Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How To Dust Proof the Canon 17-55mm F2.8 USM Lens

After a few trips to Canon Serivce for lens cleaning I started doing some research on this lens to discover it is not like an L-Lens as it does not provide any dust protection.

So I gave it some thought and rigged up some dust protection with some felt. The problem area is were the lens two halves are not mechanically sealed to dust from creaping inside. I wrapped the felt around this area and taped it onto the main body with black photo tape and letting a portion of the felt overlap onto the second portion of the lens that extends outward from the main body. After applying the felt I added an additional thin strip of tape to pull down the felt onto smaller portion of lens. Its this step down area that is the critially exposed area.

I hope it actually works!

Check out the process:

Why we are having dust issues...


The EF-S 17-55m f/2.8 USM IS isn't a designated L grade lens and while this may not be really obvious based on the naked specifications it shows up regarding the build quality. This doesn't mean that it isn't decent but the outer construction is made of good quality polycarbonate (except for the metal mount) whereas the recent L grade zooms are magnesium-alloy constructions. Nonetheless the lens feels quite solid (similar to the EF-S 10-22mm USM) and the zoom and focus control rings operate reasonably smooth though not damped. The lens does not provide any protection against dust or humidity. Normally you would expect a little more here regarding the high price tag.
As you can see in the product shot above the lens extends when zooming towards the long end of the zoom range. Thanks to internal focusing the front element does not rotate so using a polarizer remains easily possible.
The lens has an extremely fast and near silent USM (ultrasonic) AF drive including full-time manual focusing (FTM) in one-shot AF mode.

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