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Old Mar 20, 2005, 4:48 PM   #1
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I am going to purchase my 20D (finally!) and I am going back and forth on which lens to get first. I would assume that the 17-85mm lens has better quality. Is that true? Someone on this forum recommended the 28-135mm lens as a great "walk around" lens and I do agree, but I am thinking as my first lens to go for the quality, esp. being that i am doing studio work. Also, does the speed of focus differ on these lenses or do they focus the same? Also any comments on either lens will be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 5:26 PM   #2
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Are you going to be ok with 45mm on the short end for landscapes and such? That would be my problem with that lens if it was my only one. Now, if you are getting the kit lens then it may work out well.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 6:20 PM   #3
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Honestly, I am not a big landscape photographer. I have the Panasonic FZ20 and I think its wide end is 38mm (that's the 35mm equiv). That has been fine in almost all cases. Yes I would like to have the wider aspect, but right now my question is which lens has better image quality? B/c I am planning on buying more lenses and right now I will be doing studio work (and I usually shoot at the 85mm equiv, and both lenses satisfy that criteria). So I was just wondering if anyone has those two lenses, and if they do can they compare them. And if you have either, let me know the pros and cons, I would really appreciate it. Within a month or two I will probably own both, or get the Sigma or Tamron equiv.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 7:45 PM   #4
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If you are a good photographer you will make good images with either lens. If you are not, it does not matter which one you decide on.

One of the monthly contributors to Shutterbug magazine, Monte Zucker, has shot extensively with a 28-135 IS lens. He has posted numerous images taken with that lens and they are great shots. Go find his website on google and I'm sure his images will convince you the 28-135 is a quality lens.

You just need to ask yourself a couple of questions in deciding which lens you need to buy:

1. Are you ever going to possibly use this lens on a film body or move to a larger sensored body? If you are you need the 28-135. If not the 17-85 is the more versatile choice as far as being able to capture more varied subjects from wide angle to short telephoto.

2. Do you want more wide angle or more telephoto on your "normal" lens? If I had a 20D or were using my Digital Rebel as my main camera I'd be buying the 17-85. With the 28-135 you leave yourself with little as far as a wideangle option. The 17-85, in my mind, would be a more versatile choice on a 20D.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 7:50 PM   #5
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Thanks Greg, I appreciate the input. I will probably never shoot 35mm film again. If clients want film, I will go with medium format. And I plan on having the 20D for awhile, so I am leaning towards the EF-S lens. I have heard that Canon made the lens specifically for the 20D so I am trying to find out if that lens is optimized for the camera, if the lens quality is higher. It is definitely more expensive than the 28-135mm lens.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 8:37 PM   #6
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Nancy Gabby

Greg Chappell is correct, the EF-s lens are really designed to match the cropped format of the 20D/DRebel(s)...

It's sharper @ the wide (blue lines are @ f/8, black lines are wide open):

vs



... also sharper @ the tele as well (blue lines are @ f/8, black lines are wide open):

vs



-> A 'digital' lens only can be made more compact and better (both in sharpness and contrast) - the flip side is you can't use them on full-frame because they are only rated to ~13.34mm or so


I also have the EF 28-135 IS USM, but that's because my cameras can't take the EF-s plus they were not available when I bought my camera... BTW this lens get very loose after regular usage :?
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 9:05 PM   #7
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Thanks, NHL, I appreciate the info (you always come thru for me, and I appreciate that!). When you say the lens becomes "Very loose", do you mean the zoom, or the way it attaches to the body (and can't that be tuned up or somethin'?)
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 7:18 AM   #8
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It's the zoom... Since this is not an internal design, the three plastic (for cost) lens barrels slide over one another and become loose with time - It has a lens 'beanie' effect as well, but doesn't seems to affect picture quality too much unless you're in macro and push the front too much to one side...
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 9:42 AM   #9
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The ef-s 17-85 lens is sharp and has good color and contrast. The only problems that I've seen are CA, not too bad and correctable in PSCS, and quite a lot of lens distortion, both barrel and pincussion. For me, the lens distortion is the more problematic as it takes more intensive work to correct. Overall a good lens.
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Old Mar 26, 2005, 8:51 AM   #10
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Nancy, I am having good luck with the 17x85 lense. It is great indoors where you need wide angle in small rooms. So far, I am not seeing the bad effects described by others on this lense. It makes good color, is well built and the range is very useful indoors and out. This is a great lense for the 20d IMO. I am sure the quality is not up to the L 24x70 and it is not as fast, but it also is not as expensive.
This lense is well spoken of in several places of this forum.
Good luck with you selection.
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