It works great for me!
I'm not an expert, nor do I do any pixel peeping, the only thing that concerns me is the quality of the photos that I have at the end of the day, and this lens works great for me.
I'm a nature/landscape photographer and I have been extremely pleased with the photos that I have gotten from this lens.It's been used primarily for landscapes, and for close-ups of flowers and insects. Since it focuses down to 1 foot, it almost does the job of a macro lens, but only for larger subjects.
I also own a 70-200 mm L series lens, and this lens comes very close to matching the sharpness of the L series. In fact, I get more sharp photos from this lens than the L Series when doing close-ups, as the auto-focus of this lens is more accurate up close than the L series is. I have to manually focus the L series to get photos as sharp as this 15-85 lens produces in auto-focus. It's also faster and quieter than the L series.
I also love the larger diameter of this lens, it fits my hand better, and I don't have a problem going from my two long lenses down to this lens as far as it feeling good in my hand.
The IS works extremely well, I've gotten usable shots at shutter speeds down to 1/4 second handheld in a pinch, although a tripod would probably have been better.
I use this lens on a 60D, and I have the peripheral illumination correction enabled, which may be why I've seen no vignetting with this lens for the most part. I did stack a polarizing filter on the UV filter once, and saw vignetting then, lesson learned.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this lens. The sharpness, color, contrast, and color saturation are superb, I couldn't ask for a better wide angle zoom for my crop sensor camera.
September 15, 2013
Gets job done, but...
Got this lens (separately) since the reviews were pushing it over any other lens for a crop body. The price was cheaper too, so why not?!
I've had the privilege of using this lens for almost 2 years now and here's what I've noticed.
It takes reasonable pictures. Not stellar, but far from bad. It does produce at times somewhat soft results which was a little bit disappointing. IS is always on (unless its on a tripod) and due to the weight of this lens, your wrists will be struggling after awhile.
It seems to be designed for outdoor use. It doesn't do very well indoors, unless you're throwing immense amounts of light at it, and even then - better crank up that iso. Thankfully once you bump up the ISO this doesn't seem to be such a problem.
Images are softish around f/11 (sadly). F5.6 seems to be the best bet. At f/8 its hit or miss. Any higher and you're going soft.
Focal length wise - 15mm produces some distortion, but it's likeable imho. Quite a bit of vignetting at 15 as well, but not offensive. Starts looking much nicer between 35-85. As a matter a fact, this lens really shines at 50+. *thumbs up*
Q: Would I recommend this lens to someone? A: Sure, but I'd also give them a run down of what they can experience using it. It's a nice walk around lens, but would benefit from being a little lighter, and maybe opening up too 2.8 at least. Then again, at that aperture, it would cost a lot more as well.
Conclusion: If you really want a walk around lens to take pictures with your crop, then go for it. If you want tack sharp images, then look elsewhere.
September 10, 2013
Astonishing APS-C lens!!!
Bought this lens several months ago but wanted to really put it to a severe test before reviewing it. Test just completed: A week on the Big Island of Hawai'i! Took a T4i body, this incredible 15-85mm, a Canon's 10-22mm and 50mm macro lenses. (The 10-22 and 50 macro never even left the camera bag ... ) As suspected, the EF-S 15-85mm performed flawlessly - it's a 24-135mm lens to us old film shooters - and simply "did it all" as far as taking in every possible scene. Colors are out of this world, clarity and sharpness beyond wildest expectations and in over 30 years of recreational / vacation photography in addition to a professional business, this was - easily! - the most complete and beautifully documented travel adventure ever. Impossible to give a high enough recommendation for this lens! If there was a 10-star category for performance and quality, this lens deserves it! Shoots on par with most 'L' lenses! (Wish we could have bought this lens with the T4i body instead of the excellent 18-55mm "kit" lens - which has just been sold off ... ) Dropping the images into Lightroom for conversion (we shot all RAW files) and a little post-processing, still cannot believe my eyes ...
August 19, 2013
Awesome walk-around lens
Very durable, good quality lens. Works perfectly with my 7D.
This lens is always on my camera. Perfect for birthday parties, weddings, unexpected events, trips to the park with the kids, or a Saturday afternoon bike ride with the family.
It's a bit pricey, but if you check around you can get a good deal on one. Highly recommend it.
May 15, 2013