Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
lens rental
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Gordon Laing, August 2006 / updated July 2007

Canon EF-S 17-55mm design

Pictured below from left to right are the Canon 17-55mm, 17-85mm and 18-55mm EF-S lenses, each zoomed-out to their widest focal lengths. With a diameter of 84mm and shortest length of 111mm, the 17-55mm is by far the largest of the three lenses here, and at 645g, the heaviest too. The 17-85mm and 18-55mm measure 78x92mm and 69x66mm, and weigh 475g and 190g respectively.



from left: Canon 17-55mm, 17-85mm and 18-55mm EF-S lenses zoomed out


The larger size and weight of the 17-55mm is of course down to its bright constant f2.8 aperture, compared to the slower optics of the other lenses here. These barrel sizes are unsurprisingly reflected in their respective filter threads, which from left to right are 77, 67 and 58mm. Lens hoods and carrying pouches are available for the 17-55 and 17-85mm as optional extras, although not including them seems a little mean, especially considering the price of the 17-55mm. Hoods and pouches comes as standard with Canon’s L models.

Pictured below are each lens zoomed-in to their longest focal lengths. Here the 17-55 and 17-85mm models both extend by 26mm, although the former does so with a single barrel, while the 18-55mm extends by 9mm. Clearly the 17-55mm remains the largest of the group.

from left: Canon 17-55mm, 17-85mm and 18-55mm EF-S lenses zoomed in


Canon 17-55mm build quality and focusing

The exterior design and build quality of the 17-55mm and 17-85mm are very similar, although the additional weight of the former lends it an air of greater confidence. Both are considerably superior to the build quality of kit 18-55mm lens, but remain below that of Canon’s L range of standard zooms. So while the 17-55mm f2.8 may comfortably be the most expensive EF-S lens yet, this range has not achieved L status so far – in terms of build anyway.

In terms of focusing, the USM motors of the 17-55 and 17-85mm are both much quicker and quieter than the budget 18-55mm. Both also employ internal focusing, whereas the 18-55mm rotates its front portion while focusing which will infuriate users of polarising filters.

Compared side by side with the 400D / Rebel XTi under normal conditions, the 17-55 and 17-85mm focusing speeds are virtually identical, although we’d say the former enjoys a very slight edge. Place both in dim light conditions though and the brighter aperture of the 17-55mm gives it a noticeable advantage over the 17-85mm. The former snaps into focus with ease, while the latter can search a little under darker conditions.


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs