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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 20 Sep 2012 (Thursday) 21:44
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Better lens...??

 
jjj5278
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Sep 20, 2012 21:44 |  #1

I am trying to decide right now between these two lenses. What one is better overall? I like the f/2.8 on the 17-55mm, but I like the extended reach on the 15-85mm. Decisions, decisions.

17-55mm f/2.8
-or-
15-85mm f/3.5-5.6


More stuff than skill

  
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RobDickinson
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Sep 20, 2012 21:54 |  #2

I couldnt have been happier with my 17-55 , though I bought it before the 15-85 came out I think I would again.


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Sirrith
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Sep 20, 2012 21:55 |  #3

If you want more reach the 15-85 is better overall, if you want fast aperture the 17-55 is better overall.


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snakeman55
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Sep 21, 2012 02:19 |  #4

Tamron 17-50 for $350 is a steal. I loved mine.


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LostArk
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Sep 21, 2012 02:22 |  #5

17-55, unquestioned!


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TSchrief
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Sep 21, 2012 03:26 |  #6
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jjj5278 wrote in post #15021491 (external link)
I am trying to decide right now between these two lenses. What one is better overall? I like the f/2.8 on the 17-55mm, but I like the extended reach on the 15-85mm. Decisions, decisions.

17-55mm f/2.8
-or-
15-85mm f/3.5-5.6

The-Digital-Picture.com review them as "equal in IQ at the same settings". However, the 15-85 can't do f/2.8, and the 17-55 can't do 85. Maybe you should buy them both?


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alazgr8
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Sep 21, 2012 08:47 |  #7

My 40D came with a EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, and my photo's were ok, but when I got my EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 my photo's popped. I'm a pretty rank amateur, but that lense made a huge difference. I still have the 28-135 but the 17-55 stays on my camera. -rick


Rick S.
My Gear = Canon 50d ~ EF 100 f/2.8L IS USM Macro ~ EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ~ EF-S 17-55 IS USM f/2.8 IS ~ EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM ~ EF 28-135 IS f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
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eyalha
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Sep 21, 2012 11:03 |  #8

A good middle ground would be the Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.0
Which is also much cheaper then both of the Canon (especially the 17-55)


5D2, 24-70L F2.8, Sigma 85 F1.4, Sigma 50 F1.4, 70-200L F4 IS, 100-400 F4.5-5.6 II, 430EX II X 2, A few Pocketwizards

  
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Phoenixkh
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Sep 21, 2012 11:09 |  #9

Tough choice.

People who own each seem to be huge fans so I think it's safe to say, both are exceptional lenses for a crop camera. I went with a used 15-85 for the wider view when shooting landscapes.

I wouldn't mind having both, though I wish Canon made a 30mm f/1.4. I'd love a faster prime for indoor shots. At the moment, I just use the 15-85 with a flash gun.


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jjj5278
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Sep 21, 2012 16:45 |  #10

Oh man, even the responses here were split, haha. I wish I could convince myself I need both. I am leaning towards the 17-55mm just b/c I love my 60mm f/2.8 so much. I will be in Alaska next year and I am afraid it may not be the best light so 2.8 would really come in handy there.....ugh, I'll never decide and probably end picking them both up at some point.

I don't trust Tamron/Sigma/etc enough to buy a higher end lens of theirs. Although my 8-16mm is great (I just don't use it enough).


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wayne.robbins
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Sep 21, 2012 19:49 |  #11

Neither - or both...
Personally, I would not choose either. Have a Sigma 17-50 OS- use it sporadically- and really am not that happy about that range - unless I am in the confines of a house, etc.. 15-85- would be my choice - if outdoors during the daylight.. Actually, I would go with the 18-135 STM over the 15-85- because I know how I prefer focal length over going wider.

