Canon 7D: Pros and cons of using 15-85, 24-105 L or 17-55 f/2.8 IS

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by gunjankv, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Hi All
    Based on your experience or existing kit, what do you think would be pros and cons of using any of following lenses on Canon 7D?
    Primary use: Outdoor, landscapes, food, products and people. Good walk around, single lens kit.
    1. Canon EF-S 15-85 USM IS Lens
    2. Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens
    3. Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS Lens
    If you have to suggest only one lens which one it would be (or it is already)?
    Thank you as always.
  2. I have the 17-55 and 24-105, both of which I use on my 7D (and had used on my previous 20D). Both lenses offer professional-quality optics. (The 17-55, of course, has high-end consumer build quality, rather than the professional quality of the 24-105, and the 17-55 also lacks the 24-105's dust- and water-resistant seals.) I have never used the 15-85, but understand that it has a very good reputation.
    On a full-frame camera, the 24-105 could be a great single-lens kit, but on a 1.6-crop camera, it is not; at 24mm, it's barely into wide-angle territory. The 17-55 and 15-85 both could be a single-lens kit. Obviously, the 15-85 covers a greater range, outdoing the 17-55 on both ends, but the 17-55 is a constant f/2.8, which could be useful if you need the benefits of the faster aperture (higher shutter speeds, less need to crank up the ISO, shallower depth of field, better background blur).
    Do you have any previous experience with any sort of SLR and lenses, or with another camera whose range of focal lengths you know, that would help you sort out what your needs are? I could tell you what lens I'd prefer if I had to have just one lens, but I don't shoot all the same things as you do, and even if I did, I might have different preferences that could lead me to making a different choice than you might.
  3. @ Steve
    Thanks. Yes I did use XTi and 18-55mm lens for more than a year. I am very keen on color, contrast and sharpness of lens so my selection would be based on that mainly. I can compromise other aspects if required.
  4. I have both the 15-85 and 17-55 and you can't go wrong with either one. Both are excellent. My 2 samples have about the same IQ: sharpness is equal but the 17-55 is more prone to flare whereas the 15-85 suffers more barreling at the wide end. 15-85 build quality is slightly better and IS is good for another stop over the 17-55, plus it has panning mode. So it basically comes down to if you need constant F2.8 of the 17-55 or value the additional zoom range and petite size/weight of the 15-85. For travel, hiking & biking I usually reach for the 15-85. The 17-55 gets low light duty. My reviews:
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Based on your experience or existing kit, what do you think would be pros and cons of using any of following lenses on Canon 7D? If you have to suggest only one lens which one it would be (or it is already)? Primary use: Outdoor, landscapes, food, products and people. Good walk around, single lens kit.​

    Canon EF-S 15-85 USM IS Lens – never used it.
    It would be too slow for me and I initially detest varying maximum aperture zooms - that's my bias. It would have to be really good value for money or a gift for me to have this lens, irrespective of the IQ and the rave which I have previously read (and accepted as good info) in the PF's links above. You may not have an issue with varying maximum aperture.
    Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens
    not wide enough on a 7D for: landscapes, outdoors people and walk around.
    F/4 is a bit slow for my liking but it could grow on me. This lens is a lens I keep thinking I want – but it is an “additional lens” not a “main lens”
    Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS Lens
    On an APS-C camera this is the ants pants for the uses you describe.
    I nearly bought 3 of these as the main working lenses for our W&P studio.
    The ONLY reason I did not was that we also used cameras which required the EF mount lenses, so instead we bought the 16 to 35/2.8.
    The 17 to 55/2.8 IS is the best lens for the uses you outline, IF it is only to be used on camera(s) which accept the EF-S mount.

