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Author Topic: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera  (Read 10284 times)

Synomis192

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15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« on: February 19, 2012, 02:31:08 AM »
Again, I've posted here before asking about different lens. So now I'm being a little realistic.

Rather than purchasing 24-105, I'm thinking about getting the 17-40mm as a replacement for my kit lens.

Which lens is going to be a better replacement for my 18-55mm?

If you do have another suggestion, I'd like to hear it as well. But my price range is from $500 - $800.

(Side note, I do not plan on going FF. I do plan on upgrading to a 7d though, even though it's still a crop sensor camera)
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15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« on: February 19, 2012, 02:31:08 AM »

pj1974

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 03:17:14 AM »
Go for the 15-85mm if you're sure you'll not go FF. It's a great lens - from an IQ perspective most copies of the 15-85mm are very sharp, produce contrasty / well coloured images. You won't notice an IQ deficiency when using the 15-85mm in comparison with the 17-40.

The 15-85mm has a wider zoom range than the 17-40. I'd find the 40mm tele end quite limiting.  Also, the 2mm on the wide end are very useful. The 15-85mm has IS, whereas the 17-40mm doesn't. Both have USM / FTM. I use the 15-85mm on my 7D as my main lens, and yes, I have and use L lenses, but the 15-85mm is up there in image quality with many L zooms.

The main thing the 17-40mm has for it, is a slightly superior build quality (and of course, FF compatibiility). The 17-40L is constant aperture, but to me (and many users) that's not a big issue, especially as at 40mm the 15-85mm has just gone from f4.5 to f5.0 (which isn't much 'slower' than f4).  So for me it's a no brainer.

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 03:31:05 AM »
Can you spend a bit more? If you can, you should try 17-55 out.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/425812-USA/Canon_1242B002AA_EF_S_17_55mm_f_2_8_IS.html

It's just way more useful than 17-40. Better range, f2.8, IS and great image quality. If you're not planning on getting a FF, then there's no point getting 17-40.

If canon 17-55 is to too expensive, I'd look into the latest, sigma version. That's really sharp too with similar features as canon. To me, it makes more sense than getting the 17-40.

If you're short on money, maybe you could look into second-hand copies. A good lens is a good lens even if someone else touched it first. Since 17-55 is crop only, many people sell it when switching to FF.

You might want to drop 17-40 and choose between 17-55mm F/2.8 and 15-85mm F/3.5-5.6. 17-55mm is faster but 15-85mm has more range. Both are good and have IS.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 03:40:28 AM by Jay »

koolman

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 03:53:24 AM »
I have the 15-85 and used it quite allot on a 550d. The zoom range is very useful, the lens has nice IS, focuses fast, and is built well. Alas, I had 3 problems with it as a primary "walk around" lens.

1) I like shooting indoors with available light - and it was to slow on the >= 60mm end (5.6)

2) Its somewhat heavy to carry around.

3) LENS CREEP that drove me crazy. You take a shot and turn the camera down to look at the LCD, and the lens drops down!.

I went with the Tamron 17-50 non VC. In my opinion its IQ is better, it lighter, and I love the colors and sharpness.
The Tammy's AF is a little dicey especially in low light, and it needs getting used to.
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Michael_pfh

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 04:08:08 AM »
If the decision has to be made between those 2 go for the 17-40 independent from the decision of going FF later.
L glass is definitely the better choice. Only the 10-22 and 17-55 are said to be close to L in terms of IQ.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 04:11:06 AM by Michael_pfh »
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LuCoOc

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 05:29:07 AM »
The 15-85 is the better choice on a crop body. It has more zoom range and IS. The only advantage I see for the 17-40 is its weather sealing (only if you upgrade to a 7D) and better build quality.
Check out the ISO 12233 test charts at the-digital-picture.com

http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=675&Camera=474&FLI=1&API=0&LensComp=100&Sample=0&CameraComp=474&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0 (both on 50D)

as well as the distortion test:

http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Distortion.aspx?Lens=675&Camera=474&FLI=0&LensComp=100&CameraComp=453&FLIComp=2

The 15-85 looks sharper and has less CA but more distortion.

I use the 15-85 on my 7D and am totally satisfied with the results. I used the 18-55 IS on my Rebel XS before and the bigger zoom range, better AF and better IS is amazing.
Skip the 17-40 and look at the EF-s 17-55 2.8 if you don't need too much zoom but a little bit better low light performance and/or even better image quality.
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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 05:36:58 AM »
I think the 17-40 only makes good sense in one of two cases: 1: you have or are shortly going to go full frame or 2: you need the extra resistance of the lens. Otherwise the 15-85 will provide you with more potential.
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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 05:36:58 AM »

Abraxx

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 06:37:10 AM »
The question should be rather 17-55 or 15-85?
The 17-40 on crop is 27,2-64.
So as long as you are not planning to go for FF and do not need wide angle at all,
you just can not compare these lenses regarding their focal length.

