#1  
Old 12-09-2006, 11:37 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Question Canon 17-40L vs 17-85 USM IS

Hi guys.

I'm tossing up between the Canon 17-40L, and the 17-85 USM IS lens.

Both have their pros and cons..

17-40L:
Pros:
- "L" series optics
- Sharp
- Great build

Cons:
- Limited zoom range
- Cost ($1000+)


17-85 USM IS:
Pros:
- Image Stabilisation
- Good zoom range
- Cheaper ($750+)

Cons:
- Not as sharp as the 17-40L.


Any experiences, thoughts or comments on these two?

I'd like the best optics, but i'm worried about the limited zoom range. I'm also worried about the cost.

The 17-85 has everything else going for it, with 5x zoom range, "IS" and is a bit cheaper too.

It's to replace my 18-55mm stock lens that i've used since I bought the camera (10 months ago). I've already got the 70-300mm (also the stock lens). I'm also considering getting the 50mm f/1.8 as a portrait lens.

Appreciate your feedback.
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2006, 05:09 PM
gbeal
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I am a definite believer in the 17-40. I haven't used the 17-85.
Although it wasn't astro orientated, I took both the 17-40 L and the 70-200L to Sydnet recently, and had to force myself to use the 70-200 (three shots, all from the Opera House of climbers on the bridge), I wish I had just taken the 17-40.
Sharp it is, and possibly you won't fully appreciate this until you point it skyward. If you can I would suggest you try it skyward first (the 17-85 that is) as astro shots ARE demanding on optics.
Gary
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:43 PM
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33South (Chris)
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Mike my 2cents - I have no practical experience but have read several reviews recently In anticipation of buying a lens myself.

The L series are in a league of their own and a bit more than I really want to spend also I get the feeling that the 17-85 is not all it could be.

This site has a good range of detailed (and independant?) rewiews of various lenses on the EOS range. The Verdict at the end of the report on the 17-85 is worth a read. Interestingly they also rate the Sigma 17-80 a better lens.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

Go the 17-40L, you know you want to.
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Old 12-09-2006, 06:09 PM
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Striker (Tony)
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17-40

No need to say anything else.
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2006, 07:02 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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Thanks Chris, interesting quote..

Quote:
So at the end of the day the lens is a tad better than the cheapo EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 but it can't really compete with the EF 17-40mm f/4 USM L which offers a superior (corner) performance as well as build quality (for a few bucks more). The key feature of the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS remains in versatility. While this may sound a little sceptical I should note that I preferred the lens compared to other higher quality options during testing - it is simply a darn convenient lens and despite the flaws it can produce very decent images as you can see from the samples - at least with a little tool support.
As expected, nothing will beat the optics of the 17-40, but it's the versatility (IS, zoom range, Macro) of the 17-85 that would make it so useful to me.

Gary, while this will probably be used for some widefield astro, it's main purpose will be terrestrial shots.

Tony get your lens back and sell it to me!

I'm still undecided
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:18 PM
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Interesting reading about the Sigma 17-70, it does get a good review. It's also significantly cheaper (on ebay, approx $520).

Doesn't have the IS, but it does have the good zoom range and is much more within the budget.
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  #7  
Old 13-09-2006, 08:19 AM
Sharnbrook (Mike)
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Hi Mike,
Have you had a look at the POTN website? (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php) This site specialises in Canon Gear, and has a whole section devoted to lenses, both Canon and Sigma, Tokina etc etc. You would almost certainly get some opinions from there. The 24-105 L IS USM looks good, but you would want a healthy bank balance to buy it. ($1600 -1700 +GST)

Regards,

Mike
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Old 13-09-2006, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharnbrook
Hi Mike,
The 24-105 L IS USM looks good, but you would want a healthy bank balance to buy it. ($1600 -1700 +GST)

Regards,

Mike
And don't forget that 24mm equates to about 35mm in the "normal" DSLR chip. 17mm is ony just wide enough.
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Old 13-09-2006, 07:53 PM
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Mike,

Just for you ( )have added a few test images made with the Sigma 17-70 of the milky way at different focal lengths:

http://www.pbase.com/terrylovejoy/sigma1770

The filename in the caption gives you the focal length followed by the focal ration (decimal point omitted). All images processed similiarly in IRIS and are 2 minute exposures at ISO400 with a standard 350D.

PS Photocontinental in Brisbane are selling them for $479 at the moment.

