Build Quality of EOS 17-55IS vs 28-135IS?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mjones185, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. mjones185 macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2009
    Warner Robins,GA
    Hi everyone,

    I'm seriously considering getting the EOS 17-55IS for my 40D and possibly future 7D. I only have the 28-135IS and 70-200 2.8IS

    I know it's not as good as my 70-200 but is the 17-55 2.8IS build quality as good as, better, or worse than the 28-135?

    I'm stationed in Korea and have no way to see the lens, I'm forced to order over the internet.

    I know it has great glass, there's no dispute there with my readings but almost everyone comments that the build quality is less than stellar. I travel a lot in the military and although I take the best care with my lens I'm a little concerned about this feature of lenses.

    Edit: Owe, since this lens has been out for a while now, is it likely that Canon would do an update? I know the update their EF lenses but not sure about their EF-S lenses.

    Thanks to everyone for continued support.

  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I've never used a 28-135, but I've used a 24-85 and 28-105 II, which should be built similarly...if I remember it correctly, the 17-55 is about the same or slightly better. it also has a more of a textured paint finish rather than a flat polished one on the zooms I've used.

    the 17-55 I had didn't have any zoom creep, either, which I think the 28-135 does.
  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Check out for their repair history.

    The 17-55 is their 2nd most repaired lens (Approx 30%/year). This may have something to do with shipping, or people treating rental lenses like crap though. People that own them don't seem to have 30% failure, there would be one hell of a lot of bad reviews around and I haven't seen that.
  4. mjones185 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2009
    Warner Robins,GA
    Cool link, thanks.

    Yeah, I only read good things about the quality of glass but read a lot of comments about build quality not being good. Like I said I only have the two mentioned lens to compare to. If it's better than the 28-135 I'll be happy fr my purposes.

    I have considered the 15-85 as my walk around lens because i gets great reviews on both build and glass quality but I have not seen that lens either and for low light get a 30 1. something.

  5. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y

    Do get the 17-55. I bought one used and have been using it as my walk-around on a 50D for about a year now, and rarely take it off.

    It is a HEAVY lens, and yes, it's build quality leaves a bit to be desired, but it more than makes up for it in the image it is capable of.

    Here are the only complaints I have (They are all build quality issues)
    -The zoom action is sticky, for lack of a better term. Jerky, maybe?
    -I am starting to experience a bit of zoom creep. The sudden, "whoa my lens is fully zoomed!" kind.
    -The hood is a BITCH to get on. Granted, its a 3rd party hood, so it could be either parties fault.

    Other than that, its fantastic. Focus is super smooth, fast, quiet. Incredibly sharp. The constant 2.8+IS makes for amazing walk-around low-light opportunities.

    go for it!
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    i had the 28-105II and the 10-22mm, and the 10-22mm build was better by a bit than the 28-105. I can imagine the 17-55 is similar to the 10-22.
  7. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    The build quality is average, 70-200 2.8 quality it ain't, but it's no kit lens either.

    The glass is excellent easily as good if not better than the 70-200 2.8, sharp, contrasty, L quality but with a focal length better suited to a crop body.

    I've had mine for 3 or 4 years, it's my favourite lens by a long shot, but it could do with a better build for the price.

    Don't let the build quality put you off, when you see the shots you'll be happy with you choice. Get the Canon hood at the same time, it goes on easily.
  8. khrisz06 macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2010

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