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

(based on 453 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (321)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (116)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (345)
  • Consistent output (256)
  • Strong construction (243)
  • Durable (197)
  • Easily interchangeable (170)

Cons

  • Heavy (114)
  • Poor in low light (54)
  • Lens creep (21)
  • Vignetting (11)
  • Slow focus (8)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (356)
  • Weddings (171)
  • Low light (107)
  • Wildlife photos (99)
  • Sports/action (96)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (274), Semi-pro photographer (84), Casual photographer (62), Pro photographer (14), Photography student (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (299), Yes (11)

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 453 customers

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(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

perfect all around lens

By daddydaycare

from bayonne, nj

Verified Buyer

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

the EF-S 15-85mm IS USM Lens is a Great all around lens to own!
Clear and Sharp...

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Well built and produces excellent images.

By Tom

from Kansas City, MO

Verified Buyer

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

Very solid construction and a nice firm zoom ring. Images are sharp and clear. Very nice lens.

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(16 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Very Useful Focal Range

By steve

from Seattle

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Lens Creep

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Sports/Action
  • Video
  • Weddings/Events

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

The focal range of this lens was the big attraction for me. Originally I had the 18-55mm kit lens and found I often needed to change lenses to my 10-18mm wide or to my 55-250mm telephoto. My new 15-85mm stays on my Canon 70d 99% of the time now - way less hassle. On the 70d the actual working focal range of this lens is 24mm-136mm; it was perfect for me. The image quality is very good better than either of my kit lenses. My copy was sharp in the middle of the frame throughout the zoom range but slightly soft in the corners when at the extreme ends of lens 15mm or 85mm. I found stopping down to f8 or f11 the corners improved enough to match the sharp center though out the range. If you are creative you can take advantage of some of the weaknesses of this lens rather than view them as a handicap. No lens is perfect but sometimes you can use their strengths and weakness to your advantage you just have to be aware of them.

The lens aperture is slow and performs best in moderate to well lighted areas. If you need to shoot consistently indoors in natural low light you might do better with Canons efs 17- 55mm constant f2.8 aperture lens or the Sigma outstanding 17-35mm f1.8 lens. I considered both these lenses but they just didn't have the focal range I wanted. Additionally the Sigma did not have any IS. The 15-85mm lens is not a good choice using natural low light indoors. However it works very well indoors with a speedlight.

I usually use a flash and bounce the light or use a soft box attachment when indoors in low light with the 15-85mm. The 15-85mm lens IQ results are gorgeous and very life like using my 580EX2 speedlight in this manor. Group shots and portraits are so easy to do with this lens indoors or out. Investing in a good quality speedlight or polarizer filter when outdoors are good accessories to have if you purchase this lens.

The IS on this lens is very well behaved and very effective for video and stills. The focus is fast and accurate but not as quiet as STM lens AF but not excessively noisy either. My copy has a bit of lens creep but I haven't found it to be annoying. What I have found annoying is Canon still does not supply any lens hoods for their efs lenses even for this rather pricey lens. It's very annoying Canon makes you feel like a step child because you didn't invest in there excessively expensive full frame cameras or "L" lenses. Fortunately there are many third party companies that do sell reasonable priced lens hoods.

Some complain about it being to heavy but here is a comparison: - 15-85mm weighs 1.27 pounds -- the EF 24-70 f2.8 is 1.75 pounds –-- EFS 17-55mm weighs 1.45 pounds. Most good lenses are going to be heavier than the kit lenses that come bundled with your camera. A while ago I went to the camera store ask to see a Canon 5D mark III with it's kit lens attached I think it's the EF 24-105mm f4 – now that was way to heavy for me to carry around all day. There are folks that do this but they are usually getting a good sum of cash to do so.

Upon reading professional reviews I was almost dissuaded by vignetting and chromatic aberration complaints for the 15-85mm lens. However after investigation found out my Canon 70d has a built in lens correction feature which is very effective - tuned it on and wow CA and vignetting are non-existent through out the zoom range. Although I don't think it was that bad to begin with. If your camera does not support lens correction CA and vignetting can easily be removed with most editing software.

My conclusion is this is not a perfect lens but it works for my needs. Unfortunately cropped sensor cameras owners have very limited standard zoom lens choices that give us a convenient focal range. If we want to buy exceptional glass we are forced to buy EF L lenses designed for full frame cameras. Example is: The 24-70 L f2.8 lens which is an excellent quality lens. The resulting focal range on a cropped sensor will start at 38mm and zoom in to 112mm. Too narrow at the wide end and bit strange zoomed in at 112mm. In my case this focal range is just to awkward to use. I suppose if you are going to go for a full frame camera some day (lots of $$$) a collection of "L" lenses is OK. I would venture to say though if your not making a living with them most people will probably not ever purchase a full frame body.

My hope is some day Canon will give us a faster 15mm to 85mm f- 2.8 or f4 constant aperture "L" quality lens for cropped sensors. Honestly it is really time to replace the aging EFS 17-55mm f 2.8 and the EFS 15-85mm lenses. The newer cropped sensor camera bodies from Canon could easily support such a lens as could the older ones. I would at that point truly feel I was a genuine member of the Canon family not just a step child. So for now the EF-S 15-85mm f 3.5-5.6 IS USM is the best all around standard zoom for my use maybe yours as well.

