Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS Image Stabilized Lens - Refurbished

Canon 15-85mm: Picture 1 thumbnail Canon 15-85mm: Picture 2 thumbnail Canon 15-85mm: Picture 3 thumbnail Canon 15-85mm: Picture 4 thumbnail Canon 15-85mm: Picture 5 thumbnail Canon 15-85mm: Picture 6 thumbnail

About Canon 15-85mm

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.

The Canon 15-85mm is commonly used for Landscape/scenery, Weddings and more.The Canon 15-85mm is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Canon 15-85mm: Consistent output and Fast / accurate auto-focus

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Fast / accurate auto-focus (69),Consistent output (48),Strong construction (34),Durable (33),Easily interchangeable (31),Lightweight (27),Super-sharp images (27),Fast auto-focus (25),Superior build quality (18),Nice bokeh (13),Rugged (13),Great focal range (3)
Heavy (20),Lens creep (14),Poor in low light (12),Pricey / poor value (5),Semi-sharp images (3)
Best Uses:
Landscape/scenery (64),Weddings (24),Sports/action (13),Low light (12),Night photography (12),Wildlife photos (9),Travel (8),Macro photography (5),Portraits (5),General purpose (4),Landscape photography (4),Walk around lens (3)
Reviewer Profile:
Photo enthusiast (56),Semi-pro photographer (11),Casual photographer (5),Enthusiast (3)

Canon 15-85mm Features

  • UD lens to achieve high image quality
  • Optical Image Stabilizer makes the shutter speed 4 stops faster
  • The metal lens barrel improves precision and operation.

Canon 15-85mm Specifications

17 elements in 12 groups
Angle of view
Diagonal Angle of View: 84° 30' - 18° 25'
Closest Focusing Distance
0.35m - 1.15 ft.
Filter Size
Dimensions (Length x Diameter)
3.4" x 3.2" / 87.5 x 81.6mm
20.3 oz. / 575g
Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system, with focusing cam Zoom System: Ring USM

Canon 15-85mm Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 126 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Very good all around lens

Using on a rebel XSi (EOS 450d). Refurbished copy appears as new. Haven't noticed any focus calibration issue, but have not done any dedicated tests. Replaces my 18-55IS. Similar IQ or slightly better depending on the chosen focal length (a little less CA, a little more distortion, sharper in the center, not quite as sharp in the corners). My 18-55 is very good until the long end when it loses a little sharpness. Also sharper than my 55-250 over 55-85mm, but a little more distortion and chrom...

View full Review

Using on a rebel XSi (EOS 450d). Refurbished copy appears as new. Haven't noticed any focus calibration issue, but have not done any dedicated tests. Replaces my 18-55IS. Similar IQ or slightly better depending on the chosen focal length (a little less CA, a little more distortion, sharper in the center, not quite as sharp in the corners). My 18-55 is very good until the long end when it loses a little sharpness. Also sharper than my 55-250 over 55-85mm, but a little more distortion and chromatic aberration over the same range. Feels a lot more solid than either of the plastic kit lenses and the USM is much nicer to use. IS works well, compensating somewhat for the standard apertures. Range is very convenient. Size / weight is good. Due to the range, the lens hood is not very effective at the long end, this especially affects things if you're using a filter - images can appear washed out if the sun hits the filter even when it is not in view of the picture. Only thing I would like at this price is a larger aperture at the long end to provide a little more bokeh, and perhaps a little less corner shading at the wide end.


Most Liked Negative Review


Check thoroughly

I bought this lens to be my street lens and all purpose lens for my canon D50. It would also make a great travel lens, because it is relatively light and it has the perfect range of focal lengths. That being said, I have had very poor success with this lens. I sent this one back because the lens creep was so bad I referred to it as lens sprint. I then got a new USA warranteed lens to replace it. I sent that back because the manual focus didn't work properly.

