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Is the canon 17-55 f2.8 really worth the cash?

Moor

Active Member
I recently posted a thread contemplating which version of the tamron 17-50 to get but have been thinking that if I'm gonna spend a fair wack on a lens I may as well do it properly, I'm also sure if I got the tamron I would always be wishing I had gone for the canon. I really want to get the best from my 50D and what I have currently isn't cutting it, my thoughts ate why bother having a half decent SLR and then cheap out on lenses.
So the question is is it really worth £750 or maybe more appropriately is it worth £500 more than the tamron?
 

electrolyte

Well-known Member
I didn't think so - I hired a 17-55 2.8 for a week and then tried the Tamron. Apart from the lack of IS, the Tamron is either the same or better than the Canon in every way (IMO of course). For a start my Tamron is a lot sharper at f/2.8 than the Canon 17-55 I hired. And as I am mainly interested in using the lens at 2.8 this was a killer for me. Plus IS is a bit over-rated for a 17-50/55 type lens. And of course the Tamron has one major advantage of course - it is much cheaper!

Hope that helps.
 

nikonuser11

Distinguished Member
why not get the Sigma 17-50 ED HSM OS, reviews better than the Canon and even some primes and is about £500:smashin:
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
For me the canon was and has been well worth it.

I've used the tamron on a nikon and it was OK but focus wasnt snappy and it wasnt as good at f2.8 on the long end. Plus no IS, the vr version seems poorer.

I may have gone for the sigma 17-502.8 OS as above , the only downside there is no FTM.
 
the 50d camera fits efs and ef lens. only canon efs will show true wide/zoom. ef lens will have the crop factor.

baz
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I have the Tamron but have had the Canon, and hired it for " Occasions" after moving it on, though far less so now
The Canon is better
Is it £500 better ? No..
IS ,Fast, silent , Accurate AF (USM) L glass and arguably better build are What you pay for, not massively better PQ
However, if you feel you would have shortchanged yourself, get the Canon.I did sold mine ( when funds were tight) but ordinarily dont yearn for it over the Tamron but YMMV
On the matter of what you have not cutting it ..What do you have?/ and Why is it not " cutting it?"
I have th Older Canon 17-85 IS USM which does not do much for me but some others seem to like it...:rolleyes:
 

jj_glos

Active Member
the 50d camera fits efs and ef lens. only canon efs will show true wide/zoom. ef lens will have the crop factor.

baz

Any lens placed on the 50D will be subject to the crop factor, it's a crop sensor. EF-S lenses take advantage of the smaller sensor in their design, the image circle of the lens can be smaller. With a full frame compatible lens on a crop sensor you actually make use of the sweet spot of the lens, i.e. the centre, avoiding any softer edges the lens may have :)

To the OP, my brother has the 17-55 and I have the Tamron 17-50 non VC. The Canon is the better lens, the AF is faster and it obviously has IS. Sharpness and colour\contrast wise there is very little in it. The Tamron isn't exactly slow to AF, but it is noisy!
 

HelloMoto

Active Member
It's a common question, but it is a better lens than the Tamron/Sigma. It is up to you if you can afford it though, I bought it second hand and liked it and the resale value meant I even sold it for what I paid. If budget is a factor go for the Tamron.
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
I wouldnt be without my 17-55, if I had to keep just one lens that would be it.

Sharp anywhere at any focal length straight from 2.8.

IS could do with improving really, and I dont like the zoom creep is all.
 

Moor

Active Member
Hmmm it is a tricky choice, all the above zooms are on my list to compare, as they are for anyone looking at a zoom like this, the problem deciding. I have read plenty of reviews and all lenses do well but just about all the reviews rate the canon better. The price of the tamron is appealing and as expensive as the canon is I know if I ever move to full frame I can sell it for good money which could be put towards L glass on full frame.
In response to what I have that's not cutting it, I currently own a 17-85 which I rarely use as it's low light capability is poor and 2 primes, 35mm 2.0 which is great and what I use 90% of the time and a 50mm 1.8 which I find too long for most situations. I'm aware that I have canons 2 cheapest primes and whilst they are good I need more versatilty but I still want a fast lens.
 