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  • No

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(3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Exelent focal lenght range

By Arturo

from Sycamor, IL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh

Cons

  • Regular Calidad De Imagen

Best Uses

  • Familiar
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Sports/Action
  • Turismo

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

Me encuentro de vacaciones en una gran ciudad de Norte América y usado este lente por tres semanas con mi Canon 7D Mk II. He fotografiado tanto la arquitectura de la ciudad, como suejtos estáticos y algunos deportes. El propósito de comprarlo es sustituir el que venía usando que es el EF S 18-55mm IS STM y usar un solo lente como "walkaround", mi desición final fué entre el EF 24-70mm f/4 L y este EF-S 15-85mm IS USMmi percepción es los Pros de este lente son:Excelente longitud focalBuena construcciónDesenfoque "Bokeh" agradable Eficiente funcionamiento del AF en fotos y video (como era de esperarse, un poco de ruido en el video)Buen balance de peso con la 7D Mk IILO que me decepcionó de este lente, sus Cons son:La calidad de imagen la percibo similar que el EF S 18-55 iS STM, a pesar que las cartas MTF de Canon indican que debería tener mejor definición y Contrste, las imágenes fuera del centro son con falta de definición aún con un enfoque preciso.Si bien no es un lente muy caro, tampoco es barato y costó solo un poco menos que el EF 24-70 f/4 L, no quise comprar este último por no sacrificar el rango abajo de 20 mm, porque muchas de mis fotos son en este rango entre 18 mm y 20 mm, pero resulta que el EF S 15-85 IS USM tiene mucha deformación en este rango, a veces es agradable, pero otras no tanto.En general cumple el propósito de lente "Walkaround" pero no siento que sea un lente superior al EF S 18-55 IS STM, así que la mejora la considero solo en el rango focal, creo que debería haber comprado el EF 24-70mm f/4 L por casi el mismo costo

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A really fine lens

By Steve J

from Marin County, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not E Quality
  • Not f28

Best Uses

  • All Round Photography
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Macro Photography
  • Weddings/Events

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

My ten year old 17 - 85 Canon lens had an electronic failure while on vacation. When I returned I researched a replacement and recently purchased the EF-S 15 - 85 f/3.5-5.6 Canon lens. This is a moderate improvement over my old lens with 2 more mm. of wide angle. However, the optics remain excellent as does the operation. This is the perfect everyday lens for my D60. Since my other lens is a 70-300, I am covered for almost any photographic situation.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Good solid lens

By Gary

from Melbourne, Florida

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Sports/Action
  • Weddings/Events
  • Wildlife Photos

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

I have been using this lens for three years and find little to fault it. The pictures have great contrast and snap. Distortion products are well controlled and are of little concern in practice. The optics are very good and the construction is solid.

I am a little confused over the continued reference to "plastic construction" by reviewers. The lens uses a complex, composite material that is as strong as metal, lighter, and less expensive. This gives the lens a durable, high quality feel. Focusing is quick and accurate. Image stabilization is effective on the order of three "f" stops.

I have compared this lens to some Sigma offerings and they all went back to the store. I once had a dozen lenses of many shapes and sizes. Now I have the Canon 15-85mm and a third party 70-300mm in my bag. These handle 99.9% of my photographic needs.

I like this lens a lot. I agree, Canon should include a lens hood.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

The perfect walk-around lens for crop factor

By jbro

from Rockfall, CT

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable

Cons

  • Not L Glass
  • Should include lens hood

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

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

This lens matches the 7D MK2 perfectly. It is of course not L-glass, but the results are acceptable for everyday photos.
This lens is very noticeably better than the EF-S 17-85 that I have on my old 20D. It is more solid, and it takes better pictures. The extra 2mm wide is also nice, as this is a weakness of crop factor cameras.
It is a good value overall. I have no regrets buying it.
Although I do think that Canon should include the lens hood for the price.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

This is great

By SiNxAnarchy

from Port Hope Canada

About Me Photography Student

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Wildlife Photos

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

    I love this lens for what it was worth with my canon 7d its very good
    The veiw distance is good for the price
    i wish it was a longer lens but those are more expensive

    All and all i would use it again

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Good Images, Great Focal Range

    By captainsteve

    from Newport Beach

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

        This lens feels great on my 7D. I like the large diameter of the lens. There is a good balance between the weight of the lens and the camera body. I upgraded from a 17-85mm to this 15-85mm. Believe it or not, it is really nice to have the extra few millimeters of wide angle. So far, I have been very happy with the image quality, and build quality. Also a plus is that this lens doesn't have any creep issues.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fantastic Lens

        By Dave

        from San Diego, CA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Everyday use
        • Landscape/Scenery

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

        Great lens with a super useful zoom range. I was looking for a lens to use 90% of the time, and this is it. It's got some weight to it but it sure beats walking around with 2 lenses. The only thing i can't figure out is why an $ lens comes with an 8 cent lens cap. That thing it total garbage and barely stays on, but for 5 bucks it's an easy replacement.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Beautiful Lens From Canon

        By NYR 94

        from Long Island , NY

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Rugged
        • 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 using this lens for over a year and I'm so happy with its performance in terms of well built and quality pictures. I only shoot outdoors and for those Who shoot outdoors I would strongly recommend Lens hood and a Circular PL.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Lens

          By Lillnikke

          from New York, NY

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Video
          • Weddings/Events

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

          This Lens is one of the best lenses I've bought.it works fine in low light environments, like bars or at night, as well as when I'm out shooting a video under controlled circumstances.its a bit heavy but it feels robust and you can feel the quality in it.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

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          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Lens

          By Woodworker51

          from Flower Mound, Texas

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Versatile zoom range

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Product photos

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

          I purchased this lens to take product photos that require "overall" as well as Close-up detail shots. The range is nearly perfect, wish Canon had this range in their "L" Series Lenses, but this one is great for the price. With the auto stabilization, even handheld photos turn out great. Excellent resolution in close-ups and the telephoto range means less repositioning of the tripod.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          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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            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            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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              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              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 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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.

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                • No

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                (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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.

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                (3 of 3 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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                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                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.

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                • No

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