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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-26-2013

EF-s 15-85mm IS USM

Has Canon ever considered an "L" quality variant of its EF-s 15-85mm IS USM lens?  I am thinking of something with a constant f/2.8 or f/3.5 aperture.  In spite of the IS on the current lens, it is still a bit of a struggle in lower light situations zoomed out beyond 55mm.  Canon's EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 lens is interesting but it lacks the "range" that I am looking for to make it a truly great "walking around" lens.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,353
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: EF-s 15-85mm IS USM

To date there hasn't been an EF-S lens with the L designation & I doubt any are in the near future. I think the cost to manufacture would be too close to what an EF lens costs to make.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-26-2013

Re: EF-s 15-85mm IS USM

Thanks for the response.  I fully realize that the cost to manufacture such a lens (as well as the pricing) would be similiar to that for EF "L" series glass but I clearly see the need for "quality glass" for use on cameras with "crop" frame sensors. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,353
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: EF-s 15-85mm IS USM

"but I clearly see the need for "quality glass" for use on cameras with "crop" frame sensors. "

 

Because EF mount lenses do fit crop bodies that need is met at the expense of bulkier lenses but with the bonus of not using the corners of the full frames light part lessenning the weakness of some very wide angle lenses.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 787
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: EF-s 15-85mm IS USM

[ Edited ]

Just get the 17-55/2.8. The image quality, focus speed and IS perfomance rival that of an L series.

 

In case you haven't noticed, 17-55 is approx. a 3X zoom, same as a 24-70/2.8L. That's going to be the case with most f2.8 zooms. Big aperture, narrow range of focal lengths. That's the way it works.

 

Besides the larger and non-variable aperture, you aren't going to find much better image quality than the 15-85mm you have. It's a versatile, convenient lens. Wider than most and longer than many, all in one package.

 

There never will be an "L" EF-S lens.

 

By Canon's own definition, an L must have three things: 1. It must use exotic glass elements. 2. It has to be made with top quality materials and be on the cutting edge of lens design and manufacture to produce excellent image quality, 3. And it must be compatible with all EOS cameras past, present and future.

 

EF-S lenses only fit and work with APS-C crop sensor cameras. So that alone eliminates any EF-S lens from ever being labelled with an "L" or painted with a red stripe.

 

 

Some EF lenses are very L-like in most respects, too... Yet don't get the designation. For example, the 100/2.8 USM is identical in build to the 180/3.5L, and actually is faster focusing and might be more versatile than the 180. Yet it doesn't need any exotic lens elements to give top image quality, so it doesn't get the designation (which would probably only add a lot to the cost, anyway). In the Tilt-Shift lenses you'll see the same sort of thing. The 24/3.5 is an L (both the old and the new versions)... but the 45/2.8 and 90/2.8 aren't. Identical build guality, top image quality... but no exotic glass in the 45mm and 90mm.

 

It doesn't mean some non-L EF and EF-S aren't capable of making L-quality images. And, after all, that's what really counts.

 

If you really want an L, get a 24-70. Or a 70-200. Etc. But even with an L you will be hard pressed to beat the image quality and performance of 15-85mm, 17-55mm, 10-22mm and some other excellent EF-S lenses.

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

 





New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-26-2013

Re: EF-s 15-85mm IS USM

Alan,

 

Thanks very much for the post.  I do happen to own several "L" lenses for my 7D including: the 16-35mm f/2.8 II, the 24-70mm f/2.8, and the 70-200mm f/2.8 II (I do plan on eventually getting a 5D but given how well my 7D performs, I have been in no hurry).  They are all great lenses and worth the money that I spent for them; for me, they serve very specific functions for different situations / subject material.  I purchased the 15-85mm as I was looking for a good walking around / general purpose lens (before I purchased the 15-85, I used my 24-70mm as my walking around lens).  Although, I am satisfied with the image quality, I just wish it was a bit faster out at the higher end of the zoom range.  Yes, the image quality is not as good as my 24-70 mm, but I am willing to give up some image quality for the versatility that I get - especially when I do not know what I will be shooting.

 

Thanks also for the explanation on Canon's very specific use of the "L" designation; I did not realize that the "special glass" was one of the key requirements - the build quality and sharpness of the images are what always set these lenses apart for me.  I now understand, thanks to your explanation, that the superior image quality is in large part due to the exotic glass elements.

 

Regards,

 

Mike

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