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Keywords: Canon EF-S Wide Mid Tele Zoom APS-C IS Stabilized USM tested


rdonson

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by rdonson
Review Date: 1/15/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $639.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: focal length range, IS, size
Cons: a little heavier than I thought it would be

I picked up this lens as a walk-around lens for my Canon 7D. As such it has fit the bill very nicely. IQ has been very good for my use as a walk-around lens. Construction isn't up to L glass but for the money its more than acceptable.


If there is a downside at this point for me its that there is no camera/lens profile for Adobe Camera RAW and Lightroom. Distortion and CA corrections must be done manually.
DanSlr

Registered: December 2012
Posts: 2
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by DanSlr
Review Date: 12/31/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp. Excellent field of view with 15mm and 85 is great for portraits
Cons: Heavy, no hood included, "slow" with F5.6

The best overall lens I ever had and I think this is the best "travel" lens you can have if you are looking for a sharp and smart lens. This lens will give you sharp pictures all the way. It is wide with its 15mm and it reaches mostly what I want with its 85mm. This is one my favorite and I use it if I need a zoom for travelling, indoor photo with flash (430 ex) or if I need to choose "one" lens to bring somewhere.


I would not hesitate to purchase this lens. Sure it can seem pricy, but the quality feel and the sharp pictures it gives you it is only "expensive" before you buy it.


Recommended for a APS-C Canon camera without a doubt.
dugong5pm

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 51
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/20/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp! build quality, focal range, AF
Cons: a lil bit too expensive

This is the best walkaround/travel zoom lens for Canon APS users (for fullframe I give it to 28-135IS). It delivers sharp images with good color rendition too. It does landscapes to portraits, very versatile focal range for almost anything. I think the price is a bit too expensive, but it pays up considering it will be the one that sticks to your camera most of the time.
syntaxcode

Registered: January 2012
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by syntaxcode
Review Date: 1/13/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,200.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent IQ, a good travel and walk around lens, not too heavy
Cons: Lens hood sold separately, cannot adjust the zoom ring when lens hood is reveresly attached

This is my upgrade from the 18-200 Sigma lens using a 500D body and a battery grip. At daytime, the lens is fast and very sharp. At night time or low light, you have to adjust the ISO or Shutter speed to get a fast and decent images. Looks and feel sturdy, not too heavy, a good partner with a prime lens 85mm or a telephoto 70-300mm for far distance subjects.


You'll never regret having this lens for your day-to-day or walkround lens on an APS-C body (take note the quality is far better than the kit lens).
Apricane

Registered: November 2011
Posts: 6
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by Apricane
Review Date: 1/6/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $755.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness; Build Quality; very quick AF; non-rotating front element; position of focus ring; all-around great IQ.
Cons: Barrel Distortion (mostly at short focal lengths); vignetting can be annoying, relatively slow.

This is one sharp lens, with a very useful focal length range. Asking for any more would be quite greedy, but the only possible improvement with regards to focal length would be to have 1-2 more mm on the wide end to make it into the absolute city walkaround lens.


It produces all-around great images in a very well-built package that, while not exactly rugged, could almost be called "classy". It feels very solid in your hands, yet is not very heavy at all.


Moreover, the AF is very quick and completely silent, doesn't make the front element rotate, and the all-time manual focus ring is located where it is easy to use.


However, the lens has to lose a point in IQ due to being seemingly very prone to distortion at the wider focal lengths, and to vignetting mostly at longer focal lengths (60mm+).


It is also not a very fast lens, thereby requiring the use of flash indoors (which I am without at the moment of this writing, but which I imagine might do wonders combined with this lens), or switching to a fast prime.


All in all, I'm very satisfied of my purchase of this lens.


