eos550+15-85 -> travel?

Started Jul 5, 2010 | Discussions thread
Shorthand
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Re: eos550+15-85 -> travel?
In reply to Meuli, Jul 5, 2010

As the previous poster said, don't underestimate the power of the 18-55 + the 55-250. They're both very good lenses - Canon has delivered incredible value for money in each.

Also, the kit lens and the 55-250 are small and light and very easy to pack. The 15-85 or the 17-55 or any superzoom will add a lot of weight and end up being more annoying to carry than the double-kit arrangement.

I honestly wouldn't recommend buying anything beyond a 18-55 IS, a 55-250 IS, and a 50mm f/1.8 until you have explored the limits of that set of lenses. Personally, I have found that I'm happy changing lenses, and I want a 100mm Macro plus an appropriate flash to create a pretty complete macro setup before anything else. (The 55-250 is not a poor macro lens, though.) After that, I would probably start saving for the 17-55 IS or the 70-200 f/4, depending on photographic priorities at the time.

If money were no object, I would personally rather have a 17-55 f/2.8 IS - which makes night city-scapes much more photographable than the 15-85. (i.e. the 17-55 f/2.8 actually opens up new photographic possibilities while 15-85 just keeps you from having to change lenses).

Also, DxOMark.com has a new ranking in this area - which gives some very interesting results:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Lens-with-Camera/Lens-rankings/Use-Case-Scores

Apply camera filter for the Canon 7D (close enough for this purpose) - and then look at the the travel/family and the landscape/architecture rankings. However, I'm afraid the 15-85 hasn't been tested yet.

Now to dive into the specs a little further (MTFs from Canon, resolution & CA from photozone.de). The resolution charts from photozone.de are huge, so they're at the bottom.

My thoughts: The 15-85 is no lens to sneeze at but neither is the 18-55. The 15-85 has markedly better CA & distortion but in terms of pure imaging (MTF / resolution) it only really blows the 18-55 away in the corners at wide angle. (CA and distortion are automatically correctable (even in JPEGs) using DxO or other utilities - which cost a lot less than the 15-85 itself.)

Again, its the 17-55 f/2.8 that is the real resolution monster here and captures the most data. As I said, I personally would much rather have it (or the Tamron or Sigma equivalents) than the 15-85. I love night scenes, and the wife is relatively intolerant of stopping to set up a tripod - plus I like to take pictures of her too and the 17-55 f/2.8 is a very workable portrait lens.

15-85:

CA:

18-55 IS:

17-55 f/2.8:

Photozone.de Resolutions:

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