REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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

(based on 733 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (545)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (163)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (641)
  • Consistent output (445)
  • Easily interchangeable (282)
  • Strong construction (244)
  • Durable (241)

Cons

  • Heavy (216)
  • Weak casing (34)
  • Lens creep (22)
  • Difficult to clean (19)
  • Pricey / poor value (18)

Best Uses

  • Low light (360)
  • Landscape/scenery (328)
  • Night photography (288)
  • Weddings (268)
  • General purpose (152)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (237), Semi-pro photographer (128), Enthusiast (99), Casual photographer (72), Pro photographer (44)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (378), Yes (21)

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

 

Too expensive for what you get

The addition of image stabilization to a lens in this focal length range, coupled with a constant f2.8 aperture, is a nice concept. I bought this lens because I wanted something that would...Read complete review

The addition of image stabilization to a lens in this focal length range, coupled with a constant f2.8 aperture, is a nice concept. I bought this lens because I wanted something that would enable me to shoot indoors without a flash, and also enable me to get some nice wide angle landscape shots as well. I found that it did both reasonably well, but the sharpness at the edges was disappointing for a lens this expensive (at least with my copy on the 50D), especially using it wide open indoors. Flare was also quite noticeable, even with the use of the lens hood (which did not come with the lens, despite the price). Finally, for a lens this expensive, the build was not as robust as I would have liked (although not bad either). The fact that this lens will not be useable for a full frame DSLR (which might limit its resale value), coupled with the dust issues that others have mentioned, and also given the flare issues, make this lens an expensive compromise. Will be nice for some, but others might be better off waiting for the price to come way down, or waiting for something better to come along in a more useable focal length range like 17-85mm (Canon does have a lens in the 17-85mm range, but it has had mixed reviews). I'm not so convinced that the image stabilizaton feature of this lens by itself is worth paying close to [$] for it, given the other issues that I've mentioned. Other people really like this lens and state that it's the best lens that they've ever owned, so it clearly can be good for some. It's not the best for me, but I think that my review is pretty balanced regarding the pros and cons....

Reviewed by 733 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Outstanding Non L Glass

By Edgar

from Atlanta

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

This lens delivers sharp images more consistently than any other non-L lens I have used. Focus is quick. It is my new walk around lens.

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5.0

Great match for C100 mk II

By Mike

from Hawaii

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

This lens is a perfect match for my C100 mk II. I shoot a lot of handheld video, so the image stabilization is awesome. The zoom range is pretty good. I only wish that it came with a lens hood, but that's minor.

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5.0

Pretty Good!

By Jack Frost

from Florida

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Heavy / But
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Worth Schlepping!

Cons

    Best Uses

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

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

    I've owned this remarkable Canon lens since October 2013. I've taken several cruises to South America and Europe as well as trips to Disney and across Florida. On our 50 day cruise to Europe the lens was my primary go to lens for most of the sights including the Vatican, Pompeii, the Parthenon and other well known sites. In South America, despite the heat and humidity the lens functioned wonderfully. Never failed. Sometimes I wish it had just a bit more range like 15 - 150 mm. But, as is, it works. I complemented this lens with a canon 18-135 STM lens and canon L lens 70-200mm F4. Definitely a good all around lens. Great in museums and scenic areas.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Primary lens for my cropped camera

    By JBAswoll

    from Addis, LA

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

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

      This will be your go to lens for everyday shoots. It's a little heavy but manageable. The IS is a nice feature as well.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Awesome lens!

      By Joe

      from Yorba Linda, CA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Lightweight
      • Rugged

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action

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

        What an awesome lens! My yearbook staff uses it to shoot sports, assemblies and around campus and it always gives them great photos.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Great lens

        By Jackie

        from Fresno, C A

        Verified Buyer

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

        This is very sharp and soft focused lens. I've been shooting my dogs recently and pictures came out very good.

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        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        A Good Lens, But Is It A Great Lens?

        By Islandhopper3

        from Key Largo, FL

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • Expensive
        • Sharp Center Soft Edges

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery

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

        I sold my kit 18-55mm because I use primes in that range, but after the reviews, and sample photos of the 17-55mm tempted me for almost 9 months I ponied-up, and bought the lens. I would like to write the lens' performance is worth the premium, that I'm a true believer, and everyone should have one, but it just hasn't made that kind of impression on me. If it cost half as much? Maybe, but only maybe. On a T6i, at ISO 100, f2.8-5.6: IQ? About average when enlarged, and not what I expected. Sharp-ish in the center, but soft around the edge. No noticeable CA, or vignetting, and it didn't slow down the T6i's AF. So, it's a good lens, but my 70-300 produces equally good, if not better images, and my recollection is the kit 18-55 IS STM performed just as well. So, it's going back. Maybe I'll try the 17-40 f4L.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        One of my favorites

        By IronJazz Photos

        from Brooklyn, NY

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

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

          Just as good as any "L" lens.
          I upgraded to a 5D II from a 40 D years ago,but I liked this lens so much,I purchased a 7D just to use it. Great in my low light concert photography. Never a miss-focus. Always get clear beautiful pic's.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          wide angle lens

          By gi

          from mexico

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fast / accurate auto-focus

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Wildlife Photos

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

            Beautiful lens, very happy with the medium wide angle aperture with a zoom range very adaptable.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            4.0

            Low light and Image Stabilized

            By Smedley Butler

            from San Francisco, CA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

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

              I've been using a Nikon D7100. Nice camera, but for video, it's front heavy and my lens has no image stabilization. I can't wait to test it in low light, but since it goes to f2.8 and is matched with my new EOS 100 Mark II, it should produce great results. I've only made one video so far with this, but it's great, and easy so far.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              This is my go-to lens 90% of the times.

