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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 28 Oct 2013 (Monday) 21:08
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I just about have enough saved to get the 15-85, having second thoughts...

 
gregrocco
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Oct 28, 2013 21:08 |  #1

So I've just about saved up enough to buy a 15-85 lens. From what I've read it's one of the best lenses you can get if, like me, you're on a budget and can really only afford one.

As usually happens in these cases, however, now that I'm getting close to purchasing it, I'm wondering if there are other options I should be looking at. I have a T2i and sold the 28-135 lens I had because I didn't care for the IQ. Are there any other lenses, comparable to the 15-85 (either Canon or other makes) that offer similar range and similar performance for a similar price, or am I making the right choice in getting it?




  
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richp
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Oct 28, 2013 21:13 |  #2

Only you can decide if it's the right choice for you. I picked one up about a year ago and it's working out very well for me. I looked long and hard at the 17-55 to get the constant f2.8 but in the end decided the price and range on both ends was worth it for me. I am very happy with the lens.


Canon 60D | Canon 15-85 | Tamron 70-200 f2.8 VC| Canon 50 f1.8 | 420EX

  
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Lexar
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Oct 28, 2013 21:19 |  #3

For that range the 15-85 is the best you will get! its very versatile, sharp, fast focus, and can be used as a one lens solution for most of your shots.

However it struggles in low light. All you need is a prime (sigma 30, canon 35f2) to complement your low light or a flash.

If you are looking for more portrait and indoor shooting then maybe go for a 17-50/55 f2.8


Canon 70D | 15-85IS | Σ17-50/2.8 | Σ30/1.4 | 40/2.8 Pancake | 100/2.0 | 55-250STM | 430EXII

  
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xarqi
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Oct 28, 2013 22:00 |  #4

gregrocco wrote in post #16407000 (external link)
Are there any other lenses, comparable to the 15-85 (either Canon or other makes) that offer similar range and similar performance for a similar price, or am I making the right choice in getting it?

Short answer, you are making the right choice, in my opinion.
Longer answer: there are always alternatives, depending on budget, subject matter, and preference.

You *could* go for the older 17-85, but I wouldn't. It's cheaper, but you give up a lot.

You *could* go for the 17-55/2.8 and gain f/2.8 at all apertures, while giving up some range and paying more.

You *could* go for the 18-135 STM, but I don't think it is in the same league as the 15-85 in terms of IQ, but if video is your thing, it could have advantages. I don't have any experience with it to advise with certainty however.

For a high quality "walk-around" zoom for APS-C, the 15-85 is hard to beat.




  
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mannetti21
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Oct 28, 2013 22:24 |  #5

If you are planning to only purchase a single lens for your camera, the 15-85 would be the best choice in my opinion. If you think you may want to add another lens in the future, then I would consider other options. The 17-55 f/2.8 is essentially an "L" quality lens made for crop cameras and the f/2.8 is extremely useful. The 17-55, and either an 85mm prime or 70-200mm zoom, would allow you excellent versatility without sacrificing image quality as you were doing with the 28-135mm lens.

Words of wisdom...no matter what you think right now, don't expect to purchase just a single lens for your camera because it's not going to happen. Especially if you are frequenting these forums, you are almost guaranteed to get the urge to make another purchase, and probably sooner than you would imagine. Do it right and get the 17-55, add another longer lens, and THEN decide if you want to add the 15-85 as a dedicated travel/walkaround lens for day trips.



My Buyer/Seller Feedback

  
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Stone ­ 13
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Oct 28, 2013 22:27 |  #6

I used the 15-85 for years before going FF. There are faster APS-C zooms out there, but the 15-85 is the king of versatility. It has a very useful focal range, great 4-stop IS and you will not get better IQ from an APS-C zoom lens. I LOVED my 15-85, it was that good....


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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YashicaFX2
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Oct 28, 2013 22:28 |  #7
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I went from an 18-55 to the 18-135 (non-STM) to the 15-85. The 15-85 is the best of those three, most certainly. It is sharper across the frame throughout the focal range than either of the 18-x lenses. It also focuses faster. Sometimes f/2.8 would be nice, but I don't think the 17-55 is worth the price. However, lots of folks do.


Dedicated APS-c shooter. Gripped 60D, 60 2.8, 10-22, 15-85, Σ70-200 OS and a big white something or other! Plus a 5D w/28-75.

  
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mwsilver
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Oct 28, 2013 22:37 |  #8

gregrocco wrote in post #16407000 (external link)
So I've just about saved up enough to buy a 15-85 lens. From what I've read it's one of the best lenses you can get if, like me, you're on a budget and can really only afford one.

As usually happens in these cases, however, now that I'm getting close to purchasing it, I'm wondering if there are other options I should be looking at. I have a T2i and sold the 28-135 lens I had because I didn't care for the IQ. Are there any other lenses, comparable to the 15-85 (either Canon or other makes) that offer similar range and similar performance for a similar price, or am I making the right choice in getting it?

