Feedback on the EF 17-40/4 "L" for film ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Laurent, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Hello all,

    I'm thinking of extending my EOS kit a bit, and was wondering how said lens performs on film ? My understanding is that it's fairly recent and designed for D*****L but I'm only a film user...

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    I've used it for both color and B&W, works just wonderful, sharp, light, very wide, good contrast etc, no problem using it with film at all.
     
  3. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Excellent optic but be aware of distortion at both ends of it's range.
    Obviously this is more noticeable at the wide end.
    Careful composition avoiding straight elements near the periphery of the frame and it is okay.

    My copy is okay at F/4 but by F/8 is really wows you.
     
  4. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    My favourite lens of the entire EOS system. Wonderful contrast, sharp enough, light, reasonably small, very well built, great AF, and relatively affordable (for an L lens). I also love how it focuses really close (0.28m/11")- try that with an RF or with the average 24/28-70/80mm SLR lens.

    Superb lens, excellent value for money.

    Only minus is indeed the distortion, it bugs me now and then for horizons- nothing terrible though.
     
  5. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I've been using newer L glass on my 35mm EOS system no problems, being the 24-105/4L and 70-200/4L IS. You should be fine with the 17-40, if anything the newer d*****l lenses would be better for film since their coated to minimize reflections created by the sensor, which film does not have as much of an issue with.
     
  6. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The EF 17-40 f4L is an excellent multi-purpose optic, only that the extreme 17mm end can be difficult to work with from a compositional standpoint and its non-rectilinear design means verticals can give trouble once tilting the camera is introduced. It is not a digital lens (though it can be used on digital bodies), nor is it a recent lens, having been around for something like 10 years now. Contrast is strong and uniform across its range and in my long experience (since 1998) the best images are found at f8, but it also delivers wide open at f4. I have several friends who have seen the images I have had printed and framed (Ilfochromes) from this lens and have subsequently bought one.

    I am not aware that digital-optimized Canon lenses in the EOS range will work on the film EOS bodies — due to the structure of the flange/bayonet, electronics and especially metering control.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  7. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Somewhat confusing statement there. The 17-40L was introduced in May 2003. I suppose what you mean to say is that, generally speaking, lenses perform best at f/8, but that this particular lens does well at f/4 too.

    I second that impression BTW, although I usually stop it down to f/5.6, where my sample improves by a visible amount, especially at the long end. The performance improvement going from f/5.6 to f/8 seems much smaller.
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I had my hands on this lens long, long before May 2003.
    In my work there is no need to exploit any potential, real or otherwise, of using this or other L-series lenses at full aperture.
     
  9. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    It is a good lens for the smaller sensor digital bodies but I never liked it with film. The corners were really weak on the wide end and it suffered from pretty bad diffraction once past f/11. I have had more than a few negs ruined from these problems. I finally sold it when I left digital behind since it served no real purpose with film. In other words, I wouldn't recommend it.

    By the way, it did come out in 2003.
     
  10. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    sandermarijn is correct, the 17-40 was introduced first time in 2003 (May)

    Are you sure you are not talking about the 17-35 Poisson Du Jour? That lens was introduced in 1996...

    Anyway, it's a great lens and the "digital adjustments" that were made, was that the coating was altered to reduce reflections from the sensor back trough the lens, it doesn't matter for film use. (I use it a lot with landscapes and Velvia on my Canon 1V).
    M. Lointain, looks like you got a dud, the 17-40 is only surpassed by the 16-35 F2.8 L II, the corners on mine are sharp, both on my film body and on my 1ds mk II, no visible diffraction even down to f16 on either camera.
     
  11. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Thanks all for your feedback !

    I'll keep an eye on this lens, but at the moment all the ones I could have for a decent price seem to have been sold, and in the mean time I found a 50/1.4 for a good price. So I think I'll get the 50mm for the moment, and wait for a 17-40 to appear later.

    Cheers
    Laurent
     
  12. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    The 50 f1.4 is a great lens as well, usually it is pretty weird wide open though but really tightens up around f2.0-f2.8, by F4 my 50 is the sharpest lens I have (and I have loads of "L" lenses in my bag). =)