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Canon lens 17-40 mm VS 24-70 mm

Sombat Krairit , Apr 07, 2008; 04:31 a.m.

Still undecide between these 2 lens from Canon

1. 17-40 MM f/4 USM EF 2. 24-70 MM f2.8 L USM

The second one is more expensive but I've been told that the 24-70 is a sharper len. Any suggestion ? Thanks


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Rainer T , Apr 07, 2008; 04:47 a.m.

What camera are you going to use the lens on? Also, what type of images do you want to take with this lens?

M Barbu , Apr 07, 2008; 05:01 a.m.

Is low light capability important? The 24-70 is one stop faster. At ISO 3200 and f/2.8, sometimes I can barely squeeze by and get a fast enough shutter speed.

Colin Carron , Apr 07, 2008; 05:11 a.m.

The differences between these two lenses is not so much their sharpness (which are probably comparable) but for their focal length. Assuming a 1.6 crop factor camera body : the 17-40 L is roughly in the moderate wide angle to a standard lens length, while the 24-70 L goes from a slightly wide angle to a short telephoto.

I suggest instead of thinking about sharpness you think in terms of focal length. Which focal length would appeal more to you? Which focal length would you tend to use more?

The two lenses also come from two different Canon lens groups. The 17-40 L has its equivalent in the 24-105 L which are both f/4 lenses and very good value.

The 24-70 L has the 16-35 L as its equivalent as they are both f/2.8 and as you say more expensive.

Sombat Krairit , Apr 07, 2008; 05:48 a.m.

Thanks for the comments,I plan to use this len for my Canon 40D that I purchased with 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. For some reasons I am not totally satisfy with 28-135 and I plan to trade in this one. As for now this is the only len I have, and most of my subjects cover street photograph from the car , my kids play around the house, birthday parties,landscape.

Juergen Sattleru , Apr 07, 2008; 06:12 a.m.

Sombat, for your only lens on the 40D, I do not think that the 24-70 will be versatile enough - esp. for what you want to use it for. If you decide to stay with a crop sensor body in the long run, then a better alternative might be the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS lens. If you want to stay full frame compatible, you could get either the 17-40 or the 16-35 lens.

Colin Carron , Apr 07, 2008; 06:16 a.m.

I agree with your assessment of the 28-135 - rather an average performer. I suggest you look at the 24-105 f/4 L IS as maybe the closest of the L quality lenses to your current lens. The better sharpness of this lens will compensate for the shorter maximum focal length as you will be able to crop more.

However if you want a larger max aperture then the 24-70 L f2.8 might be the one.

Colin Carron , Apr 07, 2008; 06:21 a.m.

...and if you want a wider lens then the 17-40 L.

John Hanlon , Apr 07, 2008; 08:48 a.m.

Hello Sombat,

You might consider how much weight you want to hang on your neck. As well as being a lot bulkier, especially with the hood mounted, the 24-70 (2.1lb) is almost twice as heavy as the 17-40 (1.1lb). The 17-40+XT is about as much weight as I want to carry for any length of time; if I had to carry the 24-70 I would probably croak. Of course I'm an old geezer, if you're young with a strong neck it probably wouldn't bother you. By the way, I have found the 17-40 to be very sharp. The 24-70 may well be sharper, I don't know, but probably not enough to make any practical difference.

Kerry Grim , Apr 07, 2008; 09:27 a.m.

Buy for the appropriate focal length you will be needing. Sharpness will mostly be determined by your technique.

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