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Thread: Canon 15-85mm or Canon 17-40mm f/4L

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    Canon 15-85mm or Canon 17-40mm f/4L

    Morning all,

    Firstly let me apologise if this has been covered before, I've had a search but couldnt find anything.

    I'm tossing up between these two at the moment.

    Trying very much not to be sucked in by the "L" and rather going for something that will both give me great results and and provide me with what I need.

    At the moment I have a 50D and the 50mm f/1.8. I've enjoyed playing with the 50mm so far but am finding it limiting when wanting to do landscapes / architecture, which is what I want to get into next. I do have a 70-300 sitting on my desk which is borrowed from a friend so I do have zoom abilities when needed, although not with a very good lens.

    The 17-40 would fit nicely in front of the 50mm and give me the wide end I need. Obviously it performs as an L lens should also. Doesnt have IS though.

    The 15-85 gives me a bit more in terms of width and obviously quite a bit extra reach than the 17-40, overlapping the 50mm and going that extra bit past it. It does however not have a constant appeture. Reviews on this are good so far. Does have IS.

    Be aware that my plan is to get a whole kit as time goes on, so while my kit is lacking any kind of real zoom at the moment (If needed I use my 18x FZ35) it is my intention to get something in the future, I havent wished for it yet though. My next will probabaly be an UWA assuming I enjoy the landscapes.

    What are peoples thoughts?

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    Member R1titan's Avatar
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    Another suggestion for value would be the Tamron 17-50/2.8 lens.

    Although i sold mine a while ago i would prefer to use that on my crop anyday over my 17-40L...

    There's also a Mk II version with VC, although some reviews state its not as sharp as the original
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craggles View Post
    Morning all,

    Firstly let me apologise if this has been covered before, I've had a search but couldnt find anything.

    I'm tossing up between these two at the moment.

    Trying very much not to be sucked in by the "L" and rather going for something that will both give me great results and and provide me with what I need.

    At the moment I have a 50D and the 50mm f/1.8. I've enjoyed playing with the 50mm so far but am finding it limiting when wanting to do landscapes / architecture, which is what I want to get into next. I do have a 70-300 sitting on my desk which is borrowed from a friend so I do have zoom abilities when needed, although not with a very good lens.

    The 17-40 would fit nicely in front of the 50mm and give me the wide end I need. Obviously it performs as an L lens should also. Doesnt have IS though.

    The 15-85 gives me a bit more in terms of width and obviously quite a bit extra reach than the 17-40, overlapping the 50mm and going that extra bit past it. It does however not have a constant appeture. Reviews on this are good so far. Does have IS.

    Be aware that my plan is to get a whole kit as time goes on, so while my kit is lacking any kind of real zoom at the moment (If needed I use my 18x FZ35) it is my intention to get something in the future, I havent wished for it yet though. My next will probabaly be an UWA assuming I enjoy the landscapes.

    What are peoples thoughts?
    Hi
    I have both the Canon 15-85 and Canon 24-70 2.8L.
    In my opinion they are both great lenses and you would be hard pressed to see the difference between them.

    As the 15-85 is also cheaper and lighter I would with this knowledge have only bought the 15-85.

    Regards
    Bodies : Canon 450D, Canon 7D
    Lenses : Canon 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon 100mm F2.8 Makro USM, Canon 24-70 L F2.8 USM, Canon 70-200 L F4, Canon 100-400 L F4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Editing : Photoshop CS5

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    Quote Originally Posted by R1titan View Post
    Another suggestion for value would be the Tamron 17-50/2.8 lens.

    Although i sold mine a while ago i would prefer to use that on my crop anyday over my 17-40L...

    There's also a Mk II version with VC, although some reviews state its not as sharp as the original

    Apologies for the noob question but can I ask why you would prefer the 17-50 on a crop?


    Is it just a value for money thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pine View Post
    Hi
    I have both the Canon 15-85 and Canon 24-70 2.8L.
    In my opinion they are both great lenses and you would be hard pressed to see the difference between them.

    As the 15-85 is also cheaper and lighter I would with this knowledge have only bought the 15-85.

    Regards
    Ah your just the person I've been looking for, someone with both

    I'm glad to hear I'll be hard pressed to see quality difference, thats my main focus, price isnt huge when my intention is to upgrade bodies and not lens in the future.

