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Thread: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

  1. #1

    Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Hello fellow photogs!

    Apologies if this is in the wrong forum. I currently shoot with the Canon 7D (1.6 crop) and have the following glass available:
    1) 17-40 f/4L
    2) 28-135 IS
    3) 50 f/1.8 II

    It's an acceptable collection to shoot everyday landscapes & some events photography that I do, but it's not very versatile and in a lot of cases I either don't have enough reach or my lenses aren't fast enough for low light. As such, I'm considering doing some lineup changes.

    I will sell my 28-135 IS and purchase the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. This will give my more reach in low light conditions and I absolutely loved the 70-200 when I had a chance to shoot with it a while back. My biggest problem, however, is finding a general purpose glass for my 7D.

    I want to sell my 17-40 f/4L and get the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS. However, being an EF-S glass, it means that if I ever upgrade to FF (not entirely outside the realm of possibility, but quite remote though), I'd have to sell it and find yet another walkaround glass. My biggest concern, however, is getting over the reluctance of selling my L for a non-L glass...

    I know the 17-55 produces excellent images that can match and sometime exceed my 17-40. But I've heard that it is prone to dust problems, and the build quality, while excellent for a non-L, is not up to par with 17-40. There's also some concern with the zooming that is not as silky smooth as my L. Then there's also the $1000 CAD price tag for a non-L glass.

    What are your thoughts? Is selling 17-40 L to get the 17-55 IS a good idea?

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Hansm's Avatar
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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Hi,
    First of all welcome to this forum.

    Honestly I don't see a real reason why to sell the 17-40 mm L to buy the EF-S 17-55 mm.
    you have already the 50 mm lens that narrows the gap between 40 mm and 70 mm.
    As you mentioned the EF-S is useless on a FF body and these are getting more affordable on the second hand market.
    The 17-40 mm lens has a very high reputation and offers lot quality for its price.
    If you add the 70-200 mm to your set there is no much limit caused by the lens selection so selling the 28 135 mm lens makes more sense then.

  3. #3

    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Thanks for the reply! My only gripe with the 17-40 is the reach on the long end and also its low-light performance. But as you've said, I have the 50 f/1.8 to offset that.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2484Stryker View Post
    My biggest concern, however, is getting over the reluctance of selling my L for a non-L glass...

    I know the 17-55 produces excellent images that can match and sometime exceed my 17-40. But I've heard that it is prone to dust problems, and the build quality, while excellent for a non-L, is not up to par with 17-40. There's also some concern with the zooming that is not as silky smooth as my L. Then there's also the $1000 CAD price tag for a non-L glass. What are your thoughts?
    I have used both lenses.

    The EF-S 17 to 55F/2.8 IS USM is a superior and more flexible lens than the EF 17 to 40F/4 USM as a general purpose lens on a 7D.

    As far as I understand no EF-S lens will ever have an "L" badge as such a lens will never meet the criterion that it can mount to ever camera in the Series.

    There is a lot of poppy cock, worry wart nonsense spread on the net, IMO – and I think the ”dust problem” is one example. . . and the build quality of the EF-S17 to 55 is quite sound also . . . I didn’t noticed any rough zooming – maybe I got the one good copy.

    Whether it is worth it to you to sell the 17 to 40 and buy the 17 to 55 . . . only you can decide.


    WW

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Often when folks mention needing "fast glass for low light situations" we discover that they're not cranking their ISO up high enough. The usual reply to that is "but I get too much noise when I do that". High ISO modes don't produce noise per se - it's UNDER-EXPOSURE at high ISO modes that reveals noise when the shot is adjusted in post-processing - so the "trick" is to push the exposure as hard as you can to separate the signal from the noise floor, and then adjust the exposure back down in post processing. The other trick is to avoid cropping the images excessively.

    Follow these two rules and you should be able to shoot any normal dynamic range scene at the highest ISO that the camera supports and not get a lot of noise when looking at the shot as a whole (forget pixel-peeping).

    So just a thought - it may be that you don't need "fast glass" at all.

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    Ady's Avatar
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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    While the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS is undoubtedly an excellent lens the primary reasons I'll be keeping my 17-40L is the FF compatibility and that it will withstand a LOT of abuse but is sufficiently cheap that if the worst does happen I won't be too upset. My 17-40L, and other L series lenses, have been through shoots of three to four hours in torrential rain and hail with all the associated grit and mud splatter without any problems at all. I'm not sure I'd be happy subjecting any of my EF-S lenses to this kind of treatment. Of course if you are able to avoid adverse weather conditions this is not necessarily a consideration.

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    The 17-55mm f/2.8 IS beats the pants off the 17-40L on a crop camera because:

    1. Better IQ
    2. Faster aperture (great difference between f/2.8 and f/4 in real life shooting)
    3. Longer focal length (55mm is a very usable focal length on a crop camera while 40mm is pretty darn lukewarm)
    4. IS CAPABILITY - IS CAPABILITY - and did I mention IS CAPABILITY?

    I never thought I would consider IS Capability as a very important factor in a lens of this relatively short focal length but the constant f/2.8 aperture, great low light focusing and IS capability make my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens a super available light performer.

