Canon 17-55 impressions (vs 17-40)

Started Jun 17, 2006 | Discussions
OP Tomm Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: vignetting

No one's saying the 17-55 sucks or anything. On the contrary, I said that I'm on the fence about whether to get it or not, so I may soon be a 17-55 owner myself. I have a 17-40 that would be replaced w/ this if I were to buy it, so I was naturally comparing the two, and I thought others might find my thought processes and observations useful.

The reason people gnash their teeth about the price but end up buying it is not because it's priced well, but because there's no alternative for what it offers. It's like charging $5 for a small popcorn at a movie theatre--it's not priced right, but it's the only choice you have if you want popcorn. There's no marketing genius operating here; everyone knows you can overprice something under monopolistic conditions.

I don't see why it's apples to oranges for comparing 17-40 to 17-55. On the contrary, it's natural to compare the two, because they offer some intriguing tradeoffs at overlapping focal lengths: EF vs EFS, f4 vs f2.8, portability vs functionality,

Anyway, I just provided a more detailed price proposition in my reply elsewhere on this thread, where I made my case for the $800 price point being fair. But that's not happening any time soon, of course. So if I decide to get this lens, I'll end up paying that extra $300, then buy the hood separately to mitigate the flare issue, not because I think the price is right, but because I have no choice if I want +15mm and +4 stops handholding.

  • Tomm

Elan Remford wrote:
I too found some of the comparison standards to be well,
non-existent. Sure, at a wide aperture and wide angle, a lens is
going to exhibit light fall-off. The standard of comparison seems
to be the 17-40 at f/4, which doesn't take much of an imagination
to realize that the comparison is not apples to apples. I'd hate
to see what a prime evaluation wide-open would yield at f/1.4 in
this review.

The 17-55 is a home run, plain and simple. It's priced based on
what it delivers, which is a fast stabilized standard zoom, the one
one lens the entire EF lineup both lacks and needs most. Many of
those who are complaining about the pricing are the very same who
are marching right-out to buy one, and hating the fact that they
love it. Sounds like these are the marketing guys that I want
working for me, those that know how to price an item for its value.

I also found it interesting that it was compared (and unfavorably
so) to the 17-40, and L lens, with its metal barrel and other
design and build features inherent and specific to the "luxury"
line of lenses, something the 17-55 never claims to be. How does
the 17-55 compare to the buld of the 10-22, 17-85, 18-55, or 60
Macro? Now THAT one I might buy into.

Otherwise, everything that reaffirms this as being one terrific
lens is spot-on. I own a 30D so I can shoot with it even over my
16-35, 24-70, and 24-105 when I need stabilized wide aperture zppm
capability for available light event work and portraiture. At the
moment, there's no lens finer for the task, regardless of the color
of it's barrel stripe, initial, or if it includes a hood and case
or not.

GraphikEdition wrote:

1) Light falloff (vignetting) is a HUGE problem, not just in the
corners but even along the edges. It's definitely very noticeable
in the images, especially those with a bright blue sky. Honestly,
this is the worst I've ever seen of all of the lenses I've ever
used.

I guess you mean at f2.8? This is normal for any fast lens and is
no where near as bad as a fast lens on a full frame camera. On full
frame cameras you get black corners from a lot of lenses, not just
fall off.

A sigma 30mm looks worse, more than a stop fall off, than the 17-55
and the 60mm macro at f2.8 has some fall off.

I guess your advice might be not to shoot landscapes at f2.8 and
then it wont be noticable.

Graphik

OP Tomm Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: very good assessment..

fStopJojo wrote:
..and report. it basically mirrors my findings:
http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/fourpoundshowdown

Tomm wrote:

+: sharpness, focal length, color, handholding
-: falloff, flare, ergonomics, build, price

Yup. Your report is one of the reasons why I decided to rent the lens and try it out myself. So if I become $1100 poorer in the next few days, it's really all your fault.

  • Tomm

Lee Baby Simms Contributing Member • Posts: 930
Re: i agree

You've got to watch facial hair on women when shooting in magic light ... the EFS60 is the same way

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MrFoopy Regular Member • Posts: 349
Re: Canon 17-55 impressions (vs 17-40)

Katsoulis wrote:

I acutally like a little vignetting here and there, especially when
shooting at a low DOF. It is easilly corrected in Photoshop if you
shoot RAW.

What I can't abide is the "flare" or Chromatic Aberation. Having
used the lens for a little over two weeks, the problem is clearly
visible on 8x10 prints. This is not a matter of pixel peeping - in
bright sunlight, in areas of high contrast, the lens (or at least
my lens) produces unacceptable results.