    If both were similar price, which is what I'm seeing on the DWI website (the L is only $7 more) which would you chose? I suppose the 15-85 given its weight difference and IS.

    One thing that makes me lean towards the L is it's build quality, as I said I want to upgrade bodies in the future no lens. I'd like to think the build of the L will mean it last longer.

    Thanks very much for the input Pine, great to here from someone with both

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    I dont have experience with these two lenses but one consideration may be if you intend to move to a full frame camera in the near future.

    On the issue of your lenses overlapping (inc with the 50mm) I wouldn't worry about that. Zooms tend to get used often at their extremes and it is nice not to have to change lenses all the time - just my view. Also if you really want something wide it may be worth looking at the 10-22 which is a great lens and when you want wide its wide even on a crop - but I dont want to confuse you further.
    Check out my new site - www.wattsgallery.com - feedback welcome

    Gear - Canon 5D, 40D, 10-22, 24-70 2.8L, 200 2.8L, 50 1.8, 430EXII

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattsgallery View Post
    I dont have experience with these two lenses but one consideration may be if you intend to move to a full frame camera in the near future.

    On the issue of your lenses overlapping (inc with the 50mm) I wouldn't worry about that. Zooms tend to get used often at their extremes and it is nice not to have to change lenses all the time - just my view. Also if you really want something wide it may be worth looking at the 10-22 which is a great lens and when you want wide its wide even on a crop - but I dont want to confuse you further.
    I cant see myself going full frame in the next 2 years atleast to be honest, I bought the DSLR to take photo's of my bubs, lol and its still cooking....

    I have considered the 10-22mm but thought just to give myself a bit more versatility I should get one of the zooms available considering at the moment all I have is the 50mm f/1.8. I certainly plan to get it, or atleast something like it in the future though dont you worry, it's on "the wish list"

    Some other people I've spoken to today have now thrown the 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron into the mix. Can anyone comment on that vs the 17-40mm f4/L? I'd love the 17-55mm f/2.8 Canon but I'm already pushing it with the missus even thinking of the 17-40

    The Tamron does have some decent reviews, I'd get the VC version if I was to get it, only issue would be the build quality I suppose. Can anyone comment on IQ differences between the two?

    Pine you don't happen to own one of those as well by any chance

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    Member R1titan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craggles View Post
    Apologies for the noob question but can I ask why you would prefer the 17-50 on a crop?


    Is it just a value for money thing?
    lol, more or less...

    If money wasnt a factor the Canon 17-55/2.8 IS would be the one to get.

    For value its hard to beat the Tamron 17-50/2.8 its one stop faster than the 17-40L (which i own but only use on FF for wide needs) and has a longer FL, and its as sharp as the best zooms around and focuses correctly for third party lenses.
    Downfalls are lack of full time manual focus, a scretchy motor and no weather sealing (IS/VC too, but you get that with the so said softer Mk II).

    Basically, its proven

    The reason i dont have one now is cos i just have too much overlap in my gear, otherwise its a keeper!

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    Hi there - understand re the comments on the 10-22.

    Re the Tamron I use the 28-75mm (not the 17-50) and while I do find it limited on the wide side for a crop I use it with the 10-22 so its not a problem. That lens is very sharp and quick especially if it is stopped up half a stop. I have used friends copies of the 17-50 that seem to perform similarly well - although I haven't tried the VR versions.

    Good luck with it.

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    I just purchased the 15-85mm of DWI (good quick service btw). And really like it so far - replacing my kit 18-55, and wanted something as a leave on lens for travel that has good IQ - planning a trip to europe in Septmeber. I dont have much experience with lenses and dont really know what I am talking about, but the build quality seems very good (compared to kit lenses) and the photos are really quite sharp. IS is very good too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craggles View Post
    Ah your just the person I've been looking for, someone with both

    I'm glad to hear I'll be hard pressed to see quality difference, thats my main focus, price isnt huge when my intention is to upgrade bodies and not lens in the future.

    If both were similar price, which is what I'm seeing on the DWI website (the L is only $7 more) which would you chose? I suppose the 15-85 given its weight difference and IS.

    One thing that makes me lean towards the L is it's build quality, as I said I want to upgrade bodies in the future no lens. I'd like to think the build of the L will mean it last longer.

