Gear Talk > Lenses

17-40mm F/4 L or 16/35mm F/2.8 L I

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I'm thinking about buying a used WA lens. In your opinion, for almost the same price would you take the 17-40 F/4 L or the 16-35 F/2.8 L I. The 5D mark III would be the body to go with...

For the same price, the 16-35 would be the better option. When stopped down to F4, it is as sharp as the 17-40 and you have the advantage of being able to use F2.8 when you want to.

I would say it depends what you'll be doing with it.  Like Kristofgss said having f/2.8 vs f/4 has its advantages but if you're going to be hiking a lot or anything where you'll be carrying your camera, considering the ISO capabilities of the 5D3, I would recommend the 17-40.  At the time I bought mine it was significantly cheaper too, but if it's something I'm going to be carrying all day the lighter weight will help you make better pictures at the end of the day as you won't be as tired.  I love my 17-40 it takes great pictures and its the lens that stays on my camera most of the time.  Good luck with your decision!

According to many test, the 17-40 version is generally better than 16-35. The only reason to choose the 16-35 is if you really need the 2.8 aperture.

You might glean a few well informed viewpoints from this piece from Luminous Landscape...

My feelings would be that the 5D3 sensor will punish the old 16-35 f/2.8. It was never a stellar lens at the best of times, performing only adequately on film bodies...let alone FF DSLR. I had one which was a constant disappointment. By contrast, the 17-40 which I have owned since they were announced in 2003 has been consistently excellent, currently spending a lot of time on a 5D3 body. Provided you accept that it can be a bit mushy wide open, keep in perspective that from f/5 it is a match for the 16-35 f/2.8II.

If I was in your shoes I'd be going for the 17-40. If you NEED f/2.8 save some more for the 16-35 f/2.8II.



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