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CanonEF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens
 
4.6

(based on 440 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (311)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (114)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (336)
  • Consistent output (251)
  • Strong construction (237)
  • Durable (191)
  • Easily interchangeable (167)

Cons

  • Heavy (110)
  • Poor in low light (54)
  • Lens creep (20)
  • Vignetting (11)
  • Slow focus (8)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (348)
  • Weddings (167)
  • Low light (106)
  • Wildlife photos (97)
  • Sports/action (93)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (289), Yes (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (268), Semi-pro photographer (80), Casual photographer (62), Pro photographer (14), Photography student (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Very Nice Wide-Range Crop-Camera Lens

Let's start with what this is not: an "L" series lens.

But -- it also doesn't have an "L" series price. And,...Read complete review

Let's start with what this is not: an "L" series lens.

But -- it also doesn't have an "L" series price. And, it has a huge zoom range -- 5.6:1, compared to most "L" lenses being 3:1. This comes with compromises, two of them being a moderate focus shift with zoom range (if you have a 7D you'll notice that zeroing it via MFA for one focal length will not zero at the others) and a significant amount of chromatic aberration, especially on the wide end. The latter, however, is easily removed in post-processing. The former means you'll get a bit of softness except where it matches your camera best (or where you zero it if you have a 7D -- hint -- zero for 50mm.) Stopping down a bit helps a lot with the latter, of course.

With that said it's arguably the best "walk-around" choice that Canon has for crop cameras, and with its reasonable price at the same time it's hard to argue with the value proposition. The 15-85 range goes from quite-wide to moderate telephoto, covering the general purpose range nicely. Image quality is a major step up from the kit lenses. IS works well, autofocus is fast and full-time manual override is appreciated. This is also a reasonably-light and compact offering, which is of great benefit when you want "one lens" to slap on the body and go out for a day of shooting. The weakest point is the relatively slow aperture, but that comes with reasonably light, small and reasonably-priced -- big apertures mean much more glass, price and mass.

This, plus the 70-200 f/4L could quite-arguably make for a two-lens kit for the crop camera line that would cover 90%+ of what you would ever want to shoot, provided it's outdoors or you have a flash. The 17-55 f/2.8 is faster and has better IQ but is quite a bit more expensive and gives up range on both ends -- that last 2mm is quite a bit of range on the wide end, and the 55-85 range is non-trivial too.

I've shot literal thousands of images with this lens in the last year and like it plenty. Just recognize that with all lenses you give to get, and this is no exception.

For a general-purpose "walk-about" selection on Canon crop cameras all the compromises are in the right places with this one.

Recommended.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointing Experience

I purchased this lens along with a T2i body from B&H; expecting an upgrade in image quality from the EF-S 18-55mm. However, I needed to return one lens due to a...Read complete review

I purchased this lens along with a T2i body from B&H; expecting an upgrade in image quality from the EF-S 18-55mm. However, I needed to return one lens due to a very soft corner on the images. The replacement lens has uniform soft corners, so I can't say it was an improvement. Also, I'm encountering strong (almost neon looking) chromatic aberration at wide angles. Vignetting is slight due to the T2i correction setting. Overall, the images are soft (both lenses) and this is quite disappointing due to the price of the lens. The matching Canon ET-78E hood can cast a large shadow when using the built-in flash. Other owners seem to have success with the lens, but this has not been my experience. Lastly, Canon support stated that the EF-S 15-85mm is a "kit" lens and one should not expect sharp image quality. I could not believe that such a comment was made to a customer.

Reviewed by 440 customers

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5.0

Very pleased

By ap1Brian

from Altoona, Pa

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

    Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

    I've finally found my everyday walk around lens. I find this covers most situations and is a much nicer lens than the kit lens that came with my T5i. I was surprised with the weight of the lens, it is quite heavy. Between this lens and my little nifty fifty I've got a set up Im really happy with. I'd like to add the new 10-18mm and I'll be done lens shopping for a while.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Fits the bill

    By Tanya

    from Kansas City, MO

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

      I recently purchased the Canon 70D with the 28-300 lens. However, I found I needed a lighter lens and one that captured the lower end of the zoom spectrum...this one is easy to handle, does really well in low light and gives a sufficient wide angle to capture scenery/large groups of people.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      such a great lens I bought it twice

      By Choco

      from Albuquerque

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

        I've taken hundreds and hundreds of images in the southwest over a period of a few years and found this a great lens for recording what I see, ranging from landscapes to close ups of pictographs. Mostly stationary subjects. Excellent images given that it's not classified as a professional lens. Alas, I dropped my first one in a few inches of San Juan River water for about three seconds and it killed the lens. The best vote of confidence I can give it is that I bought another one.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Great lens for the crop sensor camera

        By Thanarath

        from Anaheim, CA

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Lens Creep

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

        I bought this lens for its wider angle as compared to kit lens 18-135mm IS STM. It is a bit bigger and heavier which is expected but the pictures turn out much sharper than the kit lens. I will keep it on my 70D for 90% of time. One thing that I found out that the lens creep when I point it down, but it is OK. Over all it is great lens for non L.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Great lense!

