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CanonEF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens
 
4.2

(based on 174 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (94)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (47)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

81%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (80)
  • Easily interchangeable (69)
  • Lightweight (63)
  • Durable (59)
  • Consistent output (58)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (20)
  • Heavy (16)
  • Lens creep (13)
  • Weak casing (8)
  • Blurry focus (6)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (68)
  • General purpose (37)
  • Weddings (36)
  • Portraits (24)
  • Travel (22)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (47), Enthusiast (25), Semi-pro photographer (23), Casual photographer (14), Semi-professional (11)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (45), Yes (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

This is a great lens

I looked for a long time to find a lens that would meet our everyday needs. I actually bought the Tamron 18-200 lens and found that lens to be quite soft in comparison...Read complete review

I looked for a long time to find a lens that would meet our everyday needs. I actually bought the Tamron 18-200 lens and found that lens to be quite soft in comparison to the 18-55 Canon kit lens. Although the range is nice and I know that you loose quality with a lens like the Tamron but I expected more from it. I decided to buy the Canon 17-85IS lens even though I read it was about $100 overpriced. After receiving this lens from the store at a good price, I wished I would have bought it earlier and not even bothered with the searching and testing of other lens's. This think really focus's quickly and has good enough range to take action pictures of my son in soccer. Every picture is clear and crisp with the IS functionality. I was told by a camera shop that IS is overrated and I am happy to say that for someone in between a beginner/professional the IS does make a huge difference. This is going to be my all around lens. When you can take a face picture of a kid from 30ft away, load the image onto a computer, digitally zoom in and see the fine hairs on their chin, I think it is a great lens. I recommend this lens!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nice compact lens, could be better

I've using this lens of about a month. This are my impressions:
1) Build quality is very nice, with metal construcion, nice weight and tight feeling. A lot better than the...Read complete review

I've using this lens of about a month. This are my impressions:
1) Build quality is very nice, with metal construcion, nice weight and tight feeling. A lot better than the flimsy kit lens that came with my 30D.
2) Optical quality is so,so, the lens las heavy fringing issues while at full aperture, you have to stop it down to at least f8 to get rid of it. It also has some heavy barrel distortion at full wide angle, which makes it a no-no for architectural work. Incoming light affects it badly, so be sure to hace the optional lens hood. Lens sharpness is OK, but not up to par with canon's L lenses.

3) It is a nice walk around lens, I find the zoom range to be very adequate for street photo and fot portrait work. I think that the lens is OK for the price, but I'd happily forfeit the Image Stabilizer for somewhat better optics if I had the choice.

Reviewed by 174 customers

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5.0

Great price Awesom lens

By Tiny

from Portland Maine

Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

2nd lens the first one I bought 10 years ago. Good size but a little heavy because it is made well very clear especially around the edges not that fast but it works great in all around picture taking I think canon has the best glass of all lenses that is why I bought another one for my other body pluss the price drop made it more attractive .

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5.0

A must have lens!

By Photo friend

from Houston,tx

Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

Great lens for family reunions, team sports, large group functions and travel. This is my second lens , dropped the first one. Sent back canon to repair and will give to my son. He will begin teaching next fall and now asst coach a girls bb team.
Excellent wide zoom lens, you will enjoy

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5.0

Good Standard lens

By griswojc

from San Diego, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

    I just put this on my SL1 and it makes a good combo... Got it for $!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    A good go-to lens

    By Connie G

    from Sierra Vista, AZ

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Lightweight
    • Very Affordable

    Cons

    • Poor in Low Light

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

    This lens replaces a Tamron lens that was starting to produce blurry photos. While this lens tends to take "soft" photos, it is easy to operate and is a quiet lens. There is some chromatic aberration along the edge of the frame when taking this lens out to 85mm for landscape shots, but that is in most lenses and I just crop the edges out when editing photos.My lens is married up to a Canon 7D.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    Good in low light

    By MamaPhotoPro

    from Ohio

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Groups In Small Spaces
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

    I haven't had this lens long - If you are trying to upgrade your equipment slowly, it can be very hard to decide what to get next. I made the mistake of going from the 18-55mm that died, to the 28-135mm. As much as I like the lens, it isn't good for large groups in small spaces, like family Thanksgiving dinner. Getting the 17-85mm was a great addition. Not only can I fit everyone in, but it is terrific in low light! The only thing on the con side, is that I wouldn't exactly call it "lightweight".

