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Old Aug 15, 2005, 1:24 PM   #1
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I have a Tamron 18-200, which I love for the convenience of travel but I sometimes find lacking in sharpness. I just picked up a 70-300 DO IS zoom, so I have my tele needs covered. I'm thinking of replacing the wider end of the Tamron with a 17-85 or 17-40, and am wondering whether anyone has compared that lens (the 18-200) against either of these? I'm certain the 17-40 would blow it away -- would the 17-85 as well?
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 2:13 PM   #2
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considering the other lenses at your disposal, and the fact that you primarily want it for the wide end the 17-40L is definately the choice.. it offers less distortion, and boosts considerably better corner sharpness.. the color and contrast is also a little better as well..

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Old Aug 15, 2005, 2:33 PM   #3
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I'm certain the 17-40 would blow it away -- would the 17-85 as well?
According to the MTF charts, the 'Digital' lenses usually are sharper than their full frame counter part so yes the EFS 17-85 is sharper technically (as are most other digital lenses only... Just check their MTFs)

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Old Aug 16, 2005, 9:17 AM   #4
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I've owned all three (well, I had the Sigma 18-200)... I sold the Sigma 18-200 quickly as it was just disappointing looking at the pictures from this lens after experiencing better quality from the Canon lenses. I did also end up selling my 17-40 because of financial concerns. Although it was a joy to use, the 17-85IS just got a lot more use because of it's range and IS... On a few shots from the 17-85, if I closely examined them, I could see where the 17-40 could have done better (particularly coser to 17mm), but the difference wasn't enough to justify keeping both, when I really needed the money.

But as I get more serious about lanscape photography, I plan on getting another 17-40 or perhaps the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 for those wide angle shots that really matter. (I just with the Sigma had a red ring!)

Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 21, 2005, 9:38 AM   #5
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If your talking about sharpness and contrast the 17-85 IS is as good as it gets in that range. The 17-40 would probably be a better choice if you intend to shoot almost exclusively at the wide end, the fixed f4 is also welcome.I've owned both. I don't have the 17-40 anymore but it's a fine lens. I own two 17-85's and the IS is great and compensates a great deal for the slower f stop.

The extra reach and optical quality of the ef-s 17-85 is hard to beat and it's as sharp and you could want from a zoom lens. Quite frankly I don't think your getting much of an increase at the wide end with either of these lense's. If wide is your thing I'd go for more than a one millimeter increase.

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