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

(based on 168 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (91)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (44)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

81%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (77)
  • Easily interchangeable (66)
  • Lightweight (60)
  • Durable (58)
  • Consistent output (56)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (19)
  • Heavy (15)
  • Lens creep (13)
  • Weak casing (8)
  • Blurry focus (6)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (64)
  • General purpose (37)
  • Weddings (34)
  • Portraits (24)
  • Travel (22)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (44), Enthusiast (25), Semi-pro photographer (22), Casual photographer (14), Semi-professional (11)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (42)

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 168 customers

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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.

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    • No

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    (0 of 2 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.

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        • 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.

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        • 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.

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        • 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.

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        • No

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        (5 of 5 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.

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        • 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.

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          • 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.

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              • 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.

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                • No

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                (5 of 6 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.

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                • 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.

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                • 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.

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                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Great lens

                  By Dennis

                  from Whittier, CA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Nice zoom range 17-85mm

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery

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

                    This is a great walk around lens. It's not an "L" lens, but unless you're a pro, it's really all you need for most situations.

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                    • No

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                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    1.0

                    Durability is an issue

                    By Old Ted

                    from St. Charles, MO

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Pros

                    • Easily Interchangeable

                    Cons

                    • Blurry Focus
                    • Weak Casing

                    Best Uses

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

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

                    I've used this lense for a few years now for landscapes, flowers, bugs, people, and events. It's fair in low light, does fireworks well (with a better quality tripod)and has been a good 'Walk About' Lense. This is not a "Fast" lense.

                    Durability has been a problem as it recently it has developed a problem with the Autofocus. it "Hunts" for the focus, and very often produces a blurry out-of-focus image. The normal 'fix' for focus problems is to clean the lense and camera body electrical contacts, but that didn't help.

                    I'm an intermediate hobbist. I've done events such as church parades, family reunions, twice helped pros with weddings, and exhibited locally a few times. So even though I take a few thousand images yearly, I'm not abusive to my equiptment. It's never been dropped or banged around, always kept clean, dry, and protected when not in use - still 'looks new'. So, it's disappointing that moderate use would cause it to wear out.

                    I believe I bought it through B&H, but too long ago to expect them to do anything about it. The shop where I normally do business said they could send it back to Canon for a $150 fee, the repair cost would be on top of the $150, and it was probable that it could not be repaired.

                    So while it has been my favorite lense for the last few years, I am now disappointed with it's durability.

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                    • No

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                    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    2.0

                    Quality let down

                    By Nick

                    from Hamilton, NJ

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Pros

                    • Rugged

                    Cons

                    • Blurry Focus
                    • Lens Creep
                    • Poor in Low Light

                    Best Uses

                    • Weddings/Events

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

                    I admit, I bought this lens used but it was hardly used by the previous owner and was babied by me. But that doesn't have much to do with the rest of my review.

                    I've had this lens for about a year now and for the first 4-5 months it was pretty good. Great range. Good IS. Fast autofocus. A little on the slow side but I could deal.

                    Then the problems. Autofocus started sticking and not moving at all. Manual was useless too. After finding a range of issues on google not quite like mine, I took it to Canon in NJ to repair for $85. (It was a loose screw stopping the focus ring)

                    Worked great!.... For another few months. Now the autofocus is failing again. This time according to google it's the terribly weak flex cable inside the aperture. It would give Error01 if I stopped down the lens at all too. Luckily it was within the repair warranty period so we'll see if they fix it.

                    Not to mention I have always had problems with this lens being sharp even when stopped down to f8 or f10. Still blurred landscapes.

                    Disappointing lens quality. Oh and constant lens creep.

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                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Perfect lense for every day use.

                    By Hamruniz

                    from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Weddings/Events

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

                      I am using this lens for everyday shooting, mostly candid shots of people and the occasional scene shot. So far it has proven to fit this bill perfectly. The pictures are crisp and bright. The quick, quiet focusing is a joy.

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                      • No

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                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Not bad, not great

                      By Gerry

                      from Tucson, AZ

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery

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

                        I used this lens on my Canon 20D for about three years. It has a very useful zoom range and the image quality is acceptable. Also, it's a reasonably compact lens given the zoom range.

                        However, when I upgraded to Canon's 17-55mm lens, there was no comparison: the 17-55mm is a far better lens. It's also larger and more expensive, but for me the trade-off is well worth making. So I would recommend this to someone who is just getting started but they will probably want to upgrade in the long run.

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                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great a;; purpose lens

                        By Tom S

                        from Chicago

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Rugged

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Portraits
                          • Street

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

                          Bought this lens from the used department and couldn't be happier with it. It is a GREAT piece of equipment at a price that could not be beat. I am completely satisfied.

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                          • No

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