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Author Topic: 17-55 F2.8 IS vs 24-105 F4L IS  (Read 19319 times)
franxon
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« on: September 18, 2006, 08:44:40 AM »
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Hello buddies, I badly need your input here as I searched the forum and found no formal discussions on it.

As I'm about to go for a travel, it's a good opportunity for me to add one more lens to my collection. In fact I consider it as the first lens for my serious line up. So no need to consider what I currently have at this focal range.

The prices of the two being similiar so it ain't a factor here.

Optical wise I have no idea as I can hardly find reviews on the two esp on the new EFS 15-55 F2.8 IS so your comments are greatly appreciated.

Focal range wise is where troubles me most. I have an old 80-200 F2.8L which i'm pretty happy with but sooner or later i'll trade for something better (lighter and IS). so 17-55 leaves a gap inbetween. and i'm not too sure if i will feel in need of anything shorter than 17mm on my 20D in future, i.e. 27mm on fullframe which is an awkward focal length to me.

on the other hand, though 24-105 covers standard to tele together with my 80-200 for now, i may need to add another wide angle, most probably another EFS or Sigma for APS sensor.

Mount: i'm no professional so no one wants to see prints of my photos bigger than A3 including myself. therefore i'm not going to fullframe at all (the Nikon pros are shooting APS sensor out there too). besides, by the time i can afford 2nd body, APS sensor will be much better. so does the 24-105 F4.0L IS staying permanently on an APS camera make good sense to you?

Line up: i consider this lens to be the first serious lens to my APS sensor line up in the long run. the EF 80-200 F2.8L could be traded in in future for something lighter with IS. as an amateur, my goal is to build up something like:

2 APS sensor bodies
3 zooms which deliver pro quality at A3 size
a few primes (perhaps the TS-E lenses, i know the focal lengths become wierd on 20D).

i'd like to see most of my lens investments go into landscape, architecture, portraiture and street photography. no birds or wild lifes or sports. therefore if the tele end is not long enough, it's not a big issue to me.

I now have two possible line ups in mind:

a: EFS 17-55 F2.8L IS, in future add EFS 55-105? F2.8L IS or EF 70-300 DO IS (perhaps another wide angle if necessary). i think this is the EFS trio Canon offers for 20D line users. Limition: one 17-55 is not as capable as 24-105. so when i wanna travel light (maybe within town), i'm not sure if one 17-55 is enough.

b: EF 24-105 F4.0L IS, in future add another wide angle and replace my 80-200 F2.8L with EF 100-400 IS or EF 70-300 DO IS (longer coverage but i don't have an F2.8 zoom).

what do you guys think?

Thanks a lot a lot.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 08:52:23 AM by franxon » Logged
franxon
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2006, 04:46:24 AM »
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I've just gone through the reviews of EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS USM and EF 24-105 F4.0L IS USM on www.cameralabs.com. The tests are extensive.

I understand there might be some inconsistency from sample to sample. but the reveiws suggest that the optics and build quality of the EF-S 17-55 has not reached the L standard, given the constant F2.8, therefore it's a bit pricy to me.

Therefore I think I will settle down to the EF 24-105 F4.0L IS USM which offers me greater focal range, better optics at the same price and weight, the downside is a slower aperature and no wide angle. but it's made up by the "L" optical and build quality. The resale value is a plus. I'll get myself the EF-S 10-22 in future if I need a wide angle or something from third party.

Comments?

P.S. I think many Canon xxD & xxxD users (10D-20D-30D, 300D-350D-400D in contrast to xD users: 1D series & 5D) would like to see some L glasses for EF-S mount.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2006, 04:46:47 AM by franxon » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 09:33:41 AM »
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On the 20D the 24-105 focal length is traditionally less useful.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2006, 11:28:50 AM »
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As one that had the 17-55 but recently upgraded to a 5D and 24-105, my main gripe was I could no longer use the original lens which should be a consideration in your purchase. On the 5D, I LOVE the 24-105!
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Andrew Rodney
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stever
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2006, 10:56:40 PM »
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if you're not going to print bigger than A3 or superB and don't plan to go full-frame, then the 10-22, 17-55, and 17-85 should all be satisfactory

as a lens to leave on the camera, the lack of wide angle with the 24-105 will outweigh extra reach for th subjects you describe - but if you have a second body with a 10-22 you'll be ready

for travel, which includes the subjects you describe, i use 2 20Ds with a 17-85 staying on one and the other switching between a 10-22 and 70-300DO.  i've been in too many situations busy changing lenses and getting the sensor dirty while missing shots

although the 17-85 is not as sharp as a 17-55 or 24-105, it will make very good to exellent A3s as long as you don't crop too much (but there isn't that much room for cropping the APS sensor either)

for wide angle with APS, the 10-22 is the only choice.  the 70-300DO may not be any better than the 70-300, and it's not as sharp as the 70-200s or 100-400, but it's sharp enough and size makes it easy to carry and an unobtrusive travel lens

although my 100-400 was intended as a wildlife lens (which it has met all expectations on the 20D, to which i think it is particularly well matched), it turns out to be a great lens if you're on a cruise

if you start out with basic zooms, you can then decide on prime focal lengths and how much you want to pay for fast glass

before spending the money for a TS, you need to have a real subject requirement - i use my 90TS for macro and panoramas, but i'd have to put it at the lower end of lens priorities
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franxon
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2006, 02:38:14 AM »
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thank you digitaldog and stever for your input.

