EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS VS EF 24-70 f/2.8L

Started Mar 16, 2009 | Discussions thread
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imqqmi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,630
EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS VS EF 24-70 f/2.8L

I do graduations. ballet and other events regularly now and I'm in the market to buy a new lens to better facilitate this. My current lens line up for events is this:
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 ex
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 ex
Canon 85mm f/1.8

If I don't need wide angle I use both primes as those are the focal lengths that works well for me on two 40Ds. I sometimes use the zoom if I need wide angle for very large group pictures in tight spaces, but I rather use anything above 24mm on a crop camera to prevent distortion if I can.

I'm now considering to get a new lens. In part because I really love the 85mm colors compared to the 30mm sigma, which I attribute to the canon coatings/glass. I shoot in raw and use Lightroom to process all my shots and the 85mm f/1.8 shots are always keepers. And it's easier to adjust WB, it just looks better than the sigma in the same conditions. I've got a great 30mm copy though no complaints there but I'm looking for something that makes it easier to process large amounts of shots in short order (between 150 and 400 per shoot).

The sigma 18-50mm AF isn't too accurate, I've also dropped a 350D with this lens mounted and the front element has a bit more play than I like so it's probably a good idea to replace it. It's still plenty sharp though, for landscapes it's good enough but not at crucial moments when AF should be accurate on the first shot.

So I'm looking at the 17-55 and 24-70mm lenses. My list of priorities is as follows:

1 image quality (Good color and contrast most importantly, and low distortion too)
2 Portrait range
3. Fast and accurate AF in low light

4. Usable wide open. I often shoot at f/2.8 with primes, but with zooms it'll have be wide open.

5. Anything that can be used as general walk around lens. I may keep the 18-50mm for that so it's not a necessity.

It would be nice to replace the sigma 18-50mm with the 17-55, not only for paid shoots but also for travel and landscapes. But during shoots I take a lot of portrait shots with focal lengths that the 24-70mm covers better than the 17-55.

I will still use the 85mm f/1.8, but what lens would you get/recommend to complement it? Or should I jut get a replacement for the sigma and get the canon 35mm f/1.4L?

As for build quality the 85mm is good enough for me and if I'm not mistaken the 17-55 is abou the same.

Is there any difference between the L and EF-S zooms color wise? Are they comparable with the 85mm or close?

Any input is greatly appreciated!

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Kind regards


 imqqmi's gear list:imqqmi's gear list
Canon EOS 40D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM +2 more
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