(I should also note I bought this lens as an upgrade from my 18-55mm kit lens for use with a 550D).
Fernando Chaves

Registered: September 2011
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by Fernando Chaves
Review Date: 9/19/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,006.71| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellente quality
Cons: too expensive

For over a month or so, I spent reading reviews on wide angle zoom Canon lenses to make an upgrade to my EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS kit Lens. My intension was to buy a good walk around lens for all purposes. And after reading and analyzing each review over and over I drew a simple conclusion: there is no perfect lens in the optical world, especially regarding to wide angle zoom lenses. When it is quite sharp in the frame center, then comes softness in the corners along with vignette. By stopping down, you’ll see a better performance, but to spoil the party, going to tele-end suddenly appears slight chromatic aberration or barrel distortion or both, depending on the aperture you select.
I don’t care much about vignette, because it sometimes helps me make good image composition. As to CA and barrel distortion, they’re easily corrected in post processing with specific software like DPP or CS5.
I also considered third party lenses like Tamron’s and Sigma’s. They make good lenses, too. Eventually, after making up my mind, I purchased the Canon EF-S 15-85mm IS USM. I’m very impressed by the image quality this lens delivers. I’m not a pro, but I think the EF-S 15-85mm IS USM is a top-tier lens and it can perfectly be compared to the high lineup of “L” Canon lenses.
I highly recommend this amazing 15-85mm IS USM. It’s a general purpose lens, once it expands very quickly from wide angle (15mm) to mid telephoto (85mm). The image Stabilization works perfectly well. The only cons I find in it is its high price you have to pay for.
My camera:
Rebel XTi (400D)


My lenses:
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5,6 IS
EF 50mm f/1.8 II
EF 70-300mm f/4-5,6 IS USM
And now EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5,6
pab6533

Registered: April 2011
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by pab6533
Review Date: 4/26/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: เร็ว เงียบ ฉับไว ไว้ใจได้
Cons: ติดขอบดำนิดนึง

เป็นเลนส์ที่ดีมากๆเลยครับ
Pugwash9

Registered: August 2009
Posts: 7
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by Pugwash9
Review Date: 1/21/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Very Sharp, light, well constructed.
Cons: Not exactly fast, but its not designed to be.

A clear improvement on the somewhat underated Canon 17 - 85. This is one sharp lens.


Now the price had dropped it is good value. Its a shame it has not got L series build quality and weather sealing, but then it has not got L series price or weight.
kayaker72

Registered: January 2011
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by kayaker72
Review Date: 1/5/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $630.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Focal length range, sharpness, image quality, fast AF, legit 4 stop image stabilization, and solid construction. Overall a great general purpose zoom
Cons: variable aperture, wish it was weather sealed.

I've used this lens for about 6 months now and about 4,000 pictures. It is an amazing general purpose lens. I highly recommend it. It focuses very fast and accurately. If you pixel peep, I zoom in on eyebrows at 100% and have good resolution. I've compared images with this lens with most other general purpose zooms and the IQ of this lens is as good or better. Only images that I've seen that I'd consider better come from the 70-200 f2.8 II L IS, 70-200 f/4 IS or a "L" prime lens.


A recent "real world" test. I was at my sisters wedding and took a lot of photos with this lens. She is using photos taken with this lens (on a Canon 7D) for her wedding album instead of the "professionally" taken pictures.


The primary disadvantages of this lens are it's relatively slow and variable aperture and the fact that it isn't weather sealed. But you can't have everything and I'll take the focal length range as I mostly shoot outdoors where I love being able to go from 15 mm to 85 mm or indoors with a flash.
ReedSmith

Registered: January 2011
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by ReedSmith
Review Date: 1/4/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $535.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp lens, good stabilization, nice pictures delivered
Cons: lens size, filter size, weight.. and high price. EF-S only :-(

I was looking for a good transstandard lens for my 7D, with high sharpness and image stabilization.


Range is correct from wide to mini tele.


I was not disapointed with this lens which is very good.
Very nice image quality, it can take pictures in low light easily.
Could have been faster for the price, like 2.8 to 4 max. or constant aperture


I have no issue with the vignetting, thanks to peripheral illumination option on the 7d.


