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Canon 17-40L

Warriorpoet 9 213 3 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 8:21PM
I purchased this lens new in January as a walkabout for my 40d. I have been disappointed with the IQ from day one but persevered assuming it was user error. Eventually I have concluded it's not me having tried it in all light conditions on AF and focussing manually. I sent it to Canon's Elstree Repair centre on Saturday and today got a text to say it's repaired and on the way back to me. Great, speedy service, however when I rang to thank them I was told they had checked the calumation whatever that is and it is working perfectly. I am particularly unimpressed as the shots I have taken this week with the sigma 10-20 back on the camera are way sharper and better colours that the 17-40 has been producing.
Any thoughts on my next move?

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Jalapeno 8 127 2 Iceland
22 Apr 2010 8:40PM
Get rid of your zoom and get a prime. I own the 17-40 and I love it.....but....there is always just that little bit extra sharpness I want that I will never get...... in my opinion. For me, this is a tripod lens and I never did well just snapping photos with it unless its middle of the day and great light...... Of course you can get nice shots with it with out a tripod but the F4 with my polarizer means I need good light to do so....as I like to shake and blur my own photos Grin

All my photos on my website or in my PF are with this lens, with the exception of the odd one here or there ie. macro shot etc

Next move? I say keep playing with it before you get rid of it.........or get a prime lol

I am trying to convince myself to sell my 17-40 but I am attached to it so its difficult .... but I might just do it this summer, if possible Smile

Good luck and hope your lens is not broken...but it can yield some awesome shots...just google it of flickr the lens and see!
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 8:42PM
Have you done a back to back test with both lenses?

ie, mount the camera on a tripod, select a mid range apiture (say around F11), and then take the same shot (using the same focal lenght) with both lenses using the same lighting conditions?
francisr 13 165
22 Apr 2010 8:43PM
mmmm... I've had a 17-40 on a 300D and a latterly on a 40D for quite a while. From day one I thought it was pretty good. Here's one example and another .

Also, its build quality has seen it perform in wet conditions and me repeatedly falling-off a mountain bike with it!

I have a Sigma 12-24mm full frame lens which I also think is a tremendous (example here )- it's flatness of field and wide viewpoint is great but it's not as sharp as the 17-40mm.

Could you post any examples of the Siggy and the canon?

Jalapeno 8 127 2 Iceland
22 Apr 2010 8:48PM
I was also reading that you shouldnt compare these two lenses as there is such a different focal range.....but that the 2 are both good at what they do. so basically it says decide what focal length you need and go for it... have a read

Warriorpoet 9 213 3 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 8:54PM
I have tested it against the 35mm f2 which I also have at 35mm on the 17-40. The 35mm is much sharper but it is a prime. At 18mm the sigma is sharper than the 17-40 at the same focal length. This holds true for a range from f5.6 to f16. F11 is my normal aperture for landscapes.
Warriorpoet 9 213 3 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 9:00PM
I already had the sigma for wide angles. The 17-40 I wanted as a walkabout lens for it's veratility and the focal length on my 40d seems to suit that. I am 10 minutes from a preserved steam railway and it is a great focal length for train shots. I always intended to use both lenses with the 17-40 eventually replacing the sigma as the W/A if i go full frame.
I have and love the 35mm prime but it is a bit limiting as a walkabout. Would love the 14mm prime but it costs as much as a small country.
User_Removed 10 2.2k 3 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 9:14PM
I've used them both on a 30D and while I agree with you that the Sigma sparkled in a way the 17-40 didn't I really didn't see the true potential of the 17-40 until I went for a full frame camera, at which point the 17-40 started to sparkle in the same way the 10-20 did on a crop sensor.
Warriorpoet 9 213 3 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 9:26PM
That is really helpful I had read that comment before I bought the lens so maybe my expectations were too high. The problem is my other L lens is the 80-200 F2.8L which is twenty years old and I got for a song on ebay. I know it isn't comparing like with like but that lens is mindblowing on my 40d and presumably will be even more FF.
I had better start saving for a 5d MkII then Smile
Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
22 Apr 2010 10:17PM
I've used my 17-40L on a 300D, 20D, 5D and currently a 5DMKII and it's ace.

And thats confirmed by a 48" print I've just had done for a customer from the MKII + 17-40 - so sharp I'm suprised the print hasn't shredded itself....... Wink
KathyW 14 1.8k 12 Norfolk Island
22 Apr 2010 10:27PM
Well I love my 17-40 so much I'd take it to bed with me if I didn't get funny looks from Him Indoors & the cats Wink Certainly got no complaints about image quality, but I guess there might be a few bad copies out there.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
22 Apr 2010 10:52PM

Quote:Well I love my 17-40 so much I'd take it to bed with me

That is so true....Smile If I so much as look at her 17-40 L, I'm dead meat.....Sad To be fed to the cats & dawgs......Sad

Speaking as one who is in the Nikon camp, I have to say that every image Kathy has ever taken with that darn 17-40 L, Is absolutely perfect.....Smile

Shame there are no adapters so I can mount one on my Nikon bodies.....Sad
Warriorpoet 9 213 3 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 11:40PM
Thanks guys. I may have a bad copy that Canon are not going to cough to then Sad It will be interesting to see when it arrives tomorrow if the images are as bad as before.

Quote: Shame there are no adapters so I can mount one on my Nikon bodies.....

You can however mount the 12-24 on your Nikon Tongue

If it weren't for the cost Id be changing camps. I've been googling Nikon and Pentax all day since I spoke to Canon.
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
22 Apr 2010 11:51PM
It might not be that you have a bad copy - but that your lens and camera body are not best suited to each other Lens calibration tollerances So the lens comes back as correctly calibrated because its within tollerance zones - as to is your camera body. However the two are at opposite ends of the tollerance scale and thus when put together you get a less than ideal result.

You could approach canon about this and see if you can't get a replacement shipped to you - the other option being shipping your camera body to them so they can calibrate the lens for the camera (note I have no idea if they will adjust the camera body as well and it would do well for you to note them not to adjust the body in any way if you do take this approach - otherwise your other lenses might end up suddenly soft(er)
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2010 11:53PM
I have a 40D an on my camera the 17-40 and 10-20 have very similar performance where they overlap. But interestingly they always record slightly different white balance values in auto WB.

I even did a 100% comparison

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