REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonEF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
 
4.7

(based on 691 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (513)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (155)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (613)
  • Consistent output (425)
  • Easily interchangeable (264)
  • Strong construction (231)
  • Durable (227)

Cons

  • Heavy (202)
  • Weak casing (32)
  • Lens creep (21)
  • Difficult to clean (19)
  • Pricey / poor value (17)

Best Uses

  • Low light (338)
  • Landscape/scenery (309)
  • Night photography (278)
  • Weddings (254)
  • General purpose (152)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (223), Semi-pro photographer (122), Enthusiast (99), Casual photographer (67), Pro photographer (37)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (346), Yes (19)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

My Favorite Lens

I have owned this lens for around two years now, and it was my primary lens for a 10 month trip across Africa, so I've gotten to know it quite well. In my...Read complete review

I have owned this lens for around two years now, and it was my primary lens for a 10 month trip across Africa, so I've gotten to know it quite well. In my opinion, it is the best general purpose lens for Canon APS-C DSLR's, and it is easily the lens I use most frequently.

What makes this lens great is the combination of the image quality, focal length, and f/2.8 aperture. Image quality is fantastic; I was blown away when I first bought this lens, and two years later I am still impressed. It is extremely sharp, and color and contrast are really excellent (though perhaps just shy of the best L lenses).

But it's the f/2.8 aperture and focal range that really make this lens. It's great for low light situations, of course, but the wide aperture is also excellent for isolating your subject. For me, this often makes the difference in non-studio situations, as all of those background distractions can be blended away into a beautiful soft bokeh. It's very difficult to do this with an f/4 or f/5.6 lens.

As for the focal range, it's the range that most people use most frequently for general photography. At 55mm (88mm equivalent), it's right in the sweet spot for portrait photography. And while not a wide-angle lens, at 17mm it does provide considerable versatility.

Two other positives are worthy of mention. First, the auto focus is nearly instantaneous and very accurate. Second, the build quality is very good, and I have had zero problems with dust affecting my photographs (and Africa is a very dusty place). My personal experience leads me to believe that dust is not a meaningful problem for this lens.

No lens is perfect, however, and this one has a few drawbacks. First, it is rather large and heavy compared to other lenses of similar focal length. This can be a turnoff for some users, who find that it becomes cumbersome to carry, and the large size can occasionally be a bit intimidating for some subjects as well. Second, it is rather expensive, but then again it is a really fine lens in the focal length that I (and many others) use the most. Finally, as many others have mentioned, it really should come with a lens hood. I'm a huge fan of Canon, but unless the corporate bottom line depends on selling large quantities of plastic lens hoods, they really should include them with their premium lenses (including this one, even if it is not branded as an "L").

I love this lens. And with great image quality, the most used focal range, excellent low light capability, and bokeh so velvety you'll be tempted to reach out and rub your monitor, there's a lot to love. If the high price won't force you to sell an organ or eat ramen noodles for the next year, you'll probably love it too.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not a Fan

I will preface this review with the fact that I am a student, and this piece of equipment belongs to my school. That being said, it easily could have fallen into some less...Read complete review

I will preface this review with the fact that I am a student, and this piece of equipment belongs to my school. That being said, it easily could have fallen into some less careful hands and suffered some damage, but here are my findings with this lens.
1. The focus is SLOW. Oftentimes in lower light or in fast moving, but well lit situations, it simply won't focus. I was sent to two track meets with the lens, and several would have been amazing shots were blown because of this lens' inability to focus on the subject. (yes, I did check every single autofocus setting on the camera. They were correct, but I couldn't get the thing to work)
2. There is no apparent "sweet spot" with this lens. Be wary as you buy this. Not all images will come out clear.
3. This lens does work for portrait photography. I took some great portraits with this lens and was pretty pleased with them. Albeit it took some finessing to get this lens to lock onto the part of the subject I wanted in focus.

Reviewed by 691 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Great lens for dim lighting

By pro to be

from New york

Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

I have this lens for 2 months now and it's serving me very well. It's a versatile lens and I find the f/2.8 especially useful in dim lighting.

Share this review

 
5.0

El mejor lente para eventos sociales

By German

from Buenos Aires Argentina

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Video
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

    Lo uso para bodas, lo pones y no lo sacas mas es grandioso para la fiesta.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    This Was A Very Good Buy

    By Ricky

    from Morristown, NJ

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged

    Cons

    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

    I just recently purchased the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and I gotta be honest when I say that I can't see a really big difference between that lens and this one. I mean it's kinda disappointing for the 24-70mm but I guess it's a good thing for those of you thinking about buying this lens.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Excellent lens at a great price

    By De Silva Photos

    from Allende N.L. Mexico, Rio Ramos

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

      I just love this lens. It's great for night shots This lens produces decent images and has a quick auto focus. Image stabilization also is nice for video. I am glad I made a right choice, otherwise

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Great Lens!

      By Juice

      from Cary, NC

      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

      I am a relatively new cinematographer and I love this lens! It's my first upgrade from the kit lens and it is so much better. The light that f2.8 lets in helps me to shoot in lower light settings and the lens feels very sturdy.

      Share this review

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Not a Fan

      By Taylor T

      from Dallas, TX

      About Me Photography Student

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Blurry Focus
      • Heavy
      • Poor in Low Light
      • Slow Focus

      Best Uses

      • Portraits

      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

      I will preface this review with the fact that I am a student, and this piece of equipment belongs to my school. That being said, it easily could have fallen into some less careful hands and suffered some damage, but here are my findings with this lens.
      1. The focus is SLOW. Oftentimes in lower light or in fast moving, but well lit situations, it simply won't focus. I was sent to two track meets with the lens, and several would have been amazing shots were blown because of this lens' inability to focus on the subject. (yes, I did check every single autofocus setting on the camera. They were correct, but I couldn't get the thing to work)
      2. There is no apparent "sweet spot" with this lens. Be wary as you buy this. Not all images will come out clear.
      3. This lens does work for portrait photography. I took some great portraits with this lens and was pretty pleased with them. Albeit it took some finessing to get this lens to lock onto the part of the subject I wanted in focus.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      My review on the lens.

