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Author Topic: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?  (Read 13556 times)

STEMI_RN

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Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« on: November 02, 2012, 08:03:13 PM »
I'm thinking about purchasing a 17-40 f/4L USM.  Anyone out there with one of these have any reasons why I should or should not go through with it.  It will be my first L glass.  After this I plan on a 70-200 f/2.8. 

I'm mostly a landscape/nature shooter so I don't really need it any faster (usually shoot f/8-f11 on a tripod). And I was looking at my last 6 months of shots and most of my keepers are under 50mm focal length anyway. Every review said this lens gives the best IQ for the money (and sometimes better than more expensive lenses).

If there is something else I should get in the sub $1k range, I'm open to suggestions. I'm looking for any real world experiences from this lens.  I'm just hoping to buy before the $100 rebate ends.

Thoughts?
60d, Digital Rebel XT, Mamiya 645, etch-a-sketch.

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Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« on: November 02, 2012, 08:03:13 PM »

JBeckwith

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 08:10:29 PM »
I am also considering the 17-40.  I currently have a 24-105 f4L but I see most of my favorite landscape work is done with the 17-40.  I would be interested to hear if anyone has any personal experience with the 17-40 and how it compares to the 24-105 for landscape/nature photography.
5D Mark II | 70-200 f/4L IS USM | 50mm f/1.8 II | Yongnuo 560 II

dhofmann

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 08:16:06 PM »
If you're using an APS-C camera like the 60D, the 15-85mm lens is sharper, wider and longer.
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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 09:13:42 PM »
The 17-40mm L is inexpensive and weather sealed and has great build quality. The center is contrasty and reasonably sharp, even wide open at 17mm. The corners are very soft until f8 or f11. Then they're sharper but with some CA. There's a lot of fall-off. But it's an inexpensive constant aperture ultrawide. For whatever strange reason, I like the bokeh.

On APS-C I would take either the 18-55mm IS or 17-55mm IS over this lens any day. I assume I'd take the 55-85mm, too. On FF, it's good for the price but it has some distortion and it's just okay optically. Not a bad lens, but not awe inspiring.

The 70-200mm f2.8 IS II is wonderful. The 70-200mm f2.8 (non-IS) is also very good if you have a tripod or steady hands and don't mind somewhat soft corners wide open; it's a very nice lens, really.

For landscape I'd go tilt shift rather than UWA zoom (you're using a tripod, so you might as well), but the price is so high! I've got big hopes for the 24mm Rokinon TS lens.

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 09:27:15 PM »
I'd reccomend the 17-55 if you have APS-C.  For FF its a fair lens.

Ryan708

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 09:37:38 PM »
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
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BruinBear

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 09:45:38 PM »
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.


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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 09:45:38 PM »

fallenflowers

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 11:01:17 PM »
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.

pwp

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 12:33:57 AM »
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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EF-S_10-22mm_lens
EF 17-40L http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EF_17-40mm_lens

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Mark1

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2012, 12:47:52 AM »
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.

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!

wayno

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2012, 01:12:41 AM »
I've said this before but this lens is a champion for the price. I agree at f8 it's damned sharp and for most landscapes that's what you'd be shooting at. I also hand hold f8 iso200 city / urban shots with it too and rarely get blurry images. The reciprocal guide for shutter speed relative to FL invariably means sharp shots. On FF its an excellent commonsense landscape lens which also happens to perform more than ably.

marekjoz

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2012, 04:30:08 AM »
For APS-C i would not get this lens, the tamron or sigma 17-50 f/2.8's are sharper across the frame. 


It depends on which focals. Check again :)
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pedro

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2012, 05:21:18 AM »
I've heard lots of good comments about the 17-40. I had it on my radar as a combo with my 5D3.

But I kinda hold back now. As I do quite some nightsky/nightscape photography avoiding the star trails, exposure values get a bit short compared to my 28 2.8 non IS. Applying 600 rule with longest reach of 40 as divisor I get only 15 seconds out of it.

OTOH I struggle buying a Samyang 14mm 2.8 for just that photographical area.

Sorry for bringing that up again, but I strongly hope Canon will come out with a 2.8 12/14-24 within my camera's body cylce at a "reasonable" price. There is a third party lens outthere (Sigma) but the bulb design of the lens is not very handy for my purposes. As I am using strong ND filters while taking daylight longexposures of seacapes or lakes.  Or are they forced to design it in that certain manner at this range?

Well, that's my two cents...

« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 05:26:01 AM by pedro »
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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2012, 05:21:18 AM »

Zv

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 05:32:30 AM »
On an APS-C the 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM is one of the best choices. I wouldn't advise the 17-40L, it's not wide enough (17mm = 27mm on a FF).

There's also the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 which is very highly regarded.

If you're planning on moving to FF anytime soon those will not be a good choice. Maybe you should sell your gear and get a 5D mkII and 17-40L or 16-35 II, especially if you only shoot landscapes. Might as well get the right gear for the job.
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rhysb123

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2012, 05:49:33 AM »
I had the 24-105 L, I found it too 'standard' and not that exciting - great IQ though. I changed for the 17-40 L and LOVE it. Wide on FF (5dmk2) it's brilliant.

It's a bargain. Buy it!

5D mk2, 6D, 1Ds mk2, 17-40mm f/4, 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 70-200 f/2.8 and a whole load of film stuff...

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Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2012, 05:49:33 AM »