17-40 f4L

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Mike Waters
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17-40 f4L

Post by Mike Waters » March 4th, 2011, 9:42 am

I plan on purchasing this lense soon. Just curious to see if anyone here has an opinion on the performance of the lense. Reviews are pretty mixed on FM.
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Kevin Price
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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Kevin Price » March 4th, 2011, 10:23 am

It's an excellent lens, but it depends on the camera you are using. If you are using a "crop frame" camera, such as a Rebel series or a 30, 40, 50, 60, or 7D series cameras, then the lens will not be as wide of an angle lens as it would be on a full frame camera such as the 5D, 1D series, or any film camera. With a 1.6 magnification due to the sensor size, the lens becomes a 27.2mm to 64mm lens, not very wide angle. Are you looking for a wide angle lens specifically?

As for the performance of the lens, it's very good. Its widest aperture is only f4, so handheld shooting in low light may be an issue, but the alternative 16-35 f2.8L is about twice the price. I've almost bought this lens myself, but since I shoot with a crop frame camera, it did not give me the wide angle images I wanted. I only have one lens designed specifically for a crop frame camera, a Tamron 10-24mm, just for the wide angle capabilities. All of my other lenses are interchangeable with either camera. When I can finally afford a full frame camera this will be the first lens I buy for it.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Mike Waters » March 4th, 2011, 11:32 am

Its for my 50d. I don't need too wide just something to replace the kit lenses 28-135.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Kevin Price » March 4th, 2011, 11:59 am

The 28-135 is actually a good lens. What do you want from a replacement; wider angle or longer reach? I have the same lens and replaced it with a 24-105L. I lost a little reach at the end but gained a constant f4 throughout the entire focal range, as well as a sharper image and better color rendition. I also have a 70-200L, a 24-70L, and the Tamron 10-24 I mentioned earlier. The 24-105L is my everyday go-to lens and is almost always on my camera. It's an excellent replacement for the 28-135 for me, it might not be for you though. It really depends on what you want the replacement to do for you.
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Mike Waters
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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Mike Waters » March 4th, 2011, 12:47 pm

I want to go a little wider and the 28-135 is not that sharp of a lens. I have heard that if you go any wider then 17 on the apsc sensor that you should go with a prime.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by J-Miz » March 4th, 2011, 1:40 pm

I cannot comment on the 17-40, as I've never tried it, so I will be of little help to you, I'm sure. It is very popular, however, and although you've heard mixed reviews I have heard generally positive remarks. I have tried a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 for just a few shots, but I have been impressed. It offers a bit more range than the 17-40, an extra stop of light, and is offered for way less. The 17-40, used, often hits around $550, correct? The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 I'd say averages $325 used. That leftover chunk of change ($225) could go towards another lens, such as a Canon 70-200mm f/4 ($500 used). I also have that lens and it is SOLID.

But if you ever do switch over to FF then I would recommend the 17-40, as I would be worried about vignetting with the Tamron on a FF body.

Canon 17-40mm f/4 samples:
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/canon/ef_1740_4l

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non-VC) samples:
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/tamron/sp_af_17-50_28

Sigma, I believe, also makes a 17-50mm f/2.8. I would guess the 17-40 would be the sharpest of the bunch...

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by chrish » March 4th, 2011, 2:13 pm

I can't speak to the 17-40L, but sigma make a very nice 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro.

Read some of the professional reviews of this lens. It is very highly regarded.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Mike Waters » March 4th, 2011, 2:22 pm

Ill check it out but I dislike sigmas slow loud clutch driven auto focus

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Kevin Price » March 4th, 2011, 2:32 pm

Mike,

I'll second on the 17-50 f2.8, either the Canon (expensive) or the Tamron. I was going to suggest that but I was not sure what you were actually looking for in a replacement lens. The 17-50 range is very good, wider than you have now but not a true wide angle on a 50D. That would require something in the 10 to 12-24 range, but the f2.8 aperture is really good when you need it. That lens paired with a used 70-200L f4 would give you a very good lens range for whatever your photographic interests are, even beyond herps.

What J-Miz suggested is right on the money.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by justinm » March 5th, 2011, 6:01 am

I used this lens on my 30D last year in Kansas the only time I have used it. I didn't get the desired results but I think it's a lens that would take time to learn. I didn't give it much effort and went back to macro and telephoto... So I can't chime in too much other than it feels nice, and has a learning curve.

