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Author Topic: options (15-85; 17-55; 17-50; ??)  (Read 7554 times)

jake21

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options (15-85; 17-55; 17-50; ??)
« on: May 18, 2010, 02:11:26 pm »

I've been borderline about the purchase of a FF camera (5dm2 or a900) or even 7d but for now I've decided to use an xsi. The question is which lens to obtain for the xsi. I was thinking either canon 15-85; 17-55 or maybe tamron 17-50 (non vc). Any suggestions or is there another lens I should consider (this is just meant for a basic walk around solution).

Full story - I really wanted a ff camera but would rather have a smallish body (om, aria, ...). I also rather use manual focus lenses (voigtlander/ze).

However, I have a trip in july - sony lens selection doesn't work for me; the 5dmk2 colours seem a bit mucky (too blue or something) the 5d is long out of production (it seems to have better colours) and basically there is no smalls olution that allows for manual focus (other than perhaps g1/gh1/ep-l1). I figured for this trip the xsi is probably adequate (but not great) and maybe canon or sony will offer something a bit close to my target this fall.

(the 7d would allow for manual focus but is still a large camera; the xsi I can't manual focus with but it is cheap enough to pass on to my sister in the fall if something nicer shows up).
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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 02:32:36 pm »

why not go micro four thirds if you want small, light and legacy lenses?
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graeme

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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 03:13:21 pm »

The 17 - 85 is cheaper than the 15 - 85. The wide end is a bit ropey ( but useable if you do a bit correction for CA's / distortion ) but it ain't bad at all at the mid / long end.  Depends how much you need the wide angle. It'll probably stop working after a while but I imagine that that'll also apply to the 15 - 85 ( Which is also supposed to be quite iffy at the wide end ).

Graeme
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 05:12:54 pm »

The 17-55/2.8 is a great lens, but kinda big for a travel/carry-around lens on a Rebel body. Heavy, too.

The 17-85 has been basically replaced by the 15-85, which covers approximately 24-135mm equivalent. Good for carry-around use. Not cheap, but the reviews have been pretty good for this type of lens.

--Ken
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graeme

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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 05:59:48 pm »

Quote from: k bennett
The 17-55/2.8 is a great lens, but kinda big for a travel/carry-around lens on a Rebel body. Heavy, too.

The 17-85 has been basically replaced by the 15-85, which covers approximately 24-135mm equivalent. Good for carry-around use. Not cheap, but the reviews have been pretty good for this type of lens.

--Ken

Hi Ken

The 17 - 85 is still on sale in the UK for 319 versus 549 for the 15 - 85. I'm not disputing that the 15 - 85 is a better lens but jake asked for a cheap solution.

Graeme
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AndrewKulin

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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 06:28:17 pm »

I have the 17-55/2.8 for the Canon and absolutely love it.   But it is expensive, heavy and large and I suspect if loaded up onto an XSI (which is small) might not make the camera holdable - I have large hands and find the XSI grip is too narrow as it is for my fingers - adding a fat lens such as the 17-55 would not help (this lens is fine on my 40D which is a larger camera).

If you are considering full frame, any of the three lenses you listed are EF-S style (I am assuming the Tamron is as well) and these lenses would not work with a full frame camera body so if you think an FF body is coming your way in the near future you need to keep that in mind as well in your decision making process.

And I am not sure where you are coming from with the manual focus limitation - You can manual focus with any of these cameras (XSI, 7D, 5d's, etc.).  The lenses have a switch on them allowing you to choose MF/AF mode.  And if you meant to say the XSI cannot do manual mode (meaning you have full control of aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc.) it can do that as well as all the various auto modes.  It just won't be as feature rich or robust as the 7D, %D's you were also naming.

Hope that helped
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 06:44:47 pm »

Quote from: graeme
The 17 - 85 is still on sale in the UK for 319 versus 549 for the 15 - 85. I'm not disputing that the 15 - 85 is a better lens but jake asked for a cheap solution.


Right, sorry. I thought the 17-85 had been replaced.

KEH.com, a reputable seller of used equipment, lists the 17-85 in EX+ condition for $265, and LN- for $286. That's the route I would go if I were buying something that I thought I might replace in a few months. In fact, I think I'll buy one of these for my daughter to put on her Rebel XTi -- it'll be a good replacement for the kit 18-55 lens.

(Disclaimer: I have no relationship with KEH other than happy customer.)
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jake21

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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2010, 07:40:15 am »

[answering the below question and the one after it]

In usa right now there is a $100 discount on the 15-85 so it is not so expensive and from what I've seen it is a bit better than the 17-85 in all departments. To be honest i rather have a lens like the 12-60 but the lens/body combo doesn't seem to work for me. One of the reason I passed on u-4/3 is that it doesn't work right now (for me). They have great bodies (gh1) and great lenses 14-150, 12-60, 14-54 but the u43 specific lenses aren't that great and the non-u4/3 bodies aren't that great. It is about timing. I think eventually there will be a u43 system that is perfect but it hasn't arrived.