Dr O

Active Member
I didn't think so - I hired a 17-55 2.8 for a week and then tried the Tamron. Apart from the lack of IS, the Tamron is either the same or better than the Canon in every way (IMO of course). For a start my Tamron is a lot sharper at f/2.8 than the Canon 17-55 I hired. And as I am mainly interested in using the lens at 2.8 this was a killer for me. Plus IS is a bit over-rated for a 17-50/55 type lens. And of course the Tamron has one major advantage of course - it is much cheaper!

Hope that helps.
Sounds like you prob had a bit of a dud- I'm not overly impressed with the build quality of the Canon for the price and have ribbed my mate a few times with his dust pump but it does produce some sharp images and has nice colours. There's every posibility a hire lens with not so great build quality might be a bit more hit and miss. Worth checking one out in a shop and taking a few shots just to see.

Agreed about IS- over rated at these lengths for the cost associated though I concede to Rob that if there wasn't a huge premium for it then I probably wouldn't turn it down as it may be handy at some point (deja vu);)

OP- non-vc tamron is good and relatively cheap. If you have the cash the Canon is slightly better optically and much better AF though the Tamron's isn't bad just noisey. Just to really mix it up- the one lens I think everyone should have as an OEM version is the 70-200 because the third party offerings are nowhere near and the OEM versions are worth the extra cost- imo :D
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Hmmm it is a tricky choice, all the above zooms are on my list to compare, as they are for anyone looking at a zoom like this, the problem deciding. I have read plenty of reviews and all lenses do well but just about all the reviews rate the canon better.
In absolute terms, yes but for PQ they are fairly close and VFM is not clear cut at all
The price of the tamron is appealing and as expensive as the canon is I know if I ever move to full frame I can sell it for good money which could be put towards L glass on full frame
.
This is true but if you sell Body and lens (50D + Tamron will sell)
In response to what I have that's not cutting it, I currently own a 17-85 which I rarely use as it's low light capability is poor
Sadly the lens looks the part but is (IMHO) very hard to get consistently sharp pics with I have one and hardly use it Since getting the Canon 17-55 ( now gone) then the Tamron . I thought my 17-85 was a dud copy but Ive heard others find it a mixed bag as well. The newer 15-85 is far better just not as fast as the 17-55
,
35mm 2.0 which is great and what I use 90% of the time and a 50mm 1.8
which I find too long for most situations. I'm aware that I have canons 2 cheapest primes and whilst they are good I need more versatilty but I still want a fast lens.
Quite so but the 50mm 1.8 is great for portraits:). Im not sure even the 17-55 at 50mm is as good as the 50mm 1.8 for sharpness but it isnt that far off:)
 
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Moor

Active Member
Many thanks for the replies so far, if I were to disregard the canon which would be the choice between the tamron and sigma? Again not actually having the chance to test these lenses because no shops in my area stock them, I am relying on reviews, the sigma is usually compared to the canon rather than tamron and comes pretty close to the canon in most areas, it also has OS which may be useful in low light and is a fair bit cheaper than canon but still nearly twice the price of the tamron.

I shall be keeping both primes too and selling or trading in the 17-85 as it gets next to no use and whenever I do use it the results are never that great.
 
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jj_glos

Active Member
Just to really mix it up- the one lens I think everyone should have as an OEM version is the 70-200 because the third party offerings are nowhere near and the OEM versions are worth the extra cost- imo :D

The new Canon mkII is amazing but my old Sigma holds up to the mkI non IS very well, so much so it's just not worth the extra cost. I just wish the mkII didn't cost so much as I would trade my Sigma for that in a heart beat!
 
RobDickinson said:
Utterly wrong mate.

All the focal lengths for ef-s and ef lenses are expressed in the same 35mm focal length terms.

An EF-S of 30mm is the same as an ef of 30mm.

oops, sorry

always used full frame,

baz
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
I've never seen impressive results with the 17-85, in many ways the new IS kit lens is better.
The 15-85 is superb if a bit slow.

