Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

Started Apr 9, 2013 | Questions
ErnJay New Member • Posts: 15
Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

Hi,

Currently I have 450D with twin IS kit lenses - 18-55 & 55-250 (also have nifty-fifty). For my upcoming trip to Japan I was thinking maybe it's worth replacing kit lenses with single Canon EF-S 15-85 USM?

Did anyone here switched from IS kit lenses to 15-85? If so, did you notice better IQ?

OTOH, with all the new technology coming, is it actually worth investing in EF-S lenses?

Any help is really appreciated!

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Canon EOS 450D (EOS Rebel XSi / EOS Kiss X2)
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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,803
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

ErnJay wrote:

Hi,

Currently I have 450D with twin IS kit lenses - 18-55 & 55-250 (also have nifty-fifty). For my upcoming trip to Japan I was thinking maybe it's worth replacing kit lenses with single Canon EF-S 15-85 USM?

Did anyone here switched from IS kit lenses to 15-85? If so, did you notice better IQ?

OTOH, with all the new technology coming, is it actually worth investing in EF-S lenses?

Any help is really appreciated!

for travel, Rx100 instead

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/869238-REG/Sony_DSC_RX100_Digital_Camera.html

 MAC's gear list:MAC's gear list
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS Rebel T7i Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM +8 more
happysnapper64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

MAC wrote:

ErnJay wrote:

Hi,

Currently I have 450D with twin IS kit lenses - 18-55 & 55-250 (also have nifty-fifty). For my upcoming trip to Japan I was thinking maybe it's worth replacing kit lenses with single Canon EF-S 15-85 USM?

Did anyone here switched from IS kit lenses to 15-85? If so, did you notice better IQ?

OTOH, with all the new technology coming, is it actually worth investing in EF-S lenses?

Any help is really appreciated!

for travel, Rx100 instead

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/869238-REG/Sony_DSC_RX100_Digital_Camera.html

The 15-85 is a great lens with good IQ in real world usage. The focal range is very good for town/city shooting. I took 3 lenses on a trip to Italy last year, your 2 kit lenses + 10-20WA.I could have taken 85-90% 0f the shots with the 15-85, so I bought it when I got back, along with a 7D. The AF is fast & whisper quiet. If you shoot mostly outdoors it will be OK. A bit slow for indoors or in low light, unless you bump the ISO high, or use flash. For a special trip you could take the 55-250 with the 15-85, & maybe 50f/1.8. I don't think the 15-85 will dissapoint, although the difference in IQ, while being noticeable, is not enormous.

 happysnapper64's gear list:happysnapper64's gear list
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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,803
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

happysnapper64 wrote:

MAC wrote:

ErnJay wrote:

Hi,

Currently I have 450D with twin IS kit lenses - 18-55 & 55-250 (also have nifty-fifty). For my upcoming trip to Japan I was thinking maybe it's worth replacing kit lenses with single Canon EF-S 15-85 USM?

Did anyone here switched from IS kit lenses to 15-85? If so, did you notice better IQ?

OTOH, with all the new technology coming, is it actually worth investing in EF-S lenses?

Any help is really appreciated!

for travel, Rx100 instead

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/869238-REG/Sony_DSC_RX100_Digital_Camera.html

The 15-85 is a great lens with good IQ in real world usage. The focal range is very good for town/city shooting. I took 3 lenses on a trip to Italy last year, your 2 kit lenses + 10-20WA.I could have taken 85-90% 0f the shots with the 15-85, so I bought it when I got back, along with a 7D. The AF is fast & whisper quiet. If you shoot mostly outdoors it will be OK. A bit slow for indoors or in low light, unless you bump the ISO high, or use flash. For a special trip you could take the 55-250 with the 15-85, & maybe 50f/1.8. I don't think the 15-85 will dissapoint, although the difference in IQ, while being noticeable, is not enormous.

I have the 15-85 also and agree.  But we have the 18 mpxl sensors not the 12 mpxl.  The op loses a stop of hi iso in noise.

that is why I recommended the op go with the sony for a bit less money -- hi iso and more and better mpxl

 MAC's gear list:MAC's gear list
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happysnapper64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

One disadvantage with the Sony is the "In camera battery charging". Means camera can't be used while battery is being charged.

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lee uk.
There are old pilots, & there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

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MaxCh Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

I got 15-85mm lens few days ago. The lens seems sharper...marginally. I do not see any difference indoor when I use a flash, the pictures appear to be better than the kit lens indoor with the flash. I think the auto focus is faster...I could be imagining though. I had my son running towards me while I was shooting. I do not know if this is the right way to test the lens. I thought most pictures were focused.