              By Peter

              from Montreal Canada

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Fast
              • Reliable
              • Sharp

              Cons

              • Heavy
              • Not Ff Compatible

              Best Uses

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

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

              My first copy of this lens died after seven years (my fault, not the lens'). I did think of getting an EF lens as a replacement for it because that would have given me the option of moving to a FF camera at some point. But after careful consideration I opted for another copy of the EF-S 17-55. This is just a superb lens for a hand held crop camera because of its speed and it absolutely shines for landscapes photography when mounted on a tripod.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Very good lens

              By SHAZAD

              from dallas

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

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

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

              It works very good, but I need to do micro adjustments like +6 with canon 80D, but after that works pretty good.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Great Upgrade

              By KTiger

              from Lexington Park, MD

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Focus Ring Location

              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 was looking for an upgrade to my 18-135 kit lens and considering many different lenses prior to making my purchase of this lens. There were a greater majority of positive reviews and a handful of negative reviews, mainly dealing with the weight of the lens and issues regarding dust.

              I've only had the lens for a couple of weeks but have been very happy with it. I personally like the weight of the lens on my camera body (7D). It is noticeable, but honestly what you'd expect.

              Focus- The focus is very fast and very sharp. My favorite part is the fixed f-stop. It is awesome setting the shutter speed, and being able to recompose the picture slightly with focal length and not having to adjust anything. Huge plus!

              Construction- it's made out of plastic, yes, but I'm moving from a kit lens made of...you guessed it- plastic. Besides, if it were made out of metal, people would then complain it was too heavy. For me it works just fine, to each his own.

              Zoom- On paper, I like the idea of having more zoom, but in practice, I have not encountered 'wishing' I had more zoom available. This is a great walk-around lens and if I need more zoom, then it's likely for a single picture, and so be it, I'll swap my lens for a longer reach.

              Negatives: The only thing I found a little odd was that the focus ring was behind the zoom ring. I'm used to it being in front and found myself initially gripping the wrong ring. Not a big deal, just an observation.

              Overall though- very happy with this purchase and looking forward to using it more.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              4.0

              Mixed emotions

              By Kevin

              from Hawaii

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Fast / accurate auto-focus

              Cons

              • Heavy
              • Weak Casing

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action

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

              I have mixed emotions when it comes to this lens. I purchased it a few years ago and it has served me well. The 2.8 is great for action and low-light indoor shooting. However, my main problem has been the build quality - casing and exposure of the internals to climate. I live in Hawaii - it's hot and humid. I've sent the lens in for mold removal once and it's back again. Admittedly, this may partly be due to me not having a great controlled environment to store it (no A/C). In the end, it's more work in post to do spot removal.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Outstanding!

              By ADK Al

              from Adirondack Mountains, NY

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

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

                I decided to up-grade my basic 18 to 55mm lens after it failed ~ wow, what an improvement! The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM opens a whole new experience. I use it for my "every day" lens and despite its somewhat extra weight, this is the lens that I have mounted on my camera most of the time. I love its performance in low light situations and the control I have over its depth of field.
                Well worth the price ~ the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens is a most welcome addition to my collection Canon gold ring collection!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Nice All Around Lens

                By Willie

                from Pasadena, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Lens Creep
                • Weak Casing

                Best Uses

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

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

                I have many cameras and lenses. However, I wanted a good lens for my Canon 7D MKII crop sensor camera and this lens came to mind. It opens wide at f/2.8, gives nice bokeh and excellent in low light situations. I have taken some amazing pictures with this lens. I do have a wide selections of lenses and full frame cameras but, when I need to move quickly and get something done on the fly, I pull the 7D and this lens. I couldn't be happier with the result and I highly recommended to professionals and amateurs. Can't go wrong. Professional quality at a low price.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Very Satisfied

                By DavidT

                from St. Paul MN

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Great Photo Results

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

                    Purchased as a general walk around lens that can be used indoor and out. I wanted a faster zoom for 7DmkII that could be used without flash indoor but had zoom. It is not a metal L series lens but quality of workmanship is really good for what it is. Optics are great and the pictures are very impressive. I was considering an L but this better fit the role I am using it for. I have several L series lenses and I don't feel let down by the EF-S quality, though it will not be used out in the woods and mountains, the sealed L series lenses will be used for that.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Great lenses

                    By The Skater

                    from San Jose, CA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Nice Bokeh

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

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

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

                    These are great lenses for every situation use.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Excellent lens

                    By Laura

                    from Fort Collins, CO

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

                    One of the best lenses out there. Great for depth of field shots and not to expensive for the quality you receive. I'd highly reccomend it!

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                    5.0

                    Very Sharp, perfect with 7D

                    By JCR

                    from Temecula, CA

                    About Me Photography Student

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Weddings/Events

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

                    I use this lens to shoot car shows and family functions. Its a great walk around lens. I love the bokeh on it and it produces "L" type lens quality shots. It's a bit heavy so be prepared for a bit of an arm workout. Worth it though!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

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