As for the f2/8's..best to worst:

Canon 17-55f2.8IS
Sigma 17-50f2.8 OS
Tamron 17-50f2.8
Sigma 17-50f2.8 <-> Tamron 17-50f2.8VC

The sigma OS has HSM so snappy focusing, but realy the 17-55 does everything so damned well its hard to ignore even at the price it is.
 

Calzor Suzay

Active Member
I've had both the Tamron 17-50 non VC & now the Canon 17-55 IS, prefer the Canon.

Only two issues I have with the Canon, dust bunnies behind the front element, easily fixed by taking it apart and it doesn't have a lock like the Tamron to prevent lens creep, when I have the camera lens down in the Retrospective bag and the hood on it will catch the padding as I pull it and extend it fully, I doubt it damages it just grates on me :)
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I've never seen impressive results with the 17-85, in many ways the new IS kit lens is better.
The 15-85 is superb if a bit slow.
No arguments there

As for the f2/8's..best to worst:

Canon 17-55f2.8IS
Sigma 17-50f2.8 OS
Tamron 17-50f2.8
Sigma 17-50f2.8 <-> Tamron 17-50f2.8VC

The sigma OS has HSM so snappy focusing, but realy the 17-55 does everything so damned well its hard to ignore even at the price it is.
But they are all good in absolute terms and in value for money terms the order might be different, especially if revenue bearing is a factor
Ive not used the Sigma but would not expect massive PQ differences given that the major difference in the canon and non VC Tamron is not huge for PQ , although you do get more for the money
Maybe with a camera like the 7D the PQ differences would be more noticable but not on a 40D
What is very true is that after the 17-85 all of those will be a serious breath of fresh air:smashin:
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
How do you measure value for money?

Not that I earn a great deal as yet from my pics but if I had to I would pick the canon every time.

If your not earning then prehaps not. There all (bar possibly the tamron vc) opticaly great.
 

TomQH

Active Member
Hmmm it is a tricky choice, all the above zooms are on my list to compare, as they are for anyone looking at a zoom like this, the problem deciding. I have read plenty of reviews and all lenses do well but just about all the reviews rate the canon better. The price of the tamron is appealing and as expensive as the canon is I know if I ever move to full frame I can sell it for good money which could be put towards L glass on full frame.
In response to what I have that's not cutting it, I currently own a 17-85 which I rarely use as it's low light capability is poor and 2 primes, 35mm 2.0 which is great and what I use 90% of the time and a 50mm 1.8 which I find too long for most situations. I'm aware that I have canons 2 cheapest primes and whilst they are good I need more versatilty but I still want a fast lens.

Just another opinion... If you're enjoying your primes, I would say that you may feel underwhelmed by all of the zooms above. Similar to you, I use 50mm 1.4 90% of the time (on FF), and really only use my 24-105 for the wide end. I found that upgrading body allowed me to crop, and have less reliance on the zoom, but the full benefits of primes. That's the direction I'm going in personally.
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
Intresting. The 17-55 isnt prime like in sharpness at 2.8 if you pixel peep an 18mp image.

But comparing it to my sigma 50f1.4 its bokeh isnt actualy that bad (2.8vs2.8) and its plenty sharp enough.

I think you have to remember were talking about zooms, you give up pure optical quality for convinience.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
How do you measure value for money?

.
:laugh:

Easiest when you are skint and measure value ( pleasure , revenue bearing resale value) objectively

Im all for living one life, it is too short ,but some experiences make you question why you buy what you buy
I also think that if you have the remotest possibly of earning you should " invest" in decent kit, and time , knowhow)
But folk often use what they have to get results!
Simple answer; Its hard to define VFM as it is in the workplace the accountant/ Financial directors job but in personal life very subjective!:laugh:
 

Moor

Active Member
Some interesting points, the zoom is for convinience but i also want quality, value for money is also important too and as much as I would like to get the canon I can't help but think that I could also trade in my 35mm prime along with the 17-85 and get the sigma 17-50 along with a sigma 30mm 1.4 for near enough the same cash as the canon. Saying that 2 lenses is harder to explain to the mrs :)
 

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