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Archive 2013 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?
  
 
nburwell
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Justin Grimm wrote:
I'm a ridiculous perfectionist, and I love my 17-40. My smallest lens, it doesn’t extend when zooming, nothing to worry about when wet, relatively cheap, and super sharp. The only drawback is being F4, but I still managed to get some nice crisp stars with it. You won’t be able to get those crazy glowing Milky Way shots though. If you wanted milky way shots you could just buy a Samyang 14mm 2.8 and a 17-40 together, and still be cheaper then a 16-35


I have the 16-35mm now, which I use for nightscapes and landscapes. I'm probably going to go back to the 17-40 which I love and pick up a Rokinon 14mm for my milky way images. Don't get me wrong, the 16-35 is a great lens, but I loved the 17-40 in my bag when I had it.

-Nick



Jul 12, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


I love the 16-35L II, but, as Dan suggests, if you are shooting landscape from a tripod at intermediate to small apertures (f/8-13), there really isn't much gain from the more expensive lens. Buy the 17-40L and save the money, weight and size.

Tilt/shift lenses are a whole other issue. Frankly, the number of people actually using them in the field, especially among what you might call "serious" landscape photographers is very limited. I'm fortunate enough to "hang with" a good number of such folks, including some who cut their photographic teeth on large format film photography... and I don't know a single one who regularly goes into the field with a TS lens. One or two might occasionally use one for a very special shot, but most don't. While there are those in photography forums who will act as if serious landscape photography requires TS lenses - and there is a very small number of good photographers who actually use them at times - their use in the real world is far, far less than the discussions among equipment geeks might suggest. Go slow on that one! I don't know who your landscape photography heroes might be, but several successful and well-known landscape photographers who shoot Canon and do very good work rely on the 17-40. Dan

Where to begin. . . ?

I agree that there are far fewer "serious", serious, or pseudo-serious owners/users of the TS-E lenses, regularly using them in ANY field outside of architecture. But. . . photographers in any field trying to capture the best IQ within the focal range offered from TSE lenses rely on them not only for their movements and panoramic capabilities, but especially for their superior optical properties and low aberrations. I think this is pretty well known and established factually and shouldn't need to be debated endlessly.

The purported fact that you hang with out with superior outdoor photographers that successfully use commonplace zoom lenses shouldn't be used to negate the pursuit of quality imaging by others. While this may be what you have experienced, it is truly anecdotal evidence, not a wide-ranging truth.

I don't really have any photo heroes, outside of maybe Ansel Adams and Pete Turner (how's that for diverse? ). But on this very forum, I think Peter Figen makes some pretty impressive statements (with notable examples on the TSE images thread) using various TSE lenses on a wide range of subjects, from portraits to products to interiors and more. Stanj also has some amazing shots with these lenses, that easily translate technically to landscape shooting. Good ol' Fred Miranda regularly posts TSE landscape shots here. I could go on. . . there are many amazing TSE contributors on the various FM sections.

If you had wanted to say that people embarking on photography are foolish to lug large expensive TSE lenses around, that would be your opinion, and a very entertaining one to hold. And if that IS your opinion (not saying it is), then be straight-up about it, and lay it on the line for discussion. But if you want your opinion on the subject to be taken seriously (which you apparently DO), you might want to limit the discussion to what you and your buddies like to take into the field, rather than continually poo-poo the TSE (and expensive "L" prime) lenses.

I'm going to coin a new acronym here. TSE = Thoughtful, Superlative Execution. I think that applies to their use, rather than "serious". I'll go out on a limb here and offer my opinion: TSE users tend to be more methodical in their planning and tend to pre-visualize their final result more than most non-TSE users. That's open for discussion or dispute!

Back to the topic, I generally agree with Dan -- being in the right location at the right time with any decent camera/lens combo is the main consideration. The 17-40L should suit most tripod-mounted FF outdoor photography needs (wide angle).

(We're gonna have to hire lawyers soon to draft our forum responses! Ha-ha! )



Jul 12, 2013 at 02:38 PM
mitesh
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Gunzorro wrote:
We're gonna have to hire lawyers soon to draft our forum responses! Ha-ha!


And if you thought you had already seen the end of civility on these forums....



Jul 12, 2013 at 02:45 PM
outlawyer
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Gunzorro wrote:
(We're gonna have to hire lawyers soon to draft our forum responses! Ha-ha! )


While I didn't draft it, I did review it. Bill's in the mail, all major credit cards accepted.



Jul 12, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Or hire tenured professors as expert witnesses!

Ha-ha! Thanks for the review, out(door)lawyer.



