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Thread: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?

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    EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    Hey Everyone,


    Some funds have been available and I'm really considering purchasing the 17-40L. I'm using the 5D Mark II and am really starting to consider a spot for it in my kit, as I'm going on a trip to Italy and France over March break (along with a lot of nature/outdoor photography opportunities over the next two weeks).


    Here is what I own as of now:


    5D Mark II


    24-70L


    70-200 f/2.8L IS II** (italicized because I'm picking one up later this week - I sold my 70-200 f/2.8 IS Mark I today [])


    50 f/1.8


    (2) Speedlite 580 EX II's


    I feel like I have the telephoto end covered in my kit with the 70-200 (other than when shooting sports, but I'll hold the "Should I buy the 1D Mark III" discussion for another thread... []), but I find myself rather limited to what I can do on the wide end (24mm). F/4, as much as it is slower than all of my other lenses, won't bother me - With the ISO performance of the 5D Mark II and two flashes (and the 50mm), I feel "covered" for low-light situations. It should also be noted that the Tokina 12-24mm was the most used lens on my 40D during a trip to Europe two summers ago. No wonder I miss ultra-wides with the 5D... []


    Here a some questions I have:


    What do you like about the lens? How does it perform optically in the real world (sharpness across the frame, contrast, saturation)? Do you find the 16-35 f/2.8L a significant improvement in image quality over the 17-40 at apertures narrower than f/5.6?



    If you have any photos shot with the 17-40L and would like to share them to hook me, feel free to post them here!


    Thanks in advance for your help. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!


    -Alex

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    Senior Member dsiegel5151's Avatar
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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?






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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    Alex I think the 17-40 f/4L is fantastic value for money - especially when compared to the 16-35mm f/2.8L. I haven
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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    I've never used the 16-35, but I'm very happy with the 17-40. Color/contrast are good and the lens is very sharp when stopped down (which is how I use it). I would say that if you don't plan to shoot wider than f/4 and don't have infinite funds, the 17-40 would be the choice.


    I have a lot of difficulty with wide angle shots, so I don't have a great one to post. But here is a mediocre one I shot at Yellowstone with the 17-40 at 17mm and f/11:


    [img]/resized-image.ashx/__size/800x0/__key/CommunityServer-Discussions-Components-Files/8/8054.pool.JPG[/img]


    Again- I haven't compared the two lenses head to head, but I'm satisfied with the 17-40. if I ever upgrade to the 16-35 it will be for the extra stop, not for the IQ.









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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    Even with my crop cameras, I've always found myself reaching for the 17-40 despite having the 10-22 as well. If the focal length I need is available to both, I will no doubt reach for the 17-40. I'm also looking to get the 5D mk??? at some point and can only imagine the pairing. Also, as Jon wrote above, I think it'd be a rare occasion you'd need an f/2.8 on a lens like this. Here are some shots to share from when I still owned a Rebel XT.















  6. #6
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    If the question is should you add a UWA zoom to your kit, the answer is yes, IMO. It's a great focal length for travel shots, landscapes, etc., which will certainly abound in Italy and France.


    Then the question is which UWA zoom. I debated the 17-40mm vs. the 16-35mm II a couple of months ago, and from what I could tell and based on many reviews and the advice of others here, the consensus is that the if you are going to stop down the lens to f/8, there's very little difference in IQ between the two lenses. The 17-40mm has an advantage in that it uses 77mm fliters like your 24-70mm and the 70-200mm II. The 16-35mm II does seem to be a better optical performer at apertures narrower than f/5.6, especially away from the center of the frame, and also at the widest end of the range. CA is better on the 16-35mm II as well.


    Personally, I opted for the 16-35mm mainly for the extra stop of light. I suspect it will see a lot of use at f/8-11, where the 17-40mm would have worked as well. However, already on some night time photo walks, I've run into situations where I was already at ISO 3200 on my 5DII and needed the extra stop of light for handheld shots, and some travel shots will likely be building interiors where flash and tripod aren't permitted, so I'll want every bit of light possible (which is why I'm now debating the 24mm f/1.4L II vs. the 35mm f/1.4L for two more stops compared to the 16-35mm). Still, if the choice isn't 17-40mm vs. 16-35mm, but rather 17-40mm vs. no UWA zoom at all, I'd certainly opt for the 17-40mm!


    Enjoy your new 70-200mm II - I really love mine on the 5DII.


    --John

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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist
    some travel shots will likely be building interiors where flash and tripod aren't permitted, so I'll want every bit of light possible (which is why I'm now debating the 24mm f/1.4L II vs. the 35mm f/1.4L for two more stops compared to the 16-35mm).

    My apologies for digressing (as I confess am wont), but this would seem to be a job for the 24-105 IS, which is just as hand-holdable as the 24 f/1.4 but gets you the shots with more DOF. No?



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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    While everyone, I picked it up! Sorry John... [6]


    I had the chance to take some shots downtown with it this morning, and I like it so far - It's a great focal range that I missed dearly with the 24-70L. I personally doubt the 17-40L will be the "go-to" lens for my general purpose use (family, around the house) - The 24-70L currently holds that title - But I will have an ultra-wide lens readily available when I need it most - Landscapes, architecture and travel photography. I checked out some f/4, f/8 and f/11 samples quickly on the 5D II's LCD, and this one, IMO, looks really nice in terms of image quality. Sure, it may not be up there with the 16-35 in terms of sharpness in the corners, but for my uses, the 17-40L gets the job done.


    Thank you everyone for your advice!



    Aleks

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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Ruyle
    My apologies for digressing (as I confess am wont), but this would seem to be a job for the 24-105 IS, which is just as hand-holdable as the 24 f/1.4 but gets you the shots with more DOF. No?

    In this case, I'm planning for people in the shots as well, where I'll trade DoF for shutter speed since IS won't help as much in that scenario. For shots of static scenes, yes the 24-105mm would be better (in fact, I typed in a phrase to that effect in my post, then deleted it before posting). But also, the 24mm prime has much less barrel distortion than the 24-105mm at 24mm, which would help for the building itself (though obviously a tripod and the TS-E 24mm is the best choice if possible).

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    Re: EF 17-40mm f/4 L - Do I jump on it?



    You're right about the distortion, but as for super slow shutter speeds with people, I really don't see a problem:


    [img]/resized-image.ashx/__size/500x0/__key/CommunityServer-Discussions-Components-Files/8/1680.IMG_5F00_5579.JPG[/img]












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