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In the throes of selling my Pentax gear to fund the purchase of a Canon 7D. Been advised by a local Canon retailer to go for the 15-85mm lens as opposed to the 18-135 lens as the glass quality is better. I also prefer the wider angle actually.. I think to buy separately its in the £400 region. noticed a 2nd hand on here being sold for less than £200. So before I take the plunge I was wondering what anyone's thoughts were on the lens and whether an alternative non-Canon or alternative Canon lens would be as good at least.
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I have the Canon 18-135mm IS lens and I have to say it's one of my favourites. It's got good range and sharpness is excellent throughout the focal range,the IS is great. I used this lens 90% of the time with my Canon 400D recently on a trip to Croatia and also at a friends wedding ( you can see these pics if you Google Jane Ball Photography, find me on Facebook,or take a look at my P.F on here ) and I've no complaints whatsoever. I can't speak for the 15-85mm lens as I've never used one but in my humble opinion the 18-135mm IS is hard to beat for value and performance. I suppose it all depends on your budget and what kind of photography you enjoy - I'm only an enthusiast with dreams of becoming professional (like most togs ) but I do like my pics to look good no matter what the subject is. Incidentally I'm upgrading to the 7D soon myself - can't wait
Hope this has helped
Cheers Jane. I tend to get more out oof landscapes, though I do like portraits, so the wide angle of the 15-85 would prob suit me a tinchy bit better. But its nice to hear someone give me an honest opinion on the 18-135 as all the reatiler could do was eulogise about the 15-85.
Had a play witha 7D yesterday. Ooh!!!!
Just one point - where have you seen a 15-85 on here for less than £200? I can only see a 17-85 for £190- I have one of these and its not made as well as the 15-85 and I think the 15-85 is more like £650 if you can get one.( Jessops only have them on 28 day order. WE say they are in stock at£609)I have a 7D and feel the 17-85 is not quite up to the mark for it.
Lookinf for a reasonble 24-105 now.
According to pricebuster this lens is over £500 so nearly double the 18-135. I should in theory at least be a better quality lens. I assume you are getting one or other lens as a kit lens with camera and therefore getting it in effect much cheaper? Otherwise for a similar price there are a number of lenses you might consider. I've not used any of the EF-S options but the 17-40L is a cracking lens although a narrower range. The 24-105 Steve mentions is worth considering too.
I have mainly used Sigma with my Pentax. I suppose it's down to looking at the reviews. The 24-105 isnt wide enough for me Warrior. Thats why the 15-85 was that bit more attractive. Basically the 15-85 can come with the body as part of a package, but dont really want to get a lens when a better one (at the same pprice or less) would be better. The usual conundrum isnt it.
Steve, I revisited the advert in here and confirmed I had misread it.
It will mainly be used for landscapes and portraits so the range is fine, but wanna make sure i get the IQ from it, ie, wall to wall sharpness (well to a dregree anyway)
I was able to do a side by side comparison of the 17-85 amd 15 -85 recently using my 7D. The IQ from the 15-85 was just that lttle bit better from the sharpness and also the contrast. Undoubtedly better image quality would be obtained with an L series lens but you would need to balance the cost against your needs.
Much of the cost of L lenses goes into build quality and such things as weather sealing and general durability. I think that unless you are a professional who needs this sort of thing you would certainly be happy with the 15-85. These are my opinions having spent a lot of money on equipment unecessarily because I was told you need "such and such" lens-then finding to my cost that I didnt really!
I got my Canon 18-135mm IS from Warehouse Express for £384 ish - worth every penny
Photoplus covered the 15-85 in a group review where it scored 88%, second highest overall, the group winner the 17-55 got 93%. The best value lens was the Sigma 17-70 at 85%.
They liked the speed and accuracy of the AF, build quality, very good sharpness at the wide-angle end. excellent sharpness through the rest of the range. Distortion at 15mm as expected. They suggest that £620 is a good price for one.
Pluses: Excellent Optical quality given the 5.6x zoom range
minuses: Maximum apertures are merely average and vignetting is noticeable
Also bear in mind its an EF-S lens, so if you ever go full frame you won't be able to use it. That might be a consideration if you like landscapes.
Well I think its going to be the 15-85. The range is good for what i do and I do want a nice sharp lens. The write up on the 18-135 wasnt all that good on www.photozone.de, placing it a little bit above a cheap kit lens like the 18-55. I've picked up both in the shop and there is a fair bit of weight difference which i can only put down to the glass inside. I would haev gone for the 24-105 L IF i went for a 5D Mk2, but as i shall be sticking to the 7D then the 15-85 will suit me fine.
I had a similar dilemma when i sold my pentax kit and moved to the 7d. In the end i decided 15mm was not going to be wide enough so i spent considerably more and bought the sigma 10-20 and the canon 24-105. No regrets so far.
It has crossed my mind javam as I've had the Sigma 10--20 beofre and its a great lens. only problem is with vignetting (wasnt prepared to pay the extortionate rate for professional filters and holders)
But i reckon the set up you've now got would be the one for me too
I'm thinking of getting one of these. It struck me that, although it loses a stop or 2 to the 17-55mm, the benefit of the longer range, especially at the wide end, would more than outweigh this, especially with the great low light performance of the 7D. Plus, from what I can see, the 15-85 is very sharp at all apertures, compared to even the 17-55 being a little soft wide open.
Wirral Wedding Photography by Mike Deakin
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