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Thread: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review

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    Administrator Bryan Carnathan's Avatar
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    Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Discuss theCanon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review- Tell us what you think of theCanon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens.

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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Great review. Nice to finally see your comments backing up what your ISO charts showed... it's a fantastic lens.


    Personally I was (and still am I suppose) a bit worried about the variable aperture. I don't know how much of a concern that really should be though, as my low light shots would probably tend to be indoors, wide-to-mid-angle-ish shots anyway, which isn't THAT much slower than the 17-55mm's f/2.8. In exchange for the slower lens, you get IS, wider reach, longer reach, and money in the bank. Not a bad trade.
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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Excellent review, as usual Bryan!


    This lens was announced by Canon just at the time I was debating the relative merits of theEF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USMand theEF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. I expected that the IQ of thenew 15-85mm would be better than that of the 17-85mm, but it's interesting that the 15-85mm seems to be significantly better. I also felt like the extra 2mm on the wide end would help stave off the desire for theEF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. However, in the end I went with the 17-55mm f/2.8, adding the 85mm f/1.8 to fill in the longer focal length. The faster lenses provide much better action-stopping capability and open up indoor ambient light shooting possibilities that the 15-85mm would miss (1 2/3 stops vs. the 17-55mm at 55mm, 2 1/3 stops vs. the 85mm prime).


    Having said that, for day hikes when I want to limit the amount I'm carrying without paying a big IQ penalty, this lens may make it into the kit at some point.






    <div>


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston


    Personally I was (and still am I suppose) a bit worried about the variable aperture. I don't know how much of a concern that really should be though, as my low light shots would probably tend to be indoors, wide-to-mid-angle-ish shots anyway, which isn't THAT much slower than the 17-55mm's f/2.8. In exchange for the slower lens, you get IS, wider reach, longer reach, and money in the bank. Not a bad trade.



    I'm not a big fan of variable apertures, myself. But, I did want to point out that theEF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM does have IS, so there's no trade off there. I find myself taking a lot of indoor shots close in (usually of my 22 month-old daughter), and that extra 1 2/3 stops at anything over 38mm makes a big difference.
    </div>

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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist
    But, I did want to point out that theEF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM does have IS, so there's no trade off there
    D'oh. I was probably thinking of the Tamron 17-50mm (which also now has an IS version). Thanks for the correction, though you're not making my decisions any easier.
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  5. #5

    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    I'm surprised how well it did. I expected an "extended range" 17-85mm quality lens. Looks like a great performer, though.

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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    After reading Photozone review and this site's review for this lens, I feel that there is some discrepancy, I'd like to be resolved.


    Both sites mention the high vignetting &lt;= @F/5.6 and barrel distortion and CA. But this site's somehow seems to indicate resolution is high off-center, at least with respect to other EF-S lenses, on par with 17-55 and significantly better than 18-55 IS.


    While not all units of the EF-S 15-85 are exactly the same, it still seems puzzling: "Excellent" vs. "Desirable ... slightly overpriced".


    Another point, is when comparing EF-S 15-85 to Nikkor 16-85, it seems the latter is superior in all respects. Is Canon playing catch-up with Nikon?



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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Great review, Bryan. I read this part with interest:
    <p style="padding-left: 30px;"] "This implementation of IS is very quiet (not easy to hear operating even with your ear next to the lens) and is very well-behaved (image does not bounce into stabilization). Auto-panning is featured - the lens figures out when you are panning with a moving subject and adjusts motion correction for this. "


    I wonder if part of Canon's motivation for these improvements was to enhance video. I have to disable I.S. on my 70-200 f/4 L IS because it's so loud that it drowns out the location sound.

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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Also wondering if the consistent gradual decrease in off-center samples is a hint that basically this lens is sharp only in it's center, or perhaps I don't understand what "Location about 20% into the top/left of the frame" means.

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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Great review! Very informative especially with the comparisons.


    Here Canon has made a great lens, I wonder how the Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC will stand against it. A f/2.8 is more attractive to me personally than extended range, but of course this preference has to be based on identical image quality and AF performance. Looking forward to the Tamron review!


    Thanks Bryan for all the effort in putting this review together =)

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    Re: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review



    Seems like a great lens - I'm impressed (and jealous).


    Bryan - it's hard to judge from small web pictures so I need your help here: is it possible that the lens' IQ on a 1.6 body is better than the 24-105 (maybe 24-70 too) on the same body? (more specifically, on a 50D or a 7D)

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