July 23, 2014, 02:47:23 PM

Author Topic: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens  (Read 7526 times)

bklein61

  • Guest
Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« on: December 29, 2011, 07:58:15 PM »
I am once again looking for advice.

I am thinking of purchasing the Canon 15-85 Lens and am wondering someone has some hands on experience as far as Image quality goes

My present equipment is
Canon 50D
Canon 70-300L Is
Canon 18-55 IS Kit lens
Canon 50 1.8

I am thinking of the 15-85 to replace my 18-55

Also considered the Sigma 17-50 2.8 OS,  which would give me a constant 2.8 but shorter focal range.

The Canon 17-55 2.8 is out of my  budget

Any thoughts

Thank You
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 07:59:57 PM by bklein61 »

canon rumors FORUM

Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« on: December 29, 2011, 07:58:15 PM »

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4417
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 08:01:35 PM »
given you have the 70-300 already I would say the best would be the 17-55 f2.8 IS from canon
the sigma would be a cheaper option and I know several people that use this and love it
but the much faster aperture will be much more beneficial for a general purpose lens IMO
APS-H Fanboy

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13516
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 08:14:22 PM »
I think it's great as an outdoor walkaround lens. Indoors, you'll need a flash, preferably a Speedlite and not the popup.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

dstppy

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 870
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 09:01:34 PM »
I think it's great as an outdoor walkaround lens. Indoors, you'll need a flash, preferably a Speedlite and not the popup.

But even with a popup, the 15-85 demolishes any real competitors.

This lens is essentially the EF-S version of the 24-105, but, as you're suggesting, if you need a low-light lens, f2.8 is a whole other ballpark and you HAVE to supplement with a flash.

If you *have* to have the f2.8, then go for that, quality is one thing, but making up for light is straight math.

Canon Rumors is presently creating photographer shortages in Middle Earth (all the trolls emigrated here)

elflord

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 705
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 09:13:13 PM »
Given its very uninspiring spec (it's a slow zoom -- equivalent to 24mm-136mm f/5.6-f/9) , it is quite good. It has substantial barrel distortion at 15mm, but that levels off pretty quickly. It is very useful at the wider end of its focal range. The tele end of the range makes it somewhat usable outdoor portraits (provided the background is a long way from the subject), but the fact that it's a slow f/5.6 (that's f/9 equivalent) makes it  less than ideal as an indoor portrait lens. Since I use the 50-85mm range primarily for portraits, I didn't find the extra range that useful and used it mostly in the 15-35mm range.

I'd recommend thinking about what you want it for (walk around means lots of different things -- but what does it mean to you ?) and considering a constant f/2.8 lens or an ultra wide.

I am once again looking for advice.

I am thinking of purchasing the Canon 15-85 Lens and am wondering someone has some hands on experience as far as Image quality goes

My present equipment is
Canon 50D
Canon 70-300L Is
Canon 18-55 IS Kit lens
Canon 50 1.8

I am thinking of the 15-85 to replace my 18-55

Also considered the Sigma 17-50 2.8 OS,  which would give me a constant 2.8 but shorter focal range.

The Canon 17-55 2.8 is out of my  budget

Any thoughts

Thank You

distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1425
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 09:19:56 PM »
It's on my T2i most of the time, and I believe the IQ is as good as any L I've got (except maybe the 135).

Outside, it's a star. I've found it to be nearly the equal of my EF-S 60mm for macro images. It does decent landscapes, excellent portraits and is just about a perfect walkaround lens.

Now, for indoor, I wouldn't dismiss it as easily as some. I've used it indoors a lot, always without flash. The 4-stop IS makes up for a lot of light-gathering deficiency. I customarily shoot people indoors at 1/30 at ISO as low as 200. Now, that's not going to help with motion blur if you're chasing a child around, but for normal situations, you can get away with it.

I tried a little experiment recently. For Thanksgiving, I shot all my indoor stuff with the 15-85. Usual late afternoon and night lighting inside a home. For Christmas, I used only a 50mm 1.8 shooting mostly at 1.8 and 2.0 (no IS, obviously). Well, the 15-85 dramatically outperformed the 50 in image quality overall.

Also, if you're going to have to buy a good flash, you're then in the dollar range of the 17-55 anyway.

Anyway, just my experience and thoughts. Good luck with however you go.
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

swo

  • Guest
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 10:10:48 PM »
I love my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (without stabilization). It's on my 40D 90% of the time. It's sharp as heck, great in low light, and a bargain at $450 or so.

