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Thoughts On The Canon EF-S 17-85mm Lens  
User currently offlinepilotalltheway From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 247 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7291 times:

Evening folks,

Just thinking about this being my primary lens instead of the bog-standard 18-55mm kit lens. Anybody got any thoughts on this lens? Experience? What's it like?

Thanks

-Alfie


Dude - where's my plane?
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7282 times:

I've seen mixed reviews and heard different testimonials. Reviews range from fairly good for the money to downright awful. If you have a good copy of the 18-55 I think you'll find it won't be too much different.

I listened to the reviews and ended up buying the supposedly superior Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 OS HSM, which (after going through two copies) I concluded had softness issues on my 50D. I've kinda learned that 99.9% of the time you do get exactly what you pay for, and I've only ever had problems with cheaper lenses (apart from my 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II, which is mid-range). Note, however, that I've never had issues with expensive pro glass (Canon L and Sigma EX).

If I recall correctly don't you have a 50D too? Not a good idea to try the 17-85 on a 50D me-thinks!

Karl


User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1296 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7270 times:

I owned it with the 40D a while back. It was decent for the money, had good range and IS to boot, but I wound up selling it and moving on to the 10-22mm and 24-105 from Canon.

I upgraded from the 18-55 kit lens when I had the 300D a long time ago, and the 17-85 was faster, with better range and IS so in that sense it is an upgrade. I would give it a solid review (even more so when I wasn't introduced to L glass).
-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7256 times:

Quoting WakeTurbulence (Reply 2):
and the 17-85 was faster, with better range and IS so in that sense it is an upgrade

I'd agree it's an upgrade but in my opinion not worth the extra. Bear in mind also that Alfie probably has the 18-55 IS (second generation kit lens), which is superior to the original. The only real benefit I can see is range, and it seems quite a premium for 30 extra millimetres.

Can you stretch to the 15-85? 50D's default kit lens and supposedly very good. Alternatively, if you don't mind starting wide-angle at 28mm, the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II is well worth looking at. Had one for five years and it's as pin-sharp now as it was when I had it. Discontinued but I bet you could locate one somewhere.

Other than these examples isn't there a half-decent 18-135? Or am I thinking of the 28-135?

Karl


User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3309 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7247 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):

I have the 18-135. It dies not have USM but is really fast to focus, and the IS is great to have. I debated between this and the 28-135 and got this one in the end for the extra reach. I've been quite happy with it, and have several photos in the database, and more in the queue.

I definitely recommend it for the versatile zoom range and the quality of the kens, considering the price.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlinegabik001 From Poland, joined Jun 2005, 216 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7237 times:

I have this lens. Works really good form me , but it's little bit dark (f/4,5-5,6) so at dusk or dawn and night sometimes AF doesn't work properly.
However with my 350D in good lighting AF works perfect. Some of my pictures here on airliners.net were taken with this lens . After 3 years of using all parts are still tight ( I had kit lens before and after one year front lens cylinder was loose) .
There is only one thing. Couple months ago my body with this lens strart to showing err99 so it was lens problem. After couple hours of web surfing I found an issue that diaphragm power assembly flex cable is broken. Canon charging around $130 for repair , but cost of part only is $30 on ebay . I bought that part and I repaired by myself - it tooks me around three hours to put apart whole lens , change that assy and put everything together. It is not easy - there is a lot of steps but following this site http://doekle.nl/canon_17_85_IS_repair.html things becoming easy. After that my lens back to normal and still works like before. I made one change inside a lens body - I didn't attach flex cable like was done by manufacturer - i left it loose so when flex works it is really flexible.
This is only problem , that is common in this lens.
Best regards , Gabriel



Canon 50D gripped + Canon 70D +17-85IS USM + 18-55 STM + 100-400L IS USM + Minolta X300 w/ 35-70 f/3.5
User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3162 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7190 times:
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I'm not too happy with my EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS . I was attracted by the constant 2.8 and IS, but you can tell it's not a L lens. It's not very solid and after a few years, mine has some issues with the sharpness, Canon service says a major part needs to be replaced, and last year I already had an expensive replacement of the stabilizer.
That's why I'm also looking at a replacement in that category, ideally starting at a wide angle, fast glass and IS.



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlinepilotalltheway From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7187 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 1):
If I recall correctly don't you have a 50D too? Not a good idea to try the 17-85 on a 50D me-thinks!

I'm getting one in January, yup.

I think I'll look at the 18-135 and 28-105mm and see what they are like.

But, I wont be getting the kit lense so the 18-200mm might be a good option?