Reviewed by 126 customers

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Amazing Kit Upgrade - Near Pro Quality


from Iowa City, IA

I've had this lens for a while now, and I'm pretty amazed. The sharpness is on par with the legendary 17-55 f/2.8 and better than some L lenses. Looking at how this lens is cheaper than the 17-55 and all L lenses, I'd say this is a pretty good deal. Colors and contrast are also great. Just beware of chromatic aberration, it is quite strong from 15-20mm and 70-85mm. 24 to 60mm is absolutely stellar. Also, this lens functions best from around f/8 to f/11 in terms of sharpness and overall image quality. Bokeh is definitely achievable, and results are very nice. Build quality is amazing. Finally, the image stabilization on this lens may just be the best on the market, so don't be afraid of using up to one second exposures handheld - they are tack sharp. Overall, this lens is universally a great performer and its price is a bargain. I highly recommend it.


Great Walk-Around Lens


from Naples FL  -  Semi-pro Photographer

For those with a cropped sensor DSLR this makes a great walk-around lens. Very good optics in a relatively light, compact package. Image stabilization is a big help for stationary subjects in poor light

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


It works great for me!


from Grand Rapids, MI

I'm not an expert, nor do I do any pixel peeping, the only thing that concerns me is the quality of the photos that I have at the end of the day, and this lens works great for me. I'm a nature/landscape photographer and I have been extremely pleased with the photos that I have gotten from this lens.It's been used primarily for landscapes, and for close-ups of flowers and insects. Since it focuses down to 1 foot, it almost does the job of a macro lens, but only for larger subjects. I also own a 70-200 mm L series lens, and this lens comes very close to matching the sharpness of the L series. In fact, I get more sharp photos from this lens than the L Series when doing close-ups, as the auto-focus of this lens is more accurate up close than the L series is. I have to manually focus the L series to get photos as sharp as this 15-85 lens produces in auto-focus. It's also faster and quieter than the L series. I also love the larger diameter of this lens, it fits my hand better, and I don't have a problem going from my two long lenses down to this lens as far as it feeling good in my hand. The IS works extremely well, I've gotten usable shots at shutter speeds down to 1/4 second handheld in a pinch, although a tripod would probably have been better. I use this lens on a 60D, and I have the peripheral illumination correction enabled, which may be why I've seen no vignetting with this lens for the most part. I did stack a polarizing filter on the UV filter once, and saw vignetting then, lesson learned. Overall, I'm very pleased with this lens. The sharpness, color, contrast, and color saturation are superb, I couldn't ask for a better wide angle zoom for my crop sensor camera.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Gets job done, but...


from Canada

Got this lens (separately) since the reviews were pushing it over any other lens for a crop body. The price was cheaper too, so why not?! I've had the privilege of using this lens for almost 2 years now and here's what I've noticed. It takes reasonable pictures. Not stellar, but far from bad. It does produce at times somewhat soft results which was a little bit disappointing. IS is always on (unless its on a tripod) and due to the weight of this lens, your wrists will be struggling after awhile. It seems to be designed for outdoor use. It doesn't do very well indoors, unless you're throwing immense amounts of light at it, and even then - better crank up that iso. Thankfully once you bump up the ISO this doesn't seem to be such a problem. Images are softish around f/11 (sadly). F5.6 seems to be the best bet. At f/8 its hit or miss. Any higher and you're going soft. Focal length wise - 15mm produces some distortion, but it's likeable imho. Quite a bit of vignetting at 15 as well, but not offensive. Starts looking much nicer between 35-85. As a matter a fact, this lens really shines at 50+. *thumbs up* Q: Would I recommend this lens to someone? A: Sure, but I'd also give them a run down of what they can experience using it. It's a nice walk around lens, but would benefit from being a little lighter, and maybe opening up too 2.8 at least. Then again, at that aperture, it would cost a lot more as well. Conclusion: If you really want a walk around lens to take pictures with your crop, then go for it. If you want tack sharp images, then look elsewhere.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Astonishing APS-C lens!!!


