Which lens should I keep?


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kietgnoel

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2004
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I have been using the EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM for 1+ years now and I just got myself a EF 17-40mm F/4 L. I would like to keep both but my pockets are pretty light at the moment. :cry:

The 17-85 is a great walkabout lens with the following advantages over the 17-40.
  1. Longer reach - 45mm more. I don't have to change lenses so often.
  2. IS - greater chance of getting sharp enough pics when hand held, assuming subject doesn't move.
The 17-40 has the following advantages over the 17-85.
  1. 'L' lens quality - better colours & contrast, less vignetting & distortion.
  2. Slightly faster (e.g. max aperture for the 17-85 at 40mm is F/5 and F/4 is only good for the first few mm).
My main concern with the 17-40 is the missing 45mm of zoom. Note that I also have the 70-300mm. If I were to sell off the 17-85, would I "miss" the 40-70mm in between? Is it worth keeping the 17-40mm despite the shorter reach? I'm just a hobbyist and don't make money from my gear.

What do you think? Does anyone else have a similar setup? What is your experience?

TIA.
 

fWord

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2005
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I'd probably choose the 17-85mm instead if I were you, but then again, I just have a soft spot for that lens for some reason. Maybe it's because I'm addicted to IS, and the thought that I could use a polarizer on this lens plus stop down without worrying about camera shake on landscape shots. It's also great for walkaround (tripodless) night photography, which I tend to do.

Many people here would advise you otherwise. And I don't think you'd miss the 41-69mm range much. It isn't fair to say that though, because your shooting style will vary from mine. Currently I'm working on two lenses with a big gap from 56-99mm in between, but I don't find it crippling because I tend to either go quite wide or photograph something quite far away.

Take a study of your pictures and see if the resulting gap will matter a lot to you.

I haven't used either of these lenses before, and the nearest thing I have is a kit lens. :sweatsm: Hope others will have more detailed advice for you.

To add on, there's been a general impression that the L is sharper and gives better colors than the EF-S, however this is coming from people who may never have owned the EF-S and simply bought the L because it was by definition, an 'L'. However, this test that I saw at another forum convinced me that the EF-S is perhaps bested by the L only in terms of distortion levels at the wide end, build quality, and CA:

http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/17401785
 

Bug

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Dec 25, 2004
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in the mountains & lakes
You could sell both your current and just get a 24-105 IS/4L which would be a great compromise..range, IS and L quality. Your pockets would be a little lighter but then again, you may never need to buy another lens for some time to come!
 

n0d3

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2003
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Depends on what you shoot. Do you even shoot within that 40-70mm range most of the time?
 

Fine

Senior Member
Oct 6, 2004
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Can if you really need 40-70mm, just buy a 50mm F1.8, cheap and good. :)
 

dEthANGeL

Senior Member
Jun 20, 2004
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Siglap
I'd keep the 17-40.

Why?

1. L Glass.
2. Better resale
3. Usable on future (Pro body?)
4. The red ring :bsmilie:
 

Stoned

Senior Member
May 7, 2004
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Neither lens is fast, so I would say, keep the 17-85, sell the 17-40. Purchase faster primes in your desired F length. I personally think the 17-85 and the 17-40 are too similar. If you were talking about a 17-85 and a 17-35 then there would be some thought required.

If I were to recommend primes that are under 1k(used), these would be some of them
- Sigma 20/1.8
- Canon 35/2
- Canon 50/1.4
- Canon 85/1.8
- Canon 135/2.8 SF
- Canon 200/2.8L

If you can flex your budget, these are those over 1k that I would strongly recommend,
- Canon 35/1.4L
- Canon 85/1.2L
- Canon 135/2L
If you choose to get these, do make sure that it's a f length that you really really like to use, else you'll likely end up regretting your purchase or forcing yourself to use that f length, which can seriously limit you. I'd recommend purchasing the cheaper options in the first list, which are great in their own right and upgrading later to the more expensive options should you feel the need to.
 

