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Old Jan 17, 2006, 3:09 PM   #1
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I am a newbie who has both the Canon 28-135 IS and the Canon 17-85mm IS. I bought the latter lense for the wider angle. As I read various reviews I am confused about which of the lenses would be better for a walk around lense. Avoiding the obvious differences in focal length, does one lense typically produce better quality pictures than another. (I read someplace, I can't remember where, that the 17-85 gives better pictures at an aperature of f8 or smaller. I don't know about a similar quality of the 28-135.)
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 6:33 PM   #2
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I like the wide angle for walking around. The tele end is nice, but generally you can get a decent crop unless you are looking for birds or other distant shots that the 85 won't get you to. You can't really post process into a wide angle. I am not sure about the difference in quality of the photo's between those two, but I have been very happy with the 17 -85 at most focal lengths and apertures. With DxO optics, the images are even sharper and distortion free...

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Old Jan 18, 2006, 1:33 AM   #3
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Optically both are quite good. Not el-cheapo grade, but not as good as L grade.

The MTF charts suggest that the 17-85 is a little sharper, but the 28-135 is quite respectable.

The choice for walkaround depends on the type of photographs you are likely to take surely?

It very much comes down to personal style and focal length range. For me the 28 (*1.6=45) is not wide enough for a walk-around lens.

If you would be prone to using a 50-200 lens as a walkaround on FF then the 28-135 is your best bet. If you would be prone to using a 28-135 on FF then you should go with the 17-85.

Besides - you have both so it's pretty easy for you to decide which is better for you - just try them out for a while!
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 6:53 AM   #4
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I'm with Peripatetic on this one. Since you have both - see which you like better. Optically, there shouldn't be a noticable difference. The IS system on the 17-85 is newer and better than the 28-135. But, the downside is the 17-85 is an ef-s lens which means it will only work correctly on the 1.6 crop sensor cameras. That concerns me in the long run. While I don't see myself buying a 5D or 1 series camera in the near future I also realize that any decent lens I own will outlive my camera body and the next one to boot. So, that is something that may also sway your decision. Unfortunately no clear cut winner hear. In the end it is often a wide vs. tele decision for most people
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 5:15 PM   #5
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Hi rndrnd! And welcome!

I have the Canon 350D and own the Canon 28-135 lens. Good advice has already been given to your question, but I'll just add my 2 cents worth... It seems you have a bit of an "overlap".. that is both the 17-85 and 28-135 cover a lot of "similar" ground (focal length). See this thread for an interesting perspective on that.. http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65

Well because you already own both, yes it really depends on your style of photography which lens you'll use more. Because I bought the Canon 350D DSLR with the 18-55mm kit lens I felt I already had the wide angle covered, and my style of photography generally tends to use a bit more telephoto, so I bought the 28-135mm lens and 90% of the time this 28-135 lens sits on my camera. But when I need to go wide angle or am in a place (e.g. crowded room) or want to travel light - then I use the kit lens. I also have the50mm f1.8 which is good for portraits (x1.6 cropping factor=80mm, which is quite ok).

About sharpness and quality, both lenses arevery similar. I would say that it also depends on quality of the individual copies (quality control aspects aren't always so fine tuned on camera lenses from what I've seen!) And so even many websites which test lenses will have a bias depending on the lens they get (one copy might be a bit sharper than another, etc). Here are a few websites I use for some reference and each sitetests / covers boththe 17-85 and the 28-135 lenses.. There are dozens more websites if you do a google search:




Also you can check out the MTF's for each lens on Canon's own website too of course. Basically the quality of these lenses is good according to my standard (I'm not a pro, I admit it). I've seen many people making great photos using both lenses. True the 17-85mm IS system is newer (about 1 stop more effective, and you can do "panning mode" too as I understand). I would be interested to have a copy of the 17-85 lens just to try it out and see if it effects my shooting style (using a bit more wide angle when I'm not bothered to change lenses.. but maybe missing out a bit on the telephoto).

I'm thankful for the lenses that I have, and I try to make best use of them. I wish you the same! Keep learning, have fun doing so, capture great memories and share them with friends near and far... these are the most important things!

Best wishes,

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Old Jan 20, 2006, 8:36 AM   #6
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I use my 28-135 about 75% of the time on my 300D. If I want wider, I switch to the 17-40mm 4.0L & the 28-135 goes to my EOS-3. IF Canon had made the 17-85 an EF lens & Not an EF-s, I would own that one.
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