Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3,5-5,6 IS USM Review

General information

This is a zoom lens manufactured by Canon and the lens was released 2009.
The lens belongs to the category standard zoom lenses, a normal lens where you have the possibility to zoom in and out.

Product description from Canon

At launch 2009 Canon wrote this regarding Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3,5-5,6 IS USM:

"The EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM high-performance standard zoom lens offers an approximate 5.7x zoom ratio that covers a focal length range of 24136 mm when shooting in 35 mm format. The Canon EF-S lenses come equipped with an Image Stabilizer mechanism that compensates for camera shake with an approximate 4-shutter speed steps correction capability,* and also use both UD (ultra-low dispersion) and glass mold aspherical lenses to favorably correct a variety of aberrations and deliver high image quality at any zoom region.

The new EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM sets a new standard for everyday photography on APS-C sensors. With a focal length range equivalent to 24-136mm in 35mm format, image stabilization and high-precision optics, the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM offers stellar performance from wide-angle through to telephoto."


Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

This lens is designed and meant for Canon cameras with a smaller sensor (often referred to as 'APS-C') which means that the lens does not fit all camera models. By clicking on the link below you can make sure that the lens works with your camera model and you should do an additional check with your local dealer as well, before you buy the lens just to be sure.

The ability to use autofocus is available for all cameras.

The lens has a focal length of 15-85 mm. Since the lens is designed to be used on a camera with smaller sensor ('APS-C') the focal length will be equivalent to 24-136 mm on your Canon camera.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/3,5-5,6.

This lens is not considered to have a good aperture value and brightness. It is something to consider before you purchase the lens. To compensate for this you might, while photographing in less favorable light conditions, be forced to either use higher ISO settings (which generates more noise in the image), slower shutter speeds (which may give some motion blur) or flash lightning. Read more at the link below what lens brightness means to you as a photographer.

One thing to consider is that the lens has a variable brightness, which means that depending on how much you are zooming the lens will have a different maximum aperture value. At 15 mm the lens brightness is f/3,5 and at 85 mm the brightness is f/5,6. Through the link below you can read more about what this could mean for you as a photographer.

Inside the lens there is an image stabilizer, which helps to fend off possible movements and tremors. This is very positive and can be of great help in situations and conditions where the light is inadequate and not enough for decent shutter speeds.

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 72 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

There is a lens hood that fits the lens (model name "EW-78E") but unfortunately this is something that is not included when purchasing the lens and must be ordered and bought separately, as an accessory.

Pictures (product and sample images)

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Besides looking at product images it is also of interest to see pictures taken with this specific lens. This can give you a hint of what kind of images this lens can achieve, what the focal length will be like etc.

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • A versatile lens for those who own their first DSLR camera
  • Has a built-in image stabilizer
  • Works only on cameras with APS-C sensor
  • Poor aperture value with its f/5,6
  • A variable lens brightness at different focal lengths
  • No lens hood is included
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3,5-5,6 IS USM.

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Autofocus     
Sharpness     
Versatility     
Value     
Overall rating 3 of 5

Best deals on Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3,5-5,6 IS USM

Make sure to check out our price information page for best offers on this lens.

Pictures (product and sample images)

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Besides looking at product images it is also of interest to see pictures taken with this specific lens. This can give you a hint of what kind of images this lens can achieve, what the focal length will be like etc.