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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 26 Mar 2013 (Tuesday) 22:17
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15-85 or 85 1.8?

 
trx125
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Mar 26, 2013 22:17 |  #1

Ok, here I go again. I'm going after another lens again. I settled on a 17-85 and nifty fifty a while back after spending some time I find my use of the 50 is almost nil. I have taken quite a few nice photos with the 17-85. I would like to make a jump to a couple primes but also like the versatility of the 17-85? So now comes the big ? again. Sell the 50 and 17-85 and get the 85 1.8 or sell the others pony up a few more coins for the 15-85? Just curious as to what other opinions are on this subject. Thanks for your advice.


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scotiez
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Mar 26, 2013 22:31 |  #2

I just bought the 85 1.8. I haven't really tried it out yet since i just got it tonight. But i have read review after review and it was all positive. I have looked at hundreds of photos others have taken with the 85 and they are amazing. This is the only non L series lens i have but the reviews i have read said this lens puts out L series quality images.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 60D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, 430EX II, Yongnuo YN-560 II, Yongnuo RF-603 C3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger
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mwsilver
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Mar 26, 2013 23:06 |  #3

trx125 wrote in post #15759938 (external link)
Ok, here I go again. I'm going after another lens again. I settled on a 17-85 and nifty fifty a while back after spending some time I find my use of the 50 is almost nil. I have taken quite a few nice photos with the 17-85. I would like to make a jump to a couple primes but also like the versatility of the 17-85? So now comes the big ? again. Sell the 50 and 17-85 and get the 85 1.8 or sell the others pony up a few more coins for the 15-85? Just curious as to what other opinions are on this subject. Thanks for your advice.

I can't speak about the 85mm since I don't have one. But it will limit you to just 85mm. The range of the 15-85 makes it a terrific landscape and general walk-around lens. It goes very wide and moderately long. It has the widest focal range of any standard zoom, 5.66x. The IQ is great and the build is excellent. Reviews and commentaries say its far superior to the 17-85 and the 2 extra mm on the wide end will be very noticeable. Like your 17-85 the 15-85 will only work on crop cameras, so if you're intending on going FF anytime soon that's a consideration. Since you're trying to compare two very different lenses intended for different purposes, you really should first determine what you're intending to shoot and get the best lens you can afford to meet that need.


Mark
Canon 7D2, 60D, T3i, T2i, Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, 30 f/1.4. Canon EF 70-200 L f/4 IS, EF 35 f/2 IS, EFs 10-18 STM, EFs 15-85, EFs 18-200, EF 50 f/1.8 STM, Tamron 18-270 PZD, B+W MRC CPL, Canon 320EX, Vanguard Alta Pro 254CT & SBH 250 head. RODE Stereo Videomic Pro, DXO PhotoLab Elite, ON1

  
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marcosv
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Mar 27, 2013 05:16 |  #4

Are you planning to continue using your 17-85? If so, have fun with the 85/1.8.

If not, I'd get the 15-85. Realistically I can't live without a decent standard zoom because that lens will be the default lens on my camera. Most times I'm not going to be constantly swapping lens to get the right focal length.


EOS-M | 40D | 5DII | 5DIII | EF-M 22 | EF-M 18-55 | 10-22 | 17-55 | 17-40L | 24-70L mk II | 24-105L | 70-200/2.8L IS mk II| 35L | 85L II |35/2 | 40/2.8 pancake | 50/1.8 | 50/1.4 | 100/2 | Rokinon 14/2.8 | 90 EX | 270 EX II | 580 EXII | 600 EX-RT

  
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trx125
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Mar 27, 2013 09:27 |  #5

Not going to keep the 17-85 or the Nifty 50, I find myself doing more family gathering type events(low light and indoors) and close up nature stuff(not macro). I have my 70-200 for the slightly longer reach. I have read most of the reviews and viewed the pics the 85 1.8 can produce. I find most of the family gathering I shoot are in the 85mm range and the 17-85 @ 85 produces excellent pictures but at 5.6 and stopped down slighty, I'm not getting the background seperation I would like. I guess my biggest concern with the 15-85 is getting that seperation. I'm thinking get the 85 1.8 now to use as my general portrait/walkaround lens and add a 10-22 or 16-35 later for my wider angle shots. But on the same hand I could sell the 17-85, keep the plastic fantastic, add some coin and pic up a used 15-85. Oh, decisions, decisions!