        By Js

        from Conroe

        Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

        Lense takes great pics.

        Share this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Canon 15-85

        By David Garcia

        from Atascadero, Ca.

        Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

        This is a very sharp, well built lens. I plan to keep it mounted most of the time. I do miss the convenience of my 18-200, however, the image quality is so much better. It's a little heavy for its size, but no big deal. I would recommend this lens.

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        4.0

        Nice quality lens

        By Gregdes52

        from Colonia, NJ

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy
        • Lens Creep

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

        Although the shots taken with this lens look very sharp at normal viewing mode,, with excellent contrast and colors, on further inspection at 100% magnification, softness was definitely noted on the edges. This softness was obviously more prominent at the largest and smallest apertures (the worst being at the smallest apertures), however, center sharpness is excellent. A little heavy and wide at 72mm filter size, but well-balanced nevertheless. Overall, a nice quality lens, but a little pricey.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        EF-S 15-85 loose fit

        By Zaro

        from Houston, TX

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus

        Cons

        • Weak Casing

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

        Works fine, but there is a very slight movement between body and the lens, which doesn't appear to affect the performance, but it is very annoying. Most likely is going back.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        "I would buy this product again

        By msy

        from southern ca.

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

          love it, does what I wanted great all around lense

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Canon 15-85mm

          By TL

          from St. Louis, MO.

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Color
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Range

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action

          Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

          I just received the lens about a week ago and
          so far it's great...much better than
          the kit lens 18-55mm...also the AF is
          VERY quiet.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent Lens

          By NYR 94

          from Long Island,NY

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Lightweight
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

            I've been Canon user for over 20 years,back to the film I've owned their "L" lenses incl. the 300/2.8L..I was hesitant to switch to Digital but can't stop the progress..I bought this lens w/60D and I did not expect too much in terms of picture quality..after a several months I must say that this lens surprised me so much that it's my favorite lens for any trip or traveling..besides this lens I own Two "L" lenses,but the 15-85 is my favorite because it produces true colors,it's sharp and is built well..I only shoot outdoors.Canon has really done a great job.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Best all around for APS-C Cameras

            By The Viking

            from Doha, Qatar

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus

            Cons

            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Street photography
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

            It has been a pleasant experience, very sharp and consistent results. I used to carry several lenses to cover the same range with my Canon 7D (e.g. EF-S 10-22mm, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L(I) and sometimes a Canon EF 85/100mm prime).
            Now, with this lens I only carry this zoom which balance pretty well with my Canon 7D and eventually one lightweight prime (e.g. EF40mm f2.8, EF 30mm f2) for low-light situations, where this zoom lens does not excel.
            I was hesitant to buy it because the shadow formed with using the pop-up flash but I solved it with a small flash (e.g. 270 EX II) that is also lightweigth and fit in your bag or pocket.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            great yellowstone pics

            By harris

            from ft myers, florida

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

              Purchased lens for trip to yellowstone great lens for scenery and wildlife that was close

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens

              By jin

              from Raleigh, NC

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                    this product is really good so far,it is brand new.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Pretty good...

                    By Juan

                    from Lima, Peru

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                      I bought this after reading a lot of reviews, it was either this or the 17-40mm 4L. I went with the 15-85 because of the range, besides I´ve tried the 17-40L before a you have to be really picky to see any difference in image quallity.
                      Things I liked: built quality, USM, focal range.
                      Things I didn´t like: no lens hood and it feels just a little bit heavy on my T3i.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      EF-S 15-85 - Excellent Walkaround Lens

                      By Myer

                      from Cooper City, FL

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Lens Creep

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Video

                      Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                      When travelling a lens that is wide enough is most important. This lens is 20% wider than 18-xxx lenses.

                      In addition this lens is pretty much sharp throughout, great color and contrast.

                      The best non-"L" lens Canon has.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great lens! I would buy this again.