    I love the combination of 70-200mm f/4L IS and 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lenses on a pair of 1.6x cameras and could probably shoot 90-95% of my imagery with these two lenses. BTW: although the 70-200mm f/2.8L (series) lenses are great; I chose the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens because it is lighter in weight and therefore easier to travel with!

    See my China galleries at: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/ which were all shot with the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses on a anon 40D and a 30D. These lenses make the very best travel duo I have ever used...

    One of the reasons (besides that I get very good results from my croppers) that I have remained with the crop format is the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens which I love dearly. I am sure that there are photographers who also love their third party lenses of this approximate focal range but, I have never regretted purchasing the 17-55mm. Since I keep my lenses for rxtended period, my amortized cost of the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is not that much greater than the third party offerings.

    I would not select a lens predicated on "possibly" changing formats sometime in the undetermined future. I would get the best lens for the format I am using and IMO, the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is the best in show.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 21st May 2012 at 03:31 PM.

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    I married my 7D to 24-70mm and 70-200mm.
    Main reason is I shot indoor, sport. so I got the lens from F 2.8 family.
    and I rarely use my sigma 50mm honestly.

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    I know it's pricey, but I just recently bought the 5D3 and purchased the 16-35/2.8L with it. So far I love it. I also have the 10-22 which of course only works with my 7D which is why I got the 16-35 for the 5D3. I guess it depends on if you have a want for a really wide shot as I can certainly get with the 16-35 paired with the 5D3. I haven't tried it on my 7D yet. I guess I should try that out.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Quote Originally Posted by patrick9x9 View Post
    I haven't tried it [my new 16 to 35] on my 7D yet. I guess I should try that out.
    I expect you will like it, better than EF-S 10 to 22.

    I have the EF 16 to 35F/2.8L MKII and I use that lens as my standard working zoom on my APS-C cameras. The APS-C s smaller sensor, just gets the guts of the already very good quality image circle of the 16 to 35. . . and thus avoids (mostly all) Optical Vignette and Chromatic Aberrations especially at F/2.8 . . . and therefore makes the lens realistically a very VERY effective non varying maximum aperture F/2.8 zoom (equivalent to the 10 to 22) . . . but at a cost.

    WW

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Change the 17-40 for the 17-55 - in a heart beat .
    My 70-200 mk II is a great lens also .
    The 10-22 - I up the ISO to 800 and over expose a stop .
    My 28-135 saw some use until I got the 70-200 . Before that it was the 28-135 or the 35-350 .
    I have both the 50 1.8 and the 50 1.4 - the 17-55 beats both of them - with IS the F stops are close enough that the faster focusing more than makes up for the little gap . Going on 5 or 6 years and 2 nd body with the 17-55 - not dust yet [ I always have some kind of filter on all my lenses ]
    As far as going full frame - you will still want a back up camera / with lens and if / when they come out with the 7D II or what ever the next crop is - you will probably forget FF . BUT , I thought the XTI had everything I would ever want - now better burst and AF with the 7D .

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Thanks Bill, I'll definitely try it out as I'm keeping my 7D for sure as my back up camera and will use it when I really want to zoom in close to something.

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyjr View Post
    Change the 17-40 for the 17-55 - in a heart beat .
    My 70-200 mk II is a great lens also .
    The 10-22 - I up the ISO to 800 and over expose a stop .
    My 28-135 saw some use until I got the 70-200 . Before that it was the 28-135 or the 35-350 .
    I have both the 50 1.8 and the 50 1.4 - the 17-55 beats both of them - with IS the F stops are close enough that the faster focusing more than makes up for the little gap . Going on 5 or 6 years and 2 nd body with the 17-55 - not dust yet [ I always have some kind of filter on all my lenses ]
    As far as going full frame - you will still want a back up camera / with lens and if / when they come out with the 7D II or what ever the next crop is - you will probably forget FF . BUT , I thought the XTI had everything I would ever want - now better burst and AF with the 7D .
    That's exactly why I decided to get the 7D last year and wait for the 5D III, that way I have a back up. That as opposed to really splurging and getting the 1Dx and using the XTi as a back up. The 7D and the 5D III are still cheaper than just the 1Dx.

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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    my recommendation is sell it and buy an ultrawide lens(10-24mm) since you like to shoot landscape photography.

    17mm on a 7D sometimes is just not wide enough.

  15. #15
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    Re: Should I sell my 17-40 f/4L for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS?

    For landscapes and groups of people [ like at a wedding , game , graduation ] unless you stitch together 17 won't get it .
    95% of time the 17-55 is fine for me . But at a wedding , birthday party , etc out comes the 10-22 .
    The 10-22 wants to be square and level with ground / horizon at 10 -11 mm . Anything under 12 mm , I plan on cropping and frame with that in mind .
    It is a WA lens , so plan on using a hood where there are moving cars , people - just about anything that can cause a reflection - but that is a given with almost any lens .
    Last edited by tonyjr; 25th May 2012 at 03:24 PM.

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