Canon 17-85mm IS Lens vs Canon 17-40L Lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tom, May 17, 2005.

  1. Tom

    Tom Guest

    Seems like the latter is recommended often. The first one is one of
    those that come in a kit.

    Any pros vs cons for either? I think they are about the same price
    (not sure about this and correct me please if I'm wrong here).
    Tom, May 17, 2005
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  2. Tom

    measekite Guest

    This is not a kit lens. The max on the kit lense is 55mm.
    measekite, May 17, 2005
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  3. One is a "L" ; the other isn't.

    Here are some reviews:


    "The past is foreign country: they do things differently there."

    _The Go-Between_
    L.P. Hartley
    1895 - 1972
    John A. Stovall, May 17, 2005
  4. Tom

    Rob Guest

    Ok. Maybe wrong choice of words but it comes as a package deal with a
    lot of on line vendors.
    Rob, May 17, 2005
  5. Tom

    Rob Guest

    Tom, forgot to mention, some say the first one is nothing special but
    the second one seems to be recommended by many. Unfortunately I don't
    have either.
    Rob, May 17, 2005
  6. I have the 17-85 but don't have the 17-40. The one I have is a very nice
    walk-around lens and my guess is that it would suit most general
    photographers better since it has a wider range and image stabilization. I
    do happen to own one L lens and can indeed see the difference, but it's not
    so much that it would matter all that much to lots of folks. The reason
    that there are so many lenses is that there are so many needs (and
    Charles Schuler, May 17, 2005
  7. Tom

    Dirty Harry Guest

    Can anyone comment on how the 17-85 would do in a wedding situation? Would
    I be better off with a f1.8 50mm?
    Dirty Harry, May 18, 2005
  8. Tom

    Marten Guest

    If you don't want to spend a bundle and still get a very sharp lens for a
    wedding try a Tamron AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD. I have been reading lots of
    reviews and comments and finally bought one. It is as nice as everyone says
    it is and makes the kit 18-55 look crappy.
    Marten, May 18, 2005
  9. Tom

    Skip M Guest

    There are two 20D kits, one with the 18-55 f4-5.6 for something like $1500
    and one with the 17-85 f4-5.6 US USM for in the neighborhood of $2000.
    Locally, Calumet has both on their shelves.
    Skip M, May 18, 2005
  10. Tom

    Dirty Harry Guest

    Thanks for the info. My current selection is a 50mm f1.8 and the canon
    28-105 USM II which I like alot better then the kit lens, no f2.8 there
    though I'm defenatly gonna look into this lens...
    Dirty Harry, May 18, 2005
  11. Tom

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Given the cost of the Canon "standard" f/1.8 50mm, why not have both?

    I successfully used the f/1.8 50mm a few weeks ago taking
    pictures at a conference without using flash.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, May 18, 2005
  12. Tom

    Dirty Harry Guest

    And can anyone comment one this lens compared to the 28-135 usm IS?
    Dirty Harry, May 18, 2005
  13. Tom

    John Ortt Guest

    I bought it for just that reason but you'll have to wait until October
    before I can tell you how it did.

    Basically I had the 18-55 but I didn't think the zoom range was sufficient
    to give the flexibility I wanted so I upgraded to the 17-85. For our
    wedding (and In my opinion), the only person who can relyably use a prime
    lens is the main photographer for the 'set' shots because he can control the
    people. At all other times the people will be spread out and at different
    ranges and the 17-85 is the perfect solution to this issue.

    The only time I think a prime lens might be advantageous is at the reception
    where it is likely to be dimly lit and the lack of the ability to frame
    perfectly can be traded in for the extra light an F1/1.4 (or 1.8) would

    One thing I was trying to avoid at all costs is the need to change lenses
    for each shot as the fluid nature of wedding guests guarantees that they
    won't stay put long enough. Changing for groups of shots such as
    indoor/outdoor, group/candid isn't such an issue as you should be spending
    quite a while doing each one.

