Canon EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM Review

General information

This is a zoom lens manufactured by Canon and the lens was released 2006.
The lens belongs to the category standard zoom lenses, a normal lens where you have the possibility to zoom in and out.

Product description from Canon

At launch 2006 Canon wrote this regarding Canon EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM :

"In response to strong user demand, Canon developed the high-resolution, large-aperture EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM as the ideal standard zoom lens companion for the company´s EOS DIGITAL series of SLR cameras equipped with an APS-C-size image sensor*. Incorporating a focal range equivalent to 27-88 mm in the 35 mm format and a combination of advanced optical technologies, including three aspherical lens elements (one glass mold, two replica) and UD (ultra-low dispersion) lens element, to effectively correct a variety of aberrations, the new EF-S zoom lens offers a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 while maintaining outstanding image quality throughout the zoom range. Moreover, equipped with such features as the company´s high-performance Image Stabilizer (IS), which provides the equivalent effect of a shutter speed three stops faster**, and full-time manual focus, Canon´s EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens dramatically expands photography opportunities for professional and advanced amateur users.

To meet user demands for a fast EF-S zoom lens, Canon has specially designed a new lens with a large aperture of f/2.8 for select Canon Digital SLR cameras.* The large circular aperture produces a shallow depth-of-field, creating background blur that draws attention to the photographic subject. The lens construction includes UD and aspherical elements, which deliver impressive image quality throughout the entire zoom range. Image Stabilizer lens groups shift to compensate for camera movement so that the image appears steady on the image plane, ensuring clear, crisp images, even in dim light. With a Ring-type USM, inner focusing and new AF algorithms, this lens achieves autofocus quickly and quietly, and with full-time mechanical manual focusing, manually adjusting the focus is possible even in AF mode."

Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

This lens is designed and meant for Canon cameras with a smaller sensor (often referred to as 'APS-C') which means that the lens does not fit all camera models. By clicking on the link below you can make sure that the lens works with your camera model and you should do an additional check with your local dealer as well, before you buy the lens just to be sure.

The ability to use autofocus is available for all cameras.

The lens has a focal length of 17-55 mm. Since the lens is designed to be used on a camera with smaller sensor ('APS-C') the focal length will be equivalent to 27-88 mm on your Canon camera.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/2,8.

This aperture value indicates that the lens is very bright.  This will make it so much easier shooting in darker environments where you do not want or can use flash lighting, for example in churches or at different sports venues.

A feature worth commenting, which is also related to lens brightness, is that the brightness and maximum aperture-value remains constant regardless of focal length used. This makes it easier for you as a photographer. No matter if you are have the focus ring and focal length at 17 mm or at 55 mm the aperture value can be f/2,8.

Inside the lens there is an image stabilizer, which helps to fend off possible movements and tremors. This is very positive and can be of great help in situations and conditions where the light is inadequate and not enough for decent shutter speeds.

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 77 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

There is a lens hood that fits the lens (model name "EW-83J") but unfortunately this is something that is not included when purchasing the lens and must be ordered and bought separately, as an accessory.

Images of Canon EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • The lens brightness, f/2,8
  • Constant maximum aperture value regardless of focal length
  • Has a built-in image stabilizer
  • Works only on cameras with APS-C sensor
  • No lens hood is included
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust
  • Heavy (645 gr)

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Canon EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM .

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Overall rating 3 of 5

Best deals on Canon EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM

Make sure to check out our price information page for best offers on this lens.