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Author Topic: canon 17-40 lens distortion  (Read 5091 times)
shootit
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« on: January 29, 2006, 11:53:29 AM »
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Hi, thinking of buying a 17-40 to use with my 1DS mark II. Does anybody use this lens for architecture and know of barrelling and pin cushion distortion etc. I've heard different views but not from anybody who has shot architectural interios and exteriors. Thankyou.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2006, 11:58:39 AM »
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Not an answer but PTLens is wonderful at fixing such problems.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2006, 01:49:36 PM »
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From a 1DII (1.3x crop) perspective the 17-40 produces quite a bit of chromatic abberation and goes very soft in the corners, so I can only assume that it will get worse on full frame. Having said that though, I haven't noticed much distortion in the lens - but then I don't get too many straight line up against the edge of the frame.

I would be interested in how the 16-35mm compares (I know there is a comparison on the LL site) but other users opinions would be appreciated.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
David R. Gurtcheff
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 02:55:47 PM »
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I agree with Darkpenguin. I use mine on a 1DsII for seascapes, and there is barrel distortion (horiz shots have a curved horizon), and PTlens fixes it right up!!
Dave
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benInMA
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2006, 04:00:31 PM »
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There are some lens tests out there that show it.

I shot a brick wall with mine on my 5D, and it backs up some of the other tests.

It doesn't have noticeable barrell/pincushion distortion, but it does have some weird distortion.   Basically if you shoot a brick wall you should see the lines wave, but the wave is not a single simple curve like a barell/pincushion distortion, it's a more complex curve.  It is not readily noticeable in many shots IMO.   I don't think I'd go using it to shoot architecture.

You will also see some pretty massive weirdness if the lens is not perfectly level, but that is the focal length of course.    

I think there is some variability in the lens in terms of corner sharpness & light fall off though.   I believe Michael reviewed it on this site and did not note lots of corner issues, and my copy seems to be quite nice, the corners perform just fine even though they are not at the same level as a wide prime.

I was using the lens on a 1.6x body and thought I got taken for $600 but on a FF body the lens is a keeper for me.

I think the lens has been maligned by a) Very bad shots included on a Canon website for 5D samples  The "FF sucks" pixel peeping crowd.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2006, 04:06:49 PM by benInMA » Logged
jani
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2006, 08:59:42 AM »
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Here's Michael's review.

Bjørn Rørslett's review of the D2x also had a comparison of the D2x with the 1Ds MkII. Here, they tested a sample of the EF 17-40 f/4L, which shows significant light fall-off (scroll down until you see two pictures of snow next to eachother).

On a 20D with my sample of the lens, the light fall-off seems insignificant.

As for distortion in architecture shots, I must admit to not having used the lens for that. I'd be sorely tempted to get a T/S lens for serious architecture shoots.
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Jan
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2006, 09:23:07 AM »
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These are not test shots, archiecture, or otherwise shots where I was trying for maximum sharpness but I shot with this lens on my 5D almost exclusively when I went to the US Cyclocross National Championships in Rhode Island in December.  (Type of bicycle racing.)

I found it great for this.  Honestly for more artsy stuff and non-sports I probably wouldn't even think about using the zoom over my primes, but for this I found it awesome for a sport like this where you can get extremely close to the athletes.

These are all funky shots, lots of motion blur, etc.. but lots of them are wide open or close to wide open and they have not been edited much, the levels of light fall off that people complaining about are clearly not evident in mine if these are any indication.  (I mean people were complaining about 2-3 stops of light fall off in the corners, visible even down to f/8, totally over the top claims for such an expensive lens)


Cyclocross pictures - mostly 17-40 f/4L

Also this was completely stopped down to f/22 to get the blur so it is no indication of corner issues wide open but this is probably one of my favorite shots I've taken since I got my 5D, and I shot it with the 17-40 @ 40mm.   I've printed this at 12x18 and had it framed as a gift, and I've got another 13x19 print for myself, and there are absolutely no sharpness issues in the corners on these prints.   (And surprisingly it doesn't seem like diffraction was really a problem)



The corners were burned in photoshop so don't assume the dark corners have anything to do with the lens.
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