Just bought the Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM.

40Hands

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Jun 29, 2004
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I've read a ton of reviews and forums regarding this lens. Still worrying that I might regret it! At ~$1000 it's not cheap but I've read really good things about it.

I'm sure once I have it on my 7D, I will be happy but I can't help but think I could get a 3rd party lens to do similar for less.

Also what the hell is wrong with Canon that they cannot provide a lens hood on a $1000 lens? Greedy bastards.


Anyone here own it?
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
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Aug 23, 2003
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It's the lens to have for an APS-C body. But you're right, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 gives you more bang-for-the-buck at around $350.
 

SexyK

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Jul 30, 2001
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Have it, love it. Don't think twice (unless you're considering going FF in the near future).
 

oogabooga

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Jan 14, 2003
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I am in the exact same position as you. I just bought the 17-55 f/2.8 IS as well :D Literally arrived yesterday, have barely had a chance to go out and use it yet though I did get it added very promptly to my camera insurance. Currently using the XSi with no plans to upgrade my body, although when/if I do it'll probably be a used 7D so this lens will still be good.

I agree that it's a shame that at 1k Canon doesn't include a lens bag and lens hood, I guess this is them throwing retailers a bone or something. Still, damnit. Also 77mm filters are pretty pricey. Then again, I did splurge for the Canon made lens over the Tamron or Sigma so I guess if I was that cost concerned I would have went with one of those. (can't really complain all that much about value when this probably wasn't the best 'bang for buck' purchase)

The lens itself (the little I've played with it) has been great. The focusing seems faster and is certainly much quieter than the kit lens I'm upgrading from. It is heavier and bigger on the camera, which is the cost of doing business. At least my camera doesn't look like a toy anymore like it did with the kit lens I guess. I'm pretty pleased so far and like this lens a lot. I hope I like it even more once I have a chance to go out and take some shots.

I also worry that I'm going to regret dropping 1K+ on this guy, but the resale value remains really high so I suppose if it becomes an issue (dear lord please don't become an issue) I can sell it at an acceptable loss.
 

40Hands

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Jun 29, 2004
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I'm going to be using this lens for a wedding in a month so I figure it will be paying for itself with some (hopefully) excellent shots!

Ooga, did you buy a UV filter for it? If so, what one did you get?
 

oogabooga

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Jan 14, 2003
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I didn't buy a UV filter for it. I did buy a B+W Wide Angle Circular Polarizer for it for some outdoor shots. My family is going on a vacation where we'll be hitting national parks between CA -> las vegas -> grand Canyon -> Colorado so I figure having a circular polarizer might be nice.
 

40Hands

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Jun 29, 2004
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I didn't buy a UV filter for it. I did buy a B+W Wide Angle Circular Polarizer for it for some outdoor shots. My family is going on a vacation where we'll be hitting national parks between CA -> las vegas -> grand Canyon -> Colorado so I figure having a circular polarizer might be nice.


Yeah I've considered a polarizer for it but damn those little pieces of glass run some $$. I guess I should know better after seeing what a plastic case full of glass costs :D

I'm considering getting a UV filter just for dust/physical protection but I don't want to take away from any of the lens optics with a cheap filter. Although, I've heard differing opinions on UV filters...
 
Feb 19, 2001
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I have one too.

Consider a UV filter not because you want to protect against scratches. I believe UV filters degrade image quality (the extent of which depends on what kind of UV filter).

The best in calss ones you should look at are
- B+W F-Pro MRC
- Hoya HD
- Heliopans top of the line (whatever they're called).

I use the first one on my 17-55, but the second goes on my 11-16. Both are awesome filters with almost no noticeable degradation in IQ. Also they cost an arm and a leg at $80 each.

The reason you want to buy a UV filter especially for this lens is because there is a known dust issue where dust enters the front element. Some think its through the zoom mechanism, but I think the zoom mechanism itself is the one that triggers a vacuum/dust pump effect. The front isn't terribly well sealed and why else would typical dust reports show dust behind the front element?

Now you can clean this as there are tutorials online since this is a popular lens, but I for one hate doing that and I'm a clumsy guy. It's not too bad because I've done it myself, but ever since slapping a filter on mine, it's been dust FREE.

My complaints about this lens:
- Older IS system that fails more often. The 15-85 employs the new 4th gen IS
- build quality is so-so
- Zoom creep. Seriously? Zoom creep. That means if my camera is pointed down and if its not locked in at 17mm, and at like 24mm, it the glass will pull the lens out to 55mm. Meh. I guess its a heavy lens because there's a lot of glass, but you know most L lenses don't have this.... maybe the 24-70 though.

BTW I love this lens on my 7D.... or even when it was on my Rebel. It's my main walkaround lens and stays mounted 75% of the time. Except when I need more reach or if I'm going UWA. I don't even touch my primes anymore with this + flash. Gorgeous lens. To be honest it's not a good value though, but since I bought it used I figure I can sell it with minimal loss. I wish you got a little more for this $1000 lens, or it could be a bit cheaper. The IQ of the 18-55mm kit lens is already excellent.
 

Maximus96

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Nov 9, 2000
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i really suggest buying a good quality UV filter (B+W, Hoya HD...) for the 17-55 as it tends to suck in dirt from the front seal/label (with the canon 17-55mm bla bla bla printed on it) Even with the filter, people still report dust specks but at a lesser amount. The dust won't affect image quality but is annoying to see and lowers re-sell value because people want to buy lens with no visible dust inside.

also turn off the IS when not in use because they typically fail after 1 year of "pro" usage. turn it on when you need it in low light and you'll extend its life.

tamron's new version of the 17-50 also has stabilization now and goes for around $600 i think but i'm not sure how it compares the the canon.

edit: oops looks like i'm beaten by a few minutes
 

angry hampster

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Dec 15, 2007
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www.lexaphoto.com
Once you use it, you'll love it. I had buyer's remorse when I dropped money on my first pro-line lens (24-70L) but it turned around when I took the first few shots with it.
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
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Aug 23, 2003
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The cons, as others have mentioned:

1) No hood included; seems odd for a $1000 piece of glass.
2) Plastic construction; again, odd for a $1000 piece of glass.
3) Old IS system, but with a fast f/2.8 aperture and a modern body, this shouldn't be an issue. IS is only really useful for shutter speeds 1/60s or slower.
4) Tamron's 17-50mm f/2.8 is a much better value.
5) APS-C only; with the 5D1 ~$1000 and the 5D2 ~$2000 and falling, this might be a concern.