Canon lens 17-40 mm VS 24-70 mm

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by sombat_krairit, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Still undecide between these 2 lens from Canon

    1. 17-40 MM f/4 USM EF
    2. 24-70 MM f2.8 L USM

    The second one is more expensive but I've been told that the 24-70 is a sharper
    len. Any suggestion ? Thanks
  2. What camera are you going to use the lens on? Also, what type of images do you want to take with this lens?
  3. Is low light capability important? The 24-70 is one stop faster. At ISO 3200 and f/2.8, sometimes I can barely squeeze by and get a fast enough shutter speed.
  4. The differences between these two lenses is not so much their sharpness (which are probably comparable) but for their focal length. Assuming a 1.6 crop factor camera body : the 17-40 L is roughly in the moderate wide angle to a standard lens length, while the 24-70 L goes from a slightly wide angle to a short telephoto.

    I suggest instead of thinking about sharpness you think in terms of focal length. Which focal length would appeal more to you? Which focal length would you tend to use more?

    The two lenses also come from two different Canon lens groups. The 17-40 L has its equivalent in the 24-105 L which are both f/4 lenses and very good value.

    The 24-70 L has the 16-35 L as its equivalent as they are both f/2.8 and as you say more expensive.
  5. Thanks for the comments,I plan to use this len for my Canon 40D that I purchased with 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. For some reasons I am not totally satisfy with 28-135 and I plan to trade in this one. As for now this is the only len I have, and most of my subjects cover street photograph from the car , my kids play around the house, birthday parties,landscape.
  6. Sombat, for your only lens on the 40D, I do not think that the 24-70 will be versatile enough - esp. for what you want to use it for. If you decide to stay with a crop sensor body in the long run, then a better alternative might be the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS lens. If you want to stay full frame compatible, you could get either the 17-40 or the 16-35 lens.
  7. I agree with your assessment of the 28-135 - rather an average performer. I suggest you look at the 24-105 f/4 L IS as maybe the closest of the L quality lenses to your current lens. The better sharpness of this lens will compensate for the shorter maximum focal length as you will be able to crop more.

    However if you want a larger max aperture then the 24-70 L f2.8 might be the one.
  8. ...and if you want a wider lens then the 17-40 L.
  9. Hello Sombat,

    You might consider how much weight you want to hang on your neck. As well as being a lot bulkier, especially with the hood mounted, the 24-70 (2.1lb) is almost twice as heavy as the 17-40 (1.1lb). The 17-40+XT is about as much weight as I want to carry for any length of time; if I had to carry the 24-70 I would probably croak. Of course I'm an old geezer, if you're young with a strong neck it probably wouldn't bother you. By the way, I have found the 17-40 to be very sharp. The 24-70 may well be sharper, I don't know, but probably not enough to make any practical difference.
  10. Buy for the appropriate focal length you will be needing. Sharpness will mostly be determined by your technique.
  11. These are such different lenses that starting with "which is sharper" is the wrong question.
    If the wrong lens is "sharper" it is still the wrong lens.

    The real question here is what photographic need are you trying to meet? If your
    requirements are met by the 17-40 then that is your lens - if you are doing photography
    that requires the features of the 24-70 then it is your lens.

    You mention street photography on a crop sensor 40D. I've had success using the 17-40
    on crop and FF bodies for this purpose, but my stylistic approach may not be the same as
    yours. On your 40D it will be a wide to slightly telephoto zoom, perhaps suitable for
    working in slightly close quarters. However, the f/4 maximum aperture could be an issue,
    again depending upon your approach.

    The 24-70 is a very large lens. While it can't be ruled out as a street photography lens, it
    would seem like a somewhat unusual choice - though this again depends on what and
    how you shoot.

    Have you considered the EFS17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens? In many ways it seems like a more
    obvious and versatile choice for your camera and your described needs than either of the
    other two option.

    You might even think about trying the new image-stabilized version of the 18-55 EFS kit

    Some information about WHY you are unsatisfied with the current 28-135 would help as
    well. If it is just a focal length issue - and it could be - that would be one thing; it is an
    "image quality" issue, the problem may or may not be resolved by switching lenses.

  12. I would also vouch for the 17-40 if planning to go full frame (especially since you mentioned landscapes). I would also get the 50 f/1.8 for a cheap but very useful portrait/low light lens... I have both of these, and am very happy with them on my 400D and my film rebel G cameras.
  13. f/4 may be problematic indoors, without a good amount of supplemental light. Sometimes, f/2.8 may not be enough, either. Though, f/2.8 will be much better than the variable rate of the 28-135 you now have.
  14. I love my 17-40. It is very sharp. Most of the prints I sell are 13 by
    19 and are quite sharp. My main other lens is the 70-200 f4 IS. I do agree with Colin, the 24-105 IS would make a wonderful all purpose
    walk around lens. The IS will make hand holdable at lower shutter speeds.
  15. I have the 17-40L and love it... fantastic lens. Indoors, it's a little lacking... but that is made up somewhat by the fact that it's only a 17-40, which means slower shutter speeds are a little easier to handhold.

    For landscape i'd suggest the 17-40L in a heartbeat... although you mention street photography, which almost makes me wonder if the 24-70L would be a better option... it's not really wide, but it does have a little better reach for people pictures, and is significantly better in low light situations.

    The 17-40L / 50 1.8 probably isn't a bad combination though from the sounds of it. When all else fails, I typically end up picking up the 50 1.8 for it's all-around quality and low light capabilities.
  16. which means slower shutter speeds are a little easier to handhold.
    Agreed, but just like Image Stabilization, that doesn't help freeze the motion of your subjects. ;-) Also, the 50mm is a tad long for indoor (home) use; especially on an APS-C body.
  17. I don't find the 50 too long indoors... but that's just shooting style I suppose. 35 f2 maybe? To be honest, if you are planning to do any indoor / low light shooting at all, then you will probably regret skipping the 24-70L. But if you are more concerned with wider shots... the 17-40L is really an amazingly good lens. Sharp and excellent colors and contrast.
  18. We can go in circles for ever.

    Sombat; what's the problem you are trying to solve? What's wrong with the 28-135?

    My current "winners choice" kit starts with the 10-22/EF-S paired with the 24-105/4L and a 430EX flash. Expanding later to the 50/1.4; 100-400/5.6/L; 85/1.8 (in that order). My opinion on ideal kits varyies every few months.

    With a 28-135/IS in the bag, my logical next step would be to get the 10-22/EF-S. Unless there is some special problem with the 28-135/IS.
  19. Thank you all of you for your useful comments, Jim , there is nothing wrong with my 28-135 only I find it isn't easy to shoot under low light situation. I purchased this len together with my 40D + 580EX II a month ago ,and believed to be a good price value.
    Then came conversation & tried out some equipments with my friends who are professional photographers like some of you guys.

    One has 17-40 on his 5D, and the other has 24-70 on his 1Ds Mark III
    Of course with the FF and top of the line bodies, it is beyond comparison with my 40D. In the future, I plan to buy a FF Canon body ,but for now I will enjoy my 40D with what lens ? will see.

    Well,you know sometime we make quick decisions on much more important things in life without thinking twice.

    Enjoy Life & Happy Shooting

  20. only I find it isn't easy to shoot under low light situation
    Then, you want to get a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster. If faster than f/2.8, it won't be a zoom.

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