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Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
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- 15-85mm lens with f3.5-f.5.6 aperture; for use with APS-C cameras
- 35mm equivalent to 24-136mm focal length range
- Dedicated image stabilization
- Lens construction of 17 elements in 12 groups
- Compatible with 72mm filters
|Lens Compatibility Information: Canon EF-S lenses are only compatible with APS-C sensor DSLR cameras. Canon EF lenses are compatible with Canon full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras.
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|Aperture Control Design||Aperture controlled by camera|
|Compatible Lens Hood Part Number||EW-78E|
|Compatible Mountings||Canon EF-S|
|Focus Type||Ring-type ultrasonic|
|Image Stabilization||4 stops|
|Item Dimensions||3.23 x 3.23 x 3.46 inches|
|Item Display Weight||1.65 pounds|
|Item Weight||1.27 pounds|
|Macro Focus Range||0.35 m|
|Manufacturer Warranty Description||1 year limited|
|Material Type||Plastic barrel, Metal mount|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F3.5 - F5.6|
|Maximum Focal Length||85 mm|
|Maximum Format Size||APS-C / DX|
|Minimum Focal Length||15 mm|
|Minimum Focal Range||15 mm|
|Number of Diaphragm Blades||7|
|Number of Elements||17|
|Number of Groups||12|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||72 mm|
|Real Angle Of View||74 Degrees|
|Shipping Weight||1.65 pounds|
|Zoom Type||motorized zoom|
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This item Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Compatible Mountings||Canon EF-S||Canon EF||Canon EF-S||Canon EF-S|
|Focus Type||Ring-type ultrasonic||Stepper motor||Stepper motor||Stepper motor|
|Item Dimensions||3.23 x 3.46 x 3.23 in||2.72 x 1.54 x 2.72 in||2.95 x 2.83 x 2.95 in||2.68 x 0.91 x 2.68 in|
|Item Weight||1.27 lbs||5.61 ounces||0.53 lb||4.41 ounces|
|Lens||zoom||Prime lens||wide-angle||Prime lens|
|Maximum Focal Length||85 millimeters||50 millimeters||18 millimeters||24 millimeters|
|Minimum Focal Length||15 millimeters||50 millimeters||10 millimeters||24 millimeters|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||72 millimeters||49 millimeters||67 millimeters||52 millimeters|
The Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM standard zoom lens sets a new standard for everyday photography on APS-C sensors. With a focal length range equivalent to 24-136mm in 35mm format, image stabilization and high-precision optics, this lens offers stellar performance from wide-angle through to telephoto. The Image Stabilization system allows you to shoot sharp images with a 4-stop advantage under less-than-optimum lighting conditions. Plus the Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) technology provides fast and quiet focus control with on-demand manual override when shooting in AF mode.
From the Manufacturer
The new EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM sets a new standard for everyday photography on APS-C sensors. With a focal length range equivalent to 24-136mm in 35mm format, image stabilization and high-precision optics, the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM offers stellar performance from wide-angle through to telephoto.
- Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 15 - 85mm 1:3.5-5.6
- Lens Construction: 17 elements in 12 groups
- UD Glass: 1
- Diagonal Angle of View: 84 degrees 30' to 18 degrees 25'
- Focus System: Inner focusing system with USM
- Closest Focusing Distance: 1.15 ft. / 0.35m
- Filter Size: 72mm
- Max. Diameter x Length: 3.2 x 3.4 in./81.6 x 87.5mm
- Weight (lens only): 20.3 oz./575g
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Top Customer Reviews
UPDATE, July 11, 2010: The Canon rebate referred to below should just about be concluding as I write this, so you can read this review (and others) and decide whether this lens--at its regular price--is right for you. (Or you can wait for the next rebate program, but that may be a while from now.) Since the time when I wrote my initial review, I have come to regard this lens even more highly. It feels great on my Canon EOS Rebel T2i, and I had a recent experience with this lens that might interest you. My wife and I took a sightseeing train ride along the Arkansas River through some very picturesque parts of Colorado. There was an open-air observation car that was great for taking pictures; however, when the train was moving it was impossible to remain perfectly still, as the car swayed slightly (and unpredictably) from side to side. I thought about turning the image stabilization (IS) off completely, but decided to give it a try. It turns out the IS worked beautifully. One more thing: As the sun set, the canyons the train was climbing through were alternately drenched in glorious late-day sunlight or covered with shade. Given the rapidly changing light conditions and the train sway, it wasn't the easiest task to try to capture the gorgeous scenery, especially for an amateur like me, but the Canon EF-S 15 - 85mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS lens turned out to be up to the task. I have no regrets.
