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

(based on 663 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (488)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (154)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (604)
  • Consistent output (417)
  • Easily interchangeable (256)
  • Strong construction (223)
  • Durable (218)

Cons

  • Heavy (198)
  • Weak casing (31)
  • Lens creep (21)
  • Difficult to clean (19)
  • Pricey / poor value (17)

Best Uses

  • Low light (329)
  • Landscape/scenery (303)
  • Night photography (273)
  • Weddings (246)
  • General purpose (152)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (217), Semi-pro photographer (115), Enthusiast (99), Casual photographer (66), Semi-professional (36)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (332), 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

 

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 663 customers

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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

(1 of 1 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

      (1 of 1 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

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      (1 of 1 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

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        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

            Share this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great alternative to L lenses

            By Chris B.

            from Chicago, IL

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Fast On Crop Sensors
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events

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

              Had to have this lens when I discovered Canon made it. So when I ordered a Canon 70D for both stills and video for my publishing company, I got this to go with it. I love it! The fast speed gives me nice bokeh even in wider angle settings. Autofocus is fast and quiet and the whole lens feels as solid as an L lens for a whole lot less money.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              4.0

              Great lense for on the field.

              By albyrd

              from Fairfax, VA

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

              I use this lense the most with my blackmagic cinema camera. If you need a lense where you are out and about and you are not sure what you plan to capture this one is very versatile.

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              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              The undercover "L" lens!

              By DSLR Mike

              from Los Angeles, CA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Heavy
              • No hood included

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Long Exposures
              • Macro Photography
              • Night Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events

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

              This lens may not have the "red ring" or water resistant build quality, but optically, this IS an "L" lens. For those of you who have an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and are wondering how much better could this 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, that cost more than my camera be, the answer is NIGHT & DAY!!! My pics went from meh to WOW. The quality of the optics creates virtually no vignetting (slight darkness in the corners) and the focus is consistent and razor sharp across the entire image. Speaking of focus, this could be the quickest focusing lens that Canon has ever made. Doesn't matter if it's stills or video, the AF on this lens continues to blow me away. The constant f/2.8 amazes me. You can get some very impressive shallow depth of field shots and it also delivers beautiful Bokeh (background blur). The ability to zoom with a constant aperture makes it great for those videographers out there. Could this lens be a smidgen cheaper? Could it be a little less heavy? In my opinion you have two choices. You can get hung up on those two questions and end up doing nothing, or you can step up, buy this lens, and have the same wonderful experience I've had. If you are a Canon owner and, like me, a fan of the APS-C format, this is the BEST APS-C lens on the market today!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              An Amazing Value Wide Angle Zoom

              By Byron Flagg

              from Millbury, MA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

                    This lens is wide, fast and sharp, with Canon's amazing image stabilization. Along with a relatively low price, why would you keep looking elsewhere?

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    fast and sharp

                    By Sheila

                    from Buckeye Arizona

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

                    I have been using this lens on my 60D for the past year. It is fast and sharp. I have used it in a few weddings. I love the wide angle and the ability to also get nice and close. 1.2 feet!!!! Love it! I have had some chromatic aberration when shooting into harsh light but nothing a little Lightroom cant fix. I keep this lens on my body 90% of the time. Also use it for families, children, portraits and action shots of my kids and horses. Always nice color and clearity! Even at a farther distance and even at 2.8. Its a bit heavy but you get used it. Also takes nice video. I am very happy with this purchase! Best lens out there for a crop frame body.

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                    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great lens for the price

                    By coinsrus

                    from Richmond, VA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Excellent in low light
                    • 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:

                      Used in lowlight and urban photo shoots. The f 2.8 allows great shots at higher shutter speeds in low light.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      AWESOME LENS

                      By Seb Young

                      from New York City

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Video

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

                        I bought this lens for my t5i and i love it. the quality in this glass beats out the 18-55 kit lens by a long shot. i was surprised on how clear this leans is. i now i have better photos and much better videos. quality is awesome. it does a great job in low lighting and with the 2.8 aperture the zoom is also great… I LOVE IT…

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Fast sharp lens with one major defect

                        By M in AZ

                        from Phoenix, AZ

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Nice Bokeh

                        Cons

                        • Heavy

                        Best Uses

                        • Weddings/Events

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

                        This is an excellent lens, very sharp, very fast, and of solid construction (although, as others have pointed out, not up to L caliber). It is a great lens especially for the price but there is one caveat - it suffers from marked lens flare.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        sturdy lens, great pics

                        By outdoors dave

                        from Knoxville, TN

                        About Me Casual Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

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

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

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

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

                          nice lens for my crop sensor EF-S 20D. Feels much more solid and well built than the EF-S lens that came with the camera. Not quite L-quality but close enough! Image Stabilization is a nice plus.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

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