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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Mar 20, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Great Build, Compact, Light, Low Price
Cons:
f/4 aperture

This lens is very sharp, or at least my copy is. Even wide open it is sharp. Other reviews say this lens isn't sharp but mine is very sharp so their might be some quality control issues. The build quality is typical of Canon L lenses. The zoom and focus rings are super smooth. The auto-focus is very fast, very accurate, and silent. On a 5D Mark II it feels small. It is also fairly light. The hood does not seem useful because it is so small. The f/4 aperture is slow, but for what I shoot I usually don't shoot wide open. If you are planning on using this lens as a general purpose zoom on a 1.6x cropped camera, I would suggest the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 which is just as sharp or more sharp and has a 2.8 aperture. That was my favorite lens when I had the 40D. The f/4 aperture is too slow and 40mm is not long enough on a cropped sensor. You might consider it for a cropped camera if you will be in extreme conditions because it is built like a tank and weather sealed with a filter or if you plan on upgrading to a full frame soon. I think this lens shows its full potential on a full frame. It has a nice price tag and will get the job done. I would recommend this lens to anyone with a full frame camera, especially those that do landscape photography. Even as a pixel peeper, I am happy with my results with the 17-40mm. Here are some of my first shots.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7041/6844304674_b9f599a473.jpg
Main Street USA Station by M Girod, on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7191/6844351320_d68000cba6.jpg
Main Street USA Station by M Girod, on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7178/6844369556_9dbba8a43d.jpg
California Screamin' by M Girod, on Flickr


 
Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

1750diII
Review Date: Mar 20, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Tack sharp, even wide open, compact, light, fast 2.8 aperture.
Cons:
Loud annoying autofocus, stiff zoom ring.

This was my favorite lens on my Canon 40D. I have upgraded to a 5D Mark II and I really miss this lens. I found this lens to be very sharp. I owned the 18-55 kit lens and the 28-135 lens and this lens blows them away. I also own the 70-200mm f/2.8L, and the 17-50mm is not as sharp but it comes close!!! Even wide open at 2.8 it is very sharp. It is very small and light. When you zoom to 50mm, the lens doubles in size, but it is still quite small. When you focus, the front element does not rotate. The zoom ring is a little stiff and the focus ring is not stiff enough for my taste but you can live with it. I use manual focus 95% of the time and this is a good thing with this lens. The autofocus motor makes a zipping noise when focusing. You can live with it but if you are used to silent focusing lenses you will get annoyed. The build quality is solid. It is plastic but doesn't feel cheap. I would highly recommend this lens. The image quality cannot be matched in this price range. I found this lens to be tack sharp but some people say this lens isn't so sharp so there must be some quality control issues. Even as a pixel peeper I was VERY happy with this lens. Here are some shots taken with the Tamron 17-50mm on a Canon 40D.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/girod199/6553061821/in/photostream">http://www.flickr.com/photos/girod199/6553061821/in/photostream</a>


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/girod199/6361964605/in/photostream">http://www.flickr.com/photos/girod199/6361964605/in/photostream</a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/girod199/6044349571/in/photostream">http://www.flickr.com/photos/girod199/6044349571/in/photostream</a>