User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  0
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Canon 15-85 vs 17-85

  1. #1
    Member Mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    20
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Canon 15-85 vs 17-85

    I have been agonising for a couple of weeks now around what lens I should look at to upgrade from my current 18-55 IS kits lens as a general walk around lens for my 550d while I settle into a rhythm and decide on what kind of photos I enjoy taking more (and then look at getting more specialised glass).

    After a ridiculous amount of research online I think I have narrowed it down to the Canon ??-85 but am stuck on deciding which one? Anyone with an opinion on if the newer 15-85 enough of an upgrade to warrant the $300 difference?

    I am also open to any other suggestions (including any Tamron or Sigma options) but am probably looking to keep away from superzooms.

    Any insight is appreciated

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Jul 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    254
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I hated my 17-85 with a vengeance. It wasn't sharp wide open, or at the long end, nor was it sharp at any apeture even remotely wide. I haven't heard very many glowing reports from users of the 17-85. I'm not sure what the 15-85 is like by comparison, but if you can live without silent USM focusing, then get the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. Not only is this lens super compact, but it is very sharp and pretty sharp wide open, plus it maintains a contant f2.8 apeture throughout the zoom range
    Canon stuff 5Dmk1 w/ 24-70 f2.8L, Canon 5Dmk1 w/70-200f2.8L, 100mm f2.8 macro, 50mm f1.4, 580exII
    Alienbees B800, Lumopro 160, Manfrotto 155XPROB w/ 498RC2, Lowepro ProRunner X450AW
    Phew!

  3. #3
    Who me? dbax's Avatar
    Join Date
    02 Sep 2007
    Location
    Tweed Heads
    Posts
    2,749
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can only presume your 18-55 was a kit lens? when I bought my 40D the 17-85 was its kit lens! so you might gain 1mm on the short end and 30 mm on the long end but really, to my thinking, your still buying another kit lens.
    I'd seriously be thinking about saving some more $$'s and looking at something like( but not restricted to) the 24-105, its an L lens so it has superior build and much better glass.
    Cheers David.

    Canon 40D/EF-S 17-85 mm IS/Kenko Extenson Tubes/Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II (nifty fifty)
    Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6 /Sigma 70-200/ Sigma 1.4 teleconverter/ some Conkin filters | Adobe Photoshop CS6



  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    08 Sep 2010
    Location
    Syd
    Posts
    259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ^ well you could argue the 24-105 is also a kit lens :P

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Jul 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    254
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    However, 24-105 is a totally different focal length to 17-85 so probably not comparable. OP, look at the Tamron, it is very good quality and you won't be disappointed. To get something sharper, in the same focal length, and with a nice wide apeture, you would need to step up to the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L. Very expensive, quite big and not a big zoom range. As dbax states, the 17-85 was the kit lens for the xxD line, which seems to be slowly shifting towards the 15-85. I would look up reviews and user opinions on both.

    Quote Originally Posted by dbax View Post
    I can only presume your 18-55 was a kit lens? when I bought my 40D the 17-85 was its kit lens! so you might gain 1mm on the short end and 30 mm on the long end but really, to my thinking, your still buying another kit lens.
    I'd seriously be thinking about saving some more $$'s and looking at something like( but not restricted to) the 24-105, its an L lens so it has superior build and much better glass.

  6. #6
    Member FilthyAmatuer's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Jul 2009
    Location
    Perth/Pilbara, WA
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have the 15-85mm on my 500D. It is a very good every day lens. It is quite sharp - and from the reviews I read at the-digital-picture much sharper than the alternative EF-S lenses. It pretty much never leaves my camera. IS is also top notch as well. I think it would be worth the extra money (obviously considering I bought one and am happy with it) - though I have never used the 17-85mm lens.
    Canon 500D | EFS 15-85mm IS | EF 50mm F/1.8 II | EFS 18-55mm IS | EFS 55-250mm IS | Tamron 90mm F/2.8 Macro

  7. #7
    Member
    Threadstarter
    Mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    20
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmmm - Yeah the 18-55 was a kit lens and I have since made the (really not so bad) mistake of getting a 50mm prime (f1.8 II) and now every photo I take with the 18-55 or 55-250 just looks dull.

    I was actually considering the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 but am not sure whether it has enough length. Maybe I will have a bit more of a play this weekend and see if 50mm is going to do me at the long end. Then again for the price of the Tamron it is almost worth just picking one up.

    The feedback is much appreciated - Any other suggestions?