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HighPlainsPhotographer
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Mar 27, 2013 09:36 |  #6

Having owned a 85 1.8, I found it too long for a general walk around lens on a crop camera. I would not be happy with it without shorter primes or a shorter zoom. Other than indoor sports, the 85 1.8 was not on my camera very often. Otherwise, a great lens. Fast AF and decent IQ, I did get some CA wide open.


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ceegee
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Mar 27, 2013 09:51 |  #7

HighPlainsPhotographer wrote in post #15761173 (external link)
Having owned a 85 1.8, I found it too long for a general walk around lens on a crop camera. I would not be happy with it without shorter primes or a shorter zoom. Other than indoor sports, the 85 1.8 was not on my camera very often. Otherwise, a great lens. Fast AF and decent IQ, I did get some CA wide open.

I fully agree with this. I would hate to have only this lens on my camera. It's capable of producing amazing images, but on a crop camera it isn't particularly versatile. Indoors, in many homes it's too long to be generally useful for anything but head-and-shoulders-type shots. Also, it has an annoyingly long MFD, which makes it unsuitable for close-up work. On a crop camera, it shines for outdoor portraits and low-light sports, but I would by no means think of it as a general walk-around lens - far too limiting. Of all the lenses in my bag, if I had to choose one to sell, it would be this one. It's my least-used lens - although when I do use it, the results are stunning (apart from the CA in high-contrast situations). If you're not using your 50 mm prime, you're unlikely to use this lens either.

Given that you're doing a lot of indoor and low-light family photography, I'd have thought a Speedlite would be a better purchase than a new lens. Bounced light will do more to improve your indoor shots than a new lens, IMHO. And if you do decide to go with the 15-85, you'll also need a flash at some point.


Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

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mabviper
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Mar 27, 2013 10:07 as a reply to  @ ceegee's post |  #8

I have both lenses. I barely use the 85 f/1.8 mainly because 15-85mm is my go to lens for every day stuff. 85mm is just way too long for anything but street photography for me. I suggest the 15-85. It's just way more versatile.


7D | 15-85mm IS | 30mm f/1.4 | 50mm f/1.8 | 85mm f/1.8 | 580EX II | 430EX II | YN-560

  
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bubbygator
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Mar 27, 2013 10:15 as a reply to  @ mabviper's post |  #9

85/1.8 is an amazingly fast and accurate lens - a must for low-light situations like indoor sports.

But ..... as others have said, it needs an accompanying wide-angle to make the most of all venues. I use the 28/1.8 and 40/2.8 for other indoor shots, and 55-250 for outdoor work.


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Tiller
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Mar 27, 2013 12:30 |  #10

I would get the 15-85 and then the 135 f/2 after you save up some more.


Canon 60D|Tamron 90mm 52B|Canon 50 1.8|Canon 85 1.8|Yongnuo YN-568ex|Manfrotto 055XProb with 498RC2|Fuji AX Multi Program with 50 1.9 and 135 2.8|Mamiya 645 Pro with 85 2.5|
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Stone ­ 13
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Mar 27, 2013 13:18 |  #11

I also have both, the 85 1.8 is only used for my daughter's indoor HS sports when I want to travel light and I have space to zoom with my feet. The 85 1.8 is a great performer, but it's my least used lens since I have the focal length covered by 2 other slower, but more versatile zooms...


Ken
Fujifilm X100T | 5D III gripped |35L | 24-70 2.8L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 85 1.8 | 430 EX II | Yongnuo YN-568EX | Billingham 445 | Think Tank UD 60 |

  
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15-85 or 85 1.8?
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