I easily recommend this great lens !!
Ellis Feibush

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by Ellis Feibush
Review Date: 1/1/2011 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $737.00| Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Potentially good walk around zoom
Cons: Major front-focus issues

This lens has become one my worst lens nightmares. I have had nothing but problems with it since I purchased it . The problems stem from inherant front focus issues. It is now back at the Canon Jamesburg, NJ service facility for the third time and they still haven't been able to fix it. Perhaps it's a bad sample not able to be repaired. It is still under warrantee. Canon was able to fix the front focus issue at the long end, but I live at the short (read: wide angle) end of the lens. Around 15 - 25mm end of this lens. Images are extremely soft at this end of the lens. Cannot get sharp images at infinity. Owning this lens has become a major lesson in frustration. I am forced to think about spending much more money on an L series lens. After owning many Nikon lenses, I never, ever had this problem with any of my Nikon lenses. Not sure what to do. I guess it's a mistake to be a slave to two masters, or at least in this case, a slave to one poor master.
shootnprint

Registered: June 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by shootnprint
Review Date: 6/7/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $580.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: "THE" walkaround lens for APS-C shooter, excellent sharpness, best IS, ring-USM
Cons: expensive

This is a very fine lens. Looking at all the options for a standard zoom lens, this is the best compromise for APS-C bodies if it is in your budget:


EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS : (budget) kit lens, great value, really good IQ, lacking in the long end
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS: next step up from kit lens, good compromise between IQ and cost, perfect for the casual shooter
EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS: vacation lens, even longer than 18-135
EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM: outstanding IQ, low-light, might be too short for some
EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: great IQ, best IS, best compromise between focal length & IQ, ring-USM
(EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM: less expensive option instead of 15-85, better IQ than kit lens, ring-USM)
EF 16-35 f/2.8L II USM: outstanding IQ, low-light, compatible to full-frame, ring-USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM: great IQ, compatible to full-frame, ring-USM
Muiderburght

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 13
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by Muiderburght
Review Date: 5/17/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $720.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good quality, very useful zoom range, nice extra on the wide end, IS
Cons: Vignetting

A must have for any APS-C shooter. This lens is my default walk-around lens. As such, it replaces the 17-55, which range isnt large enough for walkaround and I always felt short with that one. They both suffer from vignetting issues. The build quality of the 15-85 is slightly better than that of the 17-55. So is the IS. It bites a bit that Nikon makes it cheaper and even better. But all in all, Im very happy with this lens. Although it's not a cheap lens, you get more than what you pay for in this case. This lens was long overdue from Canon.
freeuser

Registered: April 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by freeuser
Review Date: 4/12/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $748.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very useful focal lenght range, fast focus, image stabilisation, 7 diaphragm blades
Cons: lens hood not included, price for EF-S, filter size (72mm)

Pros:
- very useful focal lenght range (24 - 136mm)
- fast and silent focus
- image stabilisation (mostly sharp images with 0,5s exposure)
- 7 diaphragm blades (14 pointed star at night photos)
- sharp especially at f/8
Cons:
- lens hood not included (price over 30EUR~40USD)
- vignetting at 15mm
- CA (15mm & 85mm)
- filter size 72mm (only few lens with this filter size)
- price for EF-S lens, not copmatible with full frame body (550EUR ~ 748USD)


One of the best Canon all-purpose lens for APS-C sensor. Could be better with constant aperature 2.8 :-)


Highly recommended for user with no plan to future upgrade to full frame body.
xaviern

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by xaviern
Review Date: 3/25/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $720.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very high resolution, excellent feel and construction, very useful optical range
Cons: The EW-78E lens hood is not included, some Chromatic Aberration at the extremes of the range (15 & 85)

I had the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and liked the flexibility but not the optical quality, too soft some times and a lot of Chromatic Aberration (CA), so I give it to my brother (he's happy with it ;-)).


I bought the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM and this is in other league, excellent resolution, very little CA and you can really use it at f/2.8, so nice but it's heavy and for a walkaround lens the range is limited.


I decided to complement my optics with the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM and just bought it. So far excellent in all respects mentioned in the Pros. Much much better to the old EF-S 17-85mm.