-Alfie



Dude - where's my plane?
User currently offlineLGW340 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7186 times:

Hi,
I had one for a while and hardly used it as I found it to be really soft (especially at 17mm). Also, the build quality isn't really great. It tends to get internal dust quite quickly and a loose/slack barrel. If you can, I would recommend that you go for the 15-85 IS.



Live life from the window seat...
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7162 times:

Quoting pilotalltheway (Reply 7):
18-200mm might be a good option

Definitely not. Super-wide to telephoto isn't a good idea, especially on the 50D. There's little point in buying a camera like a 50D if you're going to put very mediocre glass on it. There was a lot of moaning about the 50D being soft, when in actual fact for the most part it was simply highlighting any tiny faults a lens had.

I bought an 18-55 IS for my 50D, but returned it because it was just too soft. On my mate's 1000D however it wasn't too bad. Goes to show.....

When you start using cameras with a high MP count on a FOVCF sensor it's much like using FF pro models such as the 5D II; i.e. they will immediately show up a bad/mediocre lens.

You wouldn't believe the amount of hassle I've had with low end (and even some medium range) lenses. It's just not worth it. I wholeheartedly recommend the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II - discontinued now but if you can get hold of one I reckon you won't be disappointed. That is of course if you can live without the extra 10mm at the wide end the others offer.

Honestly Alfie, don't beat about the bush with your gear - go for the best stuff you can afford because if you're serious you're only going to plump for it in the long run anyway. If your budget becomes restricted, remember it's always better to go for a cheaper body and good glass.

Karl


User currently offlinepilotalltheway From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7157 times:

Ok Karl, can you recommend some other glass too which isn't too pricey for the 50D.

Thanks.



Dude - where's my plane?
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7152 times:

Alfie,

You'd be far better off with something like a 500D and decent glass, since it sounds like you may have a restricting budget. You (like many before you) will be disappointed with the 50D's performance with low-end lenses.

The cheapest lenses I'd consider using with the 50D are the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II and the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM. Sure, you can get copies of the cheaper lenses which will produce decent enough results but it's the hassle of going through two or three copies to find one that's right.

I still recommend the 70-200 f/4 L - Canon's cheapest pro lens and a steal at £450. You'll never hear a bad word said about this lens!

My current lenses are:

Canon EF28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II
Canon EF70-200 f/4 L USM
Canon EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX IF

They all work a treat with the 50D.

May be worth looking at the 18-135 by the way - I have heard pretty good things said about it, despite the fact that it's only mid-range.

Karl


User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3309 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7150 times:
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Karl is definitely the guy to listen to, here. He's one of the most helpful people with the 50D.

I, like him, own the Canon 100-400 L IS USM, and can say that he's absolutely right about using high-end glass on the 50D. I recently had to use a friend's 70-300 because I had left my 100-400 at home for weight reasons, and it just wasn't even close to the same quality.

I know I'm repeating myself, but since Karl mentioned the 18-135, I'd recommend this lens. I own it and have several shots accepted here that were taken with it. For the money, it's far, far better than any other lens available from Canon in anything approaching this range. I prefer it to the 18-55, 15-85, 17-55, 17-85, or the 28-135.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlinevirgin777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7143 times:

Hi all... sorry to arrive late , ive owned the 17-85mm IS for a while now & pairs very well with my 50D

No issues at all & not a sign of softness :


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © TonySilgrim



&


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © TonySilgrim





Believe it or not i sold my 24-105mm L is lens to get it ... i simply couldnt justify the cost i put into it with the results i got.. simply wasnt worth the extra £400 or so on the 28-135 which i owned prior , the 17-85mm is a very very capable lens indeed , i wont be getting rid of it in a hurry ... its the perfect lens in that catorgory for me ... ive owned them all  Smile



Hope that helps a little ..

cheers



[Edited 2010-09-30 12:30:14]

User currently offlinepilotalltheway From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7137 times:

Right, Karl.

I really want the 50D as it is the cheapst of the Canon range at the moment that feels good in my hands and I really like the build of it. Also, they're going pretty cheap at the moment! I shall look at the 18-135mm and consider that, at the moment, my best buy. I just can't wait to get my hands on a 50D!

Maybe when I feel the need to, I'll look for L glass, at my birthday.

Seeing as my first place to shoot will be at my local, Heathrow, the 135mm reach should be fine for the stock Mrytle Avenue shots and 09L shots, right?

Thanks again guys,

Alfie



Dude - where's my plane?
User currently offlinevirgin777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7132 times:

Quoting pilotalltheway (Reply 14):
Seeing as my first place to shoot will be at my local, Heathrow, the 135mm reach should be fine for the stock Mrytle Avenue shots and 09L shots, right?

spot on !

no problem with the 135mm at both those places , if you want a good lens without going crazy on price .. take a look at the lens Karl owns .. Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX IF ive had one in the past ... its a cracking lens !! good reach and pin sharp & less than Canon L lenses.

cheers

[Edited 2010-09-30 12:55:36]

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7129 times:

Tony,

Bear in mind that I never said the 17-85 was a bad lens - you obviously have a good copy but the 50D is very choosy with regard to which lenses it wants to perform with!