    BUT your gonna get lots of different views on what is "the suggested only one lens", based upon others' experiences and exsiting kits.
  6. I just received a 17 55 IS yesterday and I'm very happy with it, I also have/had other standard zooms like the 24-105L, 17-85 IS, 18-55, 18-55 IS, 18-200 IS, and tamron 17-50 2.8 VC.
    If I have to start from scratch again, I would only buy the 17-55 IS and the 18-200 IS for outdoor daylight use. All the others are just waste of money for me and some were sold already.
  7. Honestly I am not able to make out whether I would need 2.8 or not. Even after that, when I saw resolution figures of both of these lenses, 17-55 impresses more.
    If I do not have to do any video work, would u suggest spending extra for 7D? Or I can live initially with other body and spare that for lens?
    Other way of asking is: Would 7D -- due to lot of state of the art features -- give better overall image quality? I would not shoot in RAW on regular basis
  8. This question does crop up. If you are going to stick with a crop camera there are several very good EF-S lenses. Personally I'd go with the 17-55 2.8 IS.
    As others have said, the 24-105 isn't wide enough on a crop. If you are looking at FF in the future, the 16-35II is a great focal length on a crop and a great UWA-normal zoom on a FF. If you don't need F2.8 look at the 17-40.
  9. I have the older EF-S 17-85mm IS lens. It is my main lens still for my APS-C cameras. For me, my EF 24-85mm IS is a spectacular lens on the 35mm sensor body (effectively the equivalent there of the 17-85 on APS-C), but it is just a little long on the wide end for regular use on APS cameras.
    The EF-S 15-85MM IS is definitely improved, and if I had newer APS-C cameras, I'd be tempted to get it. This general range on the smaller sensors is the point at which the compromises of the long zoom and the convenience meet at the "purchase" and "use" points. Any more range, the compromises begin to be greater than I want, and the convenience becomes less, for me anyhow.
    There is no doubt that the 17-55 IS is a great lens, but it is costly and short on the long end compared to the 15-85.
  10. I have the 7D and the 17-55 2.8 IS and the combo is very nice! I also have the 24-105 and like others have said, it's not wide enough. Not to muddy up the water any but If It was me, I would rather have a 5D mark II with the 24-105 than the 7D with ANY EF-s lens. I know I will get beat up on this but it's the truth IF IQ is your top priority. It is for me. V/R Buffdr
  11. Of the lenses that you are considering, the only one that I have used is the 24~105. Whilst I agree with other posters that it is on its own not an ideal lens for 1.6-factor, I don't think anyone has pointed out that it pairs up very well with the excellent EF-S 10~22, provided you are happy with the change-over point. I use a dual-format kit (5DII and 7D) and when I am just carrying the 7D this is my walk-around kit. But if I was limited to just one lens, I would certainly want to be using either the 15~85 or the 17~55/2.8. Of course, the 24~105 normally lives on my 5DII, where its balance between focal length range and aperture works very well for a lot of situations. The excellent high-ISO performance of the 5DII means that it is really only when narrow depth of field is needed or in VERY low light sitations that a faster lens is preferable, and then I use a fast prime. I have always thought that an EF-S 15~70 (or thereabouts) constant aperture f/4 would be an attractive option for 1.6-factor, but no such lens has yet found its way into he Canon line-up.
  12. I also use a 7D with the 24-105 as my main setup. No, it's not very wide but I also have the 10-22 and the combo works well for me. I haven't used either of the other lenses, but for my style of shooting I prefer to have the extra reach on my main lens. As others have state, it's only f/4 and that's pretty slow so if you need faster then I think the 17-55 will be the way you want to go.
  13. If you use a fast prime plus a zoom I'd definitely go for the 15-85. However if you really only want one lens in this
    range you should get the fastest, i.e. the 17-55/2.8.

    There's a book full of reasons lying under this advice but my phone's keyboard is tiny...
  14. I have both the 24-105 and the 15-85 for my 7D. I just recently bought the 15-85 and find it to be an outstanding lens. The build quality is excellent, the IS is incredibly quiet; on more than one occasion I checked to make sure that I hadn't turned it off because I couldn't hear it start or stop during shooting. The image quality from this lens is also excellent as is the sharpness. Best of all though, it offers the 7D user a wonderful range, from (35mm equivalent) 24-136mm. I love the 24-105 and enjoyed using it on my 7D as a walk-around lens, even though it wasn't very wide. It still gives a great range on this camera and produces beautiful images. I now use it mostly on my 1v (I still shoot lot of film). Just consider how wide you want to go with a standard zoom and pick accordingly. Both are fantastic lenses, but if I were to recommend just one, I'd recommend the 15-85. It's pretty impressive.

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