Common Sense Lens Selection

I’m a big fan of David Ziser’s DigitalProTalk blog, even though I’m not a wedding photographer nor have that much interest in wedding photography. What makes Dave’s blog really stand out for me is his down-to-earth, common sense approach to photography, lighting and photographic gear.

Take his recent review of Canon’s EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens for example. Rather than get bogged down in all the technical details and comparisons between this lens and Canon’s L Series glass, Dave gets right to the heart of the matter. He gives seven great reasons why this lens works so well for him and tops it off with an incredible portrait image he’s taken using this lens hand-held in very low light.

I regularly shoot with an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens (Canon’s least expensive L Series wide-angle zoom) tripod-mounted for most of my landscape work, but I’ve been looking for a good “walk around” lens with image stabilization that doesn’t cost a small fortune. I’ve done plenty of research and compared all my Canon and non-Canon options but couldn’t make up my mind until I read Dave’s review.

No matter what anyone says, cost is always a big factor when selecting a lens and the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is a great bargain. This lens uses Canon’s second generation image stabilization and a fast, quiet ring-type USM that provides full time manual focus capability. For a lens costing less than $500 (USD) that’s quite a deal. My lens arrived from Adorama this morning and I’m looking forward to shooting with it at the Wings Over Houston air show next week.