Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4~5.6 IS USM lens review

Intro

The Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4~5.6 IS USM was announced in August 2004 as general purpose zoom for Canon digital SLRs with EF-S lens mounts; compatible bodies include the EOS 300D / Rebel, EOS 350D / Rebel XT, EOS 400D / Rebel XTi, EOS 20D and EOS 30D. EF-S lenses are not compatible with the EOS 10D, nor any Canon bodies with larger sensors including the EOS 5D, 1D Mark III or 1Ds Mark II.

The Canon EF-S 17-85mm delivers a 5x optical zoom ratio with an equivalent focal range of 27-136mm on a 35mm or full-frame body. This offers both wide angle and reasonable telephoto coverage, and a more useful overall range than the budget EF-S 18-55mm kit lens commonly bundled with compatible bodies. The optical construction consists of 17 elements in 12 groups. The EF-S 17-85mm also features Image Stabilisation facilities which claim up to three stops of compensation against camera-shake.

In this review we’ll take an in-depth look at the EF-S 17-85mm lens. We tested it with the EOS-350D / Rebel XT body and compared its performance against the budget EF-S 18-55mm and higher-end 17-40mm f4L lenses. The EF-S 17-85mm lens tested had a serial number of 92001769.

Click here for the Canon EF-S 17-85mm video tour

UPDATE: We have now tested the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens and compared it against the three lenses here using our latest charts. Visit our Canon EF-S 17-55mm review for the latest results. To see how these lenses also compare on an EOS 400D / XTi, see our latest Canon lens group test.

NEW: For an overview of the headline features of the EF-S 17-85mm lens, check out our Canon EF-S 17-85mm video tour.

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