November 23, 2014, 02:03:51 PM

Author Topic: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark  (Read 8972 times)

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Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« on: January 23, 2014, 09:21:41 AM »

DxO labs has tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L.


From their review:

“Due to its more glamorous sibling this modest lens is often overlooked though it’s well known for its high-performance by Canon users. As a small, light, highly portable zoom it would make a great choice for travel, landscapes and general-purpose photography.”


Our own review by Justin echo’d this feeling. Justin has owned and used this lens from his very first day shooting, and it’s a completely viable alternative to the Canon 16-35 f/2.8 L if you can spare the extra stops of light. You can read our review here, and check out DxO’s full review here their lens comparison tool is an excellent resource if you’re into sharpness charts.


Source [DxO]


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Canon 17-40 f/4L at B&H  | Canon 17-40 f/4L at Adorama



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Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« on: January 23, 2014, 09:21:41 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 09:50:50 AM »
... their lens comparison tool is an excellent resource

...if you only shoot in lighting equivalent to a dimly lit warehouse.   ::)

Their Measurements are useful, their Scores and the rankings which are based on them are generally meaningless (except in warehouses ;) ).

I should qualify that be saying their Measurements can be useful, when they're correct.  They weren't for the 70-200 II, but they defended them until they silently updated them.  Their measurements of the 17-40L are also suspect, as they apparently show it's as sharp in the corners as the center wide open, and sharper at f/4 than the 16-35/2.8L II stopped down to f/8 - I don't buy either of those.
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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 09:54:20 AM »
Their measurements of the 17-40L are also suspect, as they apparently show it's as sharp in the corners as the center wide open, and sharper at f/4 than the 16-35/2.8L II stopped down to f/8 - I don't buy either of those.
There is a popular "explanation" for their results...Canon provided them with a hand-picked copy ;)

roxics

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 10:04:57 AM »
But how does this lens compare to the Sigma 18-35 f1.8? I know the L is full frame and the Sigma is not. But if both used on a Super35mm sensor, how do they compare?

arbitrage

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 10:24:53 AM »
But how does this lens compare to the Sigma 18-35 f1.8? I know the L is full frame and the Sigma is not. But if both used on a Super35mm sensor, how do they compare?

I think if I was shooting a crop sensor and wanted the very best, the Sigma would be the way to go from all the testing I've seen.
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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 10:57:52 AM »
I LOVE the range of this lens, but I hate the performance.

Give me a version II with tack sharp corners.

I'd much rather have a razor sharp 17-40 II than a razor sharp 14-24L.

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 10:57:52 AM »

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 10:59:51 AM »
Yippee, another 17-40L vs 16-35L thread :-p

Their measurements of the 17-40L are also suspect, as they apparently show it's as sharp in the corners as the center wide open, and sharper at f/4 than the 16-35/2.8L II stopped down to f/8 - I don't buy either of those.

If they said that (I'm too lazy too look) the former is clearly bogus if they're referring to the very far corners - if you want that, don't get the lens or at least be prepared to stop down a lot. For the second piece, maybe they've got a very good 17-40L copy and a very bad 16-35L one...

... still, after getting the ff I can say that the lens is indeed excellent unless you're looking for corner sharpness wide open, f2.8 speed (imho seldom necessary at this focal length, and these are not very bokeh'ish anyway) - and it's light weight and moderate size is a great combination with the 6d.

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 11:08:27 AM »
I LOVE the range of this lens, but I hate the performance.

Give me a version II with tack sharp corners.

I'd much rather have a razor sharp 17-40 II than a razor sharp 14-24L.

+1. Even better, a 17-40 f/4 IS. Pretty please...
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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 11:29:05 AM »
Yippee, another 17-40L vs 16-35L thread :-p

Their measurements of the 17-40L are also suspect, as they apparently show it's as sharp in the corners as the center wide open, and sharper at f/4 than the 16-35/2.8L II stopped down to f/8 - I don't buy either of those.

If they said that (I'm too lazy too look) the former is clearly bogus if they're referring to the very far corners - if you want that, don't get the lens or at least be prepared to stop down a lot. For the second piece, maybe they've got a very good 17-40L copy and a very bad 16-35L one...

