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FORUMS Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Lenses 
Thread started 05 Dec 2007 (Wednesday) 15:44
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POLL: "Upgrade ($) for the 17-55 or keep the 17-85?"
Yes! Sell the 17-85 and get the 17-55!
No, it's not really worth it!

34 voters, 34 votes given (1 choice only choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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swap my 17-85 IS for the 17-55 IS?

70 posts
Joined Jun 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Dec 05, 2007 15:44 |  #1

I have heard nothing but amazing things about the 17-55. I have heard very mixed things about the 17-85, and I have been considering selling my 17-85 to fund purchase of the other. I'd like to get some input from the community, yea or nae? I will have a decent gap between 55 and 70mm, does anyone currently have that kind of a gap and find themselves really missing it? Is the picture quality out of the 17-55 really enough to warrant the ~$600 it would cost me to upgrade?

I shoot pretty much everything from portraits to sports to low-light to fast action and everything in between. I have found the 4-5.6 of the 85 to be too slow at times, so the 2.8 has it's appeal. But I am worried that 55mm may not be long enough for the everyday shooting I do and I would be forced to switch lenses quite often.

1,151 posts
Likes: 7
Joined Jun 2007
Dec 05, 2007 15:48 |  #2

I plan on getting the 17-55 for xmas this year. wohoo i cannot wait. I want something that is very crisp and from the examples I have seen on this is the hotness.

Canon 40D 5Dm3 || 24-70 L 70-200 2.8 IS2 100mm Macro 50mm 1.8 35 1.4

Senior Member
771 posts
Joined Sep 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Dec 05, 2007 15:52 |  #3

I made the switch when the 17-55 first came out. I don't regret it for a second. I don't miss the 30mm lost at all and having a constant f/2.8 is great.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the 17-85, but the 17-55 really gives more control of DoF, has a lightning quick AF, is super sharp and is just a great lens.

I'd recommend getting the hood since I've banged the lens on my camera a dozen times (hit the hood each time) and have no ill-effects.

Hello, my name is BEN

Family Photos (external link) :: My Maya-A-Day (external link) :: One Owen-A-Day (external link)
Canon 40D :: Canon 24-105f/4L IS :: Canon 50f/1.4 :: Sigma 30f/1.4 :: Canon 580EXII w/Big FlipIt! :: Like a dozen different bags...Go Crumpler! :)

Senior Member
317 posts
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Dec 05, 2007 17:25 |  #4

My 17-55 f/2.8 IS is my favorite lens since I bought it two months ago! Great lens!

But I paid $930 for it, not $600! :(

Canon 5DMk2 * 24 - 105mm F4 L * 70-200 f/4 L IS * 100mm f/2.8 Macro * 50mm f/1.8 II * 70 - 300mm f/4 - 5.6 * 580EX II * 430EX * Some Bees * Some Pocket Lint * Camera Debt *

Senior Member
258 posts
Joined Apr 2007
Location: san diego, ca
Dec 05, 2007 18:55 |  #5

that's exactly what I did with my setup. I had the 17-85, which was a great lens for the price, and upgraded to the 17-55, which is a MUCH better lens. the difference is stunning, you won't regret it :D

Camera: Rebel XT with BG-E3| 17-55 F/2.8 IS | 70-200 F/4.0L | Planning on others... :D
Computer: MacBook Pro | 2.2GHz | 4GB RAM | 120GB HDD | Snow Leopard 10.6.2 | Dell 2005FPW
Software: Lightroom 2.6 | Photoshop CS4

70 posts
Joined Jun 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Dec 05, 2007 19:03 |  #6

jnev wrote in post #4447604 (external link)
that's exactly what I did with my setup. I had the 17-85, which was a great lens for the price, and upgraded to the 17-55, which is a MUCH better lens. the difference is stunning, you won't regret it :D

Good to hear! I will look in to it seriously when the holidays are over.

2,657 posts
Gallery: 584 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 11797
Joined Oct 2007
Location: Northern California
Dec 05, 2007 19:41 |  #7

Huge difference in speed, low light performance, and shooting subjects like kids/dogs/etc... The pictures I got when I did this upgrade were like night and day! The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is also a nice upgrade from the 17-85, but no IS, hence $450 cheaper than the 17-55is.


Senior Member
264 posts
Joined Apr 2007
Location: Indiana
Dec 05, 2007 19:48 |  #8

I just ordered the 17-55 2.8 from B&H this week and it should be here tomorrow. I have never owned the 17-85 so I won't know the difference but I can say that I expect a great difference coming from my kit lens.

I currently have the kit lens that stops at 55mm and the 70-200 with nothing to fill the gap and I don't really mind it. It was something that I looked at when I got ready to order the 17-55 2.8 because I also was considering the 24-70 but I decided that I would much rather have the wide end and just deal with the gap from 55 to 70 just like I have in the past. I know not every situation is this easy, but for most I just use my feet a little to get the shot I want.

40D with BG-E2N grip | XTi with BG-E3 grip | 430EX
EF 100-400 F4.5-5.6 L IS | EF 70-200mm f4 L IS | EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS | EF-S 18-55mm Kit Lens | EF 50mm f1.8

249 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Feb 2007
Location: Tennessee
Dec 05, 2007 19:51 as a reply to  @ amyandmark3's post |  #9

Having never shot with the 17-85, I can't compare it to the 17-55... What I can talk about is the quality that I see with the 17-55 as well as the 'gap' between 55-70.

This lens is really an amazing tool - fast, accurate focus, nice contrast and colors. I've found it to meet most of my needs in that focal range. I plan to get a 28 or a 35 prime - just to add some speed to that range. Looking at my Lightroom stats I see that 75% of my shots are from this lens.

The gap to 70mm has not been an issue for me. A quick look through my Lightroom again shows me that very few (maybe 2 or 3) were shot at 55mm where I'd wished I could have gone a little longer. Generally, I have no problem at all with the gap.

I'd highly recommend this lens - you'll love it, I'm sure.

Brian (external link)
5dS R | 5d mkIII |EF 16-35 4L | EF 24-70 2.8L | EF 24-105 4L | EF 70-200 2.8L IS | TS-E 24 3.5II | EF 50 1.4 | EF 85 1.8 | EF 135 2.0L | 1.4 Ext. | 430ex | Lee, B&W Filters |

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swap my 17-85 IS for the 17-55 IS?
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