The EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS standard zoom lens is a great all-around lens for the consumer grade photographer looking to update their stock lens setup. It is designed with the consumer level photographer in mind as it works only with the Canon EF-S mount system (EOS 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, Digital Rebel).
Camera bodies that do not have a 1.6x field of view crop factor will not be able to use this lens. The versatility of this lens comes from its wide range of focal lengths. For the first time in the EF-S lineup, this lens offers true wide angle to telephoto coverage. This is a very useful range for shooting everything from landscapes to portraits.
Additionally, the lens includes the Canon image stabilization system, which helps to reduce blur in non-moving objects while shooting at low shutter speeds in low light. The optics of this lens also create a very large depth of field which is a useful feature for landscape applications. Ring type USM focus is also included to make autofocus fast and precise. A full time manual mode is also available. The EF-S 17-86, f/4-5.6 is a great general purpose lens choice for the amateur photographer looking to buy their first non-stock lens.
Canon 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS Features
- Standard Zoom Lens
- Focal length: 17-85mm
- Maximum aperture: f/4-5.6
- Filter Size: 67mm
- Optics: 17 Elements in 12 Groups
- Canon Micro UltraSonic Motor (USM) provides fast and accurate focusing.
- Image stabilization helps reduce shaking when hand holding in low light conditions
- Weight: 475g
- Canon EF-S Mount
What Users Like About This Lens
Autofocus is fast and accurate due to top-end Canon technology. Additionally, photographers praise the build quality of this lens. It is not as sturdy as the very expensive top-of-the-line “L series” lenses, but it feels solid and durable when in use. For a medium range lens image quality is great. Users also enjoy the compact size and light weight of the 17-85mm f/4-5.6 standard zoom lens. Overall, it is recommended as a good walkaround lens for the consumer grade photographer.
What Users Don’t Like About This Lens
Professional users have noticed some chromatic aberration in the outside edges of images produced with this lens. Sharpness is also not consistent from corner to corner across the range of focal lengths available. Occasionally, some note that images appear to be too dark. Many note that at f/4, the maximum aperture of the 17-85mm lens is rather slow. Despite image stabilization, some users may find the lens unacceptable for low light work. As a final note, this lens does not produce the best background image blur outs. Therefore, it may not be the best option for portrait work.