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Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 Image Stabilized USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLR's
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- Focal length is 17-85mm, aperture is 1:4-5.6 and filter size is 67mm
- Lens construction is 17 elements in 12 groups
- Diagonal angle of view is ° 78° 30 ft. - 18° 25 ft.
- Ring USM zoom system
- Closest focusing distance is 1.15 feet
- 17-85mm standard zoom lens with f/4-5.6 maximum aperture for EOS digital SLR cameras
- Image Stabilization system reduces camera shake to extend use in low-light levels
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Canon’s 9517A002 EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens is equivalent to a 28-135mm lens and brings true wide-angle to tele coverage to EOS 60D, EOS 7D and Digital Rebel cameras. It has Canon’s Image Stabilization system, allowing safe hand-holding at speeds up to three stops slower than otherwise possible. Of course, it’s optically optimized for digital SLRs. A ring-type USM means both fast and silent AF, as well as full-time manual focus when in the AF mode.
From the Manufacturer
Equivalent to a 28-135mm lens, this new EF-S lens brings true wide-angle to tele coverage to EOS 20D and Digital Rebel shooters. It has Canon's Image Stabilization system, allowing safe hand-holding at speeds up to three stops slower than otherwise possible. And of course, it's optically optimized for digital SLRs. A ring-type USM means both fast and silent AF, as well as full-time manual focus when in the AF mode.
- Compact, lightweight design with a 5x zoom ratio -- 28 to 135mm equivalent
- Excellent optical quality: Aspheric element with two Aspherical surfaces utilized
- Close-focusing to 1.15 feet -- at 135mm, fills the frame with subject 3 x 4.4 inches
- Ring-type Ultrasonic motor for superior AF performance; allows full-time MF
- Image Stabilization extends the lens's usefulness in low-light levels
- Circular aperture design -- natural highlights, even stopped down two stops
- Non-rotating front element; lens length does not change during zooming
- EF-S lens mount -- exclusively for EOS 20D and Digital Rebel bodies
Legal DisclaimerLabor is covered for 6 months but excludes, water, tamper or impact damage and must be sent in to expert camera for repair.
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens: Recommended by dpreview.com
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I suppose all have some merit. Numbers are facts. If there is measurable falloff in the corners or low numerical resolution at a particular part of the zoom range such reviews will show it. People's opinions can have merit too - but first you kind of need a review of the reviewer. Do they know their stuff? Are their needs and expectations similar to your own? Have they used it enough to really know the Len's strengths and weaknesses?
The final one -- using it yourself is in the end the best. This because numbers say little about pictures. No, really, they don't. Doubt that? Then look at the great photos taken when even the best lenses lacked the basic qualities demanded of the least expensive SLR lenses today. Do you say "gee, great pic but the lens sucks"? No. And some people who write a review have special needs that will have little impact on YOU. An architectural photographer for instance. Even a little curvature in a straight line will drive him crazy. But on your vacation photos of the mountains or the beaches you won't even notice that flaw.
Fall off ("vignetting") can be a big deal if its bad. But most falloff from a modern DSLR lenses can be corrected almost 100% with basic software. (And the same is true for linear distortion btw.)
So the best way to check out a lens is to use it yourself.
All of these points came to me (again) when I purchased this EF-S 17 -85mm lens. Measurable fall off? At some zoom settings its got gobs. Distortion? At wide setting ditto. Resolution? Good to middling. But for all that this lens for many photographers -- including serious ones -- would be a great addition to their kit.
BYW, I probably would be judged in that later, "serious", category myself. I've earned a good living as a photographer for over 40 years. My work has graced hundreds of articles, books, and more recently, web sites. And my "art" images have been displayed in a 'one man show' in an art-conscious community.
OK then, what does my use tell me about this lens?
1) It has a really useful zoom range that encompasses a wide range of shots.
2) It is light and relatively compact.
3) Its resolution may not look great when presented in numbers, but it does look great in the photos I've taken with it.
4) When quick processed with appropriate editing software (I use Lightroom) the falloff and linear distortion is approximately zero.
5) Being discontinued and replaced by a measurably better but MUCH more expensive lens in Canon's catalog one can be be gotten for a song and maybe, with some luck, just a half stanza. (I got one recently in like new condition -- box, caps and all -- for less than $350.
1) Very limited macro capability
2) Some reported mechanical problems.
Regarding the positives: Yes! A Steal! Go for it!
Regarding the negatives: It is a daily use lens that for many photographers will see 3 or 4 (or more) time on their camera than a more extreme type of lens. Thus problems will on that basis alone be more common. And any problem is more likely to be mentioned in a review than none just because that is human nature. (Which of your feet are you most likely to mention in a conversation, the one that hurts or the one that doesn't?)
Bottom line: Find one cheap. Buy it. Use it. Enjoy! And for that price if it does break have it fixed.
That's what I did and it works for me. :)
It was my work horse for most of what I was doing, sharing the bag with a tele zoom for candid portraits.
It is quite soft at 17mm when shooting all open (nothing dramatic unless you spend your time shooting test patterns).
The IS works just fine, the lens is really silent; the build is very strong, but...
I did get the Er01 after 3 and a half years of using it.
I live in Costa Rica and it took three weeks to get the replacement part.
It turns out that the problem is with a ribbon cable wearing out - there is no way to avoid it as soon as you zoom in and out and if you use your lens as I do (i.e. a lot) then it WILL fail you.
I ended up having to borrow a crappy lens to cover the wedding of a friend - fortunately there was also a pro covering his wedding, so he dealt with the wide angle shots and I dealt with the tele zoom portraits and all went well.
At the time I write this review, one of the competitors for the 17-85 is the recent EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD also provided as a kit lens for the EOS 60D and the EOS 7D, which is why I got my hands on it.
This newer lens has a similar image quality (somewhat better to me, at least) and so they are comparable:
In favor of the EFS 18-135 IS
Opens a little more: f/3.5@18mm & f/5.6 @ 135mm vs. f/4@17mm &f/5.6@85mm, which makes a difference in portrait or low-light conditions.
Has a longer focal range - I don't miss the 17mm to 18mm difference that much, yet the 85mm to 135mm does make a difference at the other end.
Nearly half the price.
In favor of the EFS 17-85 IS USM
It's more silent (USM oblige) - Please note that this can be a deal maker for those who use autofocus when shooting video.
It has a focus distance window (not that I use it nearly ever).
Focus can be adjusted without switching to manual focus on the lens thanks to the USM.
The focus ring feels better when using it in manual.
It is slightly more compact, especially when at 85mm vs 135mm for the other lens (duh).
Stronger build - but with this annoying Er01 / ribbon cable problem (but I don't know if the 18-165 will exhibit a similar issue)
All in all if you intend to use mostly autofocus I would choose the 18-135 over the 17-85.
Actually I own both so the price does not factor in my choice, and I choose the 18-135 over the 17-85.
I will keep it because its resale value is lower than its usage value as a second backup lens, but I would not buy it now.
I hope this helps.
Far better than the usual 18-55 kit item, it costs more but offers so much more. For those who can afford it the CANON EF-S 15-85/3.5-5.6 is even better but for a higher price!
The Image Stabilizer rocks on the 17-85, and you will rarely aver miss a shot -at least not one you pointed correctly for!- Great for flash photography as well!
+Great for landscaping photos
+best for daytime photos or evenings
+USM motor quiet Motor!
+zoom is Plenty for 50 ft distances.
+Focus ring is smooth as butter
+sharp photos when in daylight
-Low light Focus tends to have a hard time but its no biggy to switch to manual.
-at full zoom f stop jumps up to f5.6