However, I noticed a major improvement in colors. Overall I think the pictures look better.

I like the colors on the photo and how the movement was frozen. The kid was going extremely fast

AF was excellent in most shots like this

I do not think you should expect an incredible improvement in each photo. I can certainly be wrong. I am still considering changing the lens to 18-135 if I can....I think I could use more zoom.

Few low-light pictures here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51230343

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TristatePhoto Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

Personally I'd get the Canon 18-200mm IS since you have the money for it.

You can't beat it. Sure you lose a little bit on the wide angle compared to the 15-85 but you gain so much on the telephoto end not to mention 18mm is plenty wide for most shots.

I find with the kit lens and 85 1.8 I'm craving more on the long end for isolation and for certain shots than I am craving wider than 18mm hence why the 55-250 will be my next lens.

Steve Balcombe Forum Pro • Posts: 12,840
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

happysnapper64 wrote:

One disadvantage with the Sony is the "In camera battery charging". Means camera can't be used while battery is being charged.

True, but I find it a very practical arrangement. No separate charger to carry, and in fact no extra cable to carry if I'm travelling because it uses the same micro-USB cable as my phone.

The only situation where I would see this becoming a problem is if your use of the RX-100 is so intensive that one battery wouldn't last a whole day. Then you'd need to buy spare batteries and a charger but these are readily available.

Stakeouttoo
Stakeouttoo Contributing Member • Posts: 996
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

replaced the 18-200 that came with my 60d early last year with the 15-85... pretty darn good walk-around lens.. the wider angle makes for a better fit for me.. took it to Italy-Spain-Portugal on a long cruise late last year... if you want to mainly take indoors w/o flash go with the 17-55

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Ray
my Canon 60d sure beats using that ol' Petri 7s

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happysnapper64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?
1

it is surprising how much difference the 3deg on the wide end makes. If you shoot in tight city areas it comes in real handy. The 15-85 with 55-250 makes a decent travel combo IMO.

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lee uk.
There are old pilots, & there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

 happysnapper64's gear list:happysnapper64's gear list
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Lemming51
Lemming51 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,764
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

happysnapper64 wrote:

it is surprising how much difference the 3deg on the wide end makes. If you shoot in tight city areas it comes in real handy. The 15-85 with 55-250 makes a decent travel combo IMO.

Agree.  I like the 15-85 for that extra wide angle.

For travel, the 18-55 + 55-250 gives greater range and as good or better quality than any 1 lens solution.  Plus they're very light, small, and if lost/stolen you're not out very much money.

For 1 lens travel, I think the 15-85 or the new 18-135 STM are the best options.  I'm not a fan of any of the 18-200+ zooms.

IMHO, YMMV

 Lemming51's gear list:Lemming51's gear list
Canon EOS 40D Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM +5 more
maadfw Regular Member • Posts: 290
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

ErnJay wrote:

Hi,

Currently I have 450D with twin IS kit lenses - 18-55 & 55-250 (also have nifty-fifty). For my upcoming trip to Japan I was thinking maybe it's worth replacing kit lenses with single Canon EF-S 15-85 USM?

Did anyone here switched from IS kit lenses to 15-85? If so, did you notice better IQ?

OTOH, with all the new technology coming, is it actually worth investing in EF-S lenses?

Any help is really appreciated!

I upgraded from 18-55 to 15-85 and still keeping the 55-250 for Telephoto purposes.  15-85 is an awesome range and the only time it comes off is for any low-light natural light shooting.   Ever since I got this lens, I almost forgot about 55-250 and had to make a conscious effort to bring that lens for shooting.

Here are the pros I noticed.

  • Very noticeable change in IQ.  I had a good copy of 18-55 but I could see improvement in my pictures with improved color/contrast. 
  • USM focusing is more accurate and fast especially for moving subjects. 
  • Distant scale - I found myself using this occasionally to adjust the focus distance for hard to focus subjects.
  • Full time manual focus - very useful feature to adjust focus without having to switch to manual mode.
  • Range - Very obvious, but this makes it an excellent travel lens.  I took atleast couple of trips, one to India and one to Vegas with just this lens, 50mm 1.8 and a flash.  Very compact.  AND about 10-15% of my pictures were shot at 15mm. Very useful
  • Amazing IS.  See the attached Bally's picture, handheld at 1/5 of a sec.

It is not without cons, but you know most of them already.

  • Variable aperture.
  • EF-S lens can't use it in full frame. But there is no FF lens in this range.
  • You will have to couple with a low light prime and/or flash for travel, not a single lens solution.

