17-40 f4L to be or not to be? (On 7d)

Started Mar 17, 2010 | Discussions thread
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linkbeat
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17-40 f4L to be or not to be? (On 7d)
Mar 17, 2010

I didn't want to hijack someone else's thread into a totally different direction so I'll ask the question here. I have a couple needs that I want to address in a feasibly responsible manner. Cost isn't a huge factor, but it is something I consider combined with other factors. I have a few goals in purchasing my next lens:

1. Moderately wide enough to get good landscape, vacation architecture, and street/vendor/I-look-like-a-tourist shots.

2. General purpose focal range so that I don't have to swap out lenses constantly.

3. It has to be sharp, VERY sharp. I don't want to pay decent money for a lens that only gives "ok sharp" photos. When I do my job right and compose shots perfectly I want to be rewarded with tack sharp photos. Having to sharpen a shot in post is not my idea of a great shot. I use minimal adjustments in post, favoring a natural "as it really appeared" approach.

4. I don't care about speed. I have a 50mm 1.4 for portraits/creative composition/low light shots. This lens will be used almost exclusively outdoors.

In theory, the 17-40 f4L seems like a great idea. The focal range is pretty decent for a crop body (I'm using a 7d) because it has some moderately wide capability (@17mm) and it has some range up to 40mm. It's an L lens with weather sealing (not a huge deal, but it does give me confidence that I don't need to freak out if it's snowing (I live in Colorado afterall) or windy/dusty. The size and weight are perfect.

However, I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about the lens in practice? I've heard some people dislike this lens due to some IQ issues. I can understand some weaknesses on a FF body, but with a 1.6 crop are there still issues?

I know there are a lot of fans of the 17-55 2.8, but again I don't need the speed, and I'm iffy on an EF-S lens. I may move to FF if they migrate some of the fantastic 7d features to the 5dmIII.

Would I seriously be better off getting a 10-22 and a 24-105 if IQ is the top priority? I'm looking for the silver bullet here, and if it's just not there on the 17-40 that's ok. Just hoping for some constructive feedback on this lens.

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