7 out of 10 points and recommendedGood all-purpose lens, performs nicely on some 'macro' shots, also good image quality at 85mm focal lengthQuite a bit of distortion at 17mm, a little bit pricey
I am reviewing a product that is on its way back to Canon for testing and repair for a possible front-focusing issue. I will not allow that little blip to affect my overall impression of the lens.reviewed October 20th, 2005 (purchased for $559)
Indeed it could be an issue with my 20D so I'll simply base the review on the positive aspects of the lens.
Overall I think I will be happy with the lens once the issues are resolved (camera or lens issue). I'd have preferred perfect working components straight out of the box but that's life. That's why Canon gets an 7 on overall rating. Otherwise it would have been a 10.
Lens construction quality gets a 7 because I'm still not sure if the issue is with the lens or with my 20D. The lens takes a hit on this one for that reason. Otherwise it would be a 9.
85 percent of my photos are out of focus just enough to be annoying.
When it takes a picture that is IN focus (usually manually focusing) it captures a very sharp image.
I'd say 8 is the maximum image quality one can expect from a non-L-series Canon lens.
Even though I'm having problems initially, I think the lens is a great lens to use for prosumer or even straight consumer level usage.
The lens is very quiet when it focuses and I can only imagine that when I get it back that I will be extremely happy with it.
November 3rd Update
I got the lens back yesterday. Canon's work note said they adjusted both my 20D and my 17-85 lens. There's a significant improvement in the focusing now that the lens is working correctly.
While I won't change my overall rating due to the issues I had, I can say that the lens is a very sharp lens. Kudos to Canon for fixing my problem.