The EF-S 15-85mm lens is a relatively recent lens, and I haven't seen too many recommendations on it thus far. However, most of the reviews have been very positive and the lens is said to be optically on par with the 17-55mm. It sacrifices the constant wider aperture for better zoom range that could translate to fewer lens changes. As for the 50mm f/1.8, it is one of the most recommended lenses, dirt cheap and suited to low light & portrait photography.
The two lens combo is also cheaper than the single one (around INR 53,000 vs INR 64,000). The usage scenarios I have in mind are the following, along with my thoughts:
- General purpose\travel photography - the 15-85mm seems to be more versatile than the 17-55mm for this, especially when light is not a constraint
- Portraits - the 17-55mm would be quite versatile in this regard (however, 55mm feels a bit short for getting tight shots, and getting close can lead to distortion)
- Event photography (weddings, parties etc) - the 17-55mm has the low light advantage over the 15-85mm, and 50mm can get a bit long in closed environments
- Low light shooting - the 17-55mm is more versatile, but the 50mm has a wider aperture
So, which would be a better upgrade for my current setup comprising of the Canon 550D with the 18-55mm IS & 55-250mm IS kit lenses? Are there any alternatives worth considering in this budget?
Note: I had asked a similar question regarding upgrades for the kit lens, but that was without a particular scenario or lens in mind.