How does 18-135 IS compare to 17-85 IS?

Started Dec 8, 2009 | Discussions thread
kevindar
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Re: How does 18-135 IS compare to 17-85 IS?
In reply to GeraldW, Dec 23, 2010

I used to shoot with an xti, and 17-85 a few years back, and eventually upgraded to 17-55. I then upgraded to full frame. what bothered me most about 17-85 was the horrid CA and soft corners on the wide end, 17-55 was worlds better.

On the 5d2, I have been fortunate to use some really good glass, and I am often a stickler for image quality, but thats partly b/c I shoot landscape and do 20x30 prints. Hence, I was willing to buy the nikon 14-24 and use it with an adapter on canon, as well as the canon 24 TSE, and used my 24-105 as a walk around.

Recently became interested in shooting hummingbirds, and picked up a 60D with the Kit lens. Tried selling the lens, but was getting low ball offers, so I thought I will shoot with it for a while. I have not done any extensive testing or side by side comparisons. However In my shooting so far:

I like the lens. flare is well controlled, range is excellent (17-85 was the closest to a super zoom I have owned) and I really like the extra reach. My primary use of the lens is as a light walk around lens. I will not be making any large prints (max 8-12). the lateral ca on this lens is less than 17-85 on the wide end as far as I remember. of course now a days CA is not as big of an issue if you shoot raw.
Here are a few images on 60d all hand held
131 6.3

48mm f11

18mm f8

and here is a full size (large file), which I think is quite acceptable for a consumer grade lens that you can have for around 300. No CA correction, far better than 17-85 If I recall

So in summary, I would take it over the 17-85 for less ca, smaller, and better range, with better range being the most important factor. I woulld say image quality is not a huge factor.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM +20 more
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