I've heard that the one with stabilization isn't as sharp, but it wasn't an option when I bought mine, anyway.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 10:10:48 PM »

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4417
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 10:19:53 PM »
not sure how you could compare the 15-85 to the 24-105 on FF as at the long end its a full stop slower!
big difference,
My suggestion would be to save up some more money and get the canon 17-55 f2.8 or if you need one right now go for the sigma, I've had bad experiences with tamron so I wouldnt touch them with a barge pole and 2 other members recently had their tamron 17-55 f2.8 lenses fail.
you have the 70-300L for everything in the long end so from 70 to 85 its a stop faster than the 15-85 is.
with the lenses you already have the 17-55 fits in best or the sigma alternative just make sure you test the sigma thoroughly. but i thinj the 50D has AF micro adjust anyway so you should be fine.

maybe hunt for a cheaper second hand canon 17-55 f2.8

you will regret buying a slow lens
APS-H Fanboy

elflord

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 705
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 10:21:10 PM »
The 4-stop IS makes up for a lot of light-gathering deficiency.


The IS will help you shoot at a lower ISO setting, but you're still stuck f/5.6  depth of field (again, that's ff equivalent to f/9!). With indoor shots, shallow depth of field is much more critical than outdoor shots because you can't frame the picture in such a way as to get the background 60ft behind the subject.

Quote
I tried a little experiment recently. For Thanksgiving, I shot all my indoor stuff with the 15-85. Usual late afternoon and night lighting inside a home. For Christmas, I used only a 50mm 1.8 shooting mostly at 1.8 and 2.0 (no IS, obviously). Well, the 15-85 dramatically outperformed the 50 in image quality overall.


While I don't know the details of this experiment, it doesn't strike me as a fair test -- you are shooting the prime at f/2 and f/1.8 and then comparing it with the zoom shot at f/5 or slower.

The prime is at its sharpest around f/5.6-f/8 , and gets substantially sharper from f/1.8 to f/2.8,  see photozone
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/160-canon-ef-50mm-f18-ii-test-report--review?start=1, the zoom is already close to its peak at maximum aperture (  http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/465-canon_1585_3556is?start=1). 


bklein61

  • Guest
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 10:41:42 PM »
Thank You for all your reply's

I am planning on using the 15-85 mostly for outdoors as this is where 90% of my shooting takes place.   I do use the 50 1.8 exclusively for indoor, and was planning on upgrading that down the road with either the Canon 1.4 or Sigma 1.4.

What I was mostly concern with was image quality between the Canon 15-85 and the Sigma 17-50 for outdoor use.

I do not find it be much of a bother to shoot with a faster prime instead of a zoom for indoors.  Just have to move the feet a little bit

distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1425
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 10:46:53 PM »
You might also want to look at images uploaded to Flickr using this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/canon1585/pool/
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

RC

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 10:48:03 PM »
I had this lens up until about a month ago and sold it primarily for a weather sealed lens--I went with the 16-35.  Overall I loved the lens and was very happy with it. 

I had two issues which came up on a single trip which led me to selling it.  I was out in a rain/snow mixture and had to abort my shooting (I was on vacation, 2000 miles from home).   >:(   I took a lot of architecture shots (mostly at 15mm).  When viewing them, I was dissapointed with the extreme distortion (now I want a tilt-shift).  I'm a rookie at PP but I don't think they are fixable.  One other thing that I didn't like was the variable aperture.

Assuming these are not issues for you, I highly recommend it for a walk-around lens.

Pros for the 15-85
- Excellent focal range for walk-around lens
- Very sharp lens for its class
- Very good build quality for its class
- IS


Cons
- Variable aperture, f/3.5 jumps to f/4 about 17mm and quickly jumps to 5.6 (forget at what focal range)
- Too much distortion (for me) at 15mm
- Smidge of zoom drifting when lens is pointed upward


« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 10:49:55 PM by RC »

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4417
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 10:57:57 PM »
Thank You for all your reply's

I am planning on using the 15-85 mostly for outdoors as this is where 90% of my shooting takes place.   I do use the 50 1.8 exclusively for indoor, and was planning on upgrading that down the road with either the Canon 1.4 or Sigma 1.4.

What I was mostly concern with was image quality between the Canon 15-85 and the Sigma 17-50 for outdoor use.

I do not find it be much of a bother to shoot with a faster prime instead of a zoom for indoors.  Just have to move the feet a little bit

as i often say, get them both side by side and test them out, I think lensrentals with take the rental cost of the final purchase? if you are in the us or canada that way you can play for a couple of days and get a feel for what suits you make sure you are happy with them but be aware a 2 stop aperture difference is very very big and gives you alot of flexability,
APS-H Fanboy

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 10:57:57 PM »

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4417
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 11:05:27 PM »
APS-H Fanboy

moreorless

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 579
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 01:10:12 AM »
Image Quality between them is really close enough to not make it an issue I'd say so it really comes down to focal lenght vs appature.

What do you shoot? if its mostly people/action and often indoors then the 17-50 is probabley a better option for faster shutter speeds and shallow DOF, if its mostly outdoors and/or landscapes the 15-85 does with its range and flare resistance.

Personally speaking I preffer using a small prime(35mm f/2) for people shooting, gets in peoples faces less, offers a larger appature and I find the zoom less important than for landscape since you can do it with you feet.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon 15-85 for a walk around lens
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 01:10:12 AM »