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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 31 May 2012 (Thursday) 09:42
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15-85 vs Adding 17-55 Question

 
BigSky
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May 31, 2012 09:42 |  #1

I bought a 15-85 EF-S and am very pleased with its performance and have no intention of getting rid of it. I have been seriously contemplating purchasing a 17-55 EF-S, most specifically for the constant 2.8. However, in my head, I keep telling myself that increasing my ISO in the lower light situations (need for the faster 2.8 [though really only slightly faster]) will negate/eliminate any benefit provided by the 17-55 EF-S. Is my logic and reasoning sound? Before the questions fly, I am just an advanced amateur whose interests run the whole gamut of possibilities in what I photograph. Most of my photos/pictures are viewed only on a computer with a few printouts in the 5X7 and some in the 8 1/2 X 11 size. I don't do any poster sized pictures. I say this because of possible questions regarding digital noise from higher ISOs. Input would be greatly appreciated. I don't want this to be a Canon/Sigma/Tamron/Tok​ina thread. My question specifically is regarding the compensation with ISO on the 15-85 vs. the faster constant 2.8 of the 17-55. Thanks.




  
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Judsonzhao
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May 31, 2012 09:49 |  #2

High ISO sometimes give you unreal light, like reflection or so
F2.8 brings you not only fastness, but also beautiful bokeh
17 55 is also a very sharp lens, Im trying to get one for myself..


Fly me away.

  
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Sirrith
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May 31, 2012 10:03 |  #3

Modern bodies are fine with higher ISOs. Get a prime if you want something fast. The difference between 1.4 or 1.8 and 4/5.6 is worth having 2 lenses in the same range for. The difference between 2.8 and 4/5.6 is not. All IMO of course.


-Tom
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HughR
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May 31, 2012 11:26 |  #4

The 15-85 IS is a great lens, and I use it for about 85% of my shots using my 60D. Certainly up to ISO 1600-3200 I can make very good 12"x18" prints that look great when viewed at about 2 feet. If light is low, I often use an off-camera or bounced flash, in which case I can shoot at ISO 200-400. In short, both lenses you mention are excellent. I own and love the 15-85 IS and have no desire to pay a lot of money for a largely redundant 17-55 just to have f/2.8. If you really want f/2.8 or better, consider getting a good prime.


Hugh
Canon 60D, Original Digital Rebel (2003)
EFS 15-85mm IS USM, EF 70-300mm IS USM, Tokina 11-16mm
Speedlite 430EX, Speedlite 430EX II,
Qbox 16 pro, Lastolite EZbox 24x24, Lumiquest Softbox III

  
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gocolts
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May 31, 2012 12:06 |  #5

I couldn't decide...so I bought a 15-85 and picked up a Tamron 17-50 non-VC for $300, for a total out of pocket of $900. Best of both worlds for my 7D...




  
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ateet
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May 31, 2012 12:19 |  #6

I had same dilemma for a long long time. Went with 15-85mm and recently added 580EX II flash. 15-85mm is nice focal length and have no issues with available light. When shooting indoors and fast kids high speed sync helps a lot.

17-55mm is highly rated, but expensive for my like and hobby.


Canon 5D Mk III | EF 24-70L II | EF 135L | EF 70-300L | EF 50mm f/1.8 | 580EX II

  
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rick_reno
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May 31, 2012 12:21 |  #7

given what you're printing, i'd stick with the 15-85 and bump the iso if needed.




  
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CaliWalkabout
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May 31, 2012 12:37 |  #8

I'm really happy with the 28/1.8 USM on my T1i as a compliment to the 15-85. This makes a lot more sense to me than dropping the big bucks on the 17-55, as nice as it is. This last weekend I took the 28 and 10-22 on a backpacking trip and was floored by the quality of images the 28 produced. Really nice lens with a great focal length on a crop.


6D, 17-40L, 24L II, 50L, 100L, 70-300L.

  
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tkbslc
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May 31, 2012 12:46 |  #9

Sirrith wrote in post #14511122 (external link)
The difference between 2.8 and 4/5.6 is not. All IMO of course.

With respect to your opinion, the difference can be pretty major at the extremes. If you are at ISO 6400 and f2.8, then f5.6 doesn't even let you take a usable picture.

