Lens which equals or beats the Canon 17-85 IS USM.

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by craigizmo2k2, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    Hello all, been a while since I last posted a genuine photography question!

    Having tried the Nikon camp twice now with a D200, I'm at last going back to Canon.

    The 350D I used to have is with my Dad, and the lens on that camera is (WAS) the 17-85 IS USM which I loved. Lightweight, great image quality - perfect. Except it suffered the dreaded jammed zoom mechanism problem. Or it may have been caused by me dropping it :D I dismantled this to tighten the screws which cause the problem, but ours is so bad that the thread has gone - meaning it is toast, essentially. Toying with the idea of doing an insurance replacement on it...but anyway.

    I'm going to go with a 40D body for myself, but I want a lens which is as good as if not better than the 17-85. I would go for another 17-85, but don't want to risk the same thing happening. Is the zoom failure really that common?

    What would you recommend? Certainly, I will be doing a Wedding in January for some friends - I'd love an L lens but I doubt i'd be able to afford one of those.

    Any suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. twist

    twist
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    15-85 is excellent, also look at Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 17-70, both also very good and cheaper.
     
  3. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    I love my Sigma 17-70mm and would definitely recomend that you have a look but I wouldn't call it particularly "light"
     
  4. twist

    twist
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    Compared to a 70-200 2.8 it is.
     
  5. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    A camera being heavy doesn't deter me - I just enjoyed the fact that it wasn't hugely heavy for such a good quality lens. Clearly, I don't have much experience of the posh glass :D

    The Sigma certainly looks interesting. Would you consider a straight swap of your lens for my step daughter? :D
     
  6. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    "NSS" ;) :devil:


    No - I doubt that she'd fit on my Sony :D
     
  7. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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  8. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    IMO the 17-85 is a pretty poor lens from an IQ POV. The current 18-55IS kit lens is optically better (tho not USM).

    15-85 or the 17-55f2.8 or the tamron/sigma f2.8 equivalents are great.
     
  9. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    That is interesting. The kit lens we have is the old one from when the 350D was originally purchased and does not have IS.

    I think I'll have a look at the Tamron/Sigma ones. I've never had a problem with any of my Sigma stuff in the past - the problem with the 17-85 has put me off a little bit.

    Thanks!
     
  10. twist

    twist
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    The old 18-55 is meant to be awful, the new IS much better.

    Id personally go with the Tamron unless you want the extra reach, then go with the Sigma.
     
  11. loz

    loz
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    Perhaps I got a bad sample, but I bought a Sigma 17-70 OS to replace my 17-85 IS Canon and it was much worse. Too soft. So I returned.

    Another alternative is the new Canon 18-135mm IS STM as that clearly gives you a bit more reach for walkabout lens. Optically it is better than the older 18-135mm IS, and equal or better than the 17-85mm IS. Focusing is supposed to be quick and silent.

    see 17-85 vs 18-135 comparison

    Price is coming down now. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens from £355.00, UK Specialist Price Comparison Site, Camera Price Buster
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  12. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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  13. loz

    loz
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    Yes it does, though hard to find any reviews of it at the moment.

    Its main target does seem to be people who want to shoot video as well as stills, but all indications show its optical performance for stills is a big improvement on the older 18-135mm.
     
  14. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    The reviews I found just now were definitely for the older lens.

    Will definitely have to be careful not to buy the old one by accident if I end up choosing this!
     
  15. KyleS1

    KyleS1
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    Well if you check the same link that loz sent and select the older 18-135mm lens, it still have better IQ than the 17-85 that you had, and you liked that, so you are onto a winner.
    I happen to have the older 18-135 and I find it a great lens. It's certainly no L glass, but I have some cracking shots with it, and its pretty cheap. I keep thinking of upgrading to the 15-85, but the shots I get with my current lens don't seem to make spending all that extra money worth it.
     
  16. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    I am so behind the times. I genuinely believed the 17-85 was generally well regarded and these other lenses wouldn't be recommended!

    Well, it certainly makes my life easier! I won't be purchasing anything this year, though. For the Wedding in January I am going to shoot, I am going to hire the Canon 24-70 f2.8 L lens and a flashgun, using the 350D with grip.
     
  17. KyleS1

    KyleS1
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    For example, my Tour of Britain, Paris and Night Shots sets on my Flickr are all using the 18-135mm. Just for info.

    Oh and a couple of my very early macro shots.
     
  18. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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  19. KyleS1

    KyleS1
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    There is always some post processing done. Although I don't think there was on the macro shots. Would have to check the exif.
    But no amount of PP can turn photos on a dog of a lens into lovely sharp images. As they say "you can't polish a turd" :)
     
  20. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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  21. KyleS1

    KyleS1
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    Oh and while lens reviews are extremely useful, they are often pixel peeping, which in every day life you wouldn't do, and if you do, you have too much time on your hands.
    It's all about how much you want from a lens, and your expectations.
     
  22. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    Exactly.

    I never let slip from my mind the fact that the best photographs I have ever taken were with my Canon 350D and a Sigma 18-200 lens which has no optical stabilisation.

    I miss that lens, I have no idea why I sold it. For a budget lens of that sort of range, it was fantastic. I may very well end up just buying another one!
     
  23. KyleS1

    KyleS1
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    If you want to shoot video though, you will need IS.
     
  24. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    I won't.

    The body I am going buy will be either another 350D or the 40D if I am feeling lavish. I've had cameras with loads of bells and whistles and I never use them.
     
  25. Christms789

    Christms789
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    Strongly recommend the new Sigma 17-70 OS. IMO this is the best lens we have used on my wife's 500. We have tried the Tamron 17-50 (very sharp but no IS), the 17-85 (sharp and longer range but max F4) and the Sigma (as sharp as any of them with IS, a good range and a closer shooting distance than the other two).

    All have their merits but on balance the Sigma shaves it being a little more versatile.
     
  26. loz

    loz
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    As mentioned earlier in #11, that was the one I bought to replace my 17-85mm, and it may have been down to sample variation but it was awful in comparison. Very soft. I returned mine.
    So might need to be prepared to try a few copies if you are not satisfied with the first one you get.
     
  27. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    Every 3rd party lens I have owned has been compromised in some way. Mostly sigmas af to be honest.

    I still have the sigma 50/1.4 because canon have no real choice to compete. Oh I also have the tamron 90 which was 1/3rd the price of a canon macro and pretty decent if clunky.

    Having been there I trust canon lenses far far more than others.
     
  28. KyleS1

    KyleS1
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    Canon do a 50/1.4 too. Why does that not compete?
     
  29. twist

    twist
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    I think Rob means Canons equiv can't compete?
     
  30. KyleS1

    KyleS1
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    I thought it was supposed to be a decent lens?
     

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