      By Marcel

      from Pa

      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

      The lens are very nice and very sharp. I'm very happy that I got these lens.

      Share this review

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      LOVE

      By Sheila

      from Phoenix, AZ

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

        I have written a review before but I just wanted to chime in again because I've had the lens almost 2 years now. I still love it! THE ONLY thing I don't like is that when I upgrade to FF I wont be able to use it.

        I have found it's sweet spot (sharpest point) for me is with an aprature of f 3.2 although I have got some great shots at 2.8 as well. I'll share couple photos.

        The lens creep doesn't bother me as it's not super long and therefor doesn't drop too hard. I have a habit if holding my camera in an upward position when I'm walking around so, I rarely notice it. The weight isn't too bad. You get used to it.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Good general purpose lens

        By Gene

        from Eastern Washington

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

              I've had this lens for about three weeks. I'm using it on a Canon 70D camera body. I have had the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 lens for nearly a year and I recently replaced it with this lens because the reviews that I read say that the image quality is higher on the Canon lens than the Sigma.

              I'd have to agree that this lens is better than the Sigma, although not by a lot. It is sharper on the edges and corners of the frame, but about the same in the frame center. It is a very good lens, and I don't regret getting it, although realistically, the Sigma lens was probably good enough.

              I was a little surprised at how large this lens is. I also have a Canon 6D with a 24-70 f/2.8L II lens, and this one is pretty close in size and weight (though not build quality) to the 24-70.

              The build quality is good, but not as good as the L lenses. I would say it is at the top end of the non-L lenses for build quality. The zoom ring operates smoothly with just about the right amount of resistance. It focuses very quickly, and the IS seems to work very well.

              I've been using it as a general purpose, walking around lens, and so far I'm quite happy with it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              A definite winner

              By PPen

              from Ashburn, VA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Night Photography
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                This lens did miracles for me. Truly worth the price. The images I took with this lens are very sharp plus the fast focusing is a great compliment.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                My go to lens for basketball

                By Dave

                from San Diego

                Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                I also have a similar Tamron but do find I get fewer out of focus shots with the Canon. Great for those low light, action shots that I am taking.

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Wow

                By WL

                from NYC

                Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                Quiet smooth great results. Very pleased

                Share this review

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                upgrade w/o breaking the bank

                By P

                from Dubuque, IA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                    being just a hobbiest I am going from a standard lens that was included with my Canon RebelT3i to this lens.
                    I wanted to upgrade my gear w/o maxing my CC.
                    I was surprised by the size and weight but still easy to work with.
                    I was looking for better sharpness and DOF for smaller space shooting areas--this lens is perfect!!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Love this lens

                    By Deb115

                    from North Carolina

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                    Only one weekend of shooting but very happy with the quality of this lense. Fast focus and quiet.

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Bought mostly for the F/2.8

                    By Costa Rica photos

                    from Guiones Costa Rica

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Video
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                    I bought this for a wedding. I didn't want to have to change lens and it did great for what I needed. I am happy with it for the versatility. It did not wow me by any means like some of the prime 50mm lens I have shot but I needed something so that I would not miss the shot and this one was pretty much a guarantee to cover the focal range I needed. I was a little disappointed that some of my photos where not tack sharp but I believe the problem is more with my camera body, the canon 70D which seems to have some issues just missing the focal points. Sometimes it seems to be just off a bit. For video I love it and the combo for video with the 70D and being able to use F2.8 in lower light are super great. Video is where this combo really shines but I would need another camera body to really test it.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Lense

                    By Robert

                    from Silver Spring

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                    I purchased this Lense for my Canon 60 D. I use this Lense for video. It has a wonderful look. The 2.8 aperature is continuous. I have enjoyed the Lense.

                    Share this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great for Prosumer

                    By Shown the Light

                    from Alexandria, VA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                    This lens may not be the "L series" lens but it is more than half the price. More than good enough for those that have been using the lens kit that came with many cameras.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    Share this review

                    (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great gift completes my son's lense coll

                    By martin ( metadad)

                    from Red hook, NY,

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Video
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                      This will most likely be the go to lense for quick shooting. This will most likely stay on the body more than the other lenses.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • Yes

                      Share this review

                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Excellent Lens!

                      By Photo_Phil

                      from Foothill Ranch, CA

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Night Photography
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                        I read other reviews and wasn't sure if this lens would be a good investment, but after using it during an evening event, I was very happy that I got this lens. The f2.8 capability resulting in photos I would have not been able to get had I used the "kit" lens. I used it with my Canon 70D and 580EX II flash and was extremely happy with the focusing speed and overall image quality, even when the subject was 20 to 30 feet away. The lens does have some weight to it, but that is to be expected with a lens of this caliber. I found the construction to feel secure and I did not feel like I was using the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II "kit" lens. If you shoot low-light events, I recommend this lens and wish I invested in it earlier.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Good lighting

                        By Iain the Runner

                        from Provo, UT

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

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

                        Cons

                        • Heavy

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Sports/Action
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens:

                        The 2.8 is great, but does limit depth of field. Focus must be just right.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        Displaying reviews 1-20

                        Back to top

                        Previous | Next »