Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Review

July 5, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star

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Reviews of the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM from around the web. »

Since EF-S lenses only mount on Canon EF-S bodies - which all feature a 1.6x FOVCF - the 17-55mm focal length range always equates to the field of view of a 27.2-88mm lens mounted on a full-frame Digital SLR. This range covers what I consider to be the most important focal lengths for a Canon general purpose lens. This is a focal length range that can be used for everything from a wide scenic landscape to a relatively-close portrait.
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Canon’s EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a premium zoom lens designed for EF-S bodies and announced alongside the EOS-30D digital SLR in February 2006. Boasting a constant f2.8 aperture throughout the range, it’s the fastest standard focal length zoom lens available for Canon EF-S mount digital SLRs. The lens also features Image Stabilisation to help combat camera-shake.
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Announced at the PMA '06 the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS is one of the most anticipated lenses for Canon users since the introduction of Canon APS-C DSLRs. So far users had the choice between two standard zoom options within the native Canon lens lineup - the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (kit zoom) and the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS. The latter is a decent lens but not really significantly superior to the simple kit lens so there was no real upgrade path for the more ambitious users who often ended up with third-party alternatives. With the introduction of the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS Canon closed this gap but at a steep price of a little less than 1000 EUR/$. Some may wonder why such a pricey lens wasn't marketed as a true Canon L grade lens - obviously a marketing decision.
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The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ($1,179 direct)$1,059.00 at is the top-end standard zoom lens for Canon APS-C cameras. Rebel D-SLRs are generally bundled with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II$199.00 at lens that, while quite sharp, has a relatively slow f-stop, often requiring you to use the camera's flash in dimmer light. The 17-55mm lens is optically stabilized, which makes it possible to grab sharp photos at longer shutter speeds, further enhancing its use in lower light. It captures a 27-88mm field of view in terms of 35mm full-frame photography.
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