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Archive 2012 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).
  
 
virgil1612
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Hello,

My first post here, hello and thanks for the wonderful discussions...

I am a beginner, enjoying very much my Canon T3 with the kit zoom (coming from a P&S).
I'm torn between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non VC).
I want to upgrade my kit zoom. My main concern is (indoor and outdoor) shots of kids and family, nothing professional, just for the fun and memories. I decided on a zoom because of the convenience, I will surely buy some primes in the future.

I'll just think out loud here, to show why I'm undecided.

- The constant 2.8 aperture of the Tamron is very appealing to me, but of course Canon has stabilization which kind of makes up for this.
- Both seem to be good wide open.
- Focal length differences at both ends are not very important for me at this point, I will anyway buy a dedicated telezoom.
- Don't care very much about the bokeh, I'm just an amateur.
- Both have very good reviews.
- Found excellent sample pictures with both.
- Comparing them on the-digital-picture.com, I found them tied at the center, with Canon a little bit better on corners, not a deal-breaker for the Tamron.
- Smoother, quieter and faster AF on the Canon, manual focus override on the Canon, that could be interesting.
- Tamron stops the action easier than the Canon, which, with kids, can be important.

Could you comment on colors and contrast on these lenses?

- Looking at prices on Ebay, Tamron (again, non VC) is roughly half of the Canon, which could prove decisive...

It would be great if some of you who used both of these lenses could comment.

Thanks for the help,
Virgil.














Aug 13, 2012 at 02:57 AM
BauerPower
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


I don't own either of those lenses but you will love an f2.8 or faster lens when taking flash photos. An alternative might be to add a Canon EF 50mm f1.8, hundred bucks or so, as a complement to the 15-85.


Aug 13, 2012 at 03:10 AM
stanj
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


If you don't need f2.8, the 15-85 is simply fantastic for the money.


Aug 13, 2012 at 03:23 AM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Virgil,
Welcome on FM!

I assume that you are referring to the kit lens with IS, right? That kit lens may feel "cheap", plasticky, etc. but you will be surprised that the image quality it generates is actually really good. I doubt that the other two lenses you mentioned would actually deliver better image quality although they have other and more beneficial specification that the kit lens doesn't have, such a wider focal length range or a faster aperture. I would suggest using that lens for a little longer and get yourself a prime lens to complement that kit lens. Or get a wider zoom lens or or longer zoom lens, depending on your need that you will develop on your own after awhile of using the kit lens. Just a suggestion, of course. Enjoy photography!



Aug 13, 2012 at 03:27 AM
jctriguy
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Out of the two I would go for the Canon. I had the VC version of the 17-50 and while I liked the images I got with it the AF was just way too slow for anything moving faster than a walking pace. I haven't used that specific Canon 15-85 but from the reviews and my other Canon lenses I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up.


Aug 13, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Wahoowa
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


I have used 15-85 and Canon 17-55 IS. And I had both at the same time for some period of time. (I've never owned a Tamron 17-50, but my experience with the two Canon lenses may be helpful.)

For an APS-C camera, 15-85 is definitely one of the best all-around lenses. The image quality is not far off from the 17-55. It has image stabilizer, which deems to be useful in many situation, especially if you do video recording like me. The downside is it's only f/5.6 at the long end, which is not good when you don't have enough light.

Even so, between the two lenses, believe it or not, there were times that I grabbed 15-85 more often because I would also grab my 35L if I really needed a fast lens and if I could carry more than one. But then there were some other times that I liked to grab the 17-55 more.

At the time, I felt that 17-55 just wasn't wide enough. So, when I used 17-55, I had to carry another body fitted with a 10-22. But then it wasn't long enough as well. 15-85 was an answer to this issue.

(NOTE: I primarily used the lenses for traveling. If I do portraits, I wouldn't use these two lenses anyway.)

But, now, I'm in the full-frame camp and couldn't be any happier.



Aug 13, 2012 at 03:46 AM
stanj
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


AGeoJO wrote:
I assume that you are referring to the kit lens with IS, right? That kit lens may feel "cheap", plasticky, etc


The kit lens is the 18-55. Canon also makes the extremely capable 15-85 (and the far less capable 17-85, not to be confused with the very good 17-55 2.8).



Aug 13, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Derek Weston
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


15-85 is a heck of a range. 15 is getting into wide angle territory... a definite step up from 17mm.

Unless you really need f2.8 I'd go 15-85mm. Great IS, great range, and really solid image quality. (stronger short, of course, but still pretty good at 85mm)

I have the lens and have taken many images many people enjoy with it.



