1 September 200927,649 views5 Comments

Canon 15-85mm & 18-135mm Lenses

As if the new Canon EOS 7D wasn’t strong enough already, Canon have released two new EF-S lenses to compliment the new 7D: A 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, and a 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens

The EF-S 15-85mm IS USM lens covers an attractive range of focal lengths: The 15mm wide angle is unusual for a zoom lens which also covers ‘standard’ focal lengths. Combined with the 85mm telephoto range, this makes the 15-85mm a versatile lens for walkabouts and should reduce time-consuming lens swapping.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm lens

Canon EF-S 15-85mm lens

Taking into account the 1.6x focal length multiplier of Canon APS-C size sensors, the 15-85mm lens is equivalent to a 24-136mm focal length on a 35mm full-frame camera.

The 15-85mm’s image stabilisation (IS) compensates for up to 4 stops; a potent tool when matched with the dizzying heights of ISO 12,800 available on digital SLRs like the EOS 50D and 7D.

Further must-know specifications include a 35cm minimum focus distance, 72mm filter thread, and it weighs a reasonable 575g.

View the new Canon EF-S 15-85mm IS USM lens at Wex Photographic.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS Lens

The new EF-S 18-135mm has 4-stop image stabilisation and an f3.5-5.6 aperture like the 15-85mm, however the Ultrasonic motor (USM) isn’t included. If you want a standard lens with greater telephoto capabilities then the 18-135mm is an intriguing the option; the focal length is equivalent to 29-216mm on 35mm full-frame camera.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens

Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens

The features of the 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens are quite similar to the popular EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens, however the reduced focal length (7.5x zoom rather than 11x zoom) will probably produce a higher optical quality throughout the range. The EF-S 18-135mm has a smaller filter thread (67mm vs 72mm on the 18-200mm) and weighs less (455g vs the 600g), which help in the travelling light department.

View the new Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS lens at Wex Photographic.

Which one: The 15-85mm or 18-135mm?

Both lenses are available individually or in a kit with the new EOS 7D. We’re secretly wishing Canon would stop making so many great choices available, we can’t choose between the two ;)

Would you prefer the new 15-85mm or 18-135mm on your current EOS camera (or a shiny new 7D)?

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5 thoughts on “Canon 15-85mm & 18-135mm Lenses

  1. Chosing between the 15-85 and the 18-135 is a tricky one. My current lens line up includes the canon 18-55 IS kit lens, and an additional 55-250 IS lens. I have been considering upgrading my kit lens to something with more range, to reduce the number of times i swap. Until now, the 17-85 IS USM has been on the cards, but with the smaller max aperture of f/4, and the minor zoom increase i have avoided it. Consequently, I’m very exited by these two new lenses, but there’s a trade-off to be had between the increased zoom range of the 18-135, and the USM and wider angle 15-85. I’ve still to read detailed reviews on the optical quality of the 2 lenses, but i think i’m tending toward the 15-85, despite its significant price tag. This is because i do not want to overlap lenses too much, and since i have a 55-250, the 18-135 would overlap too much.

  2. I have the 17-55 IS and its a cracking lens – very sharp and you can take shots in low light that are not possible with other lenses, unless you use a tripod. Great for landscapes hand held too as you can go for narrow apertures (f 11-16) and still take shots at relatively low shutter speeds. It is a heavy lens though and rather top heavy on my 400D (but this is a small price to pay for its image quality and usefulness).

    When I bought it I did not have the option of this 15-85 IS which, despite the narrower max apertures, looks a very useful lens indeed as it is just like having the 24-105 IS on full frame. After comparing the image quality of both lenses, I guess you need to decide what type of photography you do and whether not having that constant F2.8 aperture will be a problem or whether changing lenses frequently is more of a problem.

  3. Pingback: Canon EOS 7D Sample Images | Wex Photographic

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