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Author Topic: 17-40 or primes  (Read 1972 times)
Greg D
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« on: January 29, 2009, 09:35:28 AM »
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I'm looking for a lens(es) to go along with a 70-300 IS (on a Canon 40D).  I've pretty much narrowed it down to three alternatives:  Either a Canon 17-40 f/4L - OR - a combination of two Canon mid-priced primes (24mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.4) - OR - a Tamron 17-50 (which I know little about but have read several glowing reviews of).  I know it's not apples-to-apples focal length-wise, but I can live with any of the above in that regard.  The question is - which alternative will give better image quality?  And will either be substantially better on a 40D than the 28-135 IS I now use?
Thanks for any opinions (or direction toward other things I've missed).
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k bennett
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 09:56:23 AM »
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I used an older 17-35/2.8 L lens on my 40D for a while, and occasionally my new 16-35/2.8 Mark II. I just don't find that focal range to be quite right for some reason (it's the equivalent to about a 28-55mm lens on a full frame camera.)

So I got the Canon 17-55/2.8 IS lens. Sure, it's an EF-S lens, so it won't work on any larger-sensor bodies, but it seems to be a good fit for the 40D. I just got back from an assignment to shoot the senior exec where I work, and the 40D and this lens got a good workout. I had one shot where I had to set a shutter speed of 1/15 and shoot hand held (to get the background ambient light to balance with the flash.) I could have used a 1-D Mark II and my 24-70, which is a great combo, but I chose to use the 40D/17-55 just for the IS. Hand held at 1/15 is doable, mostly, but I really don't need to screw up the senior guy's portrait. So the combination of f/2.8 max aperture and IS is a good one.

And for a walk-around lens, it's great. Much lighter than the 1D2/24-70 combo, and covers the same range with I.S.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 10:09:05 AM »
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I'd go with the Tamron 17-50 or canon 17-40.  The Tamron should be sharper and is f2.8.  The Canon should have better color and contrast (Less interesting in the days of digital.) and way better build.

If you can stretch your budget get the Canon 17-55f2.8 IS.  It really is canon's best crop lens.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 10:09:48 AM by DarkPenguin » Logged
lovell
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 10:32:45 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
I'd go with the Tamron 17-50 or canon 17-40.  The Tamron should be sharper and is f2.8.  The Canon should have better color and contrast (Less interesting in the days of digital.) and way better build.

If you can stretch your budget get the Canon 17-55f2.8 IS.  It really is canon's best crop lens.

Good luck finding a razor sharp Tamron 17-50 F2.8 when wide open.  It is exceedingly easier to find a Canon 17-40 F4 razor sharp wide open.  Of course for landscape this matters little, so for the better color rendition and contrast, I'd opt for the Canon 17-40L.

I don't know what the OP's budget is, but I've had great results with the Canon 24L and especially the 35L.  The 50L is great at F8 through F11, and all three provide great color and contrast.
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sesshin
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 10:34:25 AM »
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On a 40d the 17-50 / 17-55 focal range the ideal "walk around" lens and would compliment the 70-300. 17-40 is a little too narrow on the long end for my tastes as a walkaround. I find it better suited as a wide angle zoom on a full frame body instead of a mid zoom on a crop body. Not to mention its f4.

Primes are primes. They are light, bright, sharp, great for isolating subjects.. nice if you don't mind lack of zoom or changing lenses. So it really just depends on your shooting style and what you are photographing. For instance when I went to India I took only my zooms for convenience but when I'm at home I mostly use all primes.
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