Aug 13, 2012 at 04:48 AM
tr1957
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


I sold the 17-50 (non VC) in and got the 15-85. 17mm just wasn't wide enough for me on a crop camera. Also note that at the wide end, the 15-85 is not all that much slower than the 17-50.


Aug 13, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


I had the Tamron 17-50 non-VC on Nikon D7000. Sold it due to slow and inaccurate focus, and limited focal range.

I have the 15-85 IS on the 60D and it isn't even close on how much better the IQ and focus accuracy is. I almost never take it off the crop body.

Get the 15-85!




Aug 13, 2012 at 05:09 AM
 

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StillFingerz
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Hey Virgil,

I don't own either lens, but have used an EF 24-85 f3.5-4.5 since 98 when I picked up my 2nd EOS-3 film body, it rarely leaves that camera and quite often is on my 40D. For a general purpose lens I don't think you can beat the 24-85 range of focal lengths (maybe 24-105) and in FF terms the 15-85 gives you 24-135 on your T3 and that's quite a versatile one lens setup.

As for the f2.8 lens, if you need the faster lens, can't use a higher ISO, a flash and perhaps a monopod when shooting indoor in lower light situations, I myself would save a bit more and get the Canon 17-55 f2.8, it's a much better lens, quite sharp, colors/contrast are superb.

Both the Canon lenses have the latest IS and fast AF. I gave up on 3rd party zooms awhile back mostly due to the slower AF and the quite often lower overall quality control issues...and IQ on the lower end lenses.

In over forty years of shooting, mostly film, I've always had a fast 50mm in my bag just in case...Canon's f1.8 is a gem, it's sharp and cheap. I'd seriously look at one.

Jerry



Aug 13, 2012 at 05:35 AM
CW100
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


The Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-vc is significantly sharper than the Canon 15-85 (www.photozone.de) and cheaper but if you like a wider focal range the 15-85 is good




Aug 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM
dhphoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


CW100 wrote:
The Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-vc is significantly sharper than the Canon 15-85 (www.photozone.de) and cheaper but if you like a wider focal range the 15-85 is good



+1 the Tamron 17-50 (non-VC) is my most used crop lens, cheap, light, fast, very sharp.



Aug 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


CW100 wrote:
The Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-vc is significantly sharper than the Canon 15-85 (www.photozone.de) and cheaper but if you like a wider focal range the 15-85 is good



It wasn't sharper in my experience. Both my Tamron 17-50 and the Nikon D7000 are gone from my gear, while the 60D and 15-85 remain! That's just my experience -- a couple "failed" assignments with the Nikon/Tamron, and double that amount in successes with the Canon set-up. In this economy, I can't be correcting one system's shortcomings with another -- double work and double worries.

YMMV



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Matt Howell
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Virgil,

I have owned the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non VC) for almost 6 years, and have used it extensively on a 30D and 550D. I don't know if I have a good copy or average copy but mine is very sharp especially in the 17-35 range, a little less sharp but still good at 50. I was shocked when I first put it on the 550D because I had thought maybe it would not be able to keep up with 18mp, but it definitely does.

I have observed that it is about a 16-48 rather than a true 17-50. Not sure exactly but it is definitely a wider than 17 and less than 50. When my lens was about 5.5 years old the aperture stopped working correctly and had to be repaired. I appreciated the Tamron 6 year warranty, they repaired the lens and sent it back to me in about a week. Total cost to me was about $15 shipping. It came back sharper than ever and functioning perfectly.

I recently purchased a 5D3 plus 24-105L kit and I have compared it against the 550D plus Tamron 17-50mm. I found that that the center sharpness is hard to call but the corners were definitely better on the Tamron. The Canon 24-105L has better color and contrast but as far as sharpness my 17-50 is a gem.



Aug 13, 2012 at 04:25 PM
virgil1612
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Thanks for all the answers!

>>BauerPower
>>I don't own either of those lenses but you will love an f2.8 or faster lens when
>>taking flash photos.

As I said, I'm a beginner. Why will f2.8 help my flash photos?

>>AGeoJo
>>I assume that you are referring to the kit lens with IS, r ight? That kit lens may
>>feel "cheap", plasticky,etc.but you will be surprised that the image quality it
>>generates is actually really good. I doubt that the other two lenses you
>>mentioned would actually deliver better image quality although they have other
>>and more beneficial specification that the kit lens doesn't have, such a wider
>>focal length range or a faster aperture.