from Lake Norman, NC

Bought this lens several months ago but wanted to really put it to a severe test before reviewing it. Test just completed: A week on the Big Island of Hawai'i! Took a T4i body, this incredible 15-85mm, a Canon's 10-22mm and 50mm macro lenses. (The 10-22 and 50 macro never even left the camera bag ... ) As suspected, the EF-S 15-85mm performed flawlessly - it's a 24-135mm lens to us old film shooters - and simply "did it all" as far as taking in every possible scene. Colors are out of this world, clarity and sharpness beyond wildest expectations and in over 30 years of recreational / vacation photography in addition to a professional business, this was - easily! - the most complete and beautifully documented travel adventure ever. Impossible to give a high enough recommendation for this lens! If there was a 10-star category for performance and quality, this lens deserves it! Shoots on par with most 'L' lenses! (Wish we could have bought this lens with the T4i body instead of the excellent 18-55mm "kit" lens - which has just been sold off ... ) Dropping the images into Lightroom for conversion (we shot all RAW files) and a little post-processing, still cannot believe my eyes ...

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Very Good Choice for crop


from Jerusalem Israel  -  Photo Enthusiast

I purchased this lens 4 years ago, when I first got started on DSLR photography. At the time I did not fully appreciate the lenses options and abilities. Now that I am more experienced all I can say is that this lens provides overall excellent image quality, and a range of 15mm WIDE all the way over to 85mm. There are very few options for a 24mm equivalent on a crop and this is a very good one. Sure there are sharper primes out there, but overall colors and sharpness are very good. Highly recommended as a general purpose lens on a crop! (use a grip to balance weight)

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Canon 15-85mm review


from Scottsdale, Arizona  -  Photo Enthusiast

First, I should explain that I was testing this lens against my current lens (Canon 18-135mm), to see if there was a substantial difference in image quality, sharpness, color and contrast. Although this is a very good lens, with very good quality and glass, comparatively, I didn't see enough differences to warrant the cost of the lens. I will say, that viewed at 100%, I could see some increased sharpness, contrast and color differences, and I should also mention that there was very little or no purple fringing. But, as I said, the difference wasn't significant enough to justify the purchase. Lastly, I will admit that I am very picky and the type of person who pays too much attention to detail and perfection. I would like to complement Adorama for exemplary customer service and support. They are a model for other businesses.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


great daytime walk-around lens


from los angeles  -  Photo Enthusiast

wide-angle to almost telephoto -- this lens does it all during the day ... for night shots, consider a flash ... smooth zoom, fast focus, and sharp pictures ... worth every penny so far ...

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Really nice, but not perfect


from San Francisco, CA  -  Photo Enthusiast

I love the range. 15 to 85 is really great. The quality of the images is great. The build quality of the lens is great. The USM autofocus is outstanding. It is heavy, and the zoom "creeps" if you point it downwards while you're walking around. Also, having the shortest physical length of the lens be the widest focal length means that I often am too wide for what I want to shoot. The kit lens is at its shortest length when the focal length is at about 35mm, which is more "normal".

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Good but not Great


from Scottsdale, Arizona  -  Photo Enthusiast

I've had the lens for 3 weeks and run a few tests. I've determined that the lens doesn't perform any better in low light then the Canon 18-135mm. In normal light the photos are sharper but the difference wasn't as significant as I expected when viewed at less then 100%. Overall, the lens does perform better then the 18-135mm, but I'm not sure if the difference justifies the price. I should mention that I'm still testing to determine if the lens needs any adjustments such as front/back focus, etc.


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  Why Did You Choose This?
STEVEN M  Wonderful wide angle lens for its purpose.
todd h  hello,looking at getting a new lens for my t2i? dont know which lens to get. this one or the 10-22 canon.?
LEWIS G  I don't have the 10-22 but I can tell you that I am very happy with the 15-85. I do use wide angle lenses but if I could only have one lens I would get the 15-85. From what I have read the 10-22 is excellent so it is really a question of usage rather than quality. Good luck with your decision.
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