                      By Karen the hiker

                      from Laurel, MD

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Macro Photography
                        • Wildlife Photos

                        Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                        I am a novice photographer. My kit lens quit focusing after several years of use. I wanted to upgrade to a better lens. B & H Photography recommended the Canon 15-85mm lens for an all around lens for me since I don't want to carry several lenses with me. It has a nice zoom and takes very crisp photos. I am very happy with my new purchase. I highly recommend this lens. Also, the B&H Photography staff were great. I called them on several occasions asking for advice. They were kind and extremely patient with me! I love this store and will buy all my camera supplies from them in the future.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Excellent Lens by Canon

                        By wolfman

                        from Buffalo, NY

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Video
                            • Weddings/Events
                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                            I currently own the Canon 17-85mm lens. Just bought this 15-85 mm and love it. A half stop faster and a bit more wide angle.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (13 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            little better than the kit lens

                            By MC

                            from PA

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Lightweight
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Rugged
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                            • Poor in Low Light

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                            I decided to upgrade to this lens after using my t3i for 2 years with the kit 18-55mm lens. I was looking for the best general walk-around lens and this lens seemed to be the best choice.

                            I took a lot of pictures using 15-85 and the old 18-55. I wanted to see if I could see a major improvement just by comparing pictures side by side.

                            Sharpness:
                            I think the 15-85mm may be a little bit sharper than the kit lens...It is hard to tell. All the reviews I've read indicated that the 15-85mm is sharper than than the kit lens. The 15-85mm does seem sharper to me but not by much. I really had to look hard to notice any obvious improvement. Maybe the 15-85 is indeed a lot sharper in the "right top corner at 100 magnification" but I do not care about that.

                            AF:
                            The 15-85mm seems to be a bit faster....maybe. I took many pictures of my son running towards me using both lens and I think I the 15-85mm produced more focused pictures.

                            Colors and contrast:
                            One major difference I noticed are the colors. The 15-85mm seems to produce much better colors.

                            Manual Focus:
                            15-85mm allows to manually focus the lens while in AF. I thought it was a little bit helpful while shooting video.

                            Low-light :
                            The 15-85 lens seems to produce better low-light pictures.

                            Wide angle:
                            This is certainly a very useful feature.

                            Extra zoom:
                            Also very useful. I considered getting 18-135 instead of the 15-85mm but ultimately went with the 15-85 because I already had 70-300mm zoom

                            Build quality:
                            I do not understand why that is so important. I am always careful with my camera equipment anyway.

                            Weight:
                            Many reviewers said the lens was heavy. I honestly do not find it is that heavy, the weight does not bother me as much I thought it would.

                            Quiet focus:
                            My t3i makes very loud shutter sounds anyway, the quiet auto focus won't make my camera any quieter.

                            Flash photography:
                            The lens hood causes problems when using the build-in flash. I find that very annoying because I do not want to rely to on 430 ex every time I need to use a flash. This is mentioned in the manual so it was not unexpected.

                            A lot of reviewers say this lens is much better then the kit lens. I would love to see some side-by-side comparison of the snapshots taken with this lens and with the kit-lens.

                            Overall, I think the quality of my pictures did improve so I am happy about that. I have done a lot of research and I doubt there are any other general purpose walk-around lenses under 1K which would provide a huge improvement over the kit lens. It seems to me that the basic kit lens is so good so that any improvement over it would nor be noticeable - unless you use a prime or some other special-purpose lens. The lens is certainly overpriced but so is almost every other Canon lens. This is why I am still giving the lens 5 stars

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                            • No

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                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent if you can do without speed

                            By Supermanny

                            from San Jose, CA

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Excellent Range
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Superb Is

                            Cons

                            • Poor in Low Light

                            Best Uses

                            • Anything In Daylight
                            • Landscape/Scenery

                            Comments about Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens:

                            I love this lens for everyday use. My pictures are vastly better than with the kit lens and the range is perfect on my cropped sensor. I don't expect to get into wide-angle enough to buy a dedicated lens but for my needs the wide end is very good. I can easily get a large group shot in an average-sized living room. The speed leaves something to be desired but it works very well for daylight shots. I have trouble with shots of kids indoors being blurry due to the lack of light but kids never stop moving; for many shots, even indoors it will work fine. If I need a little more speed indoors, even at night with kids running around I just throw a Speedlite on my camera and I'm good to go.

                            I was trying to decide between this lens and the 'EF-S 17-55 2.8' to replace my kit lens and I ended up getting both. It basically came down to the choice between greater range with this lens or the faster 17-55. In all honesty I would probably choose the 17-55 if I had to choose just one. But again, being perfectly honest, I can get most of the same shots with this lens and a Speedlite that I can get with the faster 17-55. The 17-55 looks sharper to me but this one if pretty sharp as well. The image stabilization on this lens is superb-probably better than the 17-55.

                            I gave this lens 5 stars with the understanding that you shouldn't be expecting an L-series lens, but a very good upgrade to your kit lens. I think anyone with this understanding will be happy with this one.

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                            • No

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