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Jason Mintzer
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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Jason Mintzer » March 5th, 2011, 11:50 am

My vote is for the tamron 17-50. I have the older non vc version, but I am very pleased with the sharpness. Here are a few pics with the 17-50 on a nikon d80.

Image

Image

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by J-Miz » March 5th, 2011, 3:24 pm

Glad to see people agreeing with my recommendation ;)

I know this photo has nothing to do with herps, but I'll attach it anyways. I bought a bunch of equipment from craigslist after an elderly photographer passed away. I ended up with all sorts of goodies for dirt cheap. I tried out the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non-VC) while trying to sell a Canon 7D (already had one). I've never been any good with product photography, but I was quite pleased with the result. Conditions in the kitchen were quite dark, so I shot nearly wide open (f/3.5) and achieved this:

Image

It was waaaay better than what I would have expected from my 18-55mm IS. I started thinking about shooting herps in habitat; most of my current shots are "field guide-type" shots, but with the acquisition of this lens I think I'll expand my horizons.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Mike Waters » March 5th, 2011, 10:47 pm

well, i was kinda hoping you all would say "yeah go for the canon 17-40 its great!!!!" now i find myself bouncing back and fourth from dpreview and fm review looking at sigma and tamron. I still see that tamrons reviews for the 17-50 is that it is slow to focus and rather loud. Same with sigma. is it a better lense or just cheaper? Buying a lense is harder then naming my children :lol:

Thank you all for your input.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by J-Miz » March 6th, 2011, 6:16 am

Mike,

Among my favorite review sites is the-digital-picture.com

Here are the reviews for the lenses you're considering:

Canon 17-40mm f/4
http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ ... eview.aspx

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (non-VC)
http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ ... eview.aspx

The Sigma 17-50 and the Sigma 17-70 (that Chris mentioned) are not reviewed yet on the site.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Kevin Price » March 6th, 2011, 10:28 am

Mike,
I you want the 17-40L lens then get it, it’s an excellent lens. It's built much better and is sealed against the elements. It will work on your 50D as well as a full frame camera if you decide to get one in the future. The 17-40L is part of Canon’s more affordable line of pro lenses, all of which are f4 lenses; the 17-40L, the 24-105L, the 70-200L, and the 300L. The drawbacks between it and the Tamron, for instance, is the cost, the lack of focal length (40mm to 50mm), and its widest aperture is only f4. If you don't shoot wide open very often then it will not be an issue. The focusing is fast and very quiet on the 17-40L compared to either the Tamron or the Sigma. If the 17-40L will be replacing the only other lens you own then I would go with the Tamron 17-50 2.8. It is a more general purpose lens that can be used in varied situations. If the 17-40L is being added to compliment what you already own now, then jump on it. The 17-40L is a great compliment to the other lenses you may already own, but used as an everyday general purpose lens it is limiting.

I've debated buying certain lenses in the past and then went with suggestions or reviews from others and regretted it. Go with your gut, if you want the 17-40, and after reading what everyone else has said about it and other lenses, buy it. You are the only one who will be using it.

As I stated in a previous post, that will be the first lens I buy when I go full frame.

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Mike Waters
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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Mike Waters » March 6th, 2011, 2:48 pm

90% of time i have a sigma 100mm f2.8 on my 50d. i love the lense as i do mostly manual focus when shooting herps. It is also an absolute amazing portrait lense exept when using auto focus its loud realy slow and searches. That is a huge pain when shooting kids. That said, what i want out of this lense is something tack sharp and usm qaulity auto focus. i know tamron and sigma make great glass and you cant beat it for the price. So.... how is the auto focus and noise and speed :)

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by J-Miz » March 6th, 2011, 5:19 pm

The-digital-picture.com has reviewed the autofocus speed for the Tamron.

I would post in canon forums. Google that and register, then ask. Waaaay better place for info than here although asking on fhf never hurts.

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by Mike Waters » March 11th, 2011, 6:36 pm

thanks again guys, after 2 weeks of kicking around the three i finally just ordered the canon 17-40. Should be here in a couple days so we will see. I do appreciate all the feedback from everyone.

Mike W

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Re: 17-40 f4L

Post by justinm » March 11th, 2011, 9:08 pm

Mike,

It's a high quality lens. I haven't been shooting a ton but I need to practice with it more. It's crisp and fast and I like the pictures I've done with it. I just need to learn landscapes. I used to do portraits and weddings, and now I can't even take pics of my kid... I'm so focused on herps and it's so different doing people. Landscapes are in the boat of I'm not practiced too. I don't think you'll be sorry it's a solid lens.

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