18-55 vs 17-55 No difference?

Started Nov 13, 2011 | Discussions thread
blue_cheese Senior Member • Posts: 1,839
IQ is an after the fact evaluation of lens performance

Looking solely at the "IQ" (Sharpness/contrast/etc...) is only half the story, the other half is actually having a picture.

I have the 18-55 and I rented the 17-55 precisely to evaluate it for purchase. I am a complete amateur (make no money from the pictures I take of my kids/vacations) and can easily be classified as a beginner in DSLR.

The 17-55 is superior to the 18-55 in every single way other than cost and weight. While the IQ may be close, where the 18-55 falls short is in it's ability to take the picture. Even in poor indoor lighting the 17-55 has dead on fast focus and will take a burst of 7 shots before the 18-55 even focuses if you are lucky. Panning shots of the kids tubing down a hill, I did not have to wait for any "focus trap" nonsense with the 17-55, locks on and tracks fantastically.

Taking pictures of playing kids, for me this performance is absolutely crucial. VR would be nice, but it doesn't help with moving subjects as well as the F2.8 does.

Do I think the 17-55 is overpriced... yes... not because the 18-55 is so great, but because for a few extra dollars you get the similarly fast focusing, even sharper, nano coated, full frame 24-70 F2.8.

Am I happy that the 18-55 is a great value, yes. Do I think this thread is ridiculous.... absolutely. and this is coming from an amateur.

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