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

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    4.0

    Nice lens for the money.

    By Bill

    from Central Texas

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

      The EF-S 17-85 is a good all around lens. The only issue I have found is the keystone effect that occurs at 17mm.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good general lens

      By Michael

      from Glarus, Switzerland

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

        I bought this lens with a 20D several years ago; it has served well as a general lens with a sharp focus.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Lemon

        By Joshua Helm

        from Lakeland, Florida

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Heavy
          • Lens Creep
          • Manufacturer Defects
          • Poor in Low Light

          Best Uses

            Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

            I bought this lens along with a 30D the last week of March 2006. I had high hopes for this lens. In reality it is a failure. Canon should have recalled this lens and offered customers a new one in replacement. It failed twice. The first time I sent it to Canon where it was inspected and sent back to me. There were been issues with the auto focus and usm. It has since developed the problem with the aperture ribbon cable. It is a known defect with this lens. I get an error 99 if I try to adjust the aperture from a 5.6 or 85mm. I guess the 85mm stretches the cable out so it will fire, but in Av mode while trying to adjust the aperture it does not move at all when looking down through the front of the lens. I also had problems with my image sensor having stuck pixels. I can't believe I spent $2,000 on this product. In the future I will buy Tamron or Sigma and enjoy my six year warranty.

            Other issues include softness and low light. It is terrible in low light and it is very soft. You would be better off with the $100 kit lens. Save your money for a nice macro or fisheye depending on your needs. Most of us need all three. In 2014 looking at a T4i with the 18 - 135mm leaves me questioning the quality; however, this lens is supposed to be quiet for video. I have used the T4i and the 18 - 135mm for some product shots. It is a decent lens for video. It does not fair as well in Macro photography, but I guess that is to be expected. I am just saying that there might be a reason to spend a little more on a Canon kit lens if video is a factor.

            I almost forgot to mention the amount of dust inside the lens. Maybe this happened when Canon disassembled it or maybe it finds its way in through the zoom.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Ok beginner lens

            By Kathmandu

            from Oakland, CA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable

            Cons

            • Heavy
            • Lens Creep
            • Poor in Low Light
            • Slow Focus
            • Weak Casing

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

            I have owned this lens now for 5 years. It is okay for general use and is way better than most kit lens for cropped sensor cameras. However, the lens creep and weight do not justify quality of photos from this lens. The lens failed while on a big trip to Turkey. Fortunately I had a prime lens to limp along. I was able to get it repaired when I arrived home from an [*] person. It now works fine. It seems that the electronic connectors wear out after a while and then suddenly it stops working. It also performs poorly in low light.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            4.0

            All around lens

            By bilal

            from Bloomington, IN

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

            This is a good, light weight all around lens for your everyday needs.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            this lens is very all around lens

            By choctaw

            from St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Macro Photography
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

            For now, this lens is exactly what the description says and I find it a good all around lens.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Less than durable

            By drmathprog

            from Chesapeake, Va

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Easily Interchangeable

            Cons

            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Macro Photography

            Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

            I have owned this lens for about 10 years, first on a digital Rebel and more recently on a 60D. It is a good walk-around lens, with nice image quality and consistency. Despite careful use, it has failed twice during that time. After about 5 years of use, the zoom control developed a significant "catch" as the control was rotated. This resulted in a $180 non-warranty by Canon. After another 4 years of use, the autofocus failed. This resulted in another $160 non-warranty repair by Canon. Based upon my web research, each of these failures seems to have been experienced by a number of owners.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            I've always liked it.