Even the CA is much less than I expected, I don't know if mine is a golden sample but the CA in the borders of the frame are only important in the extremes of the range 15mm and 85mm, but nothing to worry for normal printing size and for those photos that you care is very easy to fix 100% in Lightroom (I always shoot RAW). Take in to account that my comments are based on the output from a 40D; being "only" 10MP is less demanding than the newer 15MP or 18MP cameras.


Naturally there's some barrel distortion in the wide side (15mm) of the lens, but nothing different to what you get with all this kind of lenses (including the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM).


The IS is great and I feel is even better than the IS in the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8. I get close to the promised 4 stops.
fotomontero

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by fotomontero
Review Date: 3/8/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $720.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: construction, sharp, fast, quiet and smooth
Cons: some vignetting

My English is bad ...
I'm from Mar del Plata, Argentina and got this lens recently and am very happy!
This lens is excellent in all respects, is perhaps a little expensive but so far I can not complain about him. I recommend 100%
Chau!
Martin
alan jones

Registered: January 2010
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by alan jones
Review Date: 1/4/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $847.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely Sharp,versatile 24mm-136mm equivilent zoom,well built
Cons: none (yes constant F4 would have been better)

Anyway my findings (jpegs not raw)...i am fortunate to have a 5Dmk2 +24-105 F4 along with the 50D ( a great camera too )
and the new 15-85 EFS to compare we used to use a 17-40l on the 50D and was always happy with the results BUT the EFS 15-85 surprisingly is better !! it produces a sharper picture over its whole range which i didnt expect so now when i put the 5d2 image and the 50D together on the scene they are both equally sharp its only when you zoom you see the 5d2 is a superior image so a fine performance YES i am aware its not 2.8 or even 4 has wide angle distortion (so does the 24-105 and the 24-70 2.8 i used to own) As we are primarily Landscape and nature photographers we are always F8 and higher users mostly ....the 24-136 zoom range is extremely useful as is the 4 stop image stableiser..especially for my wife who sometimes forgets shutter speed !! so i highly recommend this lens for its high image quality (on a par to 17-55 2.8)
macman

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 4
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by macman
Review Date: 12/18/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, 4 stops image stabilisation, build and handling.
Cons: None

I was astounded at the amount of stabilisation this lens offers. It makes available light photography a bit of a breeze as you can shoot at very slow shutter speeds. The lens feels solid and handles very nicely.
Vignetting did not bother me and with 'peripheral illumination' selected on the 7D my pictures did not show any undue problems.
All in all a great lens to have it will carry on nicely from the EFS 10-22mm lens in terms of focal length.
I can't wait to get out and take some more photo's, which is what it's all about in the end, and this lens makes you want to do that!
arman2

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by arman2
Review Date: 12/2/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $720.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very Sharp Images for a zoom lens, 4 Stop IS, Fast USM Focus, Great Focal Length Range
Cons: Vignetting, Distortion at wide range

Pros:
-IS performance is fantastic, delivers 4 stop or even more image stabilization.
-Sharpness is among the best for a zoom lens, it is sharp almost all along the focal length and up to very edge of the image. It can easily resolve a 12MP sensor. Sharpness is very comparable to 17-55 f/2.8 and 10-22mm (in wide range)
-construction quality is the best in canon's EF-S line.
-USM focus is fast and silent
-Flare is well controlled
Cons:
-Vignetting is the weakness of this lens, it is very high in 15mm an doesn't get that much better by stopping down
-Barrel distortion is easily visible at wide range


Overall:
I think it is canon's best EF-S lens for outdoor and general purpose. Great upgrade for 17-85mm
shutterboy22

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 1
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM review by shutterboy22
Review Date: 11/23/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $720.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: weight, wide angle, feel and looks!
Cons: none

I have taken over 300 photos with this lens in the course of last weekend and love its handling, focusing, and ability to shoot very wide angles.
I technically replaced the 17x85IS and am happy with the added advantages of a more precise lens with the ability to take better photos in my opinion. This new and more advanced glass seems to respond well to my needs which include acting as a great walk around lens.


 






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