Canon 17-85 IS

I’ve been eyeing this lens for a while and finally bought one. I’ve wanted a better travel lens set up than having to haul the Sigma 17-35 and the 28-135 IS. I’ve never been very happy with the Sigma. It’s an OK lens optically but it just doesn’t feel as nice as the Canon lenses. Focusing and zooming with it doesn’t feel as smooth, autofocus with it is not as good as any of my Canon lenses. It filled its role well enough but I not sad to shelve it. The 17-85 IS feels exactly like what it is: an EF-S version of the 28-135 IS. So far it performs about how I expected. I’m pleased with it. I’m thinking about selling the 17-35 Sigma and the 28-135 IS, but am a little reluctant to since the new EF-S lens only works on EF-S cameras. It’s likely my DSLR for the next few years will support EF-S since Canon shows no signs of interest in larger sensors for their midrange cameras and I haven’t felt like shooting 35mm film since getting the D30 in 2000. The article Canon 20D & 17-85mm EFS IS on Luminous Landscape helped me make my decision. This was the first lens in a while I didn’t order online — I went to the place I bought the 20D from and got to play with it a bit before buying it. I recommend shopping at San Jose Camera & Video if you’re in the area. The sales staff I’ve talked to has been knowledgable and helpful and it can be extremely helpful to play with a lens in a store when making a decision. There’s no other way to really know how heavy or big a lens is going to feel in your hands.

I played with the 17-85 when I bought the 20D last year but decided not to get one then. When I decided to buy one I went back there to get it. I’ll certainly be going back when I’m looking for more gear.