Its a hard decision. In the end it depends on which focal range works best for you. Its main competition is usually the Canon 17-55 f/2.8. Almost as wide on the wide end and much shorter on the long end, it has great optics and of course the fixed f/2.8. It's also a couple of hundred $ more expensive. In the end I chose the 15-85. The extra 2mm on the wide end is much wider in practice than you would think and is wide enough so I don't need an UWA lens, and 85mm on the long end is long enough for portraits, but at f/5.6 at 85mm you need good artificial or natural light. Its definitely not a low light lens, although 4 stops of IS means you can hand hold this lens at fairly slow shutter speeds which can make up for it a bit. The overall focal range is perfect for my general needs as a walk around lens. Now if they only made this lens with a constant f.2,8. :)


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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oscardog
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Oct 28, 2013 22:39 |  #9

I had the lens for a couple months and while what everyone said is true, I ended up hating the variable aperture. I also realized i used it often at its longest and at its widest and not much in between.


Gear: 6D, 7d Mark II, Rokinon 14mm 2.8, Canon 16-35 f4 IS, Sigma 24mm 1.8, Canon 70-200 f4 (non IS), Sigma 500 4.5 DG, Kenko 1.4x & 2x converters

  
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KarlGB77
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Oct 28, 2013 22:40 |  #10

I got one a couple years ago and loved it.
Then I got L lens fever and got a great deal on a new 70-200 2.8 II
I took a few shots with my t2i and said "this lens needs a FF camera.
I got a 5D2 soon after and that 15-85 and all the other ef-s gear and cameras have sat in the bag.

I will sell you mine if you're interested.

For a crop camera it's the best walk around lens out there.


Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, T2i (2), 24-105 f4LIS, 17-40 f4L, 70-200f4L IS, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 100 2.8, 85 1.8, 50 1.4, 50 1.8, 15-85 f4-5.6 IS, 60 2.8, 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, 430 EX II, 580 EX II, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod w/ 498RC2, Calumet 8121 Tripod, Manfrotto 679B Monopod w/ 234 RC2 head

  
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gremlin75
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Oct 28, 2013 23:42 |  #11

Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 OS C

When I was deciding between the Canon 15-85mm and sigma 17-70 OS (the original OS version not the new contemporary version) it came down to price and speed. Both had similar IQ. The Sigma was both cheaper and faster but the canon focused a little faster.

The Non-C version that I have is weakest at 70mm wide open but most reviews have said that the new contemporary version is better at 70mm now. (Plus it is USB dock compatible)

At current prices You can get the sigma w/Dock for over $100 less then the Canon (Sigma is $500 +$60 for the dock if you want it and the Canon is $700 with current rebates)




  
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xeodragon
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Oct 29, 2013 00:29 |  #12

Haven't gone through all the comments, but you should be confident in your purchase OP. If you're ready to purchase a lens and willing to spend the money, the 15-85 is a great option. I don't have personal experience with it, but it usually boils down to the Canon 15-85, Canon 17-55, and Sigma 17-50. I don't really think you can go wrong with either, but try and pair up the 15-85 with a prime if you go that route for low-light shooting. Admittedly, there were times when I had the 17-55 and wish I had a wider lens on vacation, but then again I lose the constant aperture. Take your pick as to which one you value more in your shooting. Hope that helps!




  
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mwsilver
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Oct 29, 2013 00:33 |  #13

xeodragon wrote in post #16407432 (external link)
... I don't really think you can go wrong with either, but try and pair up the 15-85 with a prime if you go that route for low-light shooting. Admittedly, there were times when I had the 17-55 and wish I had a wider lens on vacation, but then again I lose the constant aperture. ...

The new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 prime is a great adjunct to the 15-85mm.


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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kin2son
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Oct 29, 2013 00:43 |  #14
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I used to own one back in my 60D days.

Tbh I hated it the day I got it.

It was just soooo slow, extremely limited to daytime usage, and the not-so-great iso performance on a crop camera just wasn't helping.

If I careless about bokeh and just want a sharp lens to walk around in broad daylight, I might as well just carry a RX100... :rolleyes:


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
EOS M / EF-M 18-55 / EF-M 22f2 / Ricoh GR aka Ultimate street camera :p
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Scrumhalf
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Oct 29, 2013 00:49 |  #15

OP was very clear he only has the budget for 1 lens. Given that constraint, the 15-85 is as good as it gets. Add a 430EX II for $200 if you can stretch the budget that far and you can mitigate the lens slowness somewhat.


Sam
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If I don't get the shots I want with the gear I have, the only optics I need to examine is the mirror on the bathroom wall. The root cause will be there.

  
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I just about have enough saved to get the 15-85, having second thoughts...
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