If you don't mind correcting vignetting in Photoshop, you should consider correctiing chromatic aberation in ACR as well. ACR does a good job removing both red/cyan and blue/yellow color fringing. Yeah, it's annoying that it's there at all, but it's just like vignetting--you can remove it for those few shots that you want to print at large sizes.

carlk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Re: vignetting

I don't think your comparison to $5 popcorn is a very good one. In the case of 17-55 you just pay more and get more. IS is worth at least $300 and f2.8 probably more. You get the 40-55mm and better IQ as bonus - maybe to compensate the fact it's an EF-S. However since you have 1.6x camera it's an irrelevent point. I think it's actually a real good deal for 1.6x camera owner.

Maybe I should not argue it this way. I just saw your reply to fstopjojo. Don't want you to blame me to make you poorer later.

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mfurman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,281
Mistake in calculations

70-200 f/2.8 L IS is almost $1700. You are comparing f/2.8 L price and not including cost of IS in calculations. By the way 17-40 f/4.0L is $100 more exoensive than 70-200 f/4.0L (17%)
--
Michael

OP Tomm Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: Mistake in calculations

Oops. You're right. I did take the +$100 into account ($600 vs $700) but momentarily forgot that the 70-200/2.8 comes in IS and non-IS varieties. Well, so maybe that's where the extra $300 comes from. I'll just keep telling myself that if I decide to swing toward the 17-55.

  • Tomm

mfurman wrote:

70-200 f/2.8 L IS is almost $1700. You are comparing f/2.8 L price
and not including cost of IS in calculations. By the way 17-40
f/4.0L is $100 more exoensive than 70-200 f/4.0L (17%)
--
Michael

mfurman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,281
You will not regret it (NT)
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Michael

brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,971
Re: vignetting

Overprice on something superior, not monopolistic. There's Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina. Don't like Canon, there's Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Pentax. I would hardly call Canon's pricing scheme monopolistic.

Tomm wrote:

only choice you have if you want popcorn. There's no marketing
genius operating here; everyone knows you can overprice something
under monopolistic conditions.

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OP Tomm Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: vignetting

It's locally monopolistic--no one else offers a wide-to-portrait with IS. It's like the movie theatre popcorns, which aren't the only popcorn solutions in town (= Nikon & Pentax), but they are if you want to watch movies in that theatre (= Canon user). Monopolies are not bad things, and I don't blame Canon for innovating and offering something unique. I'm just saying that their pricing practice is also in line with the fact that they have something their competition doesn't, and that price premium is often disproportionate to the feature delta. Returning yet again to the popcorn analogy, when I was in college, there was a movie theatre in the area with very tasty butter on their popcorn (= 17-55 IS), so people actually went there just to buy the popcorn, despite having to pay movie popcorn prices for it instead of buying grocery store microwave popcorn for cheaper (= Sigma, Tamron, Tokina).

In any case, as we all learned in economics 101, value/utility is an awful tricky thing to compute, since it's often subjective and personal. So I'm not trying to tell anyone that 17-55 is worth it or not worth it, because that's going to boil down to each individual user. $1100 might mean peanuts if you're wealthy, or if you recoup that cost by selling your photos, or if you're getting rid of a bunch of other lenses on eBay to fund the purchase. But it might mean a lot if you're a student, or if you're married and your wife nearly divorced you for your last spending spree, or if your bank account is close to flatlining. I'm merely presenting some thoughts I had while evaluating this lens, in case others might find the information useful.

  • Tomm

brianric wrote:
Overprice on something superior, not monopolistic. There's Tamron,
Sigma, and Tokina. Don't like Canon, there's Nikon, Sony, Olympus,
and Pentax. I would hardly call Canon's pricing scheme monopolistic.

Tomm wrote:

only choice you have if you want popcorn. There's no marketing
genius operating here; everyone knows you can overprice something
under monopolistic conditions.

brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,971
Re: vignetting

In your own little world you are calling Canon a monopoly. No one is forcing you to buy the lens. Bottom line is Canon is a business, and if they can charge a premium for a lens that the competition does not have, more power to them. If price is a concern buy the Tamron or Sigma 18-50/2.8. As far as the movie analogy, want your own popcorn, wait until it is available to rent or purchase the movie, then you can eat your own popcorn to your heart's content. IMO, IS is over rated. I have three lenses with IS and I never use it.