... still, after getting the ff I can say that the lens is indeed excellent unless you're looking for corner sharpness wide open, f2.8 speed (imho seldom necessary at this focal length, and these are not very bokeh'ish anyway) - and it's light weight and moderate size is a great combination with the 6d.
Size and weight is a serious advantage with f/4 zooms when one wants to travel lightly. I remember putting my 5D2 with 24-105 f/4L and 70-200 f/4L IS in a small Urban Disguise 30 ThinkTank bag and traveling light and decently equipped at the same time  :)

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »
I think it's fantastic.. (I wouldn't mind the 1635II either of course.. )
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 11:45:30 AM by tianxiaozhang »

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 11:49:09 AM »
I think it's fantastic.. (I wouldn't mind the 1635II either of course.. )
You must mean the girls not the lens...  ;D

As far as night sky is concerned a 2.8 would be a  plus. However, all Canon wide angle zooms (and primes for that matter) suffer from coma (Only the new 24-70 2.8 II is reported to be greatly improved in that matter).

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 12:10:27 PM »
The 17-40 was my first L lens -- purchased way back in July 2003 -- to replace the 24-85 I bought with my first SLR, the 10D.

It was mounted to my camera body 90% of the time when I was shooting with crop bodies (10D, 20D), where it's excellent, since the corners are cropped out, and it served as a standard-range zoom (27-64mm equivalent).

It doesn't get as much use since I moved to full frame; mostly for wide angle landscapes when I'm hiking (two FF bodies; one with 17-40, another with 70-200). But I doubt that I'll ever part with it, even if a version II is released. (If the version II has IS, I would be sorely tempted, though ...)
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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 12:10:27 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2014, 12:13:10 PM »
There is a popular "explanation" for their results...Canon provided them with a hand-picked copy ;)
Canon would have had to custom-build one with a different optical formula...I seriously doubt that Canon could find a copy where the 17-40 at f/4 delivers corner sharpness comprarable to the center, and is better overall at f/4 than the 16-35 II at f/8.



Note that when looking at the 16-35 II, it's actually sharper at f/2.8 than at f/8 - also pretty unlikely.  DxO's measurements of 17-40 show that it doesn't get sharper when stopping down to f/8, because apparently it's already very sharp wide open.  Yeah, right...


DXO is such a reliable site...    ;D


Like I said, their Scores make sense if you always shoot in dimly lit warehouses.  In 150 lux illumination, the better high ISO performance and dynamic range (you're going to boost those shadows, right?) of the D3x make the Zeiss 21/2.8 a better lens, and that clearly accounts for it's higher score. 

Oh, wait…you thought that the Scores were logically derived from the Measurements?  Silly, silly tron.   :P


... still, after getting the ff I can say that the lens is indeed excellent unless you're looking for corner sharpness wide open, f2.8 speed (imho seldom necessary at this focal length, and these are not very bokeh'ish anyway)
The 16-35L II doesn't deliver corner sharpness wide open, either.  If you want that, you need to get the TS-E 17L or TS-E 24L II (and don't tilt/shift them too much).

Personally, I have found that the extra stop of the f/2.8 lens helps for low light shooting (and with 'normal' subject distances, you don't run into issues with too shallow a DoF).  But I really think that extra stop of light is the only reason to pick the 16-35 II over the 17-40 - for real-world use especially stopped down a bit, there's not a significant difference between the two (or if you believe DxO, the 17-40 is actually much better  ::) ).
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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 01:00:51 PM »
But how does this lens compare to the Sigma 18-35 f1.8? I know the L is full frame and the Sigma is not. But if both used on a Super35mm sensor, how do they compare?

This is something newbies often mix up. L lenses do not mean they have good image quality, just that they use expensive rare glass. L lenses in certain cases have delivered performance much worse than consumer level alternatives.

It's also worth mentioning that lenses designed for crop cameras use tighter tolerances in manufacturing which results in higher image quality (the parts are smaller so this is easier) so generally a lens designed for crop will perform better than a lens designed for full frame. The 17-40mm L is designed for full frame and performs nearly identically to the 18-55mm kit lens, but is more expensive and worse in nearly every way (though it's color and contrast is said to be slightly better, I don't really care personally).

The 17-55mm f/2.8 IS EF-S lens is better than either the 17-40mm L or the 18-55mm kit lens. The Sigma 18-35mm is the best crop lens available right now.

17-40mm 4.0 L vs 18-35mm 1.8 ART

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=100&Camera=736&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=0&LensComp=854&CameraComp=736&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=3


17-55mm 2.8 vs 18-35mm 1.8 ART

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=398&Camera=736&Sample=0&FLI=1&API=0&LensComp=854&CameraComp=736&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=2

The 17-40mm L, 18-55mm EF-S IS II, and 17-55mm f/2.8 IS are not even worth comparing to the Sigma 18-35mm ART, the difference is incredible in favor of the Sigma.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 01:06:40 PM by Radiating »

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Re: Review: Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L by DxO Mark
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 01:00:51 PM »