I prefer the 17-55 over the 15-85. IQ is far better on the first.

My 2 cents

« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 06:39:44 AM by Abraxx »
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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 06:48:10 AM »
Definitely 15-85mm. It is very good optically (sharpness, colors), great range, IS, decent build and true USM. There must be L glass in it :). What else do you need?

EDIT: Yes, I had one ;)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 06:51:24 AM by ecka »
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Synomis192

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 06:52:26 AM »
Well everyone has been talking about the 15-85mm, so I think I'll be choosing that. But some one mention the Tamron 17-50mm and the Canon 17-55.

If I had the money, I would DEFINITELY go for the 17-55mm f/2.8 but it cost around $1,000.

So, now I have a new question. How about the Tamron 17-50mm vs the Canon 15-85mm

My main problem with the 15-85mm, is the lens creep. I'm really afraid of that.
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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 06:54:07 AM »
I am also in the process of buying a new general purpose lens. Currently having an APS-C lens covering 17-70


I have been reading many reviews and also reading comments of users regarding Canon 15-85 and Canon 17-55. The 17-55 comes to my favour though it has less reach for me. But I do not want to be limited so much when taken photo's indoor. Having a constant aperture of f/2.8 is helping a lot. And, the reviews claim that the 17-55 is sharp wide open and from edge to edge. But the 17-55 has a little bit troubles with flare compared to the 15-85 lens. You can manage around that - most of the time.
Of course the 17-55 and 15-85 are not weather sealed. So with the 7D you will have a weather sealed camera but not a weather sealed lens. The 17-40 is weather sealed. But according to reviews less sharp than the 17-55.


I decided to go for the 17-55 f/2.8 (currently around €830 without lens hood)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 06:57:27 AM by candyman »
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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 06:54:52 AM »
IMO, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is the best general purpose zoom for APS-C.  The 15-85mm is also very good, especially if most use will be outdoors.  I would not choose the 17-40L for an APS-C camera unless that camera was a 7D and I required the weather-resistance of an L lens.
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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 08:20:08 AM »

So, now I have a new question. How about the Tamron 17-50mm vs the Canon 15-85mm

Really depends on what you're using the lens for (if you want f/2.8 or the longer range). If you're using it indoors, the Tamron. For an outdoor walkaround, the 15-85.

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 08:20:08 AM »

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 08:48:03 AM »
Well everyone has been talking about the 15-85mm, so I think I'll be choosing that. But some one mention the Tamron 17-50mm and the Canon 17-55.

If I had the money, I would DEFINITELY go for the 17-55mm f/2.8 but it cost around $1,000.

So, now I have a new question. How about the Tamron 17-50mm vs the Canon 15-85mm

My main problem with the 15-85mm, is the lens creep. I'm really afraid of that.

My copy had no lens creep, but even if it did it would be only between 24mm and 50mm while remaining stable at the rest of the focal range. I think this "problem" is overrated.
I've tried Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC, didn't really like it - backward zoom from right to left (same awkward Nikon style :)), noisy AF, not as sharp as it's older non-VC version.
Before you ask ... later I've got Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS. It has some flaws as well - focusing ring has a very short travel, almost useless for manual focusing, you have to switch between AF/MF each time you want to focus manually and the focusing ring rotates during the AF (front element does not, just the ring), but AF is very fast and silent (and accurate). It was very sharp wide open, but at 17mm the edges were a little soft, not very good for landscapes (or maybe it's just me, but I think 15-85 is much much better for wide angle). I would choose Sigma over Tamron any day of the week. However, you get what you pay for, and when it comes to overall quality the 17-55/2.8 IS USM and 15-85 IS USM are the best.
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LuCoOc

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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 08:52:34 AM »

My main problem with the 15-85mm, is the lens creep. I'm really afraid of that.


My lens doesn't creep very much. However it's only 4 months old.


So, now I have a new question. How about the Tamron 17-50mm vs the Canon 15-85mm


Only get the Tamron, if you need to shoot @f/2.8. Get the non VC version. It is much better. The 15-85 is better than the VC-version, even when stopped down to equal apartures.


17-50 VC vs 15-85 @24mm f/4.0
http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=679&Camera=474&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=2&LensComp=675&CameraComp=474&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=0

17-50 non VC vs 15-85 @24mm f/4.0
http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=400&Camera=474&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=2&LensComp=675&CameraComp=474&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=0

Keep in mind that 2.8 vs 4.0 is only one stop difference. For real low light shoots you need to get one of the fast primes (50mm, 35mm, 24mm)
If you shoot mainly outdoors or static subjects and can't afford the Canon 17-55 go for the 15-85.

Btw. the Tamron VC-version has a zoom lock switch ;D
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Re: 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 17-40mm f/4L for a crop camera
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 08:52:34 AM »