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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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

(based on 747 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (556)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (164)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

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 747 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Excellent for intermediate artists

By Jessica

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

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

I love this lens! It is absolutely my workhorse lens.

It's strong wonderful quality and the glass is clear and crisp.

It's great for photographers who want to move  from beginner to intermediate.

This gets you a wider aperture (lower f-stop number, blurry background) and the versatility of a zoom lens.

It can be used in many different situations in the field and in the studio.

Tip: for those interested in landscape and nature shots, starting learning about filters.

I pair it with a 70D body and keep a B+W 70mm MRC polarizing filter on it 100 percent of the time.

This was a painful financial plunge but absolutely worth the investment.

This opens up a huge world of opportunities for those who want to move past kit lenses and become more artistic.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

not a great match for canon 70d

By Fernando

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer
Staff Reviewer

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

Probably a great lens , but when used with canon 70d it shows issues with focusing specially when using the central spot with the viewfinder , it will work fine with live view but off course it will shoot at slower speed , it will be complicated to do micro adjustment because you have to do it at different focal lenght.
Also the background defocus isnt very immpresive.
At this price I was expecting a sharp focus.
I returned and got a 85mm 1.8 a prime but much better lens , with a great back ground defocus .

 
5.0

Superb Lens and B&H Service

By Tony

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

The first copy of this lens was defective with obvious lack of centering ... the left side was out of focus. B & H took it back and sent me another, this one is superb ... tack sharp edge to edge and in the center.  Thank you B&H for your service ... this time I lucked out and got a very good copy.  One of Canon's best lenses when you get a good one.

 
5.0

Great lens.

By John

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Great lens. I considered the more inexpensive Sigma and Tamron alternatives, but have heard mixed reviews about both of those. Most reviews stated that if you are willing to spend the extra money this is the lens to buy.

 
5.0

Needs to be in everybodys camera bag.

By Austin

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Fast lens, quick focus. Great in low light. Everything I was hoping for.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Just what I expect

By Otavio

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

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

I read about this lens and found that this one is the best canon lens to crop frame. It is very good! I still exploring photography with it, but I noticed that it works very well. The auto focus is very precise and fast.

The only bad thing that I think is when you have the subject in focus and use the zoom, you have to focus again. Sometimes it doesn't make any difference, but when you're in a beach with no light at all, trying to take a milky way photo, it is very bad too keep refocusing everytime you change your composition with the zoom.

(11 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Disappointed with C100

By BSim

from Los Angeles

Verified Buyer

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

I researched this lens thoroughly reading reviews from doc filmmakers. The lens is 12 years old, so I wasn't expecting a lot. I've been using the 24-70mm 2.8 on the C100 (which is a brilliant lens) and I was willing to give up some of the IQ for IS function. When I tested against the 24-70mm the difference was staggering. the 17-55 was so soft I deem it unusable in certain circumstances. The IS was not worth the dramatic image quality loss, so I returned it.

(0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lens

By Dave

from NJ

Verified Buyer

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

I've been very happy with this lens. I get very sharp images out of this lens paired with my 80d outdoors and indoors. The weight makes for quick discomfort during hikes when it's around my neck since the camera wants to rotate forward but its worth it for the excellent images.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

One of my favorites!!!!!!!!

By David

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

Semi Pro Photographer: I own quite a few Canon L and prime lenses.
All give me great results. If this lens fits your needs. Don't hesitate to buy. I shoot a lot in close quarters with low light. I use this lens and a 50mm 1.8. All I need.
If you need a longer focal length buy a different lens.

 
5.0

A serious lens for serious work!

By Charlie

from Pueblo, CO

Verified Buyer

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

For the small amount of shots I have taken they are very sharp and of very high quality. I'll soon know more.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing Lens!

By We Studios

from Detroit, MI

Verified Buyer

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

I use this lens for wedding videography and I cannot say enough great things about it! It's perfect for low light settings and with the great zoom it has, I don't have to keep switching back and forth between other lenses. I highly recommend this to anyone from amateur photographers to professionals!

 
5.0

This lens is a very good lens. Go for it. buy it.

By Cape Fear Photography

from Hampstead, NC

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

I purchased this lens in 2006. It is wonderful. I would buy it again. It is on my camera 99% of the time. The amount of keepers I get are outstanding.

 
5.0

Better than expected

By Dave

from Hubbardston, MA

Verified Buyer

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

I've had the 17-40 f/4 L since my 10D; however, after the lense was recently stolen I decided to give this one a try as a replacement on my current 7DMkII. I was a little hesitant since I really liked the build quality and internal zoom qualities of the L; but I'll now take this lens any day over the 17-40. It's sharp; sharper, I'm sure than my old 17-40. It's also f/2.8 and has excellent stabilization. It also finally overcomes the my main complaint with the L, which was that 40mm was always fell just short of being a decent portrait focal length. 55mm is perfect.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lens

By VideoGuru

from Missouri

Verified Buyer

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

I'm shooting this on a C100. great glass, quite focus, good image stabilization

 
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.

(4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
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.

 
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
     
    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

      (2 of 3 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
         
        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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