Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS Competitor?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by marioman38, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Elk Grove, CA
    #1
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS vs. Sigma 17-70mm as a primary walk around on the XTi? Potentially pairing it with a nifty fifty. Comments on the two? I have IS on the 18-55mm with my XTi now, and I do enjoy shooting ISO 200 in the evening at 1/6 sec with very minimal blur, it really is effective.
     
  2. joro macrumors 68020

    joro

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    #2
    I do a lot of different things with my photography business; however, earlier this year I invested in two lenses – the 70-200 IS L and the 28-70 L and both are amazing lenses. I’m not sure at what kind of budget you are looking at by I know the 28-70 ran about $1,100 after discounts and has been a workhorse for me, especially in low-light situations.
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #3
    What do you feel is lacking about the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS that's on your camera right now?

    To me, the 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS represents a minimal upgrade to the 18-55 IS, and wouldn't be worth the money. It doesn't sound like it's that great a lens in terms of image quality. If you really feel strongly that 55mm just isn't long enough for your main walk around lens, then there's some value in the 17-85. If that's the case, I'd consider Sigma's 18-125 f/3.8-5.6 OS. TAs a semi-super-zoom, the optical quality isn't going to be as good as a more traditional zoom, but at least 125mm is a significant difference from 55mm. Or same idea for Canon's 18-200 IS lens.

    Personally, I'd stick with the 18-55 IS until you can get something much better and consider what you're missing in a second lens.
     
  4. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #4
    I feel the 18-55mm IS lacking a bit in the zoom, the build quality, and (not as important) speed.

    My budget is no where near "L" glass, I am a college student looking to buy a secondhand lens for around $275-$325, thats double what I invested in the 18-55mm when I bought it new from B&H, I figure I should be able to find something at least noticeably better.

    I will check out that Sigma 18-125, not sure about Canons 18-200mm, I always feel that the quality is poor with such a great zoom range?
     
  5. joro macrumors 68020

    joro

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    #5
    Do you have any photo shops around your area where you can trade in / buy used equipment? I know when I was starting out the store we have locally was a godsend in terms of being able to try different lenses and see which one worked best. Also lens rental sites are a good place to start if you want to test out lenses.
     
  6. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #6
    There is a Kits Camera about 5 min from my house, but I've just been checking the local craigslist. The 18-200mm appears to have a lesser build quality than the 17-85mm, and on par with the 18-55mm IS.
     
  7. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #7
    For what it's worth, the 17-85mm is one of the two most derided lenses in Canon's lineup, second only to the 75-300. Compare the blur index charts of the 17-85 and your kit lens:

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/136/cat/11

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1114/cat/11

    (click the charts to open them and then use the two sliders to change aperture and focal length)

    Your kit lens is much sharper, so you would be making a real sacrifice just to be able to shoot from 55-85. If you really want a "better" lens, save up for something special.
     
  8. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #8
    Okay, well let me open it up then. What do you guys suggest as an only lens which can be picked up for $350 used? I would really prefer it to have IS because I had probably 5-10% of my shots where it came in handy! But if thats too limited, I'm open to all. Canon, Sigma, Tamron?
     
  9. joro macrumors 68020

    joro

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    #9
    Canon's 50D comes with three different configurations of "kit lenses" you can purchase. I choose the 28-135 F/3.5-5.6 and until I just recently bought those new lenses, this was my primary walk-around lenses. From what I can pull on Google, you can get these anywhere from $250-400$ new, so I would imagine you could get one used for probably sub-$200.

    http://www.google.com/products/cata..._catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=4#ps-sellers
     
  10. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #10
    the 17-85 is one of the most "derided" Canon lenses mostly because of its horrible barrel distortion at < 20mm. other than that, it's a decent lens.

    between the 17-85 and 17-70, i choose the 17-70, because i prefer a faster f-stop to IS.

    rule out the 28-135 - 28mm is nowhere near wide on an APS-C camera.
     
  11. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #11
    I agree. Stick with that lens until you can afford a real upgrade to something like the 17-40 f/4L, which can be had on the used market for $550 if you look hard enough. That was my walkaround on my 10D for a long time, and it never disappointed.

    Anything between your current lens and the 17-40 will be a minor upgrade and, IMHO, not worth the money; saving up and moving to the 17-40 will get you into a much higher class in pure IQ terms.

    If it's the reach of the 18-55 that's bothering you, again I would suggest saving up for something a lot better, rather than buying the 17-85. What about a fast prime like the 85/1.8 or the 100/2? Both are great lenses.

    You're not going to find a really good lens with a huge zoom range. If you mainly use wide/normal focal length, save for the 17-40. If you mainly use (or want to use) longer focal lengths, get the 85/1.8, 100/2, or save for the 70-200 f/4L. Dont buy cheap glass; you'll regret it later.
     

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