Review: Canon RF 15-30mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM


I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
I also usually rely on TDP when selecting lenses.
Yet, his "image quality results" can be misleading. If you look at those for the EF 180 macro, without checking other sources, you won't ever buy it. Looks optically mediocre, despite being one of the sharpest Canon EF lenses.
And he is sometimes just too polite, if you know what I mean...
Exactly! For example, when shooting test shots for the EF-M 18-150mm review on TDP, I found that my lens delivered results similar to the EF-M 55-200mm, but on TDP's test charts the M18-150 looked much worse. I shared comparison images with Bryan, he got another M18-150 and re-tested it, with much better performance. The issue is not really with TDP, but with the copy variation inherent in lenses. That means relying on any one test site is not a good idea, the exception being LensRentals when they do optical bench testing of several copies of a given lens.

I don't mind it at all, but I agree with the 'too polite' characterization. He pretty much always finds ways to praise lenses, compared for example to Klaus at Optical Limits who doesn't pull punches. I do stand by what I said about motivation, anyone who reviews gear and earns income from affiliate links is likely to be biased in favor of recommending the gear they're reviewing. TDP was only Canon for many years, but then expanded to include Sony and Nikon camera and lens reviews, even though AFAIK Bryan still primarily shoots Canon. Why? Revenue, of course. Bryan is like any writer or journalist with a 'style', and if you know that style and factor it into your evaluation of their viewpoint, it's not an issue.
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CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
Davidson, NC
I just finished updating my home page with a fall picture from the woods behind my house, shot from my deck, as I recall. Other trees have grown up in front of the dogwoods, so I don't see as much variety of color now, so I go back to older pictures taken with less good equipment than I have now. I just checked the Raw file of the shot I chose for my home page. It was taken in 2013 with my Rebel T3i and its kit lens at 49mm f/5.6 1/80 second ISO 160. If the trees would cooperate, I could make a sharper version now. I think fall leaves need as much sharpness and resolution as almost anything. But for a picture on a web site, it is OK. It would look better even so with a better original. While I was poking around on the .CR2 file, I juiced the colors up a bit and added a dab of Texture and Clarity. I think reality was somewhere in between. Sometimes color in real life is so intense that if you don't tone them down a bit, they don't look believable. I find that also true with very blue water. My original edit for the web: _MG_0430.jpg

If I had been shooting more seriously (as if I knew I would be using the picture nine years later), I would have used a tripod and a smaller lens opening. Even with the EF-S 18–55mm kit lens, I could have done better and made a sharper picture. Even with a tripod, shutter speed is limited by the motion of leaves. Compositionally, the tree trunk is too centered, I realize. I still like the picture (and the scenery behind my house) and gladly use it for the signature photo on my home page.

So, yes, a less than perfect but affordable lens could easily be worth having for a lot of uses. And I realize I wasn't using my old gear even up to its potential. Maybe I'll start blaming my gear when I start taking better pictures than Ansel Adams did with a box camera.
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You bring up a very valid point. When I started this journey into professional photography, the only ultra-wide lenses available in the Canon EF mount were the 17-35L and 16-35L II - not even the Mark III yet. In APS-C, the EF-S 10-22mm was the only choice - the 10-18mm didn't exist yet. Those lenses - all four of them really - perform worse than this lens. Significantly worse in many ways. If you consider the price of this lens versus the original cost of the EF-S 10-22 back in 2005 or whenever it was launched you can now get a FULL-FRAME lens that's even better and cheaper?!

It's a shame that so many people focus on charts and lab testing of lenses. I currently am on a 5-day work even shooting the RF 24-240 EXTENSIVELY simply because of the zoom range...and you know what? The lens has a lot of problems that software fixes very nicely and the colors are brilliant and the sharpness is surprisingly excellent. Thousands of photos taken with a "non professional lens" and they're going to be published in a major national magazine in November and I am loving the results.

Oh well...I guess when people stop reading charts and lab testing on gear they start to actually go out and use it and realize how hilariously pointless much of it can be.

Your message enlightened me! :)
I'm new here, so here it is a little background. I'm an amateur photographer and this is how I enjoyed my hobby in the past few years:
- Camera: Canon EOS 7D (NOT the MK II)
- Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22 mm for Landscapes and Urbex
- Lens: Canon EF 50mm for Portraits

I was happy with my 10-22.

At the end of the past year, after several years of savings :), I ran into an offer (discount + cashback) and I made myself a Xmas gift!!! :)
- Camera: Canon EOS R6 (in bundle with)
- Lens: Canon RF 24-105mm
- Adapter: Canon EF-EOS R (the basic version)

I'm happy with the R6. I like it very much. Okay, of course, it's something completely different from the 7D :)
The 24-105mm is nice, but I definitely missed my ultra-wide for both Landscapes and Urbex.
I really need something wide.
I tried to use the 10-22 with the adapter. No Way. I don't like the results.

Of course, the Canon RF 14-35mm L would be The Dream, but hey I'm not a PRO and I simply can't afford it now.
Unfortunately, my favorite Photo Shop closed two years ago. I was used to go there to borrow lenses for some test weekend.
Now I don't have anymore a Shop to test lenses.

About the RF 15-30 you said: "Those lenses - all four of them really - perform worse than this lens."

So, finally!!! :), my question.

Since I was happy with my 10-22 on the 7D, and the RF 15-30 performs better, do you think I'll be happier with the RF 15-30 on the R6?
Do you think I don't have to think twice about it and I've to buy it today? :)

Thank you very much in advance for your reply and sorry for this huge message! :)
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