Quote from: graeme
The 17 - 85 is cheaper than the 15 - 85. The wide end is a bit ropey ( but useable if you do a bit correction for CA's / distortion ) but it ain't bad at all at the mid / long end.  Depends how much you need the wide angle. It'll probably stop working after a while but I imagine that that'll also apply to the 15 - 85 ( Which is also supposed to be quite iffy at the wide end ).

Graeme
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jake21

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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2010, 07:45:09 am »

I mean to say that I cannot detect the point of focus with enough confidence via the xsi that I can manual focus without live view. The 7d seems quite good in this department though I've read that for critical focus with fast lenses it is a bit tougher. The 5d2 one can use precision matte screen. Anyways I tried a couple of c/y lenses on the xsi and I just didn't feel like I had enough success manually focusing on that body. If something more suitable came out later I would hand the body (xsi) and lens to my sister so I'm not overly concern about an ef-s lens. The xsi was dirt cheap (close out) so I'm not too concern here (this is another reason I passed on the u4/3 as they are a bit more expensive).

Quote from: AndrewKulin
I have the 17-55/2.8 for the Canon and absolutely love it.   But it is expensive, heavy and large and I suspect if loaded up onto an XSI (which is small) might not make the camera holdable - I have large hands and find the XSI grip is too narrow as it is for my fingers - adding a fat lens such as the 17-55 would not help (this lens is fine on my 40D which is a larger camera).

If you are considering full frame, any of the three lenses you listed are EF-S style (I am assuming the Tamron is as well) and these lenses would not work with a full frame camera body so if you think an FF body is coming your way in the near future you need to keep that in mind as well in your decision making process.

And I am not sure where you are coming from with the manual focus limitation - You can manual focus with any of these cameras (XSI, 7D, 5d's, etc.).  The lenses have a switch on them allowing you to choose MF/AF mode.  And if you meant to say the XSI cannot do manual mode (meaning you have full control of aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc.) it can do that as well as all the various auto modes.  It just won't be as feature rich or robust as the 7D, %D's you were also naming.

Hope that helped
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2010, 08:09:32 am »

Quote from: jake21
[answering the below question and the one after it]
In usa right now there is a $100 discount on the 15-85 so it is not so expensive and from what I've seen it is a bit better than the 17-85 in all departments. To be honest i rather have a lens like the 12-60 but the lens/body combo doesn't seem to work for me. One of the reason I passed on u-4/3 is that it doesn't work right now (for me). They have great bodies (gh1) and great lenses 14-150, 12-60, 14-54 but the u43 specific lenses aren't that great and the non-u4/3 bodies aren't that great. It is about timing. I think eventually there will be a u43 system that is perfect but it hasn't arrived.


I would (and in fact did myself) go with the 15-85. It is the highest-quality lens, with the broadest range of possibility, in this class. The 17-55 is good also but is neither as wide, nor as long, as the 15-85. The only advantage of the 17-55 over the 15-85 is f/2.8, so if low light is your main goal then I would go the 17-55 mm ... but every other advantage is with the 15-85. And if you opt for the 7D its high ISO ability performs well enough with the 15-85 to make that point moot also IMO.

Jack




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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2010, 08:48:05 am »

Quote from: JohnKoerner
I would (and in fact did myself) go with the 15-85. It is the highest-quality lens, with the broadest range of possibility, in this class. The 17-55 is good also but is neither as wide, nor as long, as the 15-85. The only advantage of the 17-55 over the 15-85 is f/2.8, so if low light is your main goal then I would go the 17-55 mm ... but every other advantage is with the 15-85. And if you opt for the 7D its high ISO ability performs well enough with the 15-85 to make that point moot also IMO.

Jack

Some of Canon's AF systems perform better with a f2.8 or faster lens.  So the 17-55 f2.8 should also have that advantage if it applies to the camera the lens is to be mated with.
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Yakim Peled

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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2010, 09:31:01 am »

Quote from: AndrewKulin
I have the 17-55/2.8 for the Canon and absolutely love it.