    Hope that helps anyway....please feel free to shoot me down in flames if you
    disagree :)
    John Ortt, May 18, 2005
  14. Tom

    DHB Guest

    The 17-85mm IS lens is not perfect but what lens is? Every
    lens/camera combination has it's pros & cons that need to be
    considered by who is going to use it, what it's primary use, how
    often, how long? etc......

    For your understanding I own a17-85mm IS, a 28-138mm IS & A
    Digital Rebel/300D. The 17-85mm IS lens is a good quality lens that
    does for the Digital Rebel/300D (1.6x crop factor) what the 28-135mm
    IS does for a full frame DLSR or 35mm film SLR.

    The lens, like me has a few weaknesses but both it & I are
    capable of taking very good pictures if our combined strengths &
    weaknesses are considered & compensated for. No regrets after
    considerable use with both aside from wishing that the 17-85mm IS lens
    was maybe $100 or $200 less than the $600 US I paid for it. Canon
    knows that this zoom range is ideal for many people as an good general
    purpose walking around lens & correctly figured that enough people
    would pay $600 for this convenience to make it profitable.

    Yes it has some noticeable distortion @ the ex teems of it's
    zoom range, especially full wide angle but it your subjects are people
    as with most of what I use it for, it's no problem. If you take
    pictures of tall building in narrow ally ways, then yes you will
    notice it.

    Most of Canon's "L" glass lens certainly are extremely good
    quality but not everybody can afford them or justify the expense for
    "their needs", I know I can not. As for the humble 50mm f1.8 Mk II
    lens, at about $70 US it's a no brainer in low light situations. No
    it's not mechanically built as well as the 50mm f1.4 but it also does
    not cost about 3.5x the cost either.

    Bottom line: Consider "your" needs, "your" budget & lastly
    "your" standards. Then go with what serves "your" needs best. So you
    can place all of this in perspective, I am an amateur photographer
    with 25+ years with 35mm film SLRs & 5+ years in digital photography.

    Respectfully, DHB

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
    DHB, May 18, 2005
  15. Tom

    prep Guest

    Yes, indoors, iffy lighting, f1.8 gives AF and your eye much better
    chance of getting the shot in time. Plus WAY sharper and higher
    contrast. A 50 can be a bit long indoors though, 40 odd mm gives
    just that bit extra.

    If possible get an original f1.8 so you can prefocus the lens.

    Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
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    prep, May 19, 2005
  16. Tom

    Mike Engles Guest


    The 17-85 suffers from really bad Chromatic Aberation and barrel
    distortion at 17mm. If you have Adobe Camera RAW, the aberation can be

    and there is a filter called Flo's Undistort, that will correct the
    barrel distortion.

    I don't know if the 17-40 is any better.

    Mike Engles
    Mike Engles, May 19, 2005
  17. Tom

    DHB Guest

    Mike Engles,
    Flo's Undistort sounds like a very good program & if
    it will work with Adobe Elements 3.0 than I will very likely order it.
    The type of photography that I usually do is rarely adversely effected
    by the limitations of this lens when used @ it's extremes. However,
    there are always a few exceptions that could be improved by such
    software, so it would be nice to have for those occasions.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Respectfully, DHB
    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
    DHB, May 19, 2005
  18. Tom

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    You can reduce most of the coloration, but you will still have an
    JPS, May 20, 2005
  19. Tom

    Zed Pobre Guest

    Mostly compensated for, anyway. It can't generally be completely
    removed, but you can generally clean it up well enough to be mostly

    The distortion goes almost completely away at 24mm, to be replaced by
    very mild pincushion distortion from around 30mm-85mm, which is fairly
    easy to correct. I think of it as a fairly good 24-85 IS lens, with
    an emergency 17-24 mode for when I don't have the opportunity to
    change to the 10-22.

    The 17-85 also suffers from a slight vulnerability to flaring, even
    with a lens hood, but only when shooting into a light source.
    Zed Pobre, May 20, 2005
  20. Tom

    SamSez Guest

    you guys are smoking something....
    SamSez, May 21, 2005
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