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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 12 Jan 2013 (Saturday) 10:43
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Exchange 15-85mm for 17-55?

 
Zeiterphoto
Member
91 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2012
     
Jan 12, 2013 10:43 |  #1

Hi there,

I am pretty new to photography, I just got in november a 60D with the 15-85mm. Someone is offering me a good price on a used 17-55 f/2.8! I am always planning future times ahead and I don't want to me like in 6 months: oh no, this 15-85 is so slow.

I already have a canon 50mm 1.8 and a sigma 30mm f/1.4 is on the way too.

I know this is like the biggest debate ever for a crop body. People prefer the range and others prefer the speed of the 17-55 especially in low light. Let's say that I will use the lens for general photography....shootin​g people or architecture in a city or when I go traveling.

If you bought the 17-55, would you get rid of the sigma 30mm f/1.4 ?

Thanks for your input on this one!


Canon 60D | Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II | Canon Flash Speedlite 430EX II | flickr (external link)

  
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Zeiterphoto
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
91 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2012
     
Jan 12, 2013 11:33 |  #2

anyone??


Canon 60D | Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II | Canon Flash Speedlite 430EX II | flickr (external link)

  
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Roljerj
Member
203 posts
Joined Dec 2008
Location: Wisconsin
     
Jan 12, 2013 11:53 as a reply to  @ Zeiterphoto's post |  #3

You should keep the 30 1.4. If you sold it you would just want to buy it back later. It can do 1.4 at 30mm which the 17-55 will never do. When you want a thin DOF you will miss having the prime.


5DII, 7D, EF 50 1.4, EF 85 1.8, 100L Macro, 135L[COLOR=black], 400L 5.6, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-300L, 15-85 IS

  
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michgirl
Goldmember
1,308 posts
Gallery: 13 photos
Likes: 61
Joined Dec 2009
Location: Michigan
     
Jan 12, 2013 11:58 |  #4

I think with the 15-85mm, the primes will be more useful.


Robin
Canon 6d / EF Lens: 24mm-105mm / 40mm f/2.8 / 28mm f/1.8 / 50mm f/1.8 / 85mm 1.8
Canon T6i / EFs Lens: 24mm Pancake / 18-55mm STM / 18-135mm STM / 55-250mm STM

  
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tickerguy
Senior Member
595 posts
Joined Dec 2012
     
Jan 12, 2013 12:07 |  #5

The 17-55 is f/2.8 where the 15-85 is variable-aperture. I also find the 15-85 to be a bit soft away from center-frame at the wide end. You won't notice it in final prints, but you will if you start pixel-peeping or taking crops from the corners.

The 15-85 also has a fair bit of chromatic aberration, but this is easily-corrected in post and IMHO isn't one of the lens attributes that bothers me in digital nearly as much as it did when I shot film, where it was effectively un-fixable.

If you shoot things that move INDOORS then the 15-85 loses badly as that fixed 2.8 aperture suddenly becomes much more important. But... you have wide-aperture primes already. Do you need the "holes" in your primes covered for available light, moving-subject indoor photography? If not then that advantage disappears.

Don't overlook that the 2mm difference in the long end is actually rather significant, and that you're giving up 30mm on the long side. This is likely responsible for the IQ difference, incidentally, as it is extremely difficult to manufacture a lens that both has top IQ and a wide zoom range. Canon did a VERY good job with the 15-85 given this constraint.

For MY uses I prefer the 15-85 when I intend to use it. But I have a number of other lenses for other purposes; I have both a 24-105 and 70-200 and am considering a 1.4x extender for the latter. I find the 24-105 has better IQ than the 15-85; the latter has a 5.6x zoom range, the former 4.4. No surprise. With a 3.2 zoom range the 17-55 f/2.8 would be expected to have superior IQ to the 15-85 and probably even beat the 24-105L -- and it does. Note the numerical range of all the new high-dollar (and very-high-IQ) zooms in percentage terms -- 17-40, 24-70, etc. All right near 3.x. There's a reason for this; materially over 3x maintaining top IQ becomes impossible.

The 70-200 is the sharpest lens I own by a material margin, especially in the corners, and if what I intend to shoot fits within its operational range that's what I mount.

The 17-55, for MY use, would require that I carry a second lens too much of the time as its f/l range is only about 60% of the 15-85s. Shoe zoom is great right up until there's water, a cliff, a barrier (e.g. in a museum) or some other impassable object in the way. Cropping in post nearly always costs more IQ than the difference in lenses does; that's a mathematical reality, so if you can you always want to compose as you intend rather than relying on post.