    Thanks very much for the input Pine, great to here from someone with both
    If money is not the issue I would buy the 24-70 as at 2.8 it is faster and there is something very special in the colours and bojeh

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    I am going to throw the 24-105 into the mix. I have this lens and it is fantastic. Lots of focal lengths at excellent quality. It isnt as wide as you would like on a crop body though. That said I love mine.

    If you are choosing between the 17-40 and the 15-85 I would go with the 17-40 any day.

    But it really depends on what focal lengths you are after.
    Canon 5d MkII
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    Craggles, you wouldn't be sorry having the 17-40mm. Aside from the build quality of the 17-40mm over the 15-85mm (metal over plastic body), there's also the vignetting problem of the latter according to reviews. That said, the sharpness of the 15-85mm is right up there with the L lens, you have IS (although at these focal lengths that's neither here nor there) and you have extra reach. There's the cost factor too, with the 17-40mm being around $250 more expensive.

    I love my 17-40mm, it's my new ultra wide angle since purchasing the 5DII. I did however use it extensively on the 40D also, when that was my prime camera, even in preference at times to the 10-22mm.

    Here's a couple of links for you to follow through with, for some really good reviews. Who knows, you may even find something else that suits your needs and budget better.

    Photozone

    The-Digital-Picture.com
    Osprey Photography

    Canon: 5D Mk II, 40D, 10D all gripped, 10-22 f3.5-4.5, 17-40 f4L, 24-70 f2.8L, 24-105 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS, 50 f1.4, 100 f2.8 Macro and other assorted accessories.

    Some stalk, some chase and some pursue... but I hunt.


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    I also suggest Tamron 17-50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craggles View Post
    Morning all,

    Firstly let me apologise if this has been covered before, I've had a search but couldnt find anything.

    I'm tossing up between these two at the moment.

    Trying very much not to be sucked in by the "L" and rather going for something that will both give me great results and and provide me with what I need.

    At the moment I have a 50D and the 50mm f/1.8. I've enjoyed playing with the 50mm so far but am finding it limiting when wanting to do landscapes / architecture, which is what I want to get into next. I do have a 70-300 sitting on my desk which is borrowed from a friend so I do have zoom abilities when needed, although not with a very good lens.

    The 17-40 would fit nicely in front of the 50mm and give me the wide end I need. Obviously it performs as an L lens should also. Doesnt have IS though.

    The 15-85 gives me a bit more in terms of width and obviously quite a bit extra reach than the 17-40, overlapping the 50mm and going that extra bit past it. It does however not have a constant appeture. Reviews on this are good so far. Does have IS.

    Be aware that my plan is to get a whole kit as time goes on, so while my kit is lacking any kind of real zoom at the moment (If needed I use my 18x FZ35) it is my intention to get something in the future, I havent wished for it yet though. My next will probabaly be an UWA assuming I enjoy the landscapes.

    What are peoples thoughts?
    [I] to werein that same situation, Cannon 450D [I] looked very closely at the 17/55 2.8 but decided it was to much money. So I ended up with the 15-85. have been giving it a bit of a workout[/ and so far find it to be very good in all respects. Not of course L standard but. but most photos end up on the computer anyway. ]

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    Quote Originally Posted by gje38752 View Post
    [I] to werein that same situation, Cannon 450D [I] looked very closely at the 17/55 2.8 but decided it was to much money. So I ended up with the 15-85. have been giving it a bit of a workout[/ and so far find it to be very good in all respects. Not of course L standard but. but most photos end up on the computer anyway. ]
    Can only agree. Without tramping on anyone's toes I think there is a lot of myths about "good" lenses. In my opinion the 15-85 is simply great. Its relatively light and gives great picts that are sharp and clear. It actually has very good specs and is very under rated.
    Regards

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    Hi I see your interested in the 15-85 Cannon. I bought one a few months ago, I can't stop using it, the extra width and length, quality of the photos are that much in front of the kit lens has made the expense worthwhile. I took 210 shots down at the beach, both at sunrise and after, recently, lots of practice in that lot and most of them were excellent.

    I would'nt hesitate recommending it to most.

    Having said all that the lens was made by Cannon in Taiwan, I can only assume their build quality is as good as Japan, any comments.

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    I considered the 15-85 and 24-105 for my 450D. The main worry was the difference at the wide end on a crop, 15 verses 24. The 15-85 won out and I was able to give it a good work out over Easter. I took note of the difference between 15 and 24 and was glad I went with the 15-85. This is a good allrounder, build quality, IQ and IS are very good.

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