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Author Topic: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8  (Read 12722 times)

kkt262

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Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« on: July 07, 2011, 11:03:14 AM »
I heard that there is a problem with dust getting into the EFS 17-55 f/2.8. Is this true and can this be remedied with a UV filter or something similar?

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Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« on: July 07, 2011, 11:03:14 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 12:04:17 PM »
I heard read on the internet that Fords always break down.  Should I just get a Chevy instead?

Any lens, especially a zoom lens with an extending design, pulls in and pushes out air - and dust can come with the air.  The 17-55mm has gotten a bad rap for this, but mine doesn't have a speck of dust inside after almost two years of use (and I don't baby my gear).  I do have a UV filter on it (B+W MRC) which might help.  Reportedly, newer copies of the lens don't have the same level of issues (that's true for IS and electrical issues, at least, according to LensRentals.com's repair data). 

I suspect one reason that the 17-55mm reportedly has a 'dust problem' is that it's an expensive lens, priced above some of the L-series lenses, and despite that high price tag, as a non-L lens there's no weather/dust-sealing.  So it gets some dust, and people whine. 

Am I being harsh by saying 'whine'?  I don't think so - I am sure there are people out there with dust in their 17-55mm lenses.  But unless you're inordinately fond of staring through the lens looking for dust, as opposed to putting the lens on the camera and taking a picture, there's no cause for concern.  The reality is that a little dust in the lens - or even a lot - is not going to have a significant effect on your images (because the light is defocused as it travels through the lens). 
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spedi

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 01:09:25 PM »
I have a 17-55mm and i have some dustparticles behind the front element. A filter won't help prevent this because the dust comes in with the tubus moving in and out.
I am using this lens for maybe 90% of all my pictures using f2.8 to f15 and I can't find any evidence on my pictures.
The 17-55mm is a wonderful lens, even with some dust in it. I just love it  :)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 01:15:44 PM »
I have a 17-55mm and i have some dustparticles behind the front element. A filter won't help prevent this because the dust comes in with the tubus moving in and out.

When the extending zoom moves in and out, air will move in and out...but, there are a couple of small 'vent holes' on the front of the lens, next to the front element, and a UV filter might shift the airflow to other inlets which do a better job of blocking dust (or at least, reduce accumulation on the back side of the front element, which seems to be the main complaint). 
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 01:17:36 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Act444

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 01:20:42 PM »

This was a big issue for me as well when considering this lens, but a couple months ago I finally decided to go for it. I have 4 other lenses and the 17-55 DOES seem to attract more dust in general than the other 4. I think the filter prevents the larger specks from getting in, but you still get small ones from the barrel going in.

Most of the dust is landing ON the lens, luckily...considering how much dust was on this thing when I got it (and when I used it), surprisingly little of it found its way inside.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 01:22:55 PM by Act444 »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 01:24:50 PM »
How much does the relatively small amount of dust affect the image?  Here's an extreme example of front element 'problems' and the effect on final image.
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awinphoto

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 02:52:22 PM »
While Dust is relatively A) a non factor in the overall quality of the image unless it's grossly saturated and B) a factor of life, there's a few things to think about (regarding lenses).  On the weathersealed L lenses, theres a disclaimer that they are weathersealed IF you put a filter on the front.  I dont know much about how that works with non weathersealed lenses, however if that's a requirement for the best lenses and filters, then I'd say it's probably a good idea to consider that if you have a high quality filter you can slap on the front.

Also, as neuro stated, it's a relative non factor in the overall image and should some get in whether it from the front element, rear element, barrel, or any other nook or cranny, it isn't something that you should get worried about and if you happen to qualify for CPS, you can get your gear cleaned for free a few times a year anyways.  I did read a while ago that this lens with the frequency and location on the vent holes has a higher dust problem than most lenses, however unless you'r taking the lens to the sahara's or shooting in the middle of a dust storm, I dont see many situations in which this lens would be rendered useless. 
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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 02:52:22 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 03:22:07 PM »
I dont see many situations in which this lens would be rendered useless.

One such situation might be getting needlessly freaked out about some dust behind the front element, and taking it apart yourself for a DIY cleaning.   :P
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awinphoto

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 03:50:41 PM »
I dont see many situations in which this lens would be rendered useless.