If I move to FF then this will change as the 24-105 covers close enough to the 15-85 effective range as to be interchangeable with the shooting I do. But the 24-105 is a much larger and heavier lens than the 15-85 and therefore makes for a bigger and heavier "as carried" kit.

I find the 15-85 to be an excellent choice to stick on my 60D or 7D and use as a "lightweight, walk around and shoot nearly anything" lens. It has its compromises but then again all lenses do.


Canon 7D & 5d3, EF-S 15-85, 24-105L, 70-200L f/4 IS, 100mm Macro/L, EF 50 f/1.4 and more

  
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vrjosh
Senior Member
260 posts
Joined Jan 2009
Location: Kansas
     
Jan 12, 2013 12:48 |  #6

Lets see here. I had the 17-85 (the predecessor to the 15-85), then got the 17-55 f/2.8 because I got tired of renting it for weddings, and the sig 30. Regardless of which lens you have, I would keep the sigma. f/1.4 is significantly faster than f/2.8 or 4 no matter how you look at it. I loved that lens.

As for the 15-85 vs 17-55, a few things, some of which have already been mentioned. The range, especially at the wide end is much better on the 15-85. But if you want the speed and shallower DOF the 17-55 is hard to beat. Unless you are depending on your zoom indoors without flash (as I was) I would keep the 15-85.


bobble.smugmug.com (external link)

  
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Lexar
Senior Member
297 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Aug 2012
     
Jan 12, 2013 14:56 |  #7

tickerguy wrote in post #15479128 (external link)
The 17-55 is f/2.8 where the 15-85 is variable-aperture. I also find the 15-85 to be a bit soft away from center-frame at the wide end. You won't notice it in final prints, but you will if you start pixel-peeping or taking crops from the corners.

The 15-85 also has a fair bit of chromatic aberration, but this is easily-corrected in post and IMHO isn't one of the lens attributes that bothers me in digital nearly as much as it did when I shot film, where it was effectively un-fixable.

If you shoot things that move INDOORS then the 15-85 loses badly as that fixed 2.8 aperture suddenly becomes much more important. But... you have wide-aperture primes already. Do you need the "holes" in your primes covered for available light, moving-subject indoor photography? If not then that advantage disappears.

Don't overlook that the 2mm difference in the long end is actually rather significant, and that you're giving up 30mm on the long side. This is likely responsible for the IQ difference, incidentally, as it is extremely difficult to manufacture a lens that both has top IQ and a wide zoom range. Canon did a VERY good job with the 15-85 given this constraint.

For MY uses I prefer the 15-85 when I intend to use it. But I have a number of other lenses for other purposes; I have both a 24-105 and 70-200 and am considering a 1.4x extender for the latter. I find the 24-105 has better IQ than the 15-85; the latter has a 5.6x zoom range, the former 4.4. No surprise. With a 3.2 zoom range the 17-55 f/2.8 would be expected to have superior IQ to the 15-85 and probably even beat the 24-105L -- and it does. Note the numerical range of all the new high-dollar (and very-high-IQ) zooms in percentage terms -- 17-40, 24-70, etc. All right near 3.x. There's a reason for this; materially over 3x maintaining top IQ becomes impossible.

The 70-200 is the sharpest lens I own by a material margin, especially in the corners, and if what I intend to shoot fits within its operational range that's what I mount.

The 17-55, for MY use, would require that I carry a second lens too much of the time as its f/l range is only about 60% of the 15-85s. Shoe zoom is great right up until there's water, a cliff, a barrier (e.g. in a museum) or some other impassable object in the way. Cropping in post nearly always costs more IQ than the difference in lenses does; that's a mathematical reality, so if you can you always want to compose as you intend rather than relying on post.

If I move to FF then this will change as the 24-105 covers close enough to the 15-85 effective range as to be interchangeable with the shooting I do. But the 24-105 is a much larger and heavier lens than the 15-85 and therefore makes for a bigger and heavier "as carried" kit.

I find the 15-85 to be an excellent choice to stick on my 60D or 7D and use as a "lightweight, walk around and shoot nearly anything" lens. It has its compromises but then again all lenses do.


Excellent review... My thoughts exactly!

I have a 15-85 and for general walk around and using with flash inside its extremely versatile and great IQ, fast focus, good IS.
For lower light indoor use without flash the Sigma 30 will be much better then the 17-55 because its 2 stops faster.

You will get the best of both worlds if you do that combination.


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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Exchange 15-85mm for 17-55?
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