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View Full Version : Sigma 17-70mm V Canon 17-85IS Upgrade ?



Honest Gaza
01-29-2009, 03:00 PM
Simple question hopefully.....

Buying the 50D and was "thinking" of getting the kit with 17-85mm IS. Seeking opinions on whether this would be an upgrade or a downgrade from Sigma 17-70mm lens that I already have.

Please forget all other lens options !

I currently use the Sigma as my everday "walkaround" lens and was thinking the extra 15mm (24mm when including crop factor), plus the IS may be useful.

The Sigma starts at f/2.8 but is not constant throughout the range so the "smaller" apertures of the Canon isn't a problem.
The Sigma extends while zooming so that also isn't a concern with the Canon.

What I'd really like to know is how the image quality compares.

michaelb
02-02-2009, 07:07 AM
I've never used the 17-85, but I did own the 17-70 and I liked it.

As you say, the advantages of the 17-85 are the reach and the IS. The 17-85 never seems to get much praise however. I guess it depends how much the extra reach and the IS mean to you.

If the IS is the most important factor to you then I would consider the 18-55 IS, which seems to be a better lens optically than the 17-85.

NWcityguy2
02-02-2009, 01:47 PM
I use the Sigma my wife uses the Canon. They are both good lenses and really aren't that different. Both lenses are good enough for excellent photographs, and we have printed 16x20's with both that you could never tell which lens took which.

The Canon is a bit longer yes, but it really isn't that big of a deal. 70m vs 85mm is pretty small. The Sigma has better build, distortion control and CA, while the Canon has IS and USM and 15mm more. Other then that their output is very similiar. Oh and the Canon doesn't come with a lens hood.

The first picture is with the Canon, the second with the Sigma. I could post a hundred pictures which you'ld never be able to tell which lens took which picture unless I told you.

michaelb
02-02-2009, 02:57 PM
Nice shots.

Its funny; I hear alot of people bash the 17-85, but it seems like many people who own this lens love it and I've seen many nice images taken with this lens.

How do you find the AF of the 17-85? The one thing that I didn't like about the Sigma was that it often hunted in low light.

Rhys
02-02-2009, 03:15 PM
I have the 17-85 IS. On my fickle XT it snaps into focus very quickly. I love this lens. The only reservations are...

1. Miniscule distortion at each end.
2. I did get some vignetting on a foggy day at the long end - I have no idea why this should be as this should not happen at all.
3. It's a bit slow for business use but it's not too bad. I prefer the length over the 17-55.

NWcityguy2
02-02-2009, 03:44 PM
Yeah the 17-85mm suffers from a lot of apples to oranges comparison and pixel peeping. It's MSRP doesn't help it any either. But in the $300-350 it is hard to beat, especially when you factor in it is a genuine brand offering.

Unless I really wanted a Canon lens I wouldn't upgrade to the 17-85mm from the 17-70mm. If I wanted IS and a longer reach the more logical upgrade would be to the Sigma 18-125mm OS HSM.

AF of the 17-85mm has always been very good for me.

Rhys
02-02-2009, 04:48 PM
Yeah the 17-85mm suffers from a lot of apples to oranges comparison and pixel peeping. It's MSRP doesn't help it any either. But in the $300-350 it is hard to beat, especially when you factor in it is a genuine brand offering.

Unless I really wanted a Canon lens I wouldn't upgrade to the 17-85mm from the 17-70mm. If I wanted IS and a longer reach the more logical upgrade would be to the Sigma 18-125mm OS HSM.

AF of the 17-85mm has always been very good for me.

Hmm.... The Sigma 18-125 OS HSM is a new one to me! At f5.6 by 125mm it's too dark for me though.

cdifoto
02-02-2009, 04:55 PM
Since you already own a Sigma product & aren't averse to third party, how about the Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8?

NWcityguy2
02-02-2009, 05:37 PM
See thats the problem, nobody wants to just answer the op's question :mad:. He said he was interested in the 17-70mm and the 17-85mm. Not the 17-70mm, 17-85mm AND the 200-500mm 2.8... ;)

http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/13360/sigma_apo_200_500/

Zoinac
02-02-2009, 06:58 PM
I've got the 17-85 as well. I'm disappointed with it. I love the range it covers, and it's fast and quiet. But I find it's soft. It suffers a lot of vignetting, and worst of all the CA! There's so much purple fringing!

Honest Gaza
02-02-2009, 09:44 PM
Since you already own a Sigma product & aren't averse to third party, how about the Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8?

CDI....you astound me :p :D

Which part of the "please forget all other lens options" did you not understand. I will forgive you this time....but as the Soup Nazi said....don't come back for six weeks ;)

Honest Gaza
02-02-2009, 09:47 PM
I've got the 17-85 as well. I'm disappointed with it. I love the range it covers, and it's fast and quiet. But I find it's soft. It suffers a lot of vignetting, and worst of all the CA! There's so much purple fringing!

This type of response appears to be very common in relation to this lens. Positive reviews are all too rare :(

Honest Gaza
02-02-2009, 09:55 PM
The first picture is with the Canon, the second with the Sigma. I could post a hundred pictures which you'ld never be able to tell which lens took which picture unless I told you.

It's easy....those dogs look completely different to each other :D.

I'm not overly worried about brand and would not be considering the 17-85mm as an individual lens purchase. It's only because of the effective "discount" when purchased with the 50D camera body. Without a compelling reason to get the 17-85mm....I'll probably just get the body and put the $$$ towards another lens.

cdifoto
02-03-2009, 04:06 AM
Rhys is the only person on the planet who is impressed by the 17-85 but not impressed by anything superior. The fact of the matter is, the 17-85 is a kit lens and is built accordingly. It's the better alternative to the old 18-55s due to more range, IS, and USM but it's still not a very intelligent purchase if you already have similar or better stuff, IMHO of course.

Honest Gaza
02-03-2009, 03:52 PM
...It's the better alternative to the old 18-55s due to more range, IS, and USM but it's still not a very intelligent purchase if you already have similar or better stuff, IMHO of course.

Yes, I had that impression when originally posting the thread and probably haven't deviated from that view. Just wanted confirmation :).

Other lenses can be purchased at any time....this is just because of the opportunity to buy the "kit" package which would include the lens (17-85 or 18-200) at a reduced cost.

Looks like I'll settle for the body only at this stage.