is a bit on the small side but it's not horrible. I think that the a/f might be more consistent on a more modern body, or anything after the 7D.


When I bought my 7D2 a couple of years ago, I hoped that the 17-55/2.8 would focus better with this new body. I was sorely disappointed. It was very bad. I contacted Canon, but they maintained that all was well and the lens was behaving according to specifications.

Then a few months later, Canon released a new firmware, 1.0.5, for the 7D2, and the announcement said that it would fix AF problems with a couple of lenses, specifically including the 17-55/2.8.

So there WAS an AF problem with that lens. They just weren't admitting it at the time, hiding behind the claim that it was up to specification.



May 11, 2017 at 10:46 AM
AmbientMike
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?




matthewm wrote:
Hey y'all... I'm shooting with an 80D and EOS M5 both with kit lenses (18-135 Nano USM on the 80D and 18-55 IS STM on the M5) and I've had a need for a slightly faster piece of kit for knocking out the backgrounds a little or keeping my ISO at the 800-1600 mark, versus 3200-6400.

I've seen that the 17-55 can be had for about $425 or so lightly used and I'm wondering if it's still a viable option with the more modern sensors. I'd keep my 18-135 and 18-55 as they're fast and silent and I enjoy both
...Show more

The 17-55 should be better on the newer higher resolution bodies than the older ones.

Higher resolution sensors give sharper results with the same lens, on both film and digital.

I'll stop short of saying everyone is wrong, but I'm not sure what people are talking about when they say a newer, higher res camera needs a better lens.

It wasn't that way on film, and if I used the same lens on an 80D and XT, I'd expect a sharper result on the 80D. And if it was a ff lens, I'd generally expect a sharper result, still, using a new ff camera vs 80D

Tamron makes a 17-50/2.8, B+H has them new for $299, the VC is $650. Adorama had one used for $199.



May 11, 2017 at 11:13 AM
Mikehit
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


Archibald wrote:
So there WAS an AF problem with that lens. They just weren't admitting it at the time, hiding behind the claim that it was up to specification.


It seems more likely that there was a problem with the lens-camera combination and the firmware update corrected the way the camera communicated with the lens.



May 11, 2017 at 11:16 AM
AmbientMike
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?




Archibald wrote:
Those old and revered lenses from yesteryear... they really are crap compared to modern lenses.

I had the Pentax SMC Takumar 500mm f/4.5 lens, very desired back in the day, and very expensive. But the performance compared to today is truly awful. The chromatic aberrations are so bad you can see them in the viewfinder. It is not surprising when you consider that the Tak had only 4 elements, compared with 16 in today's Canon 500mm II, as well as aspheric elements with exotic materials and coatings.


There are a lot of excellent older lenses. I have the m42 400/5.6, wondering if its performance is similar to the 500. It's ok, but I have a lot of old lenses better than that one. Skeptical the 500/4.5 is really good, is it apo?

As far as af, I've had problems with a lot of lenses. The 18-135 was pretty bad at 35mm and wider. Af is great to have, but has limitations and can be off. It often seems worse at the wide end of a zoom.



May 11, 2017 at 11:53 AM
Max10
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · 17-55 / 2.8 IS Still a Viable Option?


The EFS 17-55 f/2.8 is an overly hyped lens. To summarize;

Pros:
- f/2.8
- Sharp wide open

Cons:
- Rendition is same as that of the kit lens
- Weight and Size
- Stiff zoom mechanism
- Dust magnet
- Price

The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (non-VC) is a far better choice.



May 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM
1      
2
       3       end




FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1      
2
       3       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username      Reset password