jeryltan

Senior Member
Jan 5, 2006
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Keep the 17-40L and save for a 24-105L :) and a 70-200Lthen you cover the whole range already/./

kietgnoel said:
I have been using the EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM for 1+ years now and I just got myself a EF 17-40mm F/4 L. I would like to keep both but my pockets are pretty light at the moment. :cry:

The 17-85 is a great walkabout lens with the following advantages over the 17-40.
  1. Longer reach - 45mm more. I don't have to change lenses so often.
  2. IS - greater chance of getting sharp enough pics when hand held, assuming subject doesn't move.
The 17-40 has the following advantages over the 17-85.
  1. 'L' lens quality - better colours & contrast, less vignetting & distortion.
  2. Slightly faster (e.g. max aperture for the 17-85 at 40mm is F/5 and F/4 is only good for the first few mm).
My main concern with the 17-40 is the missing 45mm of zoom. Note that I also have the 70-300mm. If I were to sell off the 17-85, would I "miss" the 40-70mm in between? Is it worth keeping the 17-40mm despite the shorter reach? I'm just a hobbyist and don't make money from my gear.

What do you think? Does anyone else have a similar setup? What is your experience?

TIA.
 

user111

Senior Member
Jul 27, 2004
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sell both and back $1800 in cash.

then spend only $50 to get the ef-s 18-55 for casual wide angles

thats a cool way of saving money :thumbsup: :cool:
 

kietgnoel

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2004
656
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Planet Earth
Thanks for all the replies. I'll be thinking about all that has been said here. There are some quite interesting suggestions. :think:

Anymore comments from anyone else?
 

fWord

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2005
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user111 said:
...get the ef-s 18-55 for casual wide angles

thats a cool way of saving money :thumbsup: :cool:
Heheh...which is what I'm doing now as well. With a pocket that's not very deep, I figured that it'd be better to expand my shooting range first, then progress on to improving individual lenses in my kit.
 

shinken

New Member
Jun 9, 2005
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Different functions.

Ask yourself:
1) Which one do you use more in the past?
2) Which one are you likely to use more in the future?
3) Would you go FF in your next upgrade if it's affordable?
 

An drew

Senior Member
May 27, 2005
3,933
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My immediate thought would be to keep the 17-40.

Personally I find f4.0 too slow for my shooting (BTW Thanks for the 28-70 f2.8 you sold me) and I would prefer the 16-35 or 17-35 at f2.8.

For me, the focal length gap is not an issue. Sharpness at the wide-end is important to me. Sharpness from 40 to 85mm is cheaply and easily available through fast prime lenses. Just my 2 cents :)
 

tao

Senior Member
Jan 7, 2005
3,856
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Beach Road
Both lenses are almost equally slow, IMO.

Try bringing them out on separate occassions and restrict yourself to that one lens only.

After a few shoots, you will certainly know which lens you prefer to keep.
 

DT_

New Member
Nov 4, 2005
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dragos said:
keep the L....better resale.


I oppos u.. since the L had better resale, then sell it :bsmilie: :bsmilie: .. keep the EFs..
 

mpenza

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2002
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kietgnoel said:
My main concern with the 17-40 is the missing 45mm of zoom. Note that I also have the 70-300mm. If I were to sell off the 17-85, would I "miss" the 40-70mm in between? Is it worth keeping the 17-40mm despite the shorter reach? I'm just a hobbyist and don't make money from my gear.

What do you think? Does anyone else have a similar setup? What is your experience?
Actually, a lot depends on ur shooting style. I used to bring ultra zooms (e.g. 28-200, 18-125) when travelling but recently, I tend to shoot more with a 10-22 (a lot more limited on the tele front vs the ultra zooms!!!) and like the pics.
 

srisaro

New Member
Apr 12, 2005
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Hougang
Sell both and buy 16-38 F 2.8 L..with some top-up..
 

NorthernLights

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2002
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srisaro said:
Sell both and buy 16-38 F 2.8 L..with some top-up..
Wow...you're killing him leh...

He said save $ and you are suggesting he spend more.

Makes no sense for 16-35...would he ever need the f2.8?

16-35 approx 2 x 17-40.
 

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