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Old Mar 6, 2010, 7:00 AM   #1
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Good morning all,

I have been lurking around the forum for a while now picking up on the good advice, hints and tips given by the members here but now I am after some advice.

I have the chance of keeping one of two lenses. I am after some advice on which one to keep as a general/everyday lens for my EOS 20D. The lenses are:

Canon 17-40mm 1:4 L USM
Canon 17-35mm 1:2.8 L USM

I wont have the opportunity to test them on the camera so really after some advice. I know the 17-35mm is no longer supported by Canon but both lenses are mint and fully working.

Thanks for any help you can give...

Adam
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 8:25 AM   #2
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From what I can see, they're both very good. If you can't decide based on the focal length and aperture, I think you should just flip a coin.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 8:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply,

Whilst the lenses are very similar i'm not sure which focal length would be the better bet.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 8:51 AM   #4
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It depends on what you want to shoot. As a "general/everyday lens", the longer focal length makes more sense. But the difference between the angle of view at 35mm and at 40mm is only about 13% (well within what you could get away with just by cropping.) And I do a lot of available light shooting, so I'd go with the larger aperture.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 9:43 AM   #5
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Since your not going to be able to test them you might go for the 17-40 4. Most information I have read has the 17-40 on par with and even exceeding the 17-35. Also the 17-35 apparently had significant copy to copy differences, whereas the 17-40 seems to stay fairly even from copy to copy. The 17-40 wide open is sharper than the 17-35 wide open. Not sure how soft the 17-35 is wide open and Im sure stopped down it gets sharper. Another factor is how acceptable is the wide open sharpness of the 17-35 ? If it needs to be stopped down to f/4 in order to have acceptable sharpness then it really loses its larger aperture appeal.

Service is another issue. If the 17-35 ends up needing service will you be able to get it serviced and how much will it cost seeings its no longer supported?

I think the 17-40 has more in its favor than the advantage the larger aperture of the 17-35 "might" offer you.

Last edited by Widowmaker; Mar 6, 2010 at 11:11 AM.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 11:15 AM   #6
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Ok, but there's a full f-stop difference between the two, wide open. There's every reason to beleive that the 17-35/2.8 is as sharp or sharper at f/4.0 than the 17-40/4 is.

The only direct comparison between the two is on PhotoZone.de's User surveys. The 17-35/2.8 gets a score of 3.80 while the 17-40/4 gets a 3.87.

And I believe we're talking about the 17-35/2.8, not the 16-35/2.8. Am I correct?
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Ok, but there's a full f-stop difference between the two, wide open. There's every reason to beleive that the 17-35/2.8 is as sharp or sharper at f/4.0 than the 17-40/4 is.

The only direct comparison between the two is on PhotoZone.de's User surveys. The 17-35/2.8 gets a score of 3.80 while the 17-40/4 gets a 3.87.

And I believe we're talking about the 17-35/2.8, not the 16-35/2.8. Am I correct?
You would think that but based on the reviews I read the 17-35 falls short of the 17-40. Although not direct comparisons you can come to a conclusion based on the reviews showing the 16-35 besting the 17-35 and then the 16-35 being bested by the 17-40.

http://luminous-landscape.com/review...es/16-35.shtml

http://luminous-landscape.com/review...on-17-40.shtml

17-35 left and 16-35 right both at 2.8. 16-35 clearly better.




17-40 @f4 / 16-35 @f4. Not a direct comparison of the lenses in question but since the 16-35 bested the 17-35 you can draw a conclusion.



The review also shows edge performance.

17-40 vs 16-35.. again with the 16-35 besting the 17-35 and the 17-40 besting the 16-35.. draw your own conclusion


The do show the 16-35 slightly better than the 17-40 at 35mm and f/4 but the difference is not as drastic. There is enough information between reviews so you can at the very least say the 17-40 would match or exceed the 17-35 at 35mm f/4.

Based on all of this I would say the 17-40 is the clear choice. Still in service, slightly more range and noticeably better IQ in many ways. Looking at examples and considering the 17-40 is sharper at f/4 than the 17-35 at f/4, the larger aperture is not that appealing.

Last edited by Widowmaker; Mar 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM.
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Old Mar 7, 2010, 1:12 PM   #8
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haven't tried 17-35, but tried really hard to like 17-40 on my crop camera. AF is great, as well as colours, contrast and saturation, but for my usual use it was neither long enough, nor wide enough and it's not fast enough as well. On a crop camera just buy 17-55 f/2.8 IS and be done with it, on a limited budget you can look at Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, or Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 macro, or Tokina 16-50 f/2.8. Just my $0.05 worth.
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Old Mar 7, 2010, 4:39 PM   #9
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Stopped down to f5.6 the 17-40 is very sharp all over at most focal lengths. Great wide-angle choice on FF.

But on a 20D? Nah, I don't think I'd choose either one. I would be far more inclined to go for one of the APS-C format lenses, pick up IS in the bargain. The 15-85 IS for example is almost identically priced to the 17-40, and a much better choice on a crop body IMO.
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Old Mar 7, 2010, 8:36 PM   #10
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Maybe I misunderstood the OPs question. My impression was these were used lenses he already had in hand and was limited to the two.
If not, and budget allowing, I would definitely go with the 17-55 IS 2.8 over the 15-85 IS. Price aside, the only real advantage of the 15-85 IS is the focal range.

Last edited by Widowmaker; Mar 8, 2010 at 1:05 PM.
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