though i'm not that eagerly going full frame. but it ain't impossible. if i really go, the reason would be the cropability on a full frame size sensor, the room for cropping. 8MP, if fully utilized, are sufficient for pro quality printers and human eye's resolution on A3 prints i guess? (but pro photographic magazines require 10+MP images though, what could the reasons be? room for cropping by editor or higher print quality?).

in spite of the optical difference between these glasses when the print size is pushed to resolution limits (for magazine reading distance viewing, like 30 cm. not a wall size poster being viewed meters away), my concern is however, their performance on A3 prints. If one glass only offers marginally yet discernablly more on A3 prints than other glasses, i'll go for it. If a pro eye can't tell an A3 size photo is shot with 17-85, 18-55, 17-55 or 24-105 or alike, i would be more than happy to go for the cheapest.

according to your personal experience, what would you say?
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Yakim Peled
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2006, 04:50:46 AM »
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If you're not going FF soon than the 24-105 will be a bit limiting in the wide angles if you have no other UWA lens. So, my recommendation to you is as follows:
One lens? 17-55/2.8 USM IS.
Two lenses? 10-22/3.5-4.5 USM + 24-105/4 USM L IS.
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.
franxon
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2006, 03:47:52 AM »
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Quote
If you're not going FF soon than the 24-105 will be a bit limiting in the wide angles if you have no other UWA lens. So, my recommendation to you is as follows:
One lens? 17-55/2.8 USM IS.
Two lenses? 10-22/3.5-4.5 USM + 24-105/4 USM L IS.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77045\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
after i carefully thought it over and over and over. i found your suggestion really makes a good sense.
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iporty
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2006, 05:17:20 PM »
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One thing I would like to note is that the 17-55 is sharper when focused to distances greater then ~6ft. If you look at the results at

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/Canon40...ade/page5.shtml

It looks like the resolution of the 17-55 is not all that great using the resolution chart. In particular it looks worse then the 17-85

However if you look at the results of an outdoor photograph
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon1755EFS/page4.shtml
The resolution of the lens is better then the 17-85

This corresponds with my own testing. Focused in close around 3 feet, the lens is sharp, but not super sharp. Focused on something about 10 feet or more away, the lens is very sharp, and the resolution is limited by the 10mp of a the 400D.
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franxon
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2006, 02:51:35 AM »
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One thing I would like to note is that the 17-55 is sharper when focused to distances greater then ~6ft. If you look at the results at

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/Canon40...ade/page5.shtml

It looks like the resolution of the 17-55 is not all that great using the resolution chart. In particular it looks worse then the 17-85

However if you look at the results of an outdoor photograph
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon1755EFS/page4.shtml
The resolution of the lens is better then the 17-85

This corresponds with my own testing. Focused in close around 3 feet, the lens is sharp, but not super sharp. Focused on something about 10 feet or more away, the lens is very sharp, and the resolution is limited by the 10mp of a the 400D.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77435\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

thank you iporty for your comment, i read it through again. now i have a rough idea about the 17-55. however, for those who have seen prints (A4 or A3) from these lenses, i.e. 17-55, 17-85, 24-205, what do you think about them?
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fastcat
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2006, 11:05:51 AM »
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for those who have seen prints (A4 or A3) from these lenses, i.e. 17-55, 17-85, 24-205, what do you think about them?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have been using a 20D with a 17-85 as my "standard" lens for 2 years.  It is not the sharpest or highest contrast lens, for sure.  Nonetheless, it yields some impressive results.  I routinely crop and routinely print A3 and larger with enough success to win awards at local art competitions.  Many low res examples of this lens at:
[a href=\"http://www.pbase.com/h4xintl]http://www.pbase.com/h4xintl[/url],
particularly the India galleries in "Travel Favorites" and any gallery later than July 2005.

I also have a Sigma 10-20, an EF 100 2.8 macro, an EF 70-300 DO and an EF 35-350L.  The 17-85 is on the camera at least 90% of the time.

