16-35mm II or 17-40mm on a 50D?

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I am patiently waiting for a 5D MkIII and a new 24-70 2.8L. In the meantime I will continue to use my 50D but I dont have a standard zoom (I do most of my shooting with a 50mm prime or the 70-200mm F4 IS). While I have some spare cash, I am thinking about buying a new general purpose lens. The obvious contenders would be the 15-85mm or the 17-55mm but I would prefer something that I can eventually use on full frame. Either the 17-40 or 16-35mm II seem like good choices. This means I would end up with a travel kit consisiting of the 17-40/16-35 + new 24-70 + 70-200 + 5dMk III (or secondhand 5DMk II). I would love to hear some opinions (see some photos) of how the 17-40 and 16-35 perform on a 1.6 crop camera. I am mainly interested in the 17-40 as it is cheaper and a little lighter but I would buy the 16-35 II mm if I thought it performed better. I have tried to research this but have found the results quite conflicting (with a general trend that the 16-35 is better at the wide end and the 17-40 better at the long end). Various users seem to prefer either of the two lenses. What I would benefit most from is seeing real world photos. Thanks for anything you can offer. (and sorry - I know this comes up a bit but most of the posts I have found focussed on full-frame. When I go to full frame I will eventually use the lens mainly at f8+ and on a tripod - so the differences may ultimately be less important)

Ok. so I cant quite follow your logic here. You dont want to buy the camera that you want, b/c you want to wait another year for an upgrade to that camera. You dont want to buy the lens, b/c of a mythical upgrade with no known time line. You dont want to buy the proper lens for your current camera, b/c you want to buy a lens for when you upgrade. Yet, you are interested in the performance difference on your camera right now, and not once you upgrade? I must be missing something here. As for your question, I think 17-40 is a poor choice on a crop b/c its f4. the dof control and high iso performance is already not as good on a crop, and you are crippling it more by using an f4 lens. as far as performance goes, from f4 on, you should not be able to see much of a difference. On full frame, the 16-35II is going to have better corners at 4 and 5.6, better vignetting, but other than that, mostly choose base on f stop
damoclesnz wrote: I am patiently waiting for a 5D MkIII and a new 24-70 2.8L. In the meantime I will continue to use my 50D but I dont have a standard zoom (I do most of my shooting with a 50mm prime or the 70-200mm F4 IS). While I have some spare cash, I am thinking about buying a new general purpose lens. The obvious contenders would be the 15-85mm or the 17-55mm but I would prefer something that I can eventually use on full frame. Either the 17-40 or 16-35mm II seem like good choices. This means I would end up with a travel kit consisiting of the 17-40/16-35 + new 24-70 + 70-200 + 5dMk III (or secondhand 5DMk II). I would love to hear some opinions (see some photos) of how the 17-40 and 16-35 perform on a 1.6 crop camera. I am mainly interested in the 17-40 as it is cheaper and a little lighter but I would buy the 16-35 II mm if I thought it performed better. I have tried to research this but have found the results quite conflicting (with a general trend that the 16-35 is better at the wide end and the 17-40 better at the long end). Various users seem to prefer either of the two lenses. What I would benefit most from is seeing real world photos. Thanks for anything you can offer. (and sorry - I know this comes up a bit but most of the posts I have found focussed on full-frame. When I go to full frame I will eventually use the lens mainly at f8+ and on a tripod - so the differences may ultimately be less important)

Here's one taken with the 17-40 on a 7D. IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911368906.jpg)

globalphilip wrote: Here's one taken with the 17-40 on a 7D. IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911368906.jpg)
Thanks. I like the picture. It seems like a capable lens for general use (I have been perusing Flickr, which took a bit of fiddling to get working properly in China!).

globalphilip wrote: Here's one taken with the 17-40 on a 7D. IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911368906.jpg)
oh, this is a nice shot! i like! did you use a polarizer? i would say - yes.

salamander1 wrote:
globalphilip wrote: Here's one taken with the 17-40 on a 7D. IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911368906.jpg)
oh, this is a nice shot! i like! did you use a polarizer? i would say - yes

first off you did not state what style (s) of photography will be most important to you. Landscape, portrait, ??? If landscape, may I presume tripod use will be likely, and shallow dof will not be critical? Then I would opt for the 17-40. On both this and the 16-35 the corners are significantly softer than the center, but on a 1.6 crop, much of this poorer corner performance will be cropped away. Thus the center performance of the 17-40 is very, very close to that of the 16-35 which costs 2X as much. In addition the 16-35 II uses an 82mm filter which will be a larger size than your other lenses, whereas the 17-40 uses a 77mm filter as does most of the other f2.8 Ls. If you go full frame at a later date, you may eventually prefer a WA prime for the added edge/corner performance, but the 17-40 will be easy to resell, and with modest loss. Mike K

