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Thread: Is the Canon 15 - 85 mm really a decent upgrade from the kit lens?

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    Is the Canon 15 - 85 mm really a decent upgrade from the kit lens?

    I was just hoping for some insight into wether or not the Canon 15 - 85mm is really a decent upgrade from the 18 - 55mm kit lens?

    As predicted I have quickly outgrown the limitations of my kit lenses. I don't have a whole heap of cash to spare and I think the 15 - 85 is the right choice for me, but I'm not a 100% sure so thought I'd ask here.

    I have the 60D and love land and seascapes, macro and general family stuff. I also have the 50mm 1.4 and am about to get the 100mm 2.8 (the best birthday present I've ever gotten).

    I know I'll love the extra reach the 15 - 85 will offer, especially with the family stuff but what I am really hoping is that I can use the 15 - 85 for landscapes and seascapes and save myself from craving after a 10 - 20mm for at least a year? I have been thouroughly spoilt this year with my gear and we have a whole heap of plans for the next year so ideally I'd like to not spend any more money for at least a year.

    Does anyone use their 15-85 for these types of images?

    I have thought about the 24 - 105 but I know that even though I regularly dream about upgrading to a 5DmII or III, in reality it wont happen. We're just not likely to have that much spare cash for quite some time so I don't think I really need to spend the money on FF lenses just yet.

    I hope my long winded post makes sense - I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision before I part with my cash.

    Thanks for reading and TIA for any replies.

    Teressa

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    Hi Teressa,

    I'v been using a 15-85 on my 60D for well over a year now, it's a great lens: sharp, relatively distortion free, good colour rendition and contrast. I use it a lot for landscapes, so much so that, even though I WANT a 10-22, I haven't really felt the NEED for it as 15mm has been wide enough for any images I've wanted to capture.

    Many will recommend the 17-55 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8L and 24-105 f4L, imo for the type of photography you're interested in the 15-85 is the most usable upgrade from the 18-55 kit lens.

    You will not regret it.
    Mark

    Canon 70D w/Grip l Canon 60D w/Grip l EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM l EF 70-200 f4L IS USM l EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM l EF 100 f2.8 USM Macro l EF-S 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS STM l EF 50 f1.8 II l Canon EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM l 430 EX II Flash l Rode Stereo VideoMic l Manfrotto 055XPROB + 498RC2 Tripod l Benro MP-96 M8 Monopod l Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Backpack l Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW Backpack l PS CS5 Extended l Lightroom 4.3

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    Hi Teressa, I agree with Mark.

    I have the 17-55/2.8 but for your purposes the 15-85 is perfect.

    I'm not sure in what manner you have outgrown your kit lenses, and I am not sure which version of kit lenses you have. So it is hard to answer your question about a really decent upgrade.

    If you have the older 17-85 or non-IS twin lens kit, then the optical upgrade will be really decent. If your kit lenses are recent models, the optics will be pretty decent already and the difference not so big.

    However it is not always just the pure optics that define the upgradiness of a lens. The IS on the 15-85 is high-performance. And the USM motor focuses faster and can be manually refocused without turning the AF off (and forgetting to turn it back on).

    And the extra range at both ends is significant, not just the 85 end. In fact I believe the 15-85 is the perfect one-lens travel solution; its equivalent range is 24-135mm, and when I traveled with an all-prime SLR kit I found all my needs were met with 28, 50 and 135mm lenses. And a tripod
    Last edited by Arg; 21-06-2012 at 2:50pm. Reason: spelling

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    I got my 15 - 85 mm lens 6 months after I got my 500D and retired my kit lens as I never was happy with it. The 15-85 is my main lens now and I use it for anything between landscapes and portraits. I don't think you would be sorry if you bought one. That doesn't mean you will never want another lens, because as I'm sure you realise, we can never have too many lenses !
    Mick.

    http://www.pbase.com/guzziev

    Canon 7D, Canon 15 - 85 mm, Canon EF 70 - 300mm L lens, Canon 100mm macro L lens, Canon 430EXII flash, Fancier tripod, Lowepro 190 camera bag, Canon RC6 remote shutter release, Yong Nuo flash trigger and receiver.

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    I have the 15-85mm lens as well as all of the lenses that you mention you have or are about to get for a present(my 100mm2.8lmacro was xmas present) and it is my everyday walk around lens. I find it useful for everything from landscapes to portraits and everything inbetween on my 7D. It gets great reviews around the traps and I have been extremely happy with it!! You won't regret the purchase.
    Canon 5diii; Canon 7D; Canon 3.5 15-85mm IS USM; Canon 4-5.6 70-300mm IS USM; Canon 1.4 50mm , Canon Macro 100mm 2.8 L IS USM, Canon 35mm 1.4 L USM, Canon 24-105mm L IS USM, CPL and UV filters, manfrotto tripod and Lowepro backpack plus dreams for so much more!!


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    Thankyou all for replying! That's exactly what I needed to hear - that this purchase will quell my desire for UWA lens for a while yet .

    So, yay me! I'm getting a 15 - 85mm!

    Thanks again
    Teressa

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    Good choice, I had a 17-50 F2.8 lens but found I was missing the length so went to the 15-85. Its a great walk around lens, though I also have the 10-22 and love that. The UWA has its place and I would suggest that you keep saving and get that next. Then after that there is the 70-200 which is handy length also for landscapes. Expensive hobby isn't it!

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    I have one and I love it. But if you are going to use it at 15 at lot, you may find the distortion a bit annoying. Its really only an issue if there is a lot of straight lines in the photo, ie photos of building.

    There is still room for a 10-20 wide angle lens with a 15-85, but yes its a good upgrade and a great general purpose lens.
    Last edited by Max; 24-06-2012 at 8:29pm.
    Canon Powershot S70, Sony A 100+twin lens kit and GN36 flash, Canon 7D 15-85, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L IS Macro, Canon 70-300L, 1.4* Kenko PRO 300 DGX, Canon 430EX II

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    The Canon 15-85 is currently available from eGlobal (a site sponsor) for $600 + freight.
    Steve


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    This may rest your soul searching.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx
    They call me "Blue" it's a red head thing.
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