Canon 17-85mm Lens?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Derek Zoolander, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys, I found this lens used on craigslist and he is asking for $230. Good deal?

    I've been looking for another lens that would replace my kit lens and also be a good portrait lens. Am I looking at the right lens?
     
  2. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    I think I may have posted this in General Shop Talk by mistake...Maybe better off in beginner forum?
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What camera will use with this lens?

    -Pete
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    How about the Equipment section? ;)

    I have this lens and it's a decent one. It's a good step up from the 18-55mm kit lens, a little in image quality but more in build quality. And the added reach plus IS make it a great 'walk-around' lens.

    The main problem with this lens is the same problem the kit lens has...the max aperture is not very large. The IS can somewhat make up for this...but not if you are shooting people...because people tend to move...and IS does nothing to prevent blur from subject movement.

    This is why I also have the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8. The large aperture allows a faster shutter speed and a shallower DOF. I originally thought that I might sell the 17-85mm lens when I got this one...but I still use the 17-85mm because I love the extra reach and IS.

    The usual train of thought for a good portrait lens is that longer is better. I like shooting portraits with my 70-200mm more than any other.
     
  5. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    I'm using it on a Rebel XS

    I have a Sigma 70-200mm but I'm never in a big enough space to stand back that far for portraits. I was thinking of selling that one to buy 1 or 2 other lenses that I would use more. Maybe throw a wide angle lens in there, but you're making me rethink that. Maybe I'll pick up this 17-85mm and keep the 70-200mm then and give it another shot with portraits...I've only been using my 50mm 1.8 cheapo lens to shoot portraits. I dont even use my kit lens anymore...
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While I love my 70-200mm for portraits, it can be pretty long...even when shoot outdoors. I have to shout instructions to the model/subject. :lol:

    When shooting in smaller spaces, I usually grab the Tamron 17-50mm but I might also use my 50mm F1.8 or my Sigma 30mm F1.4.
     
  7. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    Alright, it's not just me then. I thought it was a bit far, but I've seen a bunch of people say that's what they prefer to use. In another thread where I asked more specifically about portrait lenses they're saying it's more flattering for the people in the photo.

    So are we saying that the $230 price tag is good for this lens if I test it out and find it's in good condition?
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    No, I don't think anyone said that. You have to make the final decisions.
     
  9. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    Ok, well than any insight to the price would be helpful. I don't want to buy it without getting the educated opinion of this board's members. It looks like it goes for around $400 and above anywhere else I've seen it...
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For $230, I'd buy it.

    You may find that it's not ideal for some situations (portraits included) but it's a pretty good all-around lens and certainly an improvement on the kit lens.
     
  11. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    Alright, I haggled him down to $200. So I think I'm going to get it then. What should I check for when I go meet him?

    Obviously I'm going to put it onto my camera and see if the zoom works, if I can take a picture with it. Mess with the aperture. Anything else I should look for when testing it?
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Make sure the IS works. If you haven't used it before, it will make a sound when it starts and stops, that's normal, but it shouldn't be too loud...and obviously, it should stabilize the image as you look through the viewfinder.
     

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