Old 08-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default Who uses the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM?

How is it? Got pictures to share? Worth the money? I need something to replace the kit lens. Not worried tooo much about the low end of the focal range as a I have the 10 to 22 for that.

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Old 08-19-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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I've read hot and cold, or at least luke, about the 17-85 but haven't used it myself. I'm chiming in only to note that anyone considering an upgrade to the Canon kit 18-55 should also consider the Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO. No IS, extremely sharp, my impression based solely on reading is that is noticeably better than the Canon on the wide end, if wide without switching lenses is important to you. $100+ cheaper, no IS.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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I have only had two lens not Canon and the 55 to 200 mm wasn't that great. (Back in the day I had a 200 to 55 mm lens. Don't remember much about it other than it was long and heavy.) I like the price on the Sigma. Maybe some folks here can chime in on that one too.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:23 PM   #4
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I'd strongly suggest looking here: photography-on-the.net/forum.

Probably the best resource ever for photographers, especially Canon guys. All kinds of reviews and sample pictures.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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No info on the Canon in question, but I can vouch for the Sigma 17-70 (used it for my forum avatar there, and many, many other shots too), a good compliment to the 10-22 and 70-200 (if that's been fixed). It's not perfect, but I can't complain.

Back when I was copying everything Ween did I picked it up on his advice. I'm sure he can chime in on his thoughts about it too...

Eventually I'd like to replace it with the 24-105 L, but that's going to take a long while to scrape up and save for.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
I like the price on the Sigma. Maybe some folks here can chime in on that one too.
Since he's not surfing the forums right now, I'll add that AB2's primary lens is the Sigma 17-70. He's already worn one out and is on his second. It always amuses me to watch him take a shot with the Canon 75-300 and quick switch to the Sigma for a wide angle shot.

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Old 08-19-2009, 06:50 PM   #7
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Since he's not surfing the forums right now, I'll add that AB2's primary lens is the Sigma 17-70. He's already worn one out and is on his second. It always amuses me to watch him take a shot with the Canon 75-300 and quick switch to the Sigma for a wide angle shot.

- Chris
Been doing that for years, major PITA. AB2 needs a second body so he can avoid the dreaded switch... but then you get a third lens

How do you wear out a lens? Is is the zoom that wears out?
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:56 PM   #8
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I can't say that I've ever had a Sigma that did NOT wear out. I stoped buying their lenses long ago because they always seemed to have construction issues. They were always very sharp but just not very good construction. I shot the 17-85 brifley when I jumped from Nikon to Canon but just could not live with the slow aperature. Other than that it was an OK lens much better than the 18-55 kit lens.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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I shoot with the Sigma 17-70:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 291228
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 292901
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


Decent results and the build quality is light years beyond Canon's Kit Lenses (it feels solid). The one thing I absolutely hate though is "lens creep." What that means to me is when I set a shot up for say 35mm and then let the camera hang down from my neck, the lens will creep out due to gravity to 70mm. I'm not sure if it does that with the petal hood removed, but I'm always shooting with mine attached. It's just more annoying than anything but it doesn't take away from the results.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:05 PM   #10
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Hi Joe I have the 17-85 canon and find it quiet good, sometimes I have I focus problem at 85mm, but that could be my old unsteady hands.
I also have a 28-135 canon, and feel the 17-85 is far better in sharpness.
Just a couple from the DB I have several others in the DB. taken with this lense.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=291731&nseq=6

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=291301&nseq=7
The image thingy does not apear to work so the links are attached also
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:21 PM   #11
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Well I have a Tamron 17-50 and love it. No is but the only shot I have in here was taken with it. I have a lot of other pictures with it and it is sharp, fast and takes nice quality pictures. I did a lot of looking around reading about it and the Canon 17-40. People say they are close for image quality and I could not tell looking at them side by side. The Tamy is half the price or more since I was also looking at the 24-105. I have now replaced the tamy with the 24-105, but still think the tamy is a great lens for the money.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
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How do you wear out a lens? Is is the zoom that wears out?
1. Approximately 120K photos. 2. Focus ring eventually wore out. When I would auto-focus (center point) and tele out to full wide 17mm the movement would spin the focusing ring. 3. It was a scratch that made me buy a replacement although the focusing was becoming a PITA.

As for switching lenses, people usually make a fuss about dust but when you can complete the switch in the time it takes most people to take off the one all while being careful not to break or scratch contacts, dust isn't a problem. I will gladly take a second body if someone is offering though.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:52 AM   #13
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On the topic of Sigma lenses wearing out, I have two Sigma EX lenses, one a 50mm macro lens that I have owned for 2 1/2 years, though its exterior is a little faded, it is just as sharp today as it was the day I have bought it. I estimate that I have shot 50,000 images with it. (sharper than many L lenses) Also Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX, I have owned it for a year almost, the owner before me had it for probably 3 or 4 years. Great lens, no visible wear what so ever on the lens, I have used it for at least 30,000 images and it is almost the only lens I use now.

