Question for those of you that shoot 17-40L on FF

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dcheung, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. For those of you that shoot 17-40L on a FF sensor, how many of you have shot with the 20mm f/2.8 ? I have the
    20mm and it's been very sharp and I'm very satisfied with it except that sometimes, I find that it would be more
    useful to have the more versatile zoom. On, the reviewer says the 17-40 is sharper than the 20mm but on, it seems the 20mm prime is sharper on the ISO12233 comparisons. What have your
    experiences been for these 2 lenses? I'll be mainly using the lens as a landscape lens as I hike around. The
    other thing about the 20mm is that it flares a lot. Does the 17-40 flare less?

    It seems the 17-40 is a much more popular lens than the 20mm. Why is that? Does the extra 3mm make that much of
    a difference in the wide end? Is the versatility that worth it? Is the 20mm just an extremely underrated lens?
  2. you'll definitely notice the 3mm, but it may not be life-changing for you. I think the reason people go for the 17-40 is for the long end.

    It's really very nice to be able to go from something that wide, to something a little more normal with a twist of the wrist. As for the disagreement about sharpness in reviews, I think that just means that both lenses are very acceptably sharp.

    I've never used the 20mm, but I can tell you that the 17-40 is a very nice piece of kit. I've swapped it out for the 16-35, which is a bit sharper to my eye, but I didn't do it because of the sharpness, I did it for the much closer minimum focus distance.

    If you're thinking about a zoom, I'd look at the 16-35 more closely, especially now that it has been replaced by the 16-35 II... it should be a little more affordable.
  3. I have a 2003 17-40 and it's a great lens: sharp, pretty flare resistant for a zoom and well made. It does have a lot of barrel
    distortion at the wide end and exhibits light fall-off wide open at the wide end. I'm guessing the 20 2.8 probably has little
    distortion and little or no light fall-off once stopped down to f4 or so (I don't own one). So you might want to consider that. I
    also have a 24-105 4L and it's a notch or two sharper than the 17-40 at F4 and it's as wide as I normally need to go on my
  4. sbp


    I shoot the 17-40 on FF body, with great IQ and pretty good resistance to flare. If you already have the 20, you might
    consider either the 24-70 f/2.8 or 24-105 f/4. Both give great IQ, and would stretch you reach more than the 17-20.
  5. I own the 17-40 mm and I think that it is a very good lens. It exhibits excellent characteristics that are
    associated with L lenses, such as sharpness, contrast, color balance and rugged build quality. If a filter is
    kept on it, it should not suck dust into it when it zooms (Canon actually recommends using a filter for this
    purpose). It does distort at the short end, but this as well as the light fall off in the periphery can be easily
    corrected with software such as DPP, especially with the newer cameras that have the Digic IV processor. I think
    that it is popular because of the relatively low price for an L lens, as well as the range it has when used on
    cameras with APS-C sensors. This lens came out about the same time as the 10D, before the EF-S lenses were sold,
    and was marketed as a popular lens to use on the 10D, much as the 24-105 L has been marketed to be used with the
    5D. If you are doing landscapes, you most likely do not need a lens faster than f4.0. My lens has worked well on
    my 10D as well as my 5D. Some of these lenses had a problem with banding when used with the 5D due to electrical
    noise. This relates, I think, to earlier production lenses and can be verified with the lens serial number. There
    is a
    replacement electronics board for the lens that Canon can install for around $125.00 US (the last time I checked).
  6. "It does distort at the short end, but this as well as the light fall off in the periphery can be easily corrected with software
    such as DPP, especially with the newer cameras that have the Digic IV processor."

    Actually the lens correction features work with any EOS DSLR. I have bodies with Digic II, III & IV and processor
    generation has zero impact on the DPP's lens correction options (delete dust data is another matter).
  7. Thanks, Puppy, for the clarification concerning DPP. What I should have said is that some cameras such as the 5D do not send distance information to DPP. The distance slider is therefore set to gray. I believe that in those situations you can manually set the slider, although I think there is no scale on the slider. The newer cameras such as the 50D and the 5D mark II do communicate the distance to DPP, so the distance slider is automatically active. Please correct me if I am mistaken.
  8. Why is the 17-40 so popular? Not only is it a very nice lens, but it's quite well priced for an L optic. Also it pairs very nicely with the 24-105, which is an incredibly good lens.
  9. One reason why the 17-40 is so popular is that those of us with 1.6-crop bodies have few other reasonably affordable pro-quality zooms which are equivalent to what a 28-x is on full frame. And, among the full-frame crowd, I suspect it's popular because it's a reasonably affordable pro-quality ultrawide zoom.
    The 20/2.8 has a bit of a mixed reputation. There are some who say it's disappointing, and others who say it's great. Having never used it, I can't even provide a personal opinion on one sample of it, let alone all of 'em; sorry.
    Yes, the extra 3 mm make a difference. On a 1.6-crop body, where the difference between "17" and "20" is equivalent to roughly the difference between 27 and 32, it's noticeable. On a full-frame body, it's a much more pronounced difference (I briefly used the 17-40 on a film body before going digital).
  10. I shoot a 17-40 as well, I just wish it was a sharp as the 24-105...

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