Jul 12, 2013 at 04:22 PM
gregfountain
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Okay, maybe it wasn't a simple question after all! I appreciate ALL opinions and experiences, whether in support of the 17-40 or against. I have made up my mind to get the 17-40. I shoot with a 5d3 and will definitely use a tripod, even if it isn't stopped down. As I age, my ability to hand-hold below 1/60 is declining. As for the TSE, well, it would be one of those "special" lenses that would require a lot of practice, but beyond landscapes, I would use it for interior shots. I recently submitted a proposal for some staff portraits at a local dentistry office, and they asked me to include some environmental shots of their offices, for which I will probably just use my 24-70, or the 17-40 if I have it, and there's enough space to use a tripod.

As for who my heros are? Most anyone better than I, and that is a very long list, especially right here in this forum!



Jul 12, 2013 at 04:32 PM
StillFingerz
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Hi Greg, late to the party but here's my two bits...

The 17-40L is a nice lens...understatement...and as of late on my crop bodies it often gets more use then my 10-22...seems odd but I just like it's feel, balance and other characteristics a bit more. Instead of carrying a decades old favorite 24-85, the later is just gathering dust more n more.

When 16mm is required you just can't beat having it and I imagine having a fast f2.8 glass is much the same. But for everyday use, portability and quality of image, the 17-40 fits 'my style' perfectly. On my 40D it's become a walk around lens. From landscape, street shooting, even for some close-up it manages the task.

After 40 plus years, the 17-40L, 100L and 70-200L comprise my daily kit, along with a set of extension tubes and a 1.4x T/C; with a fast prime, usually a 50 f1.4 when lower light requires. My shooting rarely includes evening/low light type events. Budget is an issue, but so is weight, not total gear, but gear in hand.

I doubt the 10-22 will leave my kit, with a 7D now in place there is much to be discovered and they make for a great combo...so far. But, as with film, when the move to full frame digital is reached, the above mention 3 lens 'L' kit will more then meet my needs!

Quality, lighter weight glass has spoiled me, 'L' zooms even more so. If physical ability, budget, did so permit I've no doubt f2.8 L's would be lusted for, for now f4 L's work great and getting older the reduced weight, added convenience does persuade with little effort.

In another thread gear lust was revealed, it's still within, yet practicality is trumping that hunger more n more with every shot, outing...kind of...hey I've got L glass...no complaints here

Jerry



Jul 12, 2013 at 06:37 PM
bboule
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Count me as one who says the corners are fine.. you just have to stop down & be very careful how you focus & frame. A depth of field calculator is really helpful.

I recently took some pictures specifically after reading the concerns about this lens in other threads. It's really really easy with this lens at a wide focal length to include things very close to the camera in the frame... but if you make absolutely sure your DOF includes the whole frame the corners look quite good around f/11-f/16.

One handy rule of thumb... at 17mm if you set f/16 and set the focus to 3ft (clearly marked on the scale), you get everything from 1.2ft to infinity in focus. If the camera is level that should do it. Nice clear corners that don't smear.

If the corners are out of focus IMO they start to look like lens flaws due to some characteristic of the lens.



Jul 12, 2013 at 06:59 PM
echelonphoto
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


A real quandary with Canon lenses...I had a 17-40 which was extremely sharp edge to edge by F8....somehow...it must have gotten knocked...because it deteriorated. I have tried several other 17-40's to replace it , but they were all
dogs. Just got a tokina 16-28...pretty sharp!



Jul 14, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Mr Joe
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


I've owned 3 copies of the 17-40mm. It's good, but not great. Far corners are soft on full frame bodies. A good copy of the 24-70mm f/2.8 I is sharper than the 17-40mm where they overlap in focal range, especially in the corners. If you've tried the 24mm TS-E II or Zeiss 21mm, you'll know the 17-40mm is not in the same league as some other, granted more expensive, choices for a wide angle.


Jul 14, 2013 at 02:48 PM
 

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gdanmitchell
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Mr Joe wrote:
I've owned 3 copies of the 17-40mm. It's good, but not great. Far corners are soft on full frame bodies. A good copy of the 24-70mm f/2.8 I is sharper than the 17-40mm where they overlap in focal range, especially in the corners...


That's true. The 24-70 is, of course, a very good lens for a zoom... or for a prime for that matter. If I'm carrying the 24-70 or even the 24-105, I'm most likely to use those down to 24mm and move to the 17-40 for the ultra wide shots.

I'm also typically - though not always - thinking landscape, and most often shooting at f/8-f/16 on full frame, where the 17-40 does a lot better in the corners.

Gunzorro wrote:
The purported fact that you hang with out with superior outdoor photographers that successfully use commonplace zoom lenses shouldn't be used to negate the pursuit of quality imaging by others...


I initially wrote a fairly long reply to this, but realized that it probably won't make any difference, so I deleted most of it.