Tomm wrote:

It's locally monopolistic--no one else offers a wide-to-portrait
with IS. It's like the movie theatre popcorns, which aren't the
only popcorn solutions in town (= Nikon & Pentax), but they are if
you want to watch movies in that theatre (= Canon user).
Monopolies are not bad things, and I don't blame Canon for
innovating and offering something unique. I'm just saying that
their pricing practice is also in line with the fact that they have
something their competition doesn't, and that price premium is
often disproportionate to the feature delta. Returning yet again
to the popcorn analogy, when I was in college, there was a movie
theatre in the area with very tasty butter on their popcorn (=
17-55 IS), so people actually went there just to buy the popcorn,
despite having to pay movie popcorn prices for it instead of buying
grocery store microwave popcorn for cheaper (= Sigma, Tamron,
Tokina).

In any case, as we all learned in economics 101, value/utility is
an awful tricky thing to compute, since it's often subjective and
personal. So I'm not trying to tell anyone that 17-55 is worth it
or not worth it, because that's going to boil down to each
individual user. $1100 might mean peanuts if you're wealthy, or if
you recoup that cost by selling your photos, or if you're getting
rid of a bunch of other lenses on eBay to fund the purchase. But
it might mean a lot if you're a student, or if you're married and
your wife nearly divorced you for your last spending spree, or if
your bank account is close to flatlining. I'm merely presenting
some thoughts I had while evaluating this lens, in case others
might find the information useful.

  • Tomm

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ed rader Veteran Member • Posts: 9,006
Re: vignetting

tom - would you like it better if the 17-55 were an L lens with hood and cost, say, $1600?

ed rader

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digitalrock Contributing Member • Posts: 520
Re: vignetting

ed rader wrote:

tom - would you like it better if the 17-55 were an L lens with
hood and cost, say, $1600?

if it worked on full frame and had the same performance on crop, then yes.

Sigi Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Many thanks Tomm, that helps a lot (nt)

Many thanks Tomm, that helps a lot (nt)

brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,971
Re: vignetting

Touché!

ed rader wrote:

tom - would you like it better if the 17-55 were an L lens with
hood and cost, say, $1600?

ed rader

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OP Tomm Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: vignetting

Canon 17-55 L IS USM with L-quality build, hood, full frame compatibility, and red paint, for $1600? Oh man, I am so in, I'd FedEx my credit card to Canon to place the pre-order right now. And admit it, most of the current 17-55 EFS owners would be lining up, too.

  • Tomm

brianric wrote:
Touché!

ed rader wrote:

tom - would you like it better if the 17-55 were an L lens with
hood and cost, say, $1600?

ed rader

OP Tomm Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: vignetting

Oh, and L-quality flare control, too. I was just looking over my shots from last night again, and some of the night shots w/ streetlamps had these large washed-out halos. Flare is annoying.

  • Tomm

Tomm wrote:
Canon 17-55 L IS USM with L-quality build, hood, full frame
compatibility, and red paint, for $1600? Oh man, I am so in, I'd
FedEx my credit card to Canon to place the pre-order right now.
And admit it, most of the current 17-55 EFS owners would be lining
up, too.

  • Tomm

brianric wrote:
Touché!

ed rader wrote:

tom - would you like it better if the 17-55 were an L lens with
hood and cost, say, $1600?

ed rader

brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,971
Re: vignetting

I wouldn't be lining up, because it will be a few years before I'll even consider FF.

Tomm wrote:
Canon 17-55 L IS USM with L-quality build, hood, full frame
compatibility, and red paint, for $1600? Oh man, I am so in, I'd
FedEx my credit card to Canon to place the pre-order right now.
And admit it, most of the current 17-55 EFS owners would be lining
up, too.

  • Tomm

brianric wrote:
Touché!

ed rader wrote:

tom - would you like it better if the 17-55 were an L lens with
hood and cost, say, $1600?

ed rader

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ed rader Veteran Member • Posts: 9,006
Re: vignetting

brianric wrote:

In your own little world you are calling Canon a monopoly. No one
is forcing you to buy the lens. Bottom line is Canon is a business,
and if they can charge a premium for a lens that the competition
does not have, more power to them. If price is a concern buy the
Tamron or Sigma 18-50/2.8. As far as the movie analogy, want your
own popcorn, wait until it is available to rent or purchase the
movie, then you can eat your own popcorn to your heart's content.
IMO, IS is over rated. I have three lenses with IS and I never use
it.

why do you keep paying the premium for lenses with IS if you don't use the feature?

perhaps because canon has a monoply on these lenses :)?

ed rader

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ed rader Veteran Member • Posts: 9,006
no, not FF.........

same lens but L build, weather sealed, red stripe, coated optics, soft pouch and hood.

ed rader

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