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| p.2 #1 · Question: Keep my 17-40 f/4L or trade for 16-35 f/2.8L II + boot |
Some of us, have owned both lenses at the same time and took the time to do an extensive series of photograpsh the same subjects with both lenses, at various apertures on a tripod, then compared the images A-B on the computer at 100%, and were able to come to conclusions as to which produced better images. Perhaps you were not able to do so.
Ooh, ouch. I guess that if you don't actually purchase and own all possible gear combinations, you cannot possibly have a valid opinion on gear? ;-)
On the other hand, many of us carefully and extensively evaluated a ton of reports and tests and stacked them up against what we know about image quality from making a lot of photographs in print and other forms and decided to not purchase the 17-40, and after using it for thousands and thousand of photographs, we find that it is an excellent lens for the work we do. Let's call this an educated opinion.
I have no doubt that the 16-35 is a wonderful lens - I wrote as much in my post. I also have no doubt that the 17-40 is a wonderful lens. I'll stick to my position that either can produce excellent photographs and the real question is how the strengths/weaknesses of each stack up against your particular photographic needs.
By the way, you'll hear plenty of folks offer plenty of different subjective opinions on their own actual experience with both lenses. Just this week in a thread on Google+, QT Luong (look him up if you aren't familiar with his work) took the exact opposite position. He also owns both lenses and wrote: " I've both 17-40 and 16-35 and I like the 17-40 better in general." If nothing else, this suggests the subjectivity of the points of view of even those who, like you, do own and use both. (By the way, for anyone who is looking for the 16-35 for their work, the context of the discussion was a link to an exceptional price on the 16-35mm f/2.8 L.)
I will say again that for crop sensor, the OP wouldn't really notice any practical difference other than the one stop wide open, so it is a good idea for him to stay with the 17-40L.
If the OP is going to consider a "better lens" for crop, I'd recommend looking at the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. The performance of the 17-40 on crop presents a few real issues. First, a known weakness of the 17-40 is corner softness at f/4. With diffraction blur becoming an issue sooner as you stop down on crop, there aren't a lot of really great apertures left if you want sharp corners. (If you shoot subjects where that isn't a concern, this might not be such an issue. ) The addition of a quite good f/2.8 aperture on the EFS lens gives it a couple more useful apertures on crop compared to the 17-40. On top of that it has a significantly larger focal length range and it adds IS - which can be quite useful in at least some situations.
And, yes, I did use the 17-40 on crop for a couple of years. :-)