  8. #8
    Ausphotography Regular Tricky's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    640
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to own a 17-85... and was pretty disappointed with it. Really don't think its much of a step up from an 18-55 IS optically, though construction would be a bit better and longer at each end. The 17-85 suffered from really bad barrel distortion at the 17mm end and was never particularly sharp wide open, though got better once stopped down to say f/8.

    The 17-85 won't match your nifty fifty for picture quality...

    I've never tried a 15-85 so can't comment.
    Richard
    Canon 5D4 | 11-24 f/4 L | 24-105 f/4 L| 100-400 L II | 85 f/1.2 L | 100 f/2.8 L macro | MP-E 65 f/2.8 macro | 1.4x | 580EX2 | MT-24 Twin Lite | Manfrotto | Photoshop CS5


  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    24 Jul 2010
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    120
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've had the 17-85mm for nearly 4 years now and wouldn't have bought it if I'd known what it was like, although when I first bought it I thought it was ok so I guess it was better than my kit lens.

    I'll second Tricky's comment about the barrel distortion at 17mm, chromatic aberration is particularly bad especially when photographing trees, but for me the most annoying factor is the blurring in the corners and edges. Distortion and CA can be fixed in photoshop but not the fuzzy corners. Maybe I had a bad copy but it certainly didn't live up to my expectations long term.

    I've been looking at the 15-85mm as a replacement and have been playing around on www.the-digital-picture.com in the lens comparison review section. It's worth a visit as it has sigma, canon, tamron lenses to compare. How accurate the comparisons are though is anyone's guess!
    Carole

    Canon 550D|Canon 15-85mm|Canon 70-300mm|Canon 100mm f2.8 macro|50mm f1.8 II|
    Sony NEX 6|Sony 16-50mm| Sony 55-210mm|Sony RX100
    www.carolelloydphotography.com


  10. #10
    Member
    Threadstarter
    Mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    20
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks again for the advice all. Looks like the 17-85 isn't worth the hassle.
    I haven't seen that site yet so will have a look at the comparisons there too, thanks Carole.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    04 Sep 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    wow im glad i read this thread, i was wan'ting a 17-85 also to replace my 18-55 but not not. The guy at photo continental was telling me how much better it is but it doesn't sound like it is, well maybe a bit but worth the extra money.

    maybe i should go to a group shot next time in brisbane and talk to other people and see how their images are like.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Jul 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    254
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Optically, it is no better than the 18-55 kit lens. However, it has a better build quality, non rotating front element (important if you use circular polarising filters or cokin filter kits) and USM focusing (quiet and really realy fast). So the 17-85 has some things going for it, just not image quality throughout the zoom range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mile View Post
    wow im glad i read this thread, i was wan'ting a 17-85 also to replace my 18-55 but not not. The guy at photo continental was telling me how much better it is but it doesn't sound like it is, well maybe a bit but worth the extra money.

    maybe i should go to a group shot next time in brisbane and talk to other people and see how their images are like.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    24 Jul 2010
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    120
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mile, it must've been the same guy, at the same place, who told me the same thing. That was before I told him I actually had the lens in question and had never been really happy with it's performance! Politely of course

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Aug 2010
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    252
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've picked up a 17-85 secondhand on eBay to replace my 18-55. Paid about $400 for it including a Circular Polarising Filter, UV Filter and Hood. I have been very happy with it's performance compared to the 18-55 and have been able to correct most image quality issues in PS5. If you're considering one, try secondhand on eBay. Make sure you ask all the relevent questions about it's age, usage, etc, and ser yourself a limit. I set mine at $400 and bid on about a dozen before snagging one at this price.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Jul 2010
    Location
    South
    Posts
    254
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I got rid of mine for $300

    Quote Originally Posted by unistudent1962 View Post
    I've picked up a 17-85 secondhand on eBay to replace my 18-55. Paid about $400 for it including a Circular Polarising Filter, UV Filter and Hood. I have been very happy with it's performance compared to the 18-55 and have been able to correct most image quality issues in PS5. If you're considering one, try secondhand on eBay. Make sure you ask all the relevent questions about it's age, usage, etc, and ser yourself a limit. I set mine at $400 and bid on about a dozen before snagging one at this price.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    04 Sep 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They go for around $300-$350 now on ebay, ive been watching them.

    I sent my cousin, who has been into photography now for maybe 5 years +, an email and he said he got one a while ago to replace his 18-55mm and he was happy with it. he has better ones now but it seems there is a mixed result for this lens.

    i will have to try one some time to see what its like.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •