REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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

(based on 672 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (497)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (154)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (606)
  • Consistent output (421)
  • Easily interchangeable (258)
  • Strong construction (225)
  • Durable (220)

Cons

  • Heavy (199)
  • Weak casing (32)
  • Lens creep (21)
  • Difficult to clean (19)
  • Pricey / poor value (17)

Best Uses

  • Low light (333)
  • Landscape/scenery (306)
  • Night photography (275)
  • Weddings (247)
  • General purpose (152)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (217), Semi-pro photographer (119), Enthusiast (99), Casual photographer (67), Semi-professional (36)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (337), Yes (16)

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

 

An OK lens, but not worth the money

I expected this lens to really be good. I shot two projects with it and found most images not real sharp; not real bad either.
One project was just like another one...Read complete review

I expected this lens to really be good. I shot two projects with it and found most images not real sharp; not real bad either.
One project was just like another one I shot with the 24-105L lens and it didn't compare that well. the shoot had some of the same people, same background, same distance, both exposed well. I compared the same VIP in both shoots and; zoomed in, I could see the eyelashes with the 24-105L and could not with this lens. it was OK, just not sharp. I expected much more because other reviews and the price.
this lens was a refurb from Canon, which means it was gone thru by a qualified tech, and I assume met all standards of this lens.

Reviewed by 672 customers

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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

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sweet lens

By Charlie from Nashville

from Tennessee, USA.

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

I have bought about 15 Canon lenses and this is the best. It costs the most but is worth it. The lens is very sharp and not too heavy. The 2.8 f stop along with the stabilizer makes it very useful in everyday usage. I am very pleased with the purchase.

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(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beauty at the end of the lens

By Steve

from Whitetail fix

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

This is the perfect lens for my 60d. Great for everyday uses and time lapse and Astros. It was recommended by the bh staff and it's absolutely perfect

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(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent

By Heber

from Honolulu

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

I really like this lens! I recommend to everyone!

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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Lens

By Rick

from Morristown, NJ

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output

Cons

  • Flimsy construction

Best Uses

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

    The only thing I would say is that for the price this should have had a little bit of a better construction. A week or so into the use of the lens the zoom is starting to feel less smooth then it did out of the box. Overall it is a beautiful piece of Canon glass.Bottom Line: Do it.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great product

    By Banibrata

    from Tx

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

    It is just a great gadget to have

    Share this review

    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great Lens

    By ACE of Photos

    from Georgia

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

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

      Great lens and great price. Images are sharp and without any noticeable issues for me.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Undercover L Series

      By steadicam josh

      from Freehold, NJ

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Cost effective
      • Lightweight
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

      • Weak Casing

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Sports/Action
      • Video

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

      Super sharp, great price. This lens may have a plastic exterior but the glass is quality and sharp. Great for both stills and video, have used this lens on everything from a Canon T4i to a Sony F5 and found the results to be fantastic. Some slight vignetting when at lower f/ values but overall superb quality.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Sharp Wide-angle lens

      By Photo Man

      from Greenville, SC

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Sports/Action

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

        Great for landscape and social events.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        I love this lens

        By John P

        from Trumbull, CT

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Sharp photos

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Macro Photography
        • Night Photography
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events

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

        I was a bit apprehensive when I ordered the lens because of some reviewers who commented about its price/value relation but after using it for a month in the US and Europe, I'm in love with it. Photos are super sharp, video looks great, there is virtually no distortion, and the 2.8 lets me shoot in the lowest light. And, that's where this lens shines - because it has ultrasonic focus. It locks on so fast that I got shots I never would have been able to get with a slower focusing lens. If I've got one complaint, it's the weight but that's a fact of life when you have this much glass in a lens. As far as build quality, it's very good but not quite as nice as my L series f/4.0 24-105.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Replace the 18-55 kit lens

        By ontos

        from Riverside, CA

        About Me Photography Student

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • No lens hood

        Best Uses

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

          I recently purchased the Canon EF-S 17-55mm 1:2.8 IS lens to replace my kit 18-55mmk lens, I am so glad I did I have used this lens for macro shots with a extender tube (also purchased fro B&H), landscape and general walk around shots and I love it. The pictures are sharp and crisp with great saturation. I use it on my Canon 70D (purchased also from B&H) with no problems. I would recommend this lens to my friends to replce the old 18-55 kit lens.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Excelent lens

          By Gustavo

          from Boston

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

          All around lens!! Great images. Little bulky.... :)

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          5.0

          Absolutely love it-

          By ME

          from Boston, MA

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography
            • Sports/Action
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife Photos

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

            I use this instead of my 24-70 f4 is usm & the pictures are much clearer

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Excellent. You get what you pay for.

            By Rainier

            from Des Moines

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Sports/Action

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

            All around lens. Action lens. Bulky.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Work horse

            By EMS

            from New York

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

            • 55mm Is Too Short

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Macro Photography
            • Night Photography
            • Sports/Action
            • Video
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife Photos

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

            I use this lens all the time and love it. The wide is enough for my needs and opening up to f2.8 is awesome. If I had to pick on it for a reason it would be that I wish it could be a longer zoom closer to 105mm.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            LOVE THIS LENSE - OWN 2!

            By photosing

            from ohio

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

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

              Hope they continue to make this lense super awesome, my absolute fav! Seriously a must have if have crop sensor SLR - ok so I let out my secret maybe I should say otherwise :)

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              great lens!

              By Danny Cuoi

              from Greensboro, NC

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Fast / accurate auto-focus

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

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

                good for indoor event

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Awesome Lens

                By RG

                from South Carolina

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

                I was looking for a good overall video lens. This lens is definitely what I needed. The quality is amazing. You can definitely see it in the photos/video.

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                5.0

                Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 lens

                By Blue Jay

                from New York, NY

                About Me Photography Student

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Macro Photography
                • Video
                • Wildlife Photos

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

                I am using this lens on my canon 100D camera.
                It stays mounted over 90% of the time I go out shooting.
                Very good quality image. I must say it is almost as good as L lenses. Possibly the best lens for my camera that I could buy at this price.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                Great Lens

                By Geno

                from Concord, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

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

                  Fantastic lens, a bit pricey. A lot of distortion at Wide Angle

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