John
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 11:06:32 AM by fastcat » Logged
franxon
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2006, 03:13:40 AM »
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dear friends if you happen to have both the EF-S 17-55 and the EF-S 17-85, or either one, would you be so kind to let me have a few of your photos shot with them so what i can make A4 and A3 prints myself to compare and decide.

it would be so nice of you if i could possibly have Raw or large JPEG files of the same scene shot with both lenses. it could be photos of little aesthetic value just for optical comparision purpose.

it would also be so nice of you if you have only one of the two lenses and would like to share such a file. I will still be able to get an idea when i have shots by both lenses.

best regards,

frank
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franxon
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2006, 03:49:06 AM »
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I have been using a 20D with a 17-85 as my "standard" lens for 2 years.  It is not the sharpest or highest contrast lens, for sure.  Nonetheless, it yields some impressive results.  I routinely crop and routinely print A3 and larger with enough success to win awards at local art competitions.  Many low res examples of this lens at:
http://www.pbase.com/h4xintl,
particularly the India galleries in "Travel Favorites" and any gallery later than July 2005.

I also have a Sigma 10-20, an EF 100 2.8 macro, an EF 70-300 DO and an EF 35-350L.  The 17-85 is on the camera at least 90% of the time.

John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78429\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

thank you fastcat for your input. would you be kind enough to share a picture or two taken with your 17-85? RAW or large JPEG uncropped. i'd like to print out and take a look by myself.
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stever
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2006, 10:12:33 PM »
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just about all lenses except longer primes (and particularly zooms) are not at their best wide open -- the 17-85 gives really good results at 85 - if you stop it down to f8

on the other hand, the 24-105 will give eqivalent results at f5.6 or f5.0 - and the 17-55 at f4.5 (or maybe f4)  -- this is off the top of my head, check Photozone for the actual resolution numbers, i believe the lenses he tested were representative

it really boils down to compromising low light for the most useful focal lengths (17-85), or accepting less generally useful focal lengths for better low light performance and the ability to throw backgrounds out of focus (24-105 or 17-55)
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franxon
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2006, 12:17:55 AM »
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just about all lenses except longer primes (and particularly zooms) are not at their best wide open -- the 17-85 gives really good results at 85 - if you stop it down to f8

on the other hand, the 24-105 will give eqivalent results at f5.6 or f5.0 - and the 17-55 at f4.5 (or maybe f4)  -- this is off the top of my head, check Photozone for the actual resolution numbers, i believe the lenses he tested were representative

it really boils down to compromising low light for the most useful focal lengths (17-85), or accepting less generally useful focal lengths for better low light performance and the ability to throw backgrounds out of focus (24-105 or 17-55)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78702\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
year thanks stever for your opinion. i tend to agree. that's why i want to see the optics of 17-85 and 17-55 on prints, at different apertures. if the 17-85 looks on par, i'll happily go for it. you always want everything: as good as possible optics, as wide & long as possible focal range, as large as possible aperture, as light as possible weight and as cheap as possible price. there's no such thing under the sun. if the 17-85 satisfies me all but large aperture, why not. i believe it's a better glass than those many legendary photographers once used.
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Yakim Peled
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2006, 04:31:14 AM »
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>> just about all lenses except longer primes (and particularly zooms) are not at their best wide open -- the 17-85 gives really good results at 85 - if you stop it down to f8

This may be true theoretically but when shooting, these minute differences disappear with lenses like the 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 70-200/2.8, 70-300 IS. I shot with all wide open and stopped down and the differences were tiny in the first 4 and zero in the last 3.
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.
cescx
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2006, 05:59:43 AM »
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HI...

I not respond to the 17-55 or 55-105... due I shoot with a 5D and 1DS, but, I think is more valuable a full frame lens type 24-105, with more border quality. I use the 24-105 as first lens, and the results are exceptional. In the other hand, if you, in future, changes to full frame, the "S" lens do not serve.

If you want to see some result of the 24-105, I put some sample images here.

Image

Corp 100%
« Last Edit: October 03, 2006, 06:23:09 AM by cescx » Logged

Francesc Costa
franxon
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2006, 08:37:15 AM »
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HI...

I not respond to the 17-55 or 55-105... due I shoot with a 5D and 1DS, but, I think is more valuable a full frame lens type 24-105, with more border quality. I use the 24-105 as first lens, and the results are exceptional. In the other hand, if you, in future, changes to full frame, the "S" lens do not serve.

If you want to see some result of the 24-105, I put some sample images here.

Image

Corp 100%
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78889\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

thank you cescx for your opinion and images. i'll print them out and compare with prints from other lenses. thanks again.
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Carl Harsch
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2006, 10:29:44 AM »
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Unless I missed it, you have never discussed what type of photographs you take mostly.  If you're into landscapes, a wider angle than 24mm on an APS sensor will come in handy.  On the other hand, if you mostly shoot street photography, it is likely that the 24-105mm range will be far more useful to you.  Both of these ideas center on the idea of only one lens, however.  There is not now, nor is there likely to ever be, a high quality lens that covers all of our photographic needs.  My suggestion is to examine your photos and find what focal lengths you tend to shoot and go from there.
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cescx
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2006, 02:47:47 PM »
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thank you cescx for your opinion and images. i'll print them out and compare with prints from other lenses. thanks again.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am happy to be able to aid you....

In additioon, if you need more information and reviews from this lens and others, visit  

[a href=\"http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html]http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html[/url].
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Francesc Costa
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