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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Travel Lens -Canon 17-40 f4L or 70-200 f4 L ?
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03/15/2007 02:50:51 AM · #1
I am looking to buy a new lens for travel (will be in Indonesia in July and India in December). I can only afford one L lens at this point. I know this seems like a silly question as both lenses are at two ends of the spectrum but I would be interested in anyones opinion who has had the same problem. Ideally, I would buy both - but alas, can only afford one.
Confronted with the same choice - which would you chose ? Which did you find the more useful in a travel situation. The lenses I have at the moment are: Kit lens 18-55 (pretty basic - not crash hot); Tamron 28-75 f2.8 (fairly happy - so have the mid range covered); 75-300 (pretty basic - same as kit lens).
So - which would you recommend and why ? The 17-40 f4 L or the 70-200 f4 L?
I'm interested in others opinions. If you have a recommendation - can you tell me why ? Remember I can only afford one (not both) and I assume the optical quality is much the same. Therefore - which did you find more useful in a travel situation?
03/15/2007 04:22:42 AM · #2
Both great lenses, as you said. I think the 70-200 is the better of the two, but still think you may get more use from the short lens, based on these shots from your portfolio (both shot with the 18-55):
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The key isn't which is the better lens, but which one you personally are likely to use more. For me, the choice would be the 70-200. I'm guessing otherwise for you, but you would know better than I if that's correct.

BTW, those sound like some great travel plans you have! Have a wonderful time, hope you get some great shots.
03/15/2007 05:09:54 AM · #3
The 70-200 makes more sense on a crop camera. The 17-40 is designed as a super wide-angle lens for full frame...

splidge
03/15/2007 05:51:58 AM · #4
get both and take your tamron. (oops cant do that)

If you are not looking to upgrade to a full frame sensor any time soon get the 10-22mm, Its as good as an L lens (my opinion). the reason I say this is I had one and used it flat out until i got the 5d/17-40L.
17mm isnt wide enough and i just would rather have wide angle than telephoto when traveling.

nick
03/15/2007 06:10:32 AM · #5
yea, 70-200 for travel
03/15/2007 06:52:41 AM · #6
sigma 10-22mm or the tokina 12-24mm would be my suggestions. both excellent lenses on par with L stuff. 17-40L isn't nearly as wide as either of these lenses, and the only reason i would pick it over the others is if your planning to upgrade to a 5D any time in the future.

Otherwise it really depends where you going to travel. if your going safari to shoot animals, go 70-200mm... landscape shots, go the wide angle lens. for anything in between, your tamron lens has already got you covered... personally i prefer landscapes, so i'd go for the Wide angle lens
03/15/2007 07:48:30 AM · #7
The way I travel - its mainly people shots. I can't decide if the tele photo would be better - give me more distance. Or go the 17-40 , get in close, room or market shots? The think the Tamron will cover me for the mid range.
03/15/2007 07:59:26 AM · #8
I personally would go for the 17-40. MY wife and i have both and the 17-40 gets used WAY more.
03/15/2007 08:13:50 AM · #9
Find some non L lenses at both ends and stop them down a bit rather then fully open. Your better off with the shots then not having the right length.
03/15/2007 08:14:22 AM · #10
Tough call, personally i'd go for the 24-70mm F2.8L.
:D

Failing that it depends where you're going, if you going to cities i'd go for the 17-40, if not the 70-200.
03/15/2007 08:19:44 AM · #11
I have both and have definetly used the 17-40 more often when traveling around Europe. Big crowds, small places, architecture, etc. all favor having a smaller lens on your camera. With today's PS capabilities, you can always crop and enlarge without too much loss of detail. You could always add a 1.4 extender if you wanted.
03/15/2007 11:35:58 AM · #12
For a crop camera I'd get the EF-S 17-55 rather than the 17-40: equal or better IQ, longer range, one stop faster and IS. Costs a bit more but way more flexible...

splidge
03/15/2007 11:51:22 AM · #13
Originally posted by Tajhad:

The lenses I have at the moment are: Kit lens 18-55 (pretty basic - not crash hot); Tamron 28-75 f2.8 (fairly happy - so have the mid range covered); 75-300 (pretty basic - same as kit lens).
So - which would you recommend and why ? The 17-40 f4 L or the 70-200 f4 L?


It is entirely up to your style of shooting. I own both of those low end L's and use them in very different ways. Think of the types of subjects you expect to shoot or are interested in shooting. Consider which of the lenses you currently own, that you'd pick to shoot those subjects - either the 18-55 or the 75-300 lenses.