My mate has a really good copy of the 18-55 IS (kit lens), however trying to find one as good as his has proven very difficult for me. It's like a lottery - "Will I get a sharp one?". The last 18-55 I had was reasonable on my mate's 1000D but atrocious on my 50D.

I've had such bad experiences with cheaper lenses lately that I'll be sticking with Canon L or Sigma EX in the future. It's not worth the hassle of eternally sending lenses back with the all-too-familiar note, 'too soft'.

Canon claimed that my last 18-55 was 'up to their quality standards' but it certainly wasn't up to mine! You can get lucky with cheap lenses and the 50D (as I've already said) but if you choose the budget option and it goes pear-shaped don't say you weren't warned.

***Waiting in anticipation for the next, "My 50D images are crap/soft/blurry" thread...***  

Karl


User currently offlinepilotalltheway From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7128 times:

Quoting virgin777 (Reply 15):
take a look at the lens Karl owns .. Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX IF

That's around the £850 mark, too much at the moment.

-Alfie



Dude - where's my plane?
User currently offlinevirgin777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7123 times:

Quoting pilotalltheway (Reply 17):
***Waiting in anticipation for the next, "My 50D images are crap/soft/blurry" thread...***

  

I love them !
In all honesty Karl , over the 15 years or so I've been doing this properly I owned pretty much every Canon & Sigma lens possible sometimes twice over ... im a serial swapper .. and if im honest ive come back to the small cheapy lenses like you say 18-55mm kit lens ive owned before and gave me excellent results , i got the 17-85mm as it does give you that range which isnt an everyday range .. i didnt try it before buying it , it would have been traded in same day if i wasnt happy ... but im very pleased with it , im totally cleared up of the 100-400's / 28-300mm's in my bag now i have just the 17-85 & 70-200 f4 IS & the convertor !

Its all i need ..

Alfie , shop around you'll get it way cheaper than that .. i got mine for £480- 500 if i remember , it wasn't new but sometimes they are the best deals , mind you it was maybe 8 years ago im sure youd still get a good or better price than that.

cheers


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7123 times:

If anyone's interested I'm considering selling my 100-300 EX. Will be for around £430 if I do.

Karl


User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3309 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7122 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 16):
***Waiting in anticipation for the next, "My 50D images are crap/soft/blurry" thread...***

I'm usually the one who starts those. Nice to know they're appreciated, hahahahaha.

I'm in the process of trying out different 50Ds in various stores to make sure mine is actually noisier than others. But that's not for this thread, that will, as you said, come up in another one soon enough.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7110 times:

Quoting virgin777 (Reply 18):
Alfie , shop around you'll get it way cheaper than that .. i got mine for £480- 500 if i remember , it wasn't new

I do hope we're not talking the 17-85 IS here? RGB Cameras were selling it new for £279.99 a couple of months ago (white box, separeted from 50D kits, but still warrantied). What's more, if you were going to spend in the region of £500 on a lens, surely the natural choice is the 70-200 f/4 L?

Tony obviously has some good copies but I cannot agree that cheap lenses are all you need. If cheap lenses were as good as more expensive ones there would be no market for the L series and similar. For some they may suffice but I fail to see how cheap plastic can be compared with fluorite ULD glass.

I stick by my sentiment that it's no good putting cheap glass on a semi-pro body. Call me unlucky but I've been there, done that and got the T-shirt. And it wasn't pleasant!

Karl


User currently offlinevirgin777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7079 times:

No Karl , was in response to the Sigma 100-300mm  

I paid £ 170 for the 17-85mm , you are correct Karl never replace L or EX with cheap ...

I got the 17-85 for the line up/side on shots at Manchester , and its a perfect little lens for that .

cheers


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7067 times:

Tony,

I do actually see your point. I bought the 18-55 IS for the very same reason (well, similar - for side-ons at EMA from the 27 mound, where my 28-105 wasn't wide enough) and had I received a copy as sharp as my mate's I would've been a happy customer. But the 50D just doesn't seem to like some cheap glass and in the end, after numerous attempts with several different lenses, I gave up.

For the limited amount of times I use less than 28mm it seemed absurd to spend significantly. Like I say, I gave up and anything requiring less than 28mm will currently leave me stuck. I'm reluctant to fork out £500 on something like the 17-40L, just for the odd shot at the likes of EMA and AMS.

Karl


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