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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Nov 18, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: build quality, price
Cons:
very soft

I was looking for a replacement of my Sigma 28-70 EX as a walk around lens on a cropped sensor and ready to spend the extra money on the L series. After reading through most comments which were ranging from "excellent" to "very bad" it seems there is significant volatility within copies. Mine, unfortunately, is very bad. I used it on a 30d and my copy clearly lacks sharpness. I made c.400 shots with it and even compared to my cheapest lens (Canon EF 50mm 1.8, retail price GBP 80) its nowhere near that sharpness left aside the Sigma 28-70. I returned it to amazon and am back to the start. What to buy? Either I try more copies in order to find a sharp one or switch to Tamron 18-50 2.8 or comparable Sigma. I just dont want to spend GBP 900 for the the 16-35L. Any advice from anybody? To those with bad experience - how many copies did you try to find a good one.