One such situation might be getting needlessly freaked out about some dust behind the front element, and taking it apart yourself for a DIY cleaning.   :P

Very true haha
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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 09:55:40 PM »
here is the extreme way to clean if you're that paranoid about dust.

best thing to remember is that dust on front element is not bad. dust on rear element is worse, and dust on sensor is worst.

I've got some ~50 year or Takumars of my mum's, they're just primes with the 'move every element together' to focus. Even they've got dust inside, between the elements.


whoever said about the people whining because they paid L-money and got a non-sealed lens, i'd say that's the point. How many Joe Consumers with 18-55 Lenses actually complain about dust in their lens? i'd guess there's just as much getting in, but they're not so fussy as someone who'd buy a 17-55... (and even if they did care, it's only $50 to buy a new lens, cheaper than cleaning it professionally)
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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 01:15:44 AM »
Some people do complain of dust in the lenses.  I did not see any after three years of use, but I was very careful with the lens and most of its use was indoors.  So, I think that if there is a lot of dust in the air, some will get inside.  I have found dust in many lenses, its fairly common on zoom lenses or those that extend.  I've never had a issue with the images from dust though.

Some lenses are easy to clean, and some are difficult.  I wouldn't worry about dust as much as the fairly large number of users with IS problems.  The lens rental companies have noted higher than expected IS failures from rented 17-55mm lenses, so don't rent yours out.  I didn't see a problem, but I'm very careful with my lenses, and have never damaged one.

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2011, 03:19:54 PM »
yeah that is one of the main reason i did not buy this lens, while i was with crop sensor.
i saw the dust in the shop, display model, one look and it is very ugly. no way in hell, i will spend 1000 euro on lens with so much dust, i bet a 100 euro lens will have less dust than it. i am sure.
the shop is indoor. i am sure you will not see the dust if you take a photo. but when you spend 1000 euro , you should expect certain standard. just me.

elmo2006

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 03:49:15 PM »
Take any lens, prime or variable zoom and shine a flashlight through it.  You will see dust everywhere!

As the majority of members have provided positive feedback, complaining about dust is futile. Dust gets into *everything* no matter how much effort is applied.

I too was once hung up on dust, and as I have matured, I have come to terms with my dust ridden equipment and suffice to say the photos are still looking (not to toot my own horn) fantastic as if the equipment was just purchased.

Buy, use and be merry I say...pull the trigger already, you know you want to...

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 03:49:15 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 07:56:42 PM »
Take any lens, prime or variable zoom and shine a flashlight through it.  You will see dust everywhere!

As the majority of members have provided positive feedback, complaining about dust is futile. Dust gets into *everything* no matter how much effort is applied.

I too was once hung up on dust, and as I have matured, I have come to terms with my dust ridden equipment and suffice to say the photos are still looking (not to toot my own horn) fantastic as if the equipment was just purchased.

Buy, use and be merry I say...pull the trigger already, you know you want to...

True, there is always dust, its more a matter of how large the particles are.  Even a high end clean room has dust, just a lot less.  I've seen clean rooms done with extreme care, everyone wearing bunny suits, double airlocks, its impossible to keep out.

Just measuring the dust in a cleanroom requires a expert with some very high equipment.

(I was in charge of the Engineering controlled clean room requirements and definitions for our company).  A subject that always caused friction due to increased manufacturing costs versus the need for various levels of allowable dust particles. 

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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 03:04:00 AM »
I held off purchasing this lens for a long time because of the dust concerns.  I finally rented it and the 24-70 to compare.  For all its great reputation, I really didn't like the 24-70.  The 17-55 is lighter, has a better usable range on a crop body (my preference), and takes pictures just as sharp - plus it has IS and costs less.  I have read a lot about the dust issue, and from what I have read and my own experience, most of the issue is dust coming in the front of the lens.  I put a UV filter on all my lenses and have had one on the 17-55 since the day I got it.  I haven't noticed any dust at all (after about 1 year).

This lens is amazing.  Good IS, great in low light, good AF, all-purpose range on a crop camera.  I wouldn't let dust issues prevent you from getting this lens.  It is the default general purpose lens that I keep on my camera 80% of the time.  I wish I would have bought it a year sooner.
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Re: Dust on EFS 17-55 f/2.8
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 03:04:00 AM »