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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 01 Dec 2009 (Tuesday) 04:31
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Canon 15-85 vs. 18-200. How do they compare ?

58 posts
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Outdoors Romania
Dec 01, 2009 04:31 |  #1

I see lately there's a lot of talk about the (NEW) 15-85. But what about the (OLD) 18-200 ? How do they compare ? How much more better is the new lens ?

Canon EOS 50D, EF 50 MkII, EF-S 60 Macro, Sigma 17-70, EF-S 55-250
Nature, micro & Macro

Cream of the Crop
8,164 posts
Joined Jan 2007
Location: Sydney/Beijing
Dec 01, 2009 04:57 |  #2

Quite a bit better, I'd imagine. I was surprised at the image quality of the 15-85 when I had it on loan a couple of weeks back. It wasn't as good as my 17-55 (nor did I expect it to be), but not that far behind amazingly, even wide-open. More generally, the MTF figures for the 15-85 are very solid. I don't have any hands-on experience with the 18-200, but going from the MTF figures, user reviews (here on POTN and elsewhere) and samples, I'd say it's a decent superzoom (roughly on par with the Nikkor 18-200), but exhibits the usual compromises of such lenses - inferior image quality, in particular.

Basically, if you're getting the 18-200, you really want the versatility of a superzoom. Otherwise the 15-85 is the sure winner.

Col | Flickr (external link)

Sony A7 + Leica 50 Lux ASPH, Oly E-M5 + 12/2
Canon 5D3, 16-35L, 50L, 85L, 135L

Senior Member
398 posts
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Portugal
Dec 01, 2009 07:36 as a reply to  @ Collin85's post |  #3

I have these 2 lenses, I would say you cannot fairly compare the 2. The 15-85 is a much better lens for IQ, its canons ef-s answer to the ef24-105L and it gives it a real run for its money.

The 18-200 is a very good superzoom, but thats what it is and so cannot really compete with lenses with a more specific focul range.

Basically they are designed for different purposes.

If you want best IQ then 15-85 and a 70-200L (F4 or 2.8, IS or no IS) is a good pairing.

If you want easy to carry around, one lens does all, then the 18-200 wont dissapoint.

A lot of people will say no to the 15-85 and suggest 17-55 or whatever, but for me 15 is wide enough that I dont need the 10-20 I used to use.

oRGie - I am an EOS and the 7D was my idea :cool:​photos/orgie (external link)
EF70-200F4LIS - EF-S15-85IS - EF50 1.8II

3,415 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
Likes: 146
Joined Jul 2008
Location: Florida, Weston
Dec 01, 2009 08:00 |  #4

Maybe this can help …&SampleComp=0&F​LI=3&API=0 (external link)

I have a 18-200, is a very nice and fun lens to use
Is my Family / vacation lens and performs very nicely, gives very nice color and contrast
I did a comparison with my 18-55IS here …8/sets/72157622​216147556/ (external link)
While the focus is not USM, is very fast and spot on

The 18-200 is a lens filled with compromises for the pixel peeper , but it delivers a very convenient package and very nice usable pictures

I am assuming by looking the iso test that the new 15-85 is a better lens, has USM, FTM ring override, but also it has a more limited range up to 85mm compared to 200mm at a almost 40% more cash.
Of course, the 18-200 should be much better at 86mm to 200mm :p

I am selling my 18-200 to fund other upgrades, but I'd love to keep it just because it's convenience factor

Just my 2 cents


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Canon 15-85 vs. 18-200. How do they compare ?
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