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Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?

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The 17-40 is excellent on aps-C. top notch build quality and very puncy. Im getting one soonish. On FF there are a few weak points.
-very high vignetting
soft corners below f/8
and high distortion(which i will embrace and have fun with when I go FF, and correct in post if need be)

Note: the EF-S 15-85 is Very high in distortion at 15mm. Very sharp though. I have played with a friend's 17-40 and it is very vivid and punchy. Not sure if the 15-85 is too

For APS-C i would not get this lens, the tamron or sigma 17-50 f/2.8's are sharper across the frame. 

On full frame this lens has pretty bad distortion, and is disgustingly soft in the corners.  When stopped down the center is very sharp but the corners never really get to a usable point.  For me this was fine and i had no reason to spend double the money on the 16-36 f/2.8.

So knowing the limitations for this lens, it still is a great lens for the money.  Colors are good, and I can personally live with the terrible corners and theres always photoshop for distortion.

1Ds Mark III, 17-40 f/4L at 17mm, f/5.6, 1/80 s, ISO-100

The 17-40 is a fantastic lens. Like everyone else mentioned very sharp at f8 and up. In terms of image quality i would rate it par to my 135 f2, even sometimes sharper. but i have to disagree with the build quality. and this is the main reason why I think it cost lesser than other L lenses.

my camera was attached to 17-40 on a tripod and it accidentally fell onto a rock (distance from camera fall to rock about 5 feet)  resulting in a broken camera's lcd and due to impact my lens rear mount was also broken. In my opinion, due to that impact with any solid build lens, the rear mount should not break. Unfortunately the 17-40 lens did not stand the impact. So i gave it a 5/10 for built quality. I would not judge a lens' built quality by the looks and feels, until you actually experience the impact or any unwanted damages to it.

You don't mention whether you're shooting with APS-C or FF. Clarifying that would help focus the discussion.
I have shot with a 17-40L for demanding professional work since it was first released in 2003. Vignetting & distortion issues are solved instantly & automatically on import into Lightroom if you have "Lens Correction" checked to run on Import.

As you shoot mostly landscape at F/8 & f/11 this lens should be perfect for you. While the 17-40 is mushy wide open, by f/5.6 it's looking extremely strong and is an IQ dead-heat with the 16-35 f/2.8II from f/5.6 through to f/11. It's much lighter and far less expensive. And it takes 77mm filters.

If you're an APS-C shooter, the very highly regarded EF-S 10-22 is definitely worth considering.

EF-S 10-22
EF 17-40L



--- Quote from: fallenflowers on November 02, 2012, 11:01:17 PM ---I would not judge a lens' built quality by the looks and feels, until you actually experience the impact or any unwanted damages to it.

--- End quote ---

Quite right. Let's all smash our lenses on the ground and see how well built they really are. Presumabley you have done this to all of your lenses in order to determine that the 17-40 is the worst?

I have both the 24-105 and the 17-40. They are both very useful on a fullframe. The 17-40 is better than the 24-105 throughout their cross-over range, but that's not to say the 24-105 is a bad lens. They are both terrific but the 17-40 has much less field curvature than the 24-105 so for landscape is much better. Also the 17-40 produces a kind of punchiness to images that I really like. Sharpness doesn't mean a thing if it doesn't have that bubbley contrasty pop that this lens has. Personally I'm yet to see any CA of any concern from mine and light fall-off? it's an ultrawide lens - deal with it. It's just a really well engineered piece of kit and for the money you can't go wrong. I love mine!


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