REBATE ALERT: From May 9 through July 10, 2010, Canon is running an "instant" rebate program that includes this lens--at a considerable saving. The best part about an instant rebate is that it should be built into the price you see on Amazon (it was when I bought mine), so you don't have to mail in some form and wait (and hope) for a rebate to arrive weeks later. If this is the right lens for you (something we haven't established yet), then now may be a good time to pull the trigger on a purchase.
Regarding this lens, it is a considerable improvement from the typical kit lens on a digital SLR. Kit lenses are decent for the money you pay (which isn't much), but they have clear limitations, especially in sharpness. If you are reading this review, I assume you are looking for a lens for the general-purpose focal-length range, and the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS USM fits well into this category. The 15 - 85mm range is wider than most kit lenses (probably on both ends), which enables the photographer to use this lens for a wide variety of purposes. The build quality is quite good, though not up to "L" series lens standards. Of course, its price is also not up to L levels, either. Sharpness is very good. Frankly, I can't really tell the difference between this lens and L glass (but I'm just a humble layman), although professional photographers and serious amateurs probably can. Concerning qualities such as vignetting or chromatic aberration, I suggest you consult some of the many professional reviews on the web, which generally paint a good picture of this lens.
Okay, so should you buy this lens? That's the question I want to address with this review. If you do a lot of low light shooting, like weddings, this lens probably isn't fast enough for you. You can't always use a flash in a church. The Canon EF-S 17 - 55mm f/2.8 IS USM or the Canon EF 24 - 70mm f/2.8L USM may be better choices. Both of these lenses have what the EF-S doesn't--a much wider aperture. They also have higher price tags and a narrower focal length range. They are also heavier (especially the 24 - 70 L), which depending on how long you typically carry your camera around may mean something to you. Specifically, the 15 - 85mm weighs 20.3 ounces, while the 17 - 55mm weighs 22.8 oz, and the 24 - 70mm weighs a heftier 33.5 oz. For comparison, a Canon EOS Rebel T2i without any lens weighs only about 19 oz.
The 15 - 85mm lens is relatively new (2009), so it is built with the latest manufacturing technology. It features, for example, four-stop image stabilization, which is great. (Remember that image stabilization helps compensate for the unsteadiness of the photographer, but does nothing to stop the movement of your subject.) "Bokeh" (foreground/background blur quality) is very good. The lens is made of plastic, but its high-quality plastic, if that doesn't sound too oxymoronish.
In short, if you are looking for the absolutely finest general purpose lens that money can buy, this is not your lens. However, if what you want is a very noticeable step-up in sharpness from a kit lens, combined with a very convenient weight and four-stop image stabilization--and you don't want to fork over a great deal of money--then this lens merits your careful attention.
The only alternative to this lens that I considered was the Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8, which is another superb lens for APS-C cameras. I decided to choose the 15-85mm over the 17-55mm simply because it suited my needs better. Optically the lenses perform about the same (i.e. both offer superb image quality), therefore this did not factor into my decision. The two lenses simply have different strong suits. The 17-55mm with a constant aperture of 2.8 gives the lens versatility in low light situations and allows it to double as a portrait lens in certain situations. On the other hand, the 15-85 while having a variable aperture f/3.5-5.6 offers a greater focal range: 15-85 (i.e. 24-136 in 35mm eq.), allowing it to cover a greater range of subjects in daylight. Since I plan to later buy a dedicated portraiture lens and since I was mainly interested in a walkaround lens for reach and image quality, the 15-85mm seemed the more appropriate choice for me. Of course, the decision was only helped by the fact that the 15-85mm is also $300 cheaper than the 17-55mm. However, both the 15-85mm and the 17-55mm are great walkaround lenses offered for Canon crop bodies and which lens you choose can only be dictated by your particular circumstances.