Regarding the "purported fact" business... This is a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation for me. I don't feel right coming in here and writing that "Joe Blow shots with X gear" since Joe should be able to speak for himself - it would be a bit of a betrayal of a relationship to do that, I'm afraid. However, I do feel that it might be useful to some folks reading posts in this forum to recognize that some of the things "purported" to be done by "pros," as reported in forum threads, don't really quite fit typical reality.

I guess that if you think I'm just making it up and that "real photographers" actually don't do real, serious, compelling work with what some posting in gear forums regard as commonplace equipment, I guess that it will just have to be that way. (When I write "commonplace," I'm not referring to low grade gear, but to fine equipment that is not necessarily super expensive or exotic - think f/4 70-200 instead of f/2.8, 24-105 f/4 instead of 24-70 f/2.8, 17-40 instead of 16-35 f/2.8, etc. A good number of them - though not all - tend to skip every other cycle of body upgrades or so as well.)

It just galls me from time to time to read "advice" in these forums about what gear "serious" photographers should have that aligns more closely with gear lust trends than with what you'll find folks using in the field.

I'll stop there. :-)

Dan



Jul 14, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Dan --
I agree with your position that great photography doesn't require the newest or most expensive equipment. Much can be accomplished with good quality general gear.

I'm not opposed to using less expensive or slightly out of date gear for quality work. Much of my stash is a generation back (or more) and the bulk has been bought second-hand, here and on eBay. Of my four TSE lenses, I only bought the 24II brand new, so I'm no gear snob in regard to newest/bestest.

Regarding the other point: It is a bit of a problem to infer relationships or experiences without expecting readers to want to know more specifics or see direct examples of work described, especially when direct points being made are supported by the missing information or unnamed sources. Surely you see how that approach erodes credibility of a technical position or argument.

Your pro photographer friends must know that you are a frequent blogger and forum poster. Maybe they would allow you to mention some specifics of their approach? If not, it might be best to not mention them at all and just show your own current work and gear as supporting examples of points being described.





Jul 14, 2013 at 09:54 PM
jeremy_clay
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


gheller wrote:
My 17-40 sucks on the edges stopped down. Same as most report for this lens

greg


Same as most report for every lense it seems.



Jul 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM
retrofocus
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


I prefer the 17-40 for a couple of reasons compared to the 16-35/2.8. One is the weight - I am often hiking with my gear outdoors and heavy lenses add up quite hefty if you really practice photography a lot and if you are not just driving with the car very close to the scenery which you want to capture. Similar to Dan, I focus mostly in landscape photography and also on architecture with this lens - normally I use smaller apertures and never needed f/2.8, not even for night photography. Yesterday I took at night a 3 minute exposure at f/22 and ISO 100 which worked perfectly with the 17-40. The other reason why I prefer the 17-40 is in infrared photography - the 16-35 simply creates hot spots in infrared while the 17-40 doesn't!


Jul 15, 2013 at 03:06 PM
outlawyer
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


A lot of Canon gear requires workarounds, and the w/a for the 17-40's soft edges is one of the easiest (on FF at least)-framing. Small price to pay for the superb color and low cost of the lens, to me.


Jul 15, 2013 at 03:35 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


17-40:







:-)

Dan



Jul 15, 2013 at 05:53 PM
dgdg
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


I like your corners Dan!!!!


Jul 15, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Policar
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


It's fine on FF. Not great on crop. Corners are technically poor, but I never notice in practice and by f8 it's fine. A bit of CA of course. On crop it is way worse than the other options. For UWA I like the 11-16mm Tokina on crop; for WA I like the 17-55mm f2.8 IS. I own all three so yes I have compared them. I'm digging the 22mm f2 EOS M kit lens for sharpness, surprisingly.

I'm a TS/E guy in theory, but I don't even own one. I own a large format kit and consider it ten times better than any digital option, but essentially unusable for a newbie like me. Just exposing a slide properly and focusing is difficult. So my answer is I'd only shoot with a 45mm or 90mm TS/E lens, except I own neither.



Jul 15, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Dan -- Now there's an argument that brooks no debate. Not so hard, is it?

Nice shot! Looks very clean.

Grad ND filter used? Any technical details?




Jul 15, 2013 at 07:12 PM
outlawyer
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Canon 17-40L for landscapes?


Policar wrote:
It's fine on FF. Not great on crop. Corners are technically poor, but I never notice in practice and by f8 it's fine. A bit of CA of course. On crop it is way worse than the other options. For UWA I like the 11-16mm Tokina on crop; for WA I like the 17-55mm f2.8 IS. I own all three so yes I have compared them. I'm digging the 22mm f2 EOS M kit lens for sharpness, surprisingly.

I'm a TS/E guy in theory, but I don't even own one. I own a large format kit and consider it ten
...Show more

EPIC!



Jul 15, 2013 at 07:37 PM
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