Yes, it's the kit lens, 18-55 IS. As I said I'm very satisfied with T3 plus this lens. But looking at the-digital-picture.com, I find that the difference in resolution between either 15-85 or 17-50 2.8 compared to my 18-55 is quite significant. And yes, on top of this one of them is faster, the other has a wider focal length range. Should I understand that the difference in image quality when looking at real photos is much less significant than when looking at charts? And in fact I have a prime, the Canon 50mm. I'm sure it is a very good lens, my problem is that I never felt comfortable using this lens because it's really too long (the equivalent of 80mm on FF) for the kind of casual photos I take.

>>jctriguy
>>I had the VC version of the 17-50 and while I liked the images I got with it the
>>AF was just way too slow for anything moving faster than a walking pace.

Do you know if the speed of AF is the same on VC and non-VC versions?

>>Wahoowa
>>At the time, I felt that 17-55 just wasn't wide enough... 15-85 was an answer
>>to this issue.

I'm mainly using 20 to 30mm for my pictures, that's why I was thinking that 17mm would be enough for me...

>>StillFingerz
>>As for the f2.8 lens, if you need the faster lens, can't use a higher ISO, a flash
>>and perhaps a monopod when shooting indoor in lower light situations, I myself
>>would save a bit more and get the Canon 17-55 f2.8, it's a much better lens,
>>quite sharp, colors/contrast are superb.
>>Both the Canon lenses have the latest IS and fast AF. I gave up on 3rd party
>>zooms awhile back mostly due to the slower AF and the quite often lower overall
>>quality control issues...and IQ on the lower end lenses.

I'm still happy with ISO800 indoors with my T3, if I go with 1600 the prints would still look acceptable but I have this obsession of looking at pixel level and being dissapointed by the noise... Canon 17-55 f2.8 will not happen anytime soon ... Concerning quality control on the Tamron, looking right here on FM, there seems to be a big majority of people very happy with it...

>>Gunzorro
>>I have the 15-85 IS on the 60D and it isn't even close on how much better the
>>IQ and focus accuracy is.
>>CW100
>>The Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-vc is significantly sharper than the Canon 15-85
>>dhphoto
>>+1 the Tamron 17-50 (non-VC) is my most used crop lens, cheap, light, fast,
>>very sharp.
>>Gunzorro
>>It wasn't sharper in my experience. Both my Tamron 17-50 and the Nikon
>>D7000 are gone from my gear, while the 60D and 15-85 remain!

So you see what my problem is .

Please keep sending your thoughts!

Thanks!

Virgil.





Edited on Aug 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM · View previous versions



Aug 13, 2012 at 04:39 PM
DLP
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


The 15-85 is a very nice lens but it is really expensive for the BQ and worse yet it's a variable aperture which IMO is a total deal breaker. I just don't see a lot of value there. I'd suggest at least looking at a used 17-55 f2.8 as they have really dropped in price on the second hand market. You could certainly find one in the buy/sell for under $750. The tammy is very hard to beat for the $$$.
You can't make a poor choice between these three and if price is a primary factor the Tammy 17-50 is going to be an easy choice for a casual shooter.
BTW Welcome to FM!

Dave



Aug 13, 2012 at 04:44 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


I do remember that I had to send the Tamron back to have a misaligned element fixed, it wasn't as good when I firat got it, but since then (about 5-6 years I think) it's been a cracker of a lens.

I think they can suffer from quality variation but they have an excellent warranty if you have a problem.

I'm sure the 15-85 is a fine lens, but it's far too slow for me, I'd much rather have a constant f2.8

Matt Howell wrote:
Virgil,

I have owned the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non VC) for almost 6 years, and have used it extensively on a 30D and 550D. I don't know if I have a good copy or average copy but mine is very sharp especially in the 17-35 range, a little less sharp but still good at 50. I was shocked when I first put it on the 550D because I had thought maybe it would not be able to keep up with 18mp, but it definitely does.

I have observed that it is about a 16-48 rather than a true 17-50. Not
...Show more



Aug 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
virgil1612
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Matt Howell, DLP, thanks, that is very helpful.
Virgil.



Aug 13, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Richard Nye
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


I owned a Canon 15-85 IS a few years ago, and I currently have a Tamron 17-50 non-VC on my T2i. I like the Tamron. The build quality is better than the Canon, it has constant f/2.8, it's compact, and has good IQ. You can't go wrong with the Canon either, but it's larger, the barrel distortion at 15mm is really bad, not a constant aperture, but it does have a good IS.

In summary, you can't go wrong with either.



Aug 13, 2012 at 07:26 PM
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