I have heard a lot of positives about the 17-70mm, and considered it for a while as a replacement to my 28-135mm USM IS. I have used a 17-85 and was not overly impressed with it, the body of the lens wobbles a lot (like the 28-135), the copy I used had front focusing issues and it vignettes a lot more than I would want an EF-S/APS-C lens to do (that should not be an issue with APS-C sensors).
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:39 AM   #14
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This is giving me a lot to think about. Thanks everyone. I might be leaning toward the Sigma at this point and use the save money on fixing the 70 to 200 mm L. By the way, that lens had a Robert DeNiro-like "Awakening" where it started working perfect again for about two weeks before slipping in to coma again. Focusing ring won't spin in either MF or AF at this time.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:56 AM   #15
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Hey Joe... I'm currently using one, although I have no online pics to share from it. Not overly impressed, but I'm figuring most of that is me.
Bought it new with my XTi, just as the 18-55IS was coming out. First SLR and no clue yet
I was looking over some of mine from last year and thinking to try a few on here, not sure they are up to it though.

One note, I did have an issue with the zoom locking @ 17mm for a while. The warranty covered it thankfully, but i hear it can happen alot - and I though I had the screw loose!

Anyway, let me go try some PP and try to clean a couple of these up for you to see...
At least you could get to review my rejects

Later.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
This is giving me a lot to think about. Thanks everyone. I might be leaning toward the Sigma at this point and use the save money on fixing the 70 to 200 mm L. By the way, that lens had a Robert DeNiro-like "Awakening" where it started working perfect again for about two weeks before slipping in to coma again. Focusing ring won't spin in either MF or AF at this time.
Joe, have you tried forcing the ring? I have had several lenses do this, including the 17-85 that I used for a while (I did not own it, and it was the zoom ring), the 28-135's focus ring, and my 50mm macros focus ring. Everytime I have forced them until they move again, then they work fine after that. Sometimes sand or grit can get in there and jam it.

Couldnt hurt if you are gonna have to send it off anyway, You know?
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:53 PM   #17
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I've read hot and cold, or at least luke, about the 17-85 but haven't used it myself. I'm chiming in only to note that anyone considering an upgrade to the Canon kit 18-55 should also consider the Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO. No IS, extremely sharp, my impression based solely on reading is that is noticeably better than the Canon on the wide end, if wide without switching lenses is important to you. $100+ cheaper, no IS.
I bought the 17-85, used it for half a year and was pretty dissappointed so I then went and bought the Sigma and have been happier with it. Maybe I got a bad copy or something but the cheap XTi kit lens did better than the 17-85 I bought to replace it. For what I paid for both, I could almost have gotten an L (although I plan on selling the 17-85 - anyone want one fairly cheap? )

Michael

FYI - two recent shots with the Sigma lens:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 293913
Photograph © Michael Harding


Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 293909
Photograph © Michael Harding
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #18
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Joe, have you tried forcing the ring?
I had tried to force it. I tried reasoning with it, bribing it, tricking it into thinking I was going to use it on a film shot....



Nothing worked.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:37 PM   #19
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Give it a good bite
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:31 PM   #20
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Upon further reflection, my only complaint about the Sigma 17-70 is that it's a bit slow to focus, at least compared to the legit Canon stuff that focuses in an instant. It's not a problem when I setup with the tripod and focus with live-view, but it's annoyed me a few times when I was trying to shoot more quickly.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I'd strongly suggest looking here: photography-on-the.net/forum.

Probably the best resource ever for photographers, especially Canon guys. All kinds of reviews and sample pictures.
I will second with this post. Many pictures and testing and evaluation with the different lenses on here. You can spend weeks looking though old post. Great resource and lot of get people on there.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:36 PM   #22
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I have a EF-S 17-85mm, I have had some issues with it, the AF motor failed about 8 months after getting it, but it was repaired under warranty. The only lenses I had before was the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens, and a EF 55-200mm, so my standards aren't as high as some here. The AF is more than fast enough for me, the IS is useful, and it has quite a nice feel overall.

The issue mentioned in a lot of places is the distortion at the wide angle end, you can see it in this shot in the silos behind:

Image © Marcus Wong
PhotoID: 289825
Photograph © Marcus Wong

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Old 08-21-2009, 03:50 PM   #23
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Tried to find the Sigma nearby, but no such luck. So I ordered it from B&H. Will arrive Wed. at the earliest. Me, the no filter guy, also order an ND filter.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:40 PM   #24
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Might get it a day early. It shipped out today and has already made it to Columbia!
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
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1. Approximately 120K photos. 2. Focus ring eventually wore out. When I would auto-focus (center point) and tele out to full wide 17mm the movement would spin the focusing ring. 3. It was a scratch that made me buy a replacement although the focusing was becoming a PITA.

As for switching lenses, people usually make a fuss about dust but when you can complete the switch in the time it takes most people to take off the one all while being careful not to break or scratch contacts, dust isn't a problem. I will gladly take a second body if someone is offering though.
When are you going to come over to the dark side and get a nice used manual lens... like a 50 or an 85mm? Nothing better than manual focus; great results, longer battery life, control returns to where it belongs... the user. Plus, the lenses contain an almost forgotten material - metal! Oh, haven't have one wear out yet, though to be fair, all of mine are primes and tele's, so no zoom function to fail.

I agree. Been swapping lenses for about 13 years now and haven't had any issues with dust that makes it unbearable. Swapping goes fast and requires not real effort. Now I used to be able to change a roll of K64 in my old Nikon F3's in about 10 seconds, but that analoge stuff just is too ancient for you to contemplate
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