I already have a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 for my 70D, so I was looking for something to use on my 5DIII. The used price of a 16-35 F4 is almost double the price of this 17-40 here, so I think I'll just wait it out for the mark III 16-35 to have an effect on the price of the old mark II, then I'll grab one of those; there just seems to be too much negativity surrounding the 17-40
Thanks for your input guys.
Hi Stewart, I can relate to your situation. Before picking up the 6D, I shot a Tokina 11-16 on my 70D. However after upgrading to full frame, it only made sense to pick up a UWA zoom for it as well, for landscape shots and the like. While the new 16-35 f/4L IS is the better lens the 17-40 is no slouch, especially if stopped down and used for landscape. Most people focus on sharpness, but one area where I believe the new lens is better is distortion on the edges. For example if you shoot at 17mm on the 17-40 and have people on the edge, they'll look bloated and fat. Again, not really an issue shooting landscapes, and frankly this is an issue all UWA lenses deal with, just some do it better then others.
I ended up picking up a used 17-40 for $400 of craigslist and have been very happy with the results I get from the lens. Personal Note: Of course I managed to drop it this last summer Cracking the front element, denting the filter, only a month or two after owning it so I had to send it in for a repair. Of course with all the part replaced it's essentially a new lens.
But like you I struggled, as people on this forum speak as if it's a bad lens and the new one is sooo much better. The reality is that if you looked at posts 5 years ago I'm sure you'd find the same people singing praises of the 17-40L.
I don't get super pixel peeping, test chart shooting. I just care about real world results. When the deal on the 17-40 came along, I was hesitant. What put me over the edge what this guy's video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7n1L1QCjqU
It's a little long, and he does start out test chart shooting, etc. But I look at the images he can create and very quickly realized that it is not going to be the 17-40 f/4 or the 16-35 f/4 that will be holding me back. The reality is the lenses are much closer in performance then you'd think reading on a forum full or enthusiasts and pros who are always salivating over the latest greatest.
One other thing that held me back, is these are slow lenses. I'm just a poor enthusiast so getting the most out of my gear is important. I asked myself if maybe I needed an f/2.8 UWA zoom so the lens could double for event style shooting as well. I got close to picking up a Tokina 16-28 f/2.8 however the lack of being able to take filters was a no go for me. Same issue when eyeing the new Tamron 15-30.
I took My 6D and only this 17-40 as my only gear into my yearly BWCA trip this year and am very happy with the results. I got a handful of solid, long exposure, scenic shots up there and am glad I brought this lens.
In short I can recommend this lens (assuming you get a good copy), especially if you are getting it for sub $500. I feel that is good value. My biggest personal complaint (and could be just my copy) the focus/zoom rings are not the most damped. I've missed more then one shot by bumping the focus ring in between focusing (BBF) and pulling the trigger. But with anything else, it is just getting trained/experienced with your gear.
Best of luck on whatever you decide and happy shooting!