Me too. That's why I'll recommend it. I have the 17-55/2.8 IS for two years and it's my most used lens. I just can't praise it enough. If you'd put a gun at my head and force me to shoot with only one lens, this would be it. I even sold a 35/1.4 and Sigma 50/1.4 as they became redundant by it.
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jake21

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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2010, 10:55:55 am »

For now I went with the 15-85. I debated long and hard on the 17-55 but the combination of high price/weak build (plus $100 discount on the 15-85; which reduced the final price to $617 shipped) was enough for me to pick that lens. My long term objective is to switch to manual focus lenses on a full frame camera and so I figured as a 'walk around lens' for my trip in july I would give the 15-85 a try; it should be mostly sunny. I'm not overly concern about replacing the lens as I noted earlier my sister is in need of an updated camera and so if i do upgrade later on I won't feel bad about passing it on to her.

Having said the above the 17-55 fits my style better (faster lens; shallower dof - 2 full stops faster at the long end). However canon marketing decision to reduce the build on this lens (which is worse than the 15-85) is a real turn off to me at the given price point. Now that they have released a professional aspc camera (7d) I fully expect them to release the 17-55 with a better build but similar price point.

Quote from: Yakim Peled
Me too. That's why I'll recommend it. I have the 17-55/2.8 IS for two years and it's my most used lens. I just can't praise it enough. If you'd put a gun at my head and force me to shoot with only one lens, this would be it. I even sold a 35/1.4 and Sigma 50/1.4 as they became redundant by it.
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2010, 11:16:29 am »

Quote from: jake21
However canon marketing decision to reduce the build on this lens (which is worse than the 15-85) is a real turn off to me at the given price point. Now that they have released a professional aspc camera (7d) I fully expect them to release the 17-55 with a better build but similar price point.


The build quality on my 17-55/2.8 is excellent. Not up to the "L" series standard, but then Canon made it clear they won't apply the L designation to any lens with the EF-S mount. Which is why I wouldn't hold my breath hoping for an update 17-55 with improved build quality.

I hope you create many great photos with the 15-85. Looks like a good choice.
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Yakim Peled

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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2010, 01:40:43 am »

Quote from: jake21
For now I went with the 15-85. I debated long and hard on the 17-55 but the combination of high price/weak build (plus $100 discount on the 15-85; which reduced the final price to $617 shipped) was enough for me to pick that lens. My long term objective is to switch to manual focus lenses on a full frame camera and so I figured as a 'walk around lens' for my trip in july I would give the 15-85 a try; it should be mostly sunny. I'm not overly concern about replacing the lens as I noted earlier my sister is in need of an updated camera and so if i do upgrade later on I won't feel bad about passing it on to her.

Having said the above the 17-55 fits my style better (faster lens; shallower dof - 2 full stops faster at the long end). However canon marketing decision to reduce the build on this lens (which is worse than the 15-85) is a real turn off to me at the given price point. Now that they have released a professional aspc camera (7d) I fully expect them to release the 17-55 with a better build but similar price point.

BQ is very good. Not L but very close. As for me shallow DoF and low light AF speed were very important (much more than L-spec BQ) I went for it, and am not replacing it with any other lens.

Congratulation of your new toy. Have fun with it.
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jake21

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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2010, 12:53:02 pm »

Quote from: Yakim Peled
BQ is very good. Not L but very close. As for me shallow DoF and low light AF speed were very important (much more than L-spec BQ) I went for it, and am not replacing it with any other lens.

Congratulation of your new toy. Have fun with it.


Well the lens arrived and I had a chance to use it for a few hours and so far I think it is decent. Mechanically iti s well built very smooth focus and decent image quality. Only real negative so far is the speed but I knew that. I should probably examine the images a bit more critcally before calling it a success but assumign all is fine the only thing I need is a fast lens for low light; maybe sigma 30f1.4 or canon 50f1.4; probably the canon is safer for accurate auto focus. Hum. Oh well.

I've seen the 17-55 before and I'm not sure I would call it close to L quailty build. I think the 15-85 is a step ahead (definitely better than any non L lens I've seen before).
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Nill Toulme

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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2010, 01:55:01 pm »

I just went through the same hoops picking a walkaround for my new T2i travelcam and likewise decided on the 15-85; it's coming tomorrow.  Glad to hear it's usable.

Nill
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2010, 07:18:58 am »

Quote from: jake21
I've seen the 17-55 before and I'm not sure I would call it close to L quailty build. I think the 15-85 is a step ahead (definitely better than any non L lens I've seen before).


My 15-85 feels more robust and sturdier, than my "L" 100mm macro lens ...


Jack


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« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 07:38:41 am by JohnKoerner »
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2010, 11:05:29 am »

One negative I will say about this lens (or at least my copy) is that the "lens creep" is pronounced.

I never really noticed it before, while using both hands, but I had occasion to be holding the camera with my right hand only ... at 35mm ... and within about 20 seconds I was at 50-70mm every time.

Within the context of this, it was pretty annoying, but when using both hands I had never noticed this before.

Jack




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