Mike K wrote: first off you did not state what style (s) of photography will be most important to you. Landscape, portrait, ??? If landscape, may I presume tripod use will be likely, and shallow dof will not be critical? Then I would opt for the 17-40. On both this and the 16-35 the corners are significantly softer than the center, but on a 1.6 crop, much of this poorer corner performance will be cropped away. Thus the center performance of the 17-40 is very, very close to that of the 16-35 which costs 2X as much. In addition the 16-35 II uses an 82mm filter which will be a larger size than your other lenses, whereas the 17-40 uses a 77mm filter as does most of the other f2.8 Ls. If you go full frame at a later date, you may eventually prefer a WA prime for the added edge/corner performance, but the 17-40 will be easy to resell, and with modest loss. Mike K
Thanks Mike. In the short term it will just be a walk around lens (street shots mainly 28mm - 50mm). I currently have the Tokina 11-16mm for wideangle. I will use it mainly for street scapes on FF (I like the idea of an ultra-wide - normal zoom). I think you are right that the 17-40 is a good option for me (re-sale is a little tricky here in Beijing as don't speak Chinese but I would expect to have the lens for a number of years)

Mike, A good, considered response. I am currently in a similar position to the initiator and find your comments constructive, thanks. The Kernel

Hi, You might want to check this out. http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/sigma_12-24_vs_canon_16-35_vs_canon17-40.htm Btw I own a 17-40 which I use on a 7D mainly for landscapes: fine to me! the IQ is allright and the buildquality and price are excellent. Cheers, Harm.

I recently bought the 16-35mm ii to go on my 500D. The first copy was no good so I was issued a second which is a lot better but not worth the money I paid for it. ($1600US) I am purchasing a 5DM2 soon so I'm hoping its the camera not the lens. I've got a 70-200f/4 L IS USM that produces stunning shots even with a 1.4 ii extender but I'm afraid I'm underwhelmed by the 16-35ii. Its put me off buying the 24-70 at this stage because I've read a lot of negative stuff about bad copies and I'm in a country at present where it's difficult to get things replaced. I also purchased the 85mm 1.8 and its a super lens on the 500D. When I compare shots taken with the 16-35ii with those taken with the 18-55 kit lens, I do see a difference, but not a difference worth $1500!

Thanks everyone, I am leaving to buy the 17-40 now.

Good choice, mine is almost as sharp as 24-70L. It only took trip to Canon to perform the alignment, one side was less sharp out of the box. Cost me just shipping as I did it right after the purchase while it was under warranty.
damoclesnz wrote: Thanks everyone, I am leaving to buy the 17-40 now.

From a fellow 50d user I recently purchased the 17-40 and could not be happier with it. It is plenty wide for me. I just could not justify the cost of the 16-35. I will spend the extra money on a 100-400. Like you I also plan on going full frame in the future and refuse to buy ef-s mount glass.

There was an old 17-35/2.8 L USM on craigslist going for about what a new 17-40 goes for. Any one familiar with that lens and is that worth it? It was gone before I could make up my mind if I wanted to bite on it but it would be good to know in the future. PS I have seen the photozone review, just like to hear peoples opinions here.

No, there you are taking a big image quality hit. 17-40 should perform better than 17-35. -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

I took the 17-40 out for a walk today and will give my comments as an epilogue. I find the weight of the lens very comfortable on my 50D. Build quality is excellent. The colours are nice with plenty of contrast. Focus is very fast and I am impressed how closely the lens can focus. IS would be nice for use on a crop body but I can live without it (I hope). The lens is very sharp in the centre from 4.0 and was better than I expected in the corners (and to my eyes quite acceptable from 5.6 onwards). There is a bit of distortion at the wide end but I expected that. I find the range very usable although a bit more reach would be nice. I dont miss not having the 2.8 of the 17-55 (I got the 85 1.8 as well and the 17-40/85 cost about the same as the 17-55). If I were buying a lens only for use on a crop format I think I would prefer the range of the 15-85 over the speed of the 17-55 for my uses. Overall I am happy. A nice, reasonably compact, street lens.

I would vote for the 17-40L in this case, not that I like the 17-40L or the 16-35L, actually I don't care for either one that much, but at least in this case the 17-40L is much cheaper than the 16-35L but with very close optic performance, the only thing you are missing from it is obviously the F2.8, which you probably wouldn't care about on the 16-35L either even it has the "capability", wide open performance on the 16-35L is not something you would brag about on that lens. Both lens are decent and FF compatible lenses, but if you want a "great ultra wide" lens later for a FF camera, you will probably look elsewhere anyway, but the two zoom mentioned here works pretty good on the crop body because you just eliminate the worst part of the lens -- the extreme edges and corners. I used them quite a bit when I had the 20D a while back. So if I am buying one for the 50D, I will definitely go for the 17-40L not the 16-35L. If I want to spend $1500 for a WA lens, the 16-35L is definitely not on my list.

If you are interested in how a 16-35 f2.8 mk I on a crop have a look at my pbase site specifically the European posts and anything shot before 2007 are all 10D with the wide lens being the 16-35 f2.8.

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