DerekI wrote in post #6028723
after using a Nikon AF-S16-85VR for a couple of weeks , I decided to sell my EF-S17-85IS, which is actually not as bad as many L lovers say about it, it is the most unfairly trashed lens as with my Nikon AF-S18-200VR lens.
I have 3 Canon bodies(2 40D and 1 450D) and 2 Nikon bodies(D300 and D80) and I love both systems, but I can not deny the fact that Nikon makes sharper and better ranged compact zooms at cheaper prices.
the reason why I still use Canon body mainly is I like my 40D body(which can shoot 6.5f/s at 14bit raw mode no other crop camera can do this).
I do hate my 450D and 5D and am selling them for another 40D and Nikon D300 , I really wish Canon makes a great, really practical lens in real life like the AF-S16-85VR, which actually is sharper than the over priced EF-S17-55f2.8 IS and AF-S17-55f2.8DX.
I have 3 copies of EF-S17-55f2.8IS and all of them are not as sharp as my Nikon AF-S16-85VR , which is an insanely sharp lens at least my current copy, I dont need f2.8 since I use much faster primes such as Sigma 50f1.4 HSM(the sharpest lens ever made) , Nikon AF35f2D(very sharp) , Canon 85f1.8USM(very sharp), EF135f2LUSM(extremely sharp and solid)when really need to stop action(f2.8 is not at all fast enough), but I do need a good super sharp zoom covering usable range, for Canon 1.6X. I do want at least as wide and long as EF-S 15-75f3.5-f4.5ISUSM, 17mm is not really wide enough for a Canon crop like 40D , while 17mm on my Nikon is pretty wide.
Actually, I think the sharpest zooms ever made in any mount are the Tamorn SPAF17-50f2.8 and Olympus ZD12-60(really insanely sharp) much sharper than any of Canon , Nikon and Sony similar zooms I have ever used , compare these 2 lenses to the over priced Canon and Nikon 17-55f2.8s, it is sad to admit but in reality , the Oly kill them all easily,even the Tamorn is easily better optically than these Canon /NikonSony so called std zooms. I tested 4 copies of EF-S17-55f2.8IS , AF-S17-55f2.8DX and CZ 16-80........so it is not the copy I had , I have had 3 Tamron 17-50f2.8 and 28-75 f2.8 for both Cnaon and Nikon mount and I have both Canon and Nikon 17-55f2.8 , so it is not like that I can only afford the Tamron ,but I prefer it much better( much smaller , a bit sharper with better color than both Canon and Nikon lenses,much better dealing with back lit scenes and the Tamron can focus much closer than these over priced Canon and Nikon lenses).
So do not believe if you really want to get a prime quality zoom (optically not mechanically), you need an over priced and heavy L lens , not true at all , Ls are better corrected (less distorted) but not much sharper than others.
I have tested 8 Tamron lenses at many differnet stores in many different countries (Thailand , Taiwan , China , HK, France , US, Japan , Korea) and all of them are super sharp , at least as sharp as my Nikon Af-S17-55DX.
My EF-S17-55f2.8IS is sharper than the Nikon version but the Nikon Af-S16-85VR beats both and a good really good copy of the Tamron beats all of them hands down, but not as sharp as the Oly ZD12-60SWD.
Finally, the EF70-200f4LIS has gotten so many raving reviews and is a sharper lens than most of "Canon"made zooms but is just as sharp as Nikon AF-S70-300VR , which is a consumer Nikon zoom , priced much cheaper.
Actually for me , the AF-S70-300VR was the main reason I bought a D80 4 months a go.
Canon focuses on AF speed and correcting wide end distortion while Nikon focuses on pure resolution , so we can get the best of D300 or D700 resolution out with cheap Nikon zooms, but with Canon current zooms , most of Canon bodies more than 10mp out solve them clearly.
This is why many many Canon user only use primes and hate a zoom like EF-S17-85IS or 70-300IS and trash them down , in digital era , Canon or any make of lens should get lens resolution right first even at the expense of more pronounced distortion, all other things like distortion, CA , light fall off can be corrected with Photoshop or like it.
But you can never get lost resolution back in ..........so my mainly use Nikon zooms like AF-S70-300VR , AF-S16-85VR, Tamron 17-50f2.8, AF-S14-24f2.8 and Canon primes like EF-S60USM, EF135f2, 200f2.8L,85f1.8USM and Sigma 50f1.4.
Just compare the Canon EF70-300IS to Nikon AF-S70-300VR or Sony SL70-300G, you will know what I mean.
PS. many third party haters talking about how horrible Tamron QC on the 17-50f2.8 is but I personally do not believe that since I do make my own comparison and I never trust any lens review on line.
I had tried 9 copies of this lens as I said and all of them are at least as sharp as any of the EF-S17-55f2.8 ,I also tested many copies of the Canon lens.
Photozone and some other forums was the reason why I bought the over priced the Canon EF-S17-55IS when I had no problem working with my Tamron 17-50f2.8 and Canon EF-S17-85IS last year, well.
I thought there would be huge image quality improvement , I expected huge huge differnce in IQ between them but disappointingly I never saw it or even more honestly I have had to admit that I prefer the Tammy over the Canon OPTICALLY , the Canon at least beats the Nikon 17-55 DX and Sony CZ16-80 though...........
So my point is do not simply take any word from some L-lens lovers or some so-called lens review sites trashing any of so-called consumer zoom or whatever about some lens they dislike , despite of so many chart shooters complaining about the wideopen sharpenss of the EF-S17-85IS , it is actually a quite sharp lens with very good range and super fast AF, with some very careful PP , it can produce IQ similar to that of any of L or the EF-S17-55f2.8IS, but none of these Ls or EF-S17-55f2.8IS can replace the EF-S17-85IS and its versatile focal range.
Oly the Sigma 18-125OS HSM can replace it in Canon land.
Of course , the Oly ZD 12-60 is the best of you dont mind owning a couple of more mount systems.
I really want to get a EF-S17-85 mark2 , prefrably with constant f4 with IS.
Oly in-camera IS works better than other in-camera IS or SSS but Canon IS works even better.