Here are the pictures.

Hand held at 1/5 of a sec!

best of luck,

-maadfw

vlab
vlab Senior Member • Posts: 1,559
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

When I upgraded my 18-55 and 55-250 with 15-85 and 100-400, I gave both kit lenses to my brother as a presen, hehas the same 60D and 18-200, he was was pleased with 18-55 and 55-250, that his 18-200 is net in use anymore.

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Limburger
Limburger Veteran Member • Posts: 7,837
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

For just that trip, no don't.

If you see future use for the 15-85 all I can say it's the general purpose lens.

It's a tad wider and a tad longer and has a tad better IS and a tad better IQ,together a nearly unbeatable package at a tad higher price.

It's not even the best lens I got, but it's the lens that I use the most.

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Cheers Mike

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ProtoPhoto Contributing Member • Posts: 984
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

Limburger wrote:

If you see future use for the 15-85 all I can say it's the general purpose lens.

It's a tad wider and a tad longer and has a tad better IS and a tad better IQ,together a nearly unbeatable package at a tad higher price.

LOL, I like your description! 

I would modify to say a bit wider, a bit longer, a bit better AF, a bit better IS, a bit sharper, a bit better contrast, and a bit better color, at several times the price.

The 18-55 is really a very nice kit lens for the price, great value.  But the the overall combination when you put all seven "bits" (or tads) of the 15-85 together when it comes to real world results while walking around is well worth the higher price, IMHO.

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Canon PowerShot S90 Canon EOS 600D Canon EOS 550D Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM +7 more
Doug_PS
Doug_PS Contributing Member • Posts: 801
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

ErnJay wrote:

Hi,

Currently I have 450D with twin IS kit lenses - 18-55 & 55-250 (also have nifty-fifty). For my upcoming trip to Japan I was thinking maybe it's worth replacing kit lenses with single Canon EF-S 15-85 USM?

Did anyone here switched from IS kit lenses to 15-85? If so, did you notice better IQ?

OTOH, with all the new technology coming, is it actually worth investing in EF-S lenses?

Any help is really appreciated!

I started with the 450D as well as my 1st dslr....a very nice camera!  I owned the 15-85 and took thousands of pictures with it.  I think the combination of FL coverage, advanced IS, build quality and IQ make this lens really tough to beat.  I never owned the 18-55 kit lens, but had a chance to test both it and the 55-250.  I was surprised how good the 18-55 was.   However, the overall versatility and other advantages (mentioned above) of the 15-85 is a real selling point to consider.

If cost is not a major issue....my vote would be for the 15-85 over the 18-55 and keep the 55-250 (another great performer and a terrific value).

You also raised a concern about investing in EF-S lenses.  If this helps.....I recently went the full frame route and am currently in the process of selling all of my 1.6 crop gear.  I bought the 15-85 in 2010 for around $600....and just recently sold it for $500.  The lens held its value very well!

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TristatePhoto Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

vlab wrote:

When I upgraded my 18-55 and 55-250 with 15-85 and 100-400, I gave both kit lenses to my brother as a presen, hehas the same 60D and 18-200, he was was pleased with 18-55 and 55-250, that his 18-200 is net in use anymore.

Yea the 18-55 & 55-250 will both be better than one single lens solution such as the 18-200 but is the difference *that* noticeable without pixel peeping is the question.

TristatePhoto Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

ProtoPhoto wrote:

Limburger wrote:

If you see future use for the 15-85 all I can say it's the general purpose lens.

It's a tad wider and a tad longer and has a tad better IS and a tad better IQ,together a nearly unbeatable package at a tad higher price.

LOL, I like your description! 

I would modify to say a bit wider, a bit longer, a bit better AF, a bit better IS, a bit sharper, a bit better contrast, and a bit better color, at several times the price.

The 18-55 is really a very nice kit lens for the price, great value.  But the the overall combination when you put all seven "bits" (or tads) of the 15-85 together when it comes to real world results while walking around is well worth the higher price, IMHO.

Someone should post online comparison photos comparing the 18-55 and 15-85.....I doubt most could not see the difference. You might be able to see a difference pixel peeping but that's it.

Kit lens already has lightening fast AF and AF accuracy along with excellent image quality.

vlab
vlab Senior Member • Posts: 1,559
Re: Upgrading from EFS 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS to EFS 15-85 USM?

He is not a pixelpeeper, he shooting just for memories, and even in his case he noticed a difference.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Canon PowerShot S95 Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +4 more
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