            By Tony C

            from Long Island, NY

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Macro Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

              This is the same lens I got with my Canon 20D originally. I got one in 2005 and it's been great since. After 8 years, I had a focusing issue with it and needed another lens quickly. I usually shoot autoshows, racing events, traveling in NYC and other citys. I like the range I get with this one. With other choices I'd seen, I still wanted this lens.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Good lens

              By Ron K

              from Northern NJ

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Rugged

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                  This is a solid performing lens with a nice focal length range for general purpose use. I have used it as my walk around lens for my Canon 60d. While an L lens would be better, this lens performs quite well at a lower price point. My images are sharp and the IS works well. I only wish it was a faster lens with a lower f stop.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Super Smoothe Santana

                  By Mickey C

                  from Gold Coast - Australia

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                    this lens is quiet and smoothe and in no way clunky. It is robust and easy to handle.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    2.0

                    Durability an Issue

                    By Deidra, the Disappointed

                    from near San Antonio, Texas

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Pros

                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                    • Durability

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                    I have used the 17-85 as an all purpose lens. The lens has been well cared for for several years. Sudenly the aperature is lodged in a wide open mode, and I found that it will cost $200 to get it fixed at a reputable dealer. I am disappointed, to say the least.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Good general lens

                    By Jordan

                    from Melbourne, Australia

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Slow Focus

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                    I've had this one since Jan '09 and never had any problems. I've done my share of bumping and dropping it but it's still going strong.
                    I use it to take portrats or wider shots of small/medium animals, landscapes and general people photos. It's not tack sharp, but it's not an L series lens so I wouldn't expect it to be. My images come out fine. Autofocus can be a bit average at times and it might spend some time searching, particularly in low light.
                    I haven't tested the sharpness at different focal lengths but I haven't noticed much difference.

                    All round good lens.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    1.0

                    Poor Build Quality

                    By departure

                    from Seattle, WA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Pros

                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                    • Poor in Low Light
                    • Weak Casing

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                      I owned this lens for just over a year when the zoom control started jamming - it will now cost [$]to fix it. Stay away from it.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      EF-S 17-85mm

                      By E

                      from Germany

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Slow Focus

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery

                      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                      Much better than the kit lens I bought with my previous camera.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      2.0

                      Great Lens When it Works

                      By Usually Canon Fan

                      from Midland, Ontario

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Pros

                      • Excellent stabilization b
                      • Good photo quality
                      • Useful focal length range

                      Cons

                      • Dust gets inside lens
                      • Poor reliability

                      Best Uses

                      • General Use
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                      I have had this lens since 2005. It is my most used lens with a useful focal length range and the stabilization is very effective. The problem is reliability which I think is related to a mechanical design flaw. Since the time of purchase I have experienced two ERR 099 errors. There are multiple possible causes of that but in my case both times it was due to a defective Power Diaphragm Assembly inside the lens. Canon quickly repaired the lens for a total cost of over $300 for both repairs. I have never had such an issue with any Canon product before be it lens or camera. The problem strikes quickly and there is no quick fix. If I had been photographing a wedding this would have been a problem; I use for backup zoom lenses from my film days but they are not as useful due to the 1.6 X factor for the C sized sensor on my camera.

                      The other issue although not a big deal in the short term is that the lens is not sealed well. Dust will quickly find its way inside onto the lenses and you cannot get it out without sending the lens in for service. I have not seen that in all of my other Canon lenses; it is very strange.

                      I have not experienced autofocus issues as discussed elsewhere in the comments; strictly exposure problems followed by loss of lens function altogether.

                      I expect more from Canon in terms of design reliability than this. I am wondering if later models of the same lens have engineered these issue out or not; I am not sure.

                      I would be afraid to pay more money for a 7D body and stick this lens on it; it seems like a quality mismatch and a problem waiting to happen.

                      Like I said I am usually awed by Canon design and quality but they seem to have dropped the ball on this lens. Hopefully it is not indicitive of future design issues with other lenses.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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