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Archive 2012 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).
  
 
rewin
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Remember that IS will not help for a moving subject, only still. If your focus is children, that won't help you very much.

I went through the exact same debate as you, several years ago. I was using my XSi, looking to upgrade from the kit lens. It was far too slow for indoor pictures of my girls, and I was also looking for an upgrade in image quality. I was trying to decide between the Canon 17-55 and 15-85, and ended up going with the 15-85 for one main reason:

The extra stop of light (or two, or three, depending on zoom) still was not enough for my situation to bring up shutter speeds to what I required.

Before you decide, look back at the exif on some of your recent pictures, from where you shoot regularly. What shutter speeds are you seeing? You really need to be at 1/60th or better to start capturing motion with any success. 1/100th is better.
I went with the 15-85 + flash for shots in my house, it was the only way to achieve that shutter speed. It's a jack of all trades lens, with corresponding drawbacks, but it almost never leaves my camera either.

If you do decide to get one, check the buy/sell forum. Canon overpriced the lens, they can be had for the high $500's.



Aug 13, 2012 at 08:17 PM
CW100
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


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

yes, obviously the Tamron is sharper and a good value but the Canon is also good with the wider focal range and $100 off with the rebates








Aug 14, 2012 at 10:27 AM
gwaww
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


I have owned both lenses and used them extensively. In fact I have owned the Tamron twice. I sold it with my 40d and as soon as I bought a crop sensor camera again (7d) I bought another one. I wanted to like the 15-85, but for my kind of shooting it was a disappointment. It is not sharp wide open and I do a lot of available light photography. The variable aperture was a deal breaker for me also. I mean an 85mm 5.6? Plus most reviewers say it doesn't get sharp until f8. I even sent it in to Canon for repair and they said nothing was wrong. It is way to expensive for it's performance. The focal length is great. The IS is great. But it has to be stopped down to be sharp.


Aug 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM
 

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faremax
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


My son owns 15-85 and he (and I) could not be happier with it. It's one superb walkaround lens. Not sure what this nonsense about the sharpness. It's tack sharp with great contrast. It's IQ is comparable to 17-55 which I previously owned. It all boils down to if you need a lens with a fixed aperture or a better focal range.

Canon 15-85 vs Tamron 17-50



Aug 14, 2012 at 01:45 PM
castlekeeper01
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


Hi Virgil,

Re: "Should I understand that the difference in image quality when looking at real photos is much less significant than when looking at charts?"

Yes. Unless you shoot a lot of black and white grid lines.

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

You won't need flash as often. When you do, you will need less flash, reducing glare and retaining more natural color.


From everything you've indicated, it sounds like you would be much happier with the Tamron 17-50 - you don't need the additional focal length. At half the price of the 15-85, give it a try. You can always re-sell it and move up later.

I currently own and use both. When I travel or walk around new places, I want the 15-85 with longer focal length and IS, because I'm often in crowds, on buses, boats or other moving platforms. It's about capturing quickly changing perspectives on a wide variety of subjects in different lighting conditions. Indoors where conditions are more predictable it's often the Tamron. I shoot a lot in museums, arboretums, libraries, and churches. No substitute for fast aperture, especially where flash is prohibited. Your nifty-fifty with f/1.8 on a crop body is handy ... but primes can be tough in crowded or limited space venues.

There is no perfect lens solution - unless you have a very limited range of subjects and venues. That's why there are so many to choose from. If you find yourself a victim of paralysis by analysis, rent them. Or, good camera shops will let you buy and return within a week ... try 'em both.

In any event - pick one and start shooting!! Only your eyes on your images will give you the feedback you seek!



Aug 14, 2012 at 01:55 PM
virgil1612
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Undecided between Canon 15-85mm and Tamron 17-50mm (non VC).


>>rewin
>>What shutter speeds are you seeing?

Inside, with my kit lens and ISO800, no flash, the shutter speed can be anywhere between 50 and 100 (I don't try to shoot when it's too dark, or I use the flash). This would improve with a constant f/2.8, so with the focal lengths I use it should be good even without VC/IS

>>castlekeeper01
>>You won't need flash as often. When you do, you will need less flash,
>>reducing glare and retaining more natural color.

OK, just to confirm: when shooting with flash, the camera (let's say my T3/1100D) will meter the available light and it will modify the power of the flash accordingly, only using the necessary amount of flash?

>>I currently own and use both. When I travel or walk around new
>>places, I want the 15-85 with longer focal length and IS, because
>>I'm often in crowds, on buses, boats or other moving platforms.
>>It's about capturing quickly changing perspectives on a wide variety
>>of subjects in different lighting conditions. Indoors where conditions
>>are more predictable it's often the Tamron. I shoot a lot in museums,
>>arboretums, libraries, and churches. No substitute for fast aperture,
>> especially where flash is prohibited. Your nifty-fifty with f/1.8 on a
>>crop body is handy ... but primes can be tough in crowded or
>>limited space venues.

For me, this is very interesting.

>> paralysis by analysis
That's a good one
I'll surely try to avoid it.

Thanks everyone,
Virgil.




Aug 14, 2012 at 08:47 PM
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