I want a new lens because I'm not at all happy with my current kit lens 28-135 from Canon. I can't seem to get sharp images plus the thing is very cumbersome to tote around. I ordered a cheap 50mm f/1.8 for under $100. But I find myself having to back up in order to get the shots I want and that isn't always possible. I'm looking at a Canon 17-55 f/2.8 lens that seems to do what I want, plus it appears that I may be able to walk around with it, but it is a little pricey considering I'm a noobie. I am willing to pay for it if I can get clear sharp images. My question is this; Is there a comparable lens for less? I like the IS and HSM concept but is it really important?