55mm f2.8 nicely blurs the background for a waist up portrait, 85mm f5.6 does not.

Of course 17mm doesn't look as close to 15mm as it sounds and 85mm is 50% longer than than 55mm. It's all a big tradeoff game.


Taylor
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Stone ­ 13
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May 31, 2012 13:21 |  #10

If you want fast, nothing's going to beat a good prime. Often times, f2.8 while giving you better control of your DOF, will still require you to bump your ISO beyond the comfort zone in low light. For the price of the 17-55 you could get 2 primes & a 430 ex flash and be far better off than another slightly faster zoom in the same range.


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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hieu1004
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May 31, 2012 13:30 |  #11

Add a nifty fifty (or a prime of your choice) and keep what you've got. :)


-Hieu
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Lien
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May 31, 2012 14:26 |  #12

I am in the same exact situation. Started with a 15-85 which is a great lens and extremely useful range. However I find it limited in low light situations and indoors where much of my photography resides. I ended up purchasing a 430 EX II flash to help with indoor photography with the 15-85 but its still a flash shot in the end.

I recently purchased a Sigma 17-50 and find it to be a fantastic lens at a great price. Hard to compare a $670 Sigma 17-50 vs a $1200 Canon 17-55. I feel the images are sharper, colors are more vibrant, and really helps in low light situations where my 15-85 would of failed me. The range does feel limited coming from the 15-85.

I am still trying to decide if I should sell my 15-85.... It makes a great outdoor lens but then you end up indoors and it is not able to keep up with kids\pets\family..... makes me a sad panda.


Canon 6D | Fuji X100 | Fuji XE-2 | Canon 24-105L | Canon 50 1.4 | Canon 85 1.8 | Canon EF 70-300 IS USM | 430EX | 270EX

  
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Dustin ­ Mustangs
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May 31, 2012 15:05 |  #13

Not trying to come off rude, but if you know how to properly use a speedlite it won't look like a 'flash shot' unless you want it to. I would actually argue that most times an indoor flash shot, properly done, is much more appealing than a high iso wide aperture shot in the same setting.


60D | 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS | 70-200 4L | 50 1.8 | 100 2.8 macro | 1.4x II | 580EX | 430EX II


  
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Lien
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May 31, 2012 15:21 |  #14

Dustin Mustangs wrote in post #14512500 (external link)
Not trying to come off rude, but if you know how to properly use a speedlite it won't look like a 'flash shot' unless you want it to. I would actually argue that most times an indoor flash shot, properly done, is much more appealing than a high iso wide aperture shot in the same setting.

How about a low iso wide aperture shot? I just prefer no flash when it comes to portrait shots of people. Ceiling bounce is ok if the situation is right. But theres not always a close ceiling around...


Canon 6D | Fuji X100 | Fuji XE-2 | Canon 24-105L | Canon 50 1.4 | Canon 85 1.8 | Canon EF 70-300 IS USM | 430EX | 270EX

  
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wayne.robbins
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May 31, 2012 16:39 |  #15

ateet wrote in post #14511782 (external link)
I had same dilemma for a long long time. Went with 15-85mm and recently added 580EX II flash. 15-85mm is nice focal length and have no issues with available light. When shooting indoors and fast kids high speed sync helps a lot.

17-55mm is highly rated, but expensive for my like and hobby.

Typically, High Speed Sync is not used for what you are talking about. Flash freezes the action- if it is the primary source of light. No need for HSS after that. HSS typically reduces the effective range of your flash.. While you can use HSS indoors- it's not typically necessary as regular flash already freezes the motion.

HSS is for other creative things- like allowing shutter speeds faster than x-sync - typically 1/200th or 1/250th. By using HSS, you can do creative things like creating a black or darker background - sometimes in daylight.. It's because the flash is illuminating the subject, yet- your background is a result of ambient exposure- typically 1/60th to 1/200th of a second exposure. By using HSS, and a high shutter speed such as 1/8000th of a second, you can eliminate most of the ambient exposure- thus drop the background to much less, sometimes black. Like I said, this is an example of what you can use HSS for..


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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15-85 vs Adding 17-55 Question
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