Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 Mar 2010 (Tuesday) 09:22
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

17-55IS vs 15-85IS. Reach vs speed

3,417 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
Likes: 146
Joined Jul 2008
Location: Florida, Weston
Mar 10, 2010 16:55 as a reply to  @ post 9769620 |  #46

I had the 17-55 and I don't get how it is called a "walk around lens" Imo
Is a great lens, but i think is more of a studio lens (just My Humble Opinion, please dont kill me), just like the 24-70 f2.8 on FF,
but as a only one lens for me is not wide enough for many things, is not long enough for other and even not fast enough at f2.8 as I kept using my flash indoors, not to mention pretty big and heavy for walking around.
I guess is a matter of opinion choice and style?
That is why I sold it and got the 15-85IS, I dont regret my desition.
But if studio is your every day thing on a crop I'd choose the 17-55 I guess, but even then on studio you don't really need f2.8, if you want shallow DOF i'd go for a faster prime also if you need low ligh again i'd get a faster prime but constant aperture is nice to have.


sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Mostly Lurking
14 posts
Joined Feb 2010
Mar 10, 2010 17:12 |  #47

Acamacho wrote in post #9769620 (external link)
17-55 a downgrade to 18-55? @_@

I was on the fence on whether to get the 17-55 or the 15-85, but decided in the end to get the 15-85 because of the reach. So far I've been liking the output. I don't have a 17-55 to compare to mind you, but I like the quality so far.

May be a downgrade in IQ. It's obvisiously a faster lens throughout the focal range, but some reviews mention the IQ. I wouldnt' want to get a lens that is going to have the same or less image quality and just faster for the amount that a 17-55 costs. Not to mention the 15-85 has a lower focal range and thats always good for APS-C if you enjoy the wide angle. How is the sharpness wide open?

Senior Member
323 posts
Joined Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Mar 10, 2010 18:54 |  #48

I want both, so I've got a 15-85 and 35 f/2 coming. I shoot a lot outdoors and want the reach and width, but when I'm indoors I just want aperature and 50mm is too long for me on a crop. These two together are not much more $$ than a 17-55 IS.

EOS 40D | EF-S 17-55 f/2.8
My Flickr (external link)

Cream of the Crop
8,818 posts
Likes: 7
Joined Jun 2008
Location: Where southern efficiency and northern charm come together
Mar 10, 2010 19:13 |  #49

bobmenor19 wrote in post #9769414 (external link)
I've seen a few articles and reviews. according to them the IQ of the 17-55 is not any better and may be a down grade to the 18-55IS kit lense.

Go to and look at the reviews for the 17-55 as compared to the 18-55. At every focal length they test the 17-55 has less distortion, less chromatic aberation, when wide open at f/2.8 is at least sharp as the cheaper lens is at any aperture and then gets even sharper when closed down a little.

The 15-85 has the range that I think I would really appreciate and spend the difference between the two lense on a speedlite.

On this we agree.

-- Ken
Comment and critique is always appreciated!
Flickr (external link)
Gear list

Senior Member
678 posts
Joined Jan 2006
Mar 11, 2010 04:56 |  #50

I'm going to go with the 15-85. I know I'd find the 55mm not long enough for me - I had a 24-105 previously so an 85 is already a small compromise.

Then I'll buy a 50 1.8 and either a sigma 30 1.4 or a canon 85 1.8 to complement it. Haven't decided which yet, does the 30 1.4 distort faces on a crop or is its length ok?


no dear, it didn't cost much at all

my stuff

74 posts
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Ireland
Mar 13, 2010 09:47 as a reply to  @ mrklaw's post |  #51

I am also on the fence with regards to these two lenses. I will pull the trigger on one of these. One week its the 17-55.the other week its the 15-85. I am torn between "reach" and "speed". However whilst out walking by the coastline the other evening I found it frustrating that I had no reach with my 18-55 kit lens. WA was perfect. My only reason for getting the 17-55 f2.8 would be mainly for portraiture.

However from reading yer views on this thread I think I will pull the trigger on 15-85mm. I will have the back up of my speedlite 430 flash when light gets a bit tricky and I think I will be better served with this lens and some primes as oppose to the 17-55 on it's own.

Thanks guys for all yer posts. Being a newbie l'm learning an awful lot from you.

Canon 6D, Canon 24-105L, Canon 35L, Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 85mm f1.8, Speedlite 600EX-RT, Speedlite 430 EX II.

Electric ­ Shepherd
Senior Member
997 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 21
Joined Jun 2008
Location: Leicester, U.K.
Mar 13, 2010 12:37 as a reply to  @ SwavGav's post |  #52

Well I've bitten the bullet and ordered the 15-85. I figure I've got the nifty fifty if I want to take wide aperture portrait shots, but would value the extra range and step up in quality the 15-85 gives over my 18-55. Maybe I'll add an 85 1.8 sometime in the future, but for now the 15-85 fits the bill nicely.

My Gear

My flickr (external link)

84 posts
Joined Jan 2010
Location: Seattle
Mar 13, 2010 13:55 |  #53

I'd go with the 17-55 but that's based on what I like to shoot. The IS with a 2.8.... man...

Canon 30D with a varied assortment of lenses... and growing ;)

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

5,532 views & 0 likes for this thread
17-55IS vs 15-85IS. Reach vs speed
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©

Latest registered member is ibflyin
889 guests, 235 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018 Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.