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Thread started 18 Mar 2010 (Thursday) 11:51
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17-85 vs 15-85 - overhyped?

 
tkbslc
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Looking at the photozone 15-85 and 17-85 tests on the 50D, I can't help but feel like the differences have been a bit overhyped. Judging from posts on this forum, the 17-85 is worse than the 18-55 kit lens and the 15-85 is practically L grade. However judging from these reviews, the 17-85 really doesn't seem much worse at all. It only loses on the wide end at the extreme corners, and at the telephoto end it actually beats the 15-85. Distortion is slightly better for the 15-85 at the wide end, but still not admirable, but vignetting is worse. CA is about the only category where the 15-85 really pulls ahead, but is still not great at wide angle.

Am I missing something here? Is the 15-85 overhyped, or is the 17-85 really not as bad as people like to say?

photozone reviews:
http://www.photozone.d​e ...on_1785_456is_50d?s​tart=1external link

http://www.photozone.d​e ...canon_1585_3556is?s​tart=1external link

Mar 18, 2010 11:51

Taylor
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mrkgoo
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Who said the 17-85 was really bad?

Mar 18, 2010 11:55



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Sdiver2489
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That's a pretty significant jump in resolution. The distortion measurement is better AND it's significantly wider. 15mm is nothing to scoff at.

That, and the build quality improved and the IS improved. Seems, like a significant upgrade to me.

Mar 18, 2010 11:57

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tkbslc
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Sdiver2489 wrote in post #9822095external link
That's a pretty significant jump in resolution. The distortion measurement is better AND it's significantly wider. 15mm is nothing to scoff at.

That, and the build quality improved and the IS improved. Seems, like a significant upgrade to me.

Where has the resolution been improved, other than the extreme corners? The 17-85 actually has the highest max center resolution at every focal length.

Not saying the 15-85 isn't better, but it certainly isn't embarassing the 17-85

Mar 18, 2010 12:11

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Beachcomber ­ Joe
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tkbslc wrote in post #9822049external link
Am I missing something here? Is the 15-85 overhyped, or is the 17-85 really not as bad as people like to say?

Yes to both questions. The 17-85 has always been one of those lenses that some posters like to bash, mostly those who have never owned one. In the real world, I find my copy of the 17-85 to be just fine, a great walk around lens.

Mar 18, 2010 12:19



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Invertalon
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My 17-85 was great.... The girlfriend is using it now :D

Extremely sharp on the long end and just fine on the wide. Never had an issue with it!

Mar 18, 2010 12:38

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FuturamaJSP
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Have to agree with Invertalon here.
I also had a 17-85 and I loved it the only thing I hated about it is it's narrow aperture and a bit soft wide open at 85mm but judging from the reviews I have read the newer version hasn't really improved much on those areas either and certainly not worth the extra 350 bucks

Mar 18, 2010 13:41

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toxic
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There is more to perceived IQ than just test chart resolution figures. Photozone's tests measure resolution, not contrast or acutance. SLRGear is better in this regard, since their blur measurements include both resolution and acutance.

Also, the 1% less distortion is significant, and especially so because the 15-85 is wider.

Mar 18, 2010 13:44



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borism
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The two issues the 17-85 are distortion at the wide end And unjustified bashing from people that probably haven't even used it ever and enjoy repeating what they once read.
The 17-85 is a nice lens very competent lens.
Having said that. The 15-85 is a newer better suited lens with less distortion at a wider end and sharper corners. Nicer IS and build and yes is sharper wide open With nicer colors and contrast IMO.
It basically is what the 17-85 should have been from the begining.
I really enjoy this lens.
But again the 17-85 is a very competent lens IMO.

Mar 18, 2010 14:00 as a reply to toxic's post 16 minutes earlier.

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eelnoraa
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The difference has been overblown out of proportion. 17-85IS isn't a bad lens at all, I have owned one before for 2 years. Actually for crop body, I prefer this lens much over the 17-40L. I even prefer this over 24-105L. And now I have FF, this lens was sold

Mar 18, 2010 14:18

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bongEstrella
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Juza Nature Photography reviewed this lens and compared it to 17-85 and sigma 18-125..

http://www.juzaphoto.c​om ...85_17-85_sigma_18-125.htmexternal link

Mar 19, 2010 12:20

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Sharpmaxell
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i just got my 17-85 yesterday and i like it already. i havent used it that much yet but it seems pretty sharp with a fast focus.

Mar 19, 2010 12:26

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tkbslc
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bongEstrella wrote in post #9829466external link
Juza Nature Photography reviewed this lens and compared it to 17-85 and sigma 18-125..

http://www.juzaphoto.c​om ...85_17-85_sigma_18-125.htmexternal link

Nice, thanks. It seems he might agree with me

From Juza:

The new Canon 15-85 is a great zoom; it improves both image and built quality in comparison with its predecessor. Is it worth the price? Personally, I think it is a bit overpriced...$ 720 is a lot for a 3.5-5.6 zoom, in spite of the good quality. That said, I expect the price to come down with time, and overall I like this lens. If you have a limited budget and you want something similar, don't forget the old Canon 17-85 - it is much cheaper and it comes close to the quality of 15-85!

So while the 15-85 is better, the 17-85 was not that bad and the 17-85 is better on the long end while the 15-85 is better at the wide end.

Mar 19, 2010 12:29

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msowsun
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tkbslc wrote in post #9829534external link
From Juza:

So while the 15-85 is better, the 17-85 was not that bad and the 17-85 is better on the long end while the 15-85 is better at the wide end.

I disagree with that statement. Where in Juza's review did you see it?

The 15-85 is not overhyped. It is sharp wide open at all focal lengths. The 17-85 is sharp once you stop down, but not wide open.

Check out these SLR Gear charts:

http://www.slrgear.com ...non17-85f4-56/tloader.htmexternal link

http://www.slrgear.com ...15-85f35-56is/tloader.htmexternal link

Mar 19, 2010 12:29

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tkbslc
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msowsun wrote in post #9829536external link
No, the 15-85 is not overhyped. It is sharp wide open at all focal lengths. The 17-85 is sharp once you stop down, but not wide open.

Check out these SLR Gear charts:

http://www.slrgear.com ...non17-85f4-56/tloader.htmexternal link

http://www.slrgear.com ...15-85f35-56is/tloader.htmexternal link

I have seen those links, but they don't seem to match up with photozone, the Juzaphoto test linked above, or the real world samples you see. So who do you beleive?

Not trying to be difficult, but really trying to decide if the 15-85 is worth the relatively high price over a 17-85 kit resale in the $300 range.

Mar 19, 2010 12:32

Taylor
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17-85 vs 15-85 - overhyped?
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