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Archive 2011 · Question: Keep my 17-40 f/4L or trade for 16-35 f/2.8L I...
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Question: Keep my 17-40 f/4L or trade for 16-35 f/2.8L II + boot

Gunzorro wrote:
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. :-)

Take care,


Dec 12, 2011 at 01:54 AM

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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Question: Keep my 17-40 f/4L or trade for 16-35 f/2.8L II + boot

You guys crack me up with this pedantic IQ argument. Did any of you read the OP?? The relevant section: "to post on the internet on real estate multiple listing services, my web site, and for flyers".
He's not doing 16 X 24 art prints to hang in a gallery, any lens that has the focal length range he needs will be fine. Sheesh....

To the OP, I think you would benefit from the 10-22. Ideally combine that with 17-55, but if that's out of reach financially then use a kit zoom instead of the 17-55. It'll be just fine.

Dec 12, 2011 at 03:12 AM
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Question: Keep my 17-40 f/4L or trade for 16-35 f/2.8L II + boot

I thank each of you for your valuable insights!!! It has been an education to me.

Dec 12, 2011 at 03:27 AM
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Question: Keep my 17-40 f/4L or trade for 16-35 f/2.8L II + boot

For real estate photos (listings/brochures) the 17-40 and 16-35 are not wide enough on a crop body. Go wider - either the canon 10-22 (excellent) or the super-wides from sigma or tamron.

a TSE lens will be overkill, and not wide enough on a crop body.

The trick is to keep the camera level. Keep the camera back straight (perpendicular to the floor). Shoot wide enough to get everything you need with the camera upright - then crop as needed. Shooting with a wider-then-necessary lens, and keeping the camera upright will provide the same effect as a shift lens. You will want to stop down a few stops to eliminate vignetting. Pay attention to distracting clutter in the image, and try to mix exterior light with interior lighting. A few slave flashes might be needed to pump up the interior.

If you have to tilt the camera (to frame a tight space) you can open the image in photoshop and use the transform>distort tool to pull the walls to an orthogonal image.

Trading a 17-40 for a 16-35 will provide a minimal gain (at significant cost).

Dec 12, 2011 at 03:52 AM
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Question: Keep my 17-40 f/4L or trade for 16-35 f/2.8L II + boot

Ian.Dobinson wrote:
this is a flawed way of thinking.
you will end up with a lens which has a totaly different FOV .
on your 7D the 16-35 acts as a wide 25-55 zoom but on a FF body its an UWA (your only overlap is 10mm) .
If you buy decent lens that suits your needs now then if you do Upgrade to FF (and not everyone needs to) then you will be able to sell that lens at very little loss.

if your using a 17-40 now and want a stop faster on a crop the how about the 17-55 IS
...Show more

+1 buy lenses for what you shoot now. On APS-C if you need 2.8 get the tokina 11-16. Perfect lens and great combo with the 17-55 2.8 IS (or tamron equiv).

Dec 12, 2011 at 08:30 AM

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