This lens flare comparison was created specifically for the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review, but will be useful for evaluation of the following lenses as well:
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
The following samples were shot with a Canon EOS 7D using the Neutral Picture Style and AV mode with -1 EV dialed in. The sun is the ultimate flare source, but I haven't figured out how to stop it from moving yet. So, the camera was repositioned for each lens/focal length combination tested - to catch the sun in the top left corner of the frame. Between the different lenses, the repositioning and the AV mode used, the exposure of some shots are darker than others. If I had know how big the difference would be, I may have made the effort to use M mode for this comparison (though it would have been a huge job - one pair of setting changes per frame would have been about 180 pairs of setting changes). My clear sky time window was short and the flare can be seen in the darker images - look a little more closely at these.
Lens hoods were installed for all shots.
Please be patient - there are about 13MB of images required to load the comparisons below. When they are loaded, the mouseclick bars will function properly.
Flare appears differently from lens to lens and can change dramatically from focal length to focal length, so it can be hard to make accurate judgements. However, the clear loser in this comparison is the otherwise excellent EF-S 17-55. Flare is a definite weakness for this wide-aperture lens. The EF-S 17-85 would be my next-worse pick - primarily flaring on the wide end. The EF-S 15-85 shows marked improvement over the 17-85 overall, but at the wide end at least, probably comes up third. Here are the results - make your determinations:
Back to the:
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens Review
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens Review
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Review
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Review
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Review
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens Review
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens Review