Then buy the better version based on that. Most reasonable cataloging software should let you search/ sort your images by the lens used - go through your previous images and see which are shot at a 18-40 ish focal length and which are shot at a 75-200 ish focal length.

Then decide which style you prefer and go that way.

You can shoot travel with just a wide angle or just a telephoto, but it depends on your personality in many ways - do you want to get up close and personal to what's going on, or do you want to observe from afar ? A 17-40 is going to mean you want to be right in the thick of things - shooting what is going on around you. The pictures will show that with a wide angle, used well. But you'll need to be a few feet away from the things you are shooting. With a telephoto, your pictures will demonstrate that distance you've taken, but you can be many yards away and get good shots.

So it is your personality and your style of shooting that really matters. You could even just take a cheap 50mm lens and nothing else if it suited how you want to shoot - I spent two weeks in Australia just shooting with a 50mm last year and didn't miss any of my other lenses.

03/15/2007 12:03:34 PM · #14
For travelling to and within urban areas, wide would be better than long. I think you'll find 17-40mm on a 1.6 crop camera barely wide enough for some street photography. White lenses are, of course, more ostentatious than black ones, too. Personally, given your camera, I'd take the 24-70 (or the 24-105) and the Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye.
03/15/2007 12:43:46 PM · #15
Here is a nice review of Canon general purpose lens:
//www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/Canon-General-Purpose-Lens.aspx
03/15/2007 12:44:53 PM · #16
For travel, I'd take the 17-40 every time. Wide suits my travel style better though...
03/15/2007 12:50:36 PM · #17
17-40 would be my choice in your package.
24-70 if you can get there ($$$) - Better option for travel
24-105 once you put it on camera, you'll never took it out. For sure, this is the best option for travel.
03/15/2007 12:53:03 PM · #18
If I could only travel with one lens from my bag, it would be the Canon 10-22mm, hands-down. But that's just me; I'm heavily into WA photography.

R.
03/15/2007 04:18:42 PM · #19
bump
03/15/2007 04:27:50 PM · #20
For my style wide is probably better than telephoto. However, the kit lens is probably better overall than the 75-300, so you could make the argument to get the 70-200. I think overall the 70-200 and the kit is a better combo than the 17-40 and the 75-300 (which I personally think a below average lens).

I'd echo De Sousa that the 24-105 is a great walkaround lens. However, it does lack on the wide end on a crop sensor. Still you could bring the kit for the wide stuff.
03/16/2007 05:03:03 AM · #21
Is the 24-105 better optics than my 28-75 Tamron ? I agree that the range is good (105 for small telephoto is good) but I feel I might be repeating the range that I have with a reasonable lens (the Tamron). I know it isn't L glass - but I figure it is close. Therefore go for an L glass (the affordable ones) in a range that I don't have covered. My main confusion - is what lens will I find more useful.
10 years ago (using film) it would be an easy choice - the 70-200. Today I use digital and my style has changed (this will be my first trip abroad using digital). My intersts are more the Steve McCurry style (I think he uses wide angle). I know it seems like a ridiculus question for some (it is really - but then a again I'm not loaded and therefore want to get the most useful for the moment).
Thanks for the responses so far - believe or not you have been most helpful. Most people (including myself) enjoy spending other peoples money LOL.
03/16/2007 04:18:58 PM · #22
bump
03/16/2007 04:29:40 PM · #23
i agree with the doc

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

However, the kit lens is probably better overall than the 75-300, so you could make the argument to get the 70-200. I think overall the 70-200 and the kit is a better combo than the 17-40 and the 75-300 (which I personally think a below average lens).
03/16/2007 04:47:31 PM · #24
I would choose one between the two, such as the 24-105 f/4 L lens you mentioned.

But if you have decided to go with one of those two, I would absolutely choose the 17-40. The wide vistas you can shoot with that lens make it more than worthwhile. Plus, you will be forced to get in close for more personal action photos, which will make your trip immensely more enjoyable and memorable. Hope you have a great time!
03/16/2007 04:48:23 PM · #25
Originally posted by Tajhad:

Is the 24-105 better optics than my 28-75 Tamron ? I agree that the range is good (105 for small telephoto is good) but I feel I might be repeating the range that I have with a reasonable lens (the Tamron). I know it isn't L glass - but I figure it is close. Therefore go for an L glass (the affordable ones) in a range that I don't have covered. My main confusion - is what lens will I find more useful.
10 years ago (using film) it would be an easy choice - the 70-200. Today I use digital and my style has changed (this will be my first trip abroad using digital). My intersts are more the Steve McCurry style (