Canon 17-40L or 16-35L ii

Pete_g 14 327 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2010 10:14PM
I've googled this within an inch of it's life, and I'm still undecided, so was hoping if the users on here could give me some advice based on their own usage/experience.

I have a Canon 5d mkii, and a 24-105 but have found myself missing the wide angle that 16/17mm offered me when I used a 10/20mm with my old 20d.

I would mainly use the new lens to photograph architecture and landscapes, but have heard reports that the 17-40 is outresolved by the 21mp sensor on the 5d mkii. I've also read that it shows signs of softness in the corners when compared to the new 16-35.

Would be interested if any users have experience of the above, and advice? I can afford either, but the purchase of the more expensive item might mean that I have to delay other photographic purchases in the meantime.

I have a birthday and xmas coming up, so want to make the right choice. I'm in photography for the long haul, so consider that buying the best lenses will always be an investment, but trying to better justify which one to purchase.

User experience/feedback gratefully rec'd.

Thanks to all who take time to respond. Before anyone mentions...i have checked out all the old posts on this subject also Smile

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geoffash26 15 2.5k United Kingdom
30 Oct 2010 10:51PM
My 2p Pete
For your suggested use it would be tripod stuff I believe, you can stop down your shots so the 17-40 would be fine. I'm happy with mine although it's used on a 1.3 sensor not full frame.
If money is not a major problem I would go for the 16-35 it is a superior lens
Pete_g 14 327 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2010 11:27PM
Thanks're right about using a tripod most of the time. I've heard great things of the 17-40 when used with a crop sensor, but some reports say the 17-40 doesn't work so well on FF.

Any others using the 17-40L with a Canon full frame sensor, who can advise based on experience ?

thanks again
Coleslaw 14 13.4k 28 Wales
30 Oct 2010 11:30PM
I am using 17-40 on my 5D2, and it works very well.
But if money is not an issue, I will go for 16-35. It is a better lens.
Pete_g 14 327 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2010 9:09AM
Thanks Coleslaw. The images you have with the 17-40 look great. Do you notice any issues with the 17-40 in terms of edge quality on the 5D ?
Coleslaw 14 13.4k 28 Wales
31 Oct 2010 9:21AM
I can't say I notice that, but then I have never looked at things that closely/carefully.
I always apply a small amount of vignetting anyway.
So, doesn't really bother me if it does.
samfurlong 13 2.5k United Kingdom
31 Oct 2010 9:49AM
I have never used the 17-40 on anything higher res than the old 1ds (11mp FF) so I can't tell you about the resolution of it on a high MP body like the 5DII.
I used to have the old 16-35mm 2.8 and after getting a FF body was frustrated (like many others) with the lack of edge sharpness, so I got a 17-40 and only used the 16-35 when i really needed the extra stop of light. Then the 16-35 MKII came out and blew them both away, sharper than either and had the extra stop... so I got one and got rid of the others...

Perhaps you need to borrow / hire a 17-40 and have a go before decising, as the 16-35 II is double the price.
ade_mcfade 15 15.2k 216 England
31 Oct 2010 10:57AM
I'm happy with the 17 - 40
Pete_g 14 327 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2010 10:57AM
Thanks sam...appreciate the response. I think I'm swaying towards the 16-35 mk 2.
Pete_g 14 327 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2010 12:07PM
Thanks Ade....just noticed we responded at exactly the same second. You have some great shots with the 17-40 and 5D. I'll probably spend the next 2 weeks going backwards and forwards between the two and never making my mind up. It's not that I can't afford either, but I also have my eye on getting a second hand Wacom intuous 3 and a new screen calibrator(spyder), and a lee big stopper and , and, and Smile

I'm sure we all have massive shopping lists this close to xmas...... lol

Any other views out there of how they're getting on with their 5dmkii and wide angle?
ade_mcfade 15 15.2k 216 England
31 Oct 2010 12:36PM
Don't get me wrong - if I had ulimited funds, i'd get the 16-35 mark 2

but I don't

so I work out how often I use the 17-40 @ F4.0 and the answer is "rarely"

how often do I long for a wider aperuture - the answer is "rarely"

so I then take that information and work out whether spending double the money (on the 16-35) would be worth it for me.

The answer was no at the time I purchased, and still is really.

But the choice is down to the individual's needs
JimMcDonald 10 11 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2010 1:45PM
I've started using a 17-40 on a 5D recently so I can't comment on it being outresolved by the extra megapix. I rarely use mine wider than f/5.6 and light drop off is corrected in DPP. Images are sharper in the centre but only marginally to my eye and certainly are more than acceptable (to me at least) in prints.
The cost difference is sizeable and personally I wouldn't need the wider aperture for the work you describe. I think for tyhgis sort of money I'd hire both for three days and the answers will become obvious.
Dave_Canon 13 1.6k United Kingdom
31 Oct 2010 2:05PM
I also upgraded from a 20D to 5D2 and had the same dilema and spents months looking at the alternatives to replace the 10-22mm EF-S lens.

My conclusions were similar to your. The 17-40 is a much older design and there seemed to be sufficient evidence to suggest that the 16-35mm is a better lens though whether you would notice the difference is very difficult to answer. I eventually set aside the funds to buy the 16-35mm Mkii. However, during my investigations several photographers tried to pursaude me that the Sigma 12-24mm is excellent on a 5D or 5D2. These photographers are very experienced so I tried the Sigma and found it to be better than I had originally imagined though I am sure the Canon 16-35 will be even better. Having seen an article on IR I changed my plans completely and bought the Sigma and paid 300 to convert my 20D to IR and still had change to buy a few other things.

Plus points - I am happy with the performance of the Sigma on the 5D2 but accept that the Canon 16-35 would have been slightly better. I am even more pleased with the IR converted 20D. The Canon 24-105mm lens is excellent on the 5D2 and for IR. The Canon 10-20mm is now back in use as again on the 20D: it is excellent for IR

Minus points - The Sigma lens while performing well for visible light is unusable for IR and only the centre is in focus and flare is dreadful

In general my advice would be to buy the best lens you can afford/justify.

Pete_g 14 327 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2010 3:04PM
Thanks Jim , Dave.

Dave, I've never really been into IR , but really appreciate your insights about the Sigma. I hadn't really considered this as an option, I guess largely due to the fact that I'm waiting to see what the new Canon 8mm-15mm might give me when it arrives early next year. This one is also on my shopping list but suspect I will use it somewhat less than a 17-40/16-35, so this one may be difficult to justify.

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