8 out of 10 points and recommendedsharp, close-up, internal focusing; quiet (USM)slow focusing (macro range), very precise focusing (sometimes off)
Recently bought this lens. It was a bit of an impuls purchase. it's a lot of money for something that is this task specific and wont be on your camera all the time.reviewed December 1st, 2006 (purchased for $600)
I actually use it for taking pictures of my kids. I like the sharpness and the close up pictures you can take with it. With non-macro lenses, you always have the face and some. With this lens, you can do eye-nose, foot or hand pictures.I guess a crop would work too :-)
In the store, I compared it to the Sigma 105 Macro. You can read my review there. This lens is just extremely quiet and has internal focusing compared to that one. Well worth the extra 100 bucks if you ask me. Of course, I already knew from SLRGear.com that the picture quality would be more than ok. Which I can only confirm. Most Canon prime lenses wont disappoint in that field and hence it wasnt a major focus at buying.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp!; good build; fine colors; lightlong
You can read it everywhere on the intenet and I'll tell you again: this is Canon's best deal. This lens is so sharp it hurts your eyes. It's also the first lens that made me realize that a lens can influence the end colors of apicture. This one provides exceptionally bright colors (for lack of a better word). It is now available with IS too. Haven't tested that one though. Mostly an outdoor lens with high shutter speeds for me, I dont really have a need for the IS on this lens. If you want it for inside and portrait use, you'd probably first look at the f/2.8 (and then at the available IS on that one).reviewed December 1st, 2006 (purchased for $570)
9 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp; useful range; fast (f/2.8); fast (AF!)Bulky, pricy; heavy
I bought this lens as my walkaround lens with a Canon 350D. It istoo heavy for the Rebel series though and I upgraded to a Canon 30D (without any regrets). I don't see any point in starting with SLR and not buy the best image quality lenses.It's a good lens but for a walkaround lens, they should make it real L-lens quality (for the same price too!).reviewed December 1st, 2006 (purchased for $1,100)
I knew I wanted a fast walkaround lens to photograph my kids and needed the f/2.8 for that. Inside, even with this lens you need to pump up the ISO. f/4 would be even worse for that. the 17-40 was just too short a range, the 16-35 dito and on the wrong side (too wide) and 24 and higher is not wide enough for a good walkaround on a 1.6x FOVCF body. So, you don't have that much choice with Canon digitals if you ask me. This one IS my walkaround lens though and I am quite happy with it.
I've had some bad luck with it: the first had error 99's, the second had dust and blueish plastic inside the lens (after a month or 3). That one got repaired. Although not dust free, what I have in there now does not show on any pictures.
addition, 12/6/08 (now on 40D):
After much more experience, I felt compelled to add some more info about this lens. Much of what I said before still stands, but I want to emphasize how well this lens is performing. One of the things I like best about it is its amazing auto-focus speed. You dont really notice it, until you start using other lenses. It is hardly mentioned in lens reviews but to me, it is one of the more important factors that make a lens perform nicely. And that's what this lens does. AF is fast and accurate. Not just at F2.8, but other F-ranges as well.
I increased overall performance from 8 to 9.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedlight; cheap; useful rangelens quality; look&feel; picture quality
It came with my 350D and although not the best of lenses and I quickly replaced it with the 17-55 EF-S, I did enjoy the lens for being light and versatile. Once you have the 17-55, it's just crazy to put this on your camera, otherwise I'd buy it again (I sold my 350D and went to a 30D body only).reviewed December 2nd, 2006 (purchased for $100)
This lens is a good alternative in this much used range for which Canon doesnt have that many options. Your next choice would probably be the 17-85. But that lens seems to provide mediocre image quality as well and isnt very fast (ready: outside only), which is true for this lens as well.
If you dont want stellar pictures, you might as well stay with a point&shoot, right? That's how I got to the 17-55. In combination with the 70-200/f/4 and a macro lens, I'm very content with my gear.
8 out of 10 points and recommendedfun; sharp; cheapnoisy
A colleague of mine advised me this lens after I had to return my 17-55, to be in time for my newborn pictures. Just a lot of fun and very sharp pictures.reviewed December 2nd, 2006 (purchased for $90)
I don't really understand much of the negative comments below. What do you expect for less than 100 bucks? It just makes for a good exercise with a prime without the risk of losing anything.
6 out of 10 points and not recommendednoisy; extends as much as it is long already; slow AF
I compared this lens to the Canon 100/f2.8 in the store. I was really prepared to buy a non Canon lens. But then I got it in my hand on a 30D body... :-(reviewed December 2nd, 2006 (purchased for $459)
AF was sooo slooow. Often, it didnt focus right at all. Although, for the noise it was making, it seemed to work really hard. What set me off the most, was that it extends as much as it is long already: nice bug, oops, I squashed the bug. All these shortcomings could have been compensated by good sharpness, if the lens had been dirtcheap. But it wasn't. So I saw no reason at all to even consider it.
Then the 100/f2.8. AF could be faster but still much faster than the Sigma. Internal focus, nice. USM, sssssweet. Like I said, why even consider this lens???
I gave image quality an 8 based on the input from other reviewers. Still I hope, this review was useful to you.
8 out of 10 points and not recommendedversatility, good quality, reasonably fastavoid "extremes" settings
It is such a pleasure to walkaround with this lens. If you're out on anything but for photography, but still want to make great shots, the versatility of this lens, zoom and macro capacity, is just awesome. This lens is my travel lens and as such, there is no other. To complement, for indoor, I also carry a cheap and light 50mm F1.8. I also always carry my flash with me. This kit gives me all the shots I need while away from home.reviewed November 23rd, 2007 (purchased for $520)
At home, I replace this lens for my Canon 70-200 F4 outside and sometimes my 17-55 F2.8 IS. Although, to be honest, I dont expect to replace it that often.
construction is decent: 7
Image quality is very good really: 8
Overall: I give it one extra point for versatility that no other lens offers: 9
8 out of 10 points and recommendedLight; wide; reliable; AFshort zoom range
If you want wide on a Canon body, this is the lens to go. I tried some of the 3rd party's but they always disappoint in the AF area.reviewed December 6th, 2008 (purchased for $600)
I have to admit, like some other reviewers, and especially already owning a reasonably wide 17-55, that often this lens is wider than what you need. a wide sunset is boring (you want to see the sun, right?), most pictures get more interesting with some focus (zoom).
It's great for indoor pictures of houses and wide landscapes w/o water.
If you're not tight on budget, it's definitely a fun lens to play with! :)
9 out of 10 points and recommendedGood quality, very useful zoom range, nice extra on the wide end, ISVignetting
A must have for any APS-C shooter. This lens is my default walk-around lens. As such, it replaces the 17-55, which range isnt large enough for walkaround and I always felt short with that one. They both suffer from vignetting issues. The build quality of the 15-85 is slightly better than that of the 17-55. So is the IS. It bites a bit that Nikon makes it cheaper and even better. But all in all, Im very happy with this lens. Although it's not a cheap lens, you get more than what you pay for in this case. This lens was long overdue from Canon.reviewed May 17th, 2010 (purchased for $720)