But in the end, sometimes you gotta realize that there may be times that call for both - a faster lens- and at other times- more range. For me- inside/low light- 17-50 f/2.8. When out and about- which is usually during the day anyways- the 18-135.. Rarely do I carry both though. I would not sell either- because each has its own purposes.


EOS 5D III, EOS 7D,EOS Rebel T4i, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, Canon 24-105L, Canon 18-135 IS STM, 1.4x TC III, 2.0x TC III, Σ 50mm f/1.4, Σ 17-50 OS, Σ 70-200 OS, Σ 50-500 OS, Σ 1.4x TC, Σ 2.0x TC, 580EXII(3), Canon SX-40, Canon S100
Fond memories: Rebel T1i, Canon 18-55 IS, Canon 55-250 IS, 18-135 IS (Given to a good home)...

  
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klimraamkosie
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Sep 21, 2012 23:05 |  #12

I own the 15-85 and I have lenses that give me a wider aperture when I need it.

I'm really impressed by the IQ, but by far the "reach" at 15mm is amazing.


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amfoto1
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Sep 22, 2012 00:27 |  #13

Neither one is "better overall"... they are different.

Forget about what you "want"... figure out what you "need".

If you want blurred backgrounds and low light shooting, get the f2.8 lens. It's limitations are that it's larger and has a narrower range of focal lengths. It basically duplicates the 18-55 you already have, but is a more premium lens. You already have an f1.8 50mm... and is that 60mm the Tamron f2? In that case, maybe you don't also need an f2.8 zoom.

If you want a single lens that's reasonably compact, nice for travel or a single walk-around lens to keep on your camera and leave everything else at home and most of your shooting is in good light, then the 15-85 might be a better choice for you. It gets slightly into the ultrawide area, as well as offering a stronger telephoto for more "reach"... it's both wider and longer than the 17-55, all in one lens. But you already have some wider and longer lenses in your kit.

Either one is capable of making great images. They're just different lenses for different purposes. Just figure out what your purposes are, what your needs are, and that should guide you. Heck, maybe you don't need another lens at all... Or maybe you do.


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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lynmay
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Sep 26, 2012 00:00 |  #14

I did a lot of research on this range before I settled on the 17-40 L (needed the weather proofing). If it had not been for the weather sealing I would have gone with the 15-85 had
I not planned to also pickup a full frame for Landscape use.
The colors and IS on the 15-85 are incredible. I rented this lens for a couple of weeks and really fell in love with it.
The Canon 17-55 can have mechanical issues. You might want to Google this. I veered away from it for that reason and it didn't test well against the 15-85mm :

Here's a link from the Digital Picture site:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)

Just click it and then move your mouse cursor over the arrow and it will give you the lens
image for that lens. You can also you the drop down menu arrows to change the zoom ranges
on each lens and the f stops. You can also change the lenses themselves and check compare
some of the other lenses mentioned here.

Good luck and if you want to see some 15-85 images PM me and I can offer you a link to some
of mine.


lyn
Capturing the illusions of time... Canon 6D, 80D, 10-18 STM, 18-55 STM, 55-250 STM, 16-35L, 24-70L, 70-300 L IS, 100-400L II Kenko 1.4X PRO 300 Tx DGX, Canon Tele 1.4X III

  
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tangfj
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Sep 26, 2012 00:15 |  #15

i had both and liked them but used the 17-55 more due to the 2.8. i will say that the 17-55 does vignette a lot more than the 15-85 when it's wide open at 2.8.

i think a lot will come down to your intended use. if you want a general walkaround lens for when you're in alaska the 15-85 might be better if you plan on going on any tours where you might see any animals/etc where you might need the extra reach. also if you plan on taking landscape photography then the 2.8 probably won't give you any extra benefit b/c you'll likely want a higher stop.

let us know what you shoot the most and i think we'd be able to help you more.


5D MkIII | 16-35L II | 35L | 40 pancake | 50L | Sigma 85 1.4 | 70-300L | 430ex II | 270ex

  
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