Terry
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Old 13-09-2006, 08:16 PM
Sharnbrook (Mike)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbeal
And don't forget that 24mm equates to about 35mm in the "normal" DSLR chip. 17mm is ony just wide enough.
Yes. I appreciate that, but I have heard of people using this lens as a "walk around" lens. It's horses for courses, and this is not a recommendation, just another option.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 14-09-2006, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CometGuy
Just for you ( )have added a few test images made with the Sigma 17-70 of the milky way at different focal lengths:
Terry, thanks for posting the link to your comparison.. It's very telling really, and chimes with the reviews I've read..

That is, quite a lot of barrel distortion at the 17mm end, but quite acceptable over the rest of the range. As an upgrade from the kit lens, it looks like a nice, affordable alternative.

$479 is a very good price too! Thanks very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharnbrook
Yes. I appreciate that, but I have heard of people using this lens as a "walk around" lens
I've read the same things about the Canon 17-85 IS, since it's got a good zoom range, IS (great for handheld down to 1/30s) and sharp at most focal lengths, it's said that if you can only carry one lens around, it's a great one to have.

It's significantly more expensive than the Sigma 17-70, with the addition of IS and slightly longer zoom range, and for sharpness they appear to be similar, with both of them being pretty bad at the 17mm end.

Thanks for your inputs, keep them coming.. i'm still open to ideas as I haven't made a decision yet.
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Old 14-09-2006, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman
Terry, thanks for posting the link to your comparison.. It's very telling really, and chimes with the reviews I've read..

That is, quite a lot of barrel distortion at the 17mm end, but quite acceptable over the rest of the range. As an upgrade from the kit lens, it looks like a nice, affordable alternative.

$479 is a very good price too! Thanks very much.
I agree thanks Terry those shots just about made up my mind for me. The CA in the terrestrial shots seems pretty good to my poor old eyes.

The referred supplier at $479 is out of stock, I wonder how much P&P plus insurance would bump it up ?

Ive got a Sydney store who when asked the price said $799 I mentioned the $479 price and he then spoke to the boss (sound familiar) then said he would do it for $530

Thinking.......
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Old 14-09-2006, 02:21 PM
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Chris, let's buy them together and screw them down on price even more...

2 people buying is better than 1!
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Old 14-09-2006, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman
Chris, let's buy them together and screw them down on price even more...

2 people buying is better than 1!
Yeah baby, Ill go in tomorrow and see what he can do for us.
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Old 14-09-2006, 06:10 PM
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Mike, I bought the 17-70 Sigma on Terrys (CometGuy) recommendation some time ago, I bought it from my local Camera shop for $470 after finding a price in Oz on the net of $460 delivered free (which I suspect was a mistake). I simply asked my local dealer if he could come up with a close price, not necessarily cheaper and he obliged. I'm very happy with my lens, compared to the standard lens it is very good. I can't say I've noticed any barrel distortion but if apparent, it's easily removed with photoshop. BTW centre.net.au have it for $477.95 at the moment. Shipping to Gosford overnight is $13.

Last edited by acropolite; 14-09-2006 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 14-09-2006, 06:29 PM
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That's a nice price, Phil, and great to hear of another good experience. While i'd like the "IS" of the 17-85, at 40% cheaper I can't justify going past the sigma.

Chris, make sure you screw them down to at least $450-$460 each (for 2), if we can get it for $477.95 on the 'net.

Obviously I need it with a Canon mount.
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Old 14-09-2006, 08:44 PM
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I have read many adverse user reports on the Canon IS 17-85. Apparently the IS 17-85 is quite variable in quality and some users claim that their (Canon) lenses have been a real disappointment.
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Old 15-09-2006, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolite
I have read many adverse user reports on the Canon IS 17-85. Apparently the IS 17-85 is quite variable in quality and some users claim that their (Canon) lenses have been a real disappointment.
Yep, which is another reason for springing the wallet open a little wider, and getting the "L" series ones.
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Old 15-09-2006, 10:39 AM
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The sigma is $499 at this place:
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod2838.htm

So we definitely won't be paying anywhere near $530 Chris!
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Old 15-09-2006, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman
The sigma is $499 at this place:
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod2838.htm

So we definitely won't be paying anywhere near $530 Chris!
I agree, can get 1 for $470 or 2 for $450 each but need to order and pay a deposit, happy to do that today.

Pick up next week from city store.

Chris.
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