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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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

(based on 753 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (562)

  • 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 753 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Excellent Lens

By Jose

from Pembroke Pines, Fl.

Verified Buyer

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

This is the lens I was waiting for for my Canon 70D. It is a true 15-55mm and with an F2.8 becomes awesome. Lots of details and high dynamic. Almost and L lens.

 
5.0

Great lense

By matt w

from Undisclosed

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

great for low light shooting

 
5.0

Excellent buy!

By Anil

from NJ

Verified Buyer

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

It has been a while since I wanted a lens with f/2.8 for low light situations at the parties. It was so frustrating all these years and finally I got it. I already used for 2 parties and wow! Pictures are far better than any of my other lenses.

 
5.0

Great walk-around lens

By RJ

from Undisclosed

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

Bought the lens just before a school play and a trip to Europe, it never left the camera. Outstanding for low light/night photos, landscapes, portraits, etc. It's a little heavy but I was not uncomfortable after wearing it around my neck all day, plus I like the solid feel. Used it on an 80D.

 
5.0

Great lens for the Canon C100

By Thomas

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

I've used this lens on my Canon C100 to shoot wedding videos for three years now. Is it the perfect lens? No. Is it the sharpest lens, probably not. But for a wedding videographer, I don't believe you can do better. During a wedding shoot, my C100 will transition from monopod to tripod to glidecam to handheld continuously throughout the day. The image stabilization could be better, but compared to no IS, it's a life saver. If you have the time to set up sliders and rigs, then by all means go for the sharper glass such as the Canon 24-70 f2.8 L. I own this lens also, but any vibrations on the monopod or glidecam will show up in your video. Due to the slow shutdown and startup times of the C100, switching lenses isn't feasible. If you miss the moment powering up, you've missed the moment! You need a lens that will work the entire event and function adequately in every situation. I don't shoot with a video light....period! It's to intrusive during such events, even at the reception. The f2.8 is a welcome feature for low lit receptions and combined with the C100's high usable ISO, even father/bride dances are no problem! Would I love to have a little more zoom? Definitely! But due to the tight quarters I find myself shooting, especially when the bride and groom are getting ready, I simply cannot sacrifice the 17mm wide end of this lens. So, is it perfect....no. Is there anything better for my application....not that I can find.

 
5.0

Best lens ever!

By Stephanie

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

This lens is the PERFECT lens!! I love it!!

(1 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
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 11 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 .

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
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 6 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.

(13 of 20 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.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

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

By David

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

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

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