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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Canon EF-S 17-55mm IS USM: Still not there!

So how is copy number 5 of the Canon 17-55mm holding up? Don't ask.

Well I suppose I'll have to tell you because this is a blog! Well after some use I have realised this lens has a centering problem, it's not terrible but the very left hand of the image is noticeably softer when the centre is sharp and when the left hand is sharp the centre is soft, great. I really cannot believe how hard it is to get a good copy of this lens.
My options are the same as always:

Put up with it: It's not really bad but then again why should I have to deal with this issue on such an expensive lens?

Try another: Can I really go for a sixth copy in the quest for a good one? It feels like a step too far.

Try another brand: I've already been through a few copies of the Sigma 18-50mm EX, I still have a macro version now and it is much better at the wide end than the Canon but it just refuses to focus accurately beyond about 28mm which is infuriating because at the wide end it is absolutely fantastic from edge to edge! It also has warmer colours than the Canon and smoother bokeh! I could also try the newer Sigma 17-50mm with OS or the two variants of the Tamron 17-50mm!

I honestly believe that all of these lenses have great potential, I think when it boils down to it the one I decide to keep will be the first one that doesn't suffer from quality control issues!


Antony Ratcliffe said... Best Blogger Tips

Well I don't know about the expensive Canon 17-55mm but I do love the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. Had it for about 3 years now and for the price I don't have to worry about it getting knocked about and it's produced some lovely shots.
Think I'd have given up on the Canon 17-55mm if I'd have gotten through so many copies by now.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 not wide enough?

D said... Best Blogger Tips


I don't think 24mm would be wide enough to be honest, half of the time it would be fine but I do often find myself wanting that extra wideness. Another possibility I forgot to mention was the Canon 15-85mm, you lose the fast aperture but gain more range and I've heard it is as sharp as the 17-50mm so it could be worth a try. There's also the 17-40mm L but again, it seems there's the odd great copy out there and the rest have relatively poor edge performance!

I don't think I would try another copy of the 17-50mm, even if I got a decent one eventually the build quality is pretty poor!

I'm sure higher pixel counts make problems more apparent too, I doubt the centering issue with my current lens would have been very obvious or even noticeable on my old 8mp 350D but on an 18mp sensor things are more critical!

Antony Ratcliffe said... Best Blogger Tips

I know what you're saying about the Canon 15-85mm, something I've been looking at myself very closely lately. Have the Canon 10-22mm for wide on a 50D but have been considering wide coupled with walkabout lens. 15-85mm could be just the ticket. Think I'll wait for you to dip your toes in the water first and review it. hehe

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