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Old Sep 8, 2004, 3:12 AM   #11
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The lens is back on the web sites. There've been a lot of complaints about the drop, and some conclusions drawn about Canon hurting the consumer in that move. Perhaps it was a mistake; perhaps they backed down. It'd be interesting to find out if the support line still stays that it's to be dropped, or to find out why they said it was going to be dropped and it's back now.
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Old Sep 12, 2004, 4:18 PM   #12
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I am so confusedwith the fact that everyone loves this lens. I bought one from B&H via mail order last weekand when it arrived I made a whole set of test shots comparing it to the rather low quality 18-55 I got with the Digital Rebel kit. Once I downloaded the pictures and compared them, I could not even tell the difference between the lenses. I made more test shots with tripod, self timer and all, and again, the L lens was just as un-sharp as the 18-55 at all apertures. I couldn't see a difference in color saturation either. I thought about it for a day, and then returned the 17-40L to B&H. If I can't tell the difference, why pay $700. Could it be that I received a bad lens? Maybe Canon will replace this lens with something a little better in a similar price range. I would be thrilled...
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Old Sep 12, 2004, 6:40 PM   #13
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I think it is due in small part to being one of two affordable L lenses (as far as affordable goes for L glass) that Canon makes. Also popular due to its focal length range that seems to fit the needs of a digital camera so well, especially for wide angle focal shots

I think you had a bad example, for it seems to be very popular with a lot of people out there who gush emphatically, poetically, and enthusiastically on just how good it is.
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Old Sep 12, 2004, 9:13 PM   #14
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Under optimal conditions, the difference is not going to be night and day. However, under torture conditions, I found the 17-40 to be better:

- Better resistance to flare in extreme lighting conditions
- Less CA in exteme contrast shots

Also, USM which allows Full-time-Manual, and internal focussing which results in non-rotation of the front element (perfect for polarized filters and split neutral density filters). (Of course, the Japanese 18-55 does have this I believe).

Lastly, it fits on any EF lens mount, allowing up to a full-frame sensor, which the 18-55 does not. The 17-40 has to worry about being good to the corners, while the 18-55 does not.

So there it is. In test shots off a tripod in decent conditions, yes the 18-55 may be comparable. But in harsh lighting conditions differences are noticeable, and there are other differences that may be worth it for some photographers.

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Old Sep 12, 2004, 9:25 PM   #15
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Without knowing what the "and all" is in how you did the test, I can't say why your shots weren't as sharp.

I don't have a problem with sharpenss with mine. And places like photozone.de rate it at 4.36 out of 5 for sharpness. The 18-55 is rated at 0.61.

So either you didn't do your testing right or you got a bad 17-40.

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Old Sep 13, 2004, 2:32 PM   #16
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