Canon EOS-350D / Digital Rebel XT with 18-55mm f3.5~5.6 II EF-S lens

Intro

   

Looking to upgrade your 350D / XT’s kit lens, but not sure which model to go for? Check out our video below which compares the standard EF-S 18-55mm against three popular general purpose alternatives, including the stabilised EF-S 17-85mm. The camera we used in the video was an EOS 400D, but all the lenses work on the EOS 350D and the comments equally apply. If you’re interested in seeing results from each model along with a detailed discussion of their pros and cons, check out our full Canon kit lens group test.

There’s no need to download any new software – just press the play button in the middle of the screen below and wait for the video to start; you may need to press the button twice. The quality and any delay before playing may vary depending on your internet connection.


Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Good points
Flexible 5x optical zoom ratio
Effective Image Stabilisation
Fast and quiet USM focussing motor
Polariser-friendly internal focussing

Bad points
Visible light fall-off and softening in corners
Relatively expensive for specification
Lens hood not included
Only compatible with EF-S bodies

Scores
(relative to 18-55mm kit lens)
 

Build quality:
Optical quality:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:


20 / 25
19 / 25
20 / 25
20 / 25

79%

 

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Good points
Bright f2.8 aperture throughout zoom range
Effective Image Stabilisation
Fast and quiet USM focusing motor
Superb low-light performance

Bad points
Relatively expensive
Construction not ‘L’ standard despite price
Range shorter than cheaper EF-S 17-85mm
Lens hood not included

Scores
(relative to 18-55mm kit lens)
 

Build quality:
Optical quality:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:


20 / 25
20 / 25
22 / 25
15 / 25

77%

 

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Good points
Canon ‘L’ build and optical quality
Fast and quiet USM focusing motor
Constant f4 aperture throughout range
Will also work on full-frame body

Bad points
Shorter zoom range than kit lens
No IS (although not particularly necessary)
Overkill if not considering full-frame in future

Scores
(relative to 18-55mm kit lens)
 

Build quality:
Optical quality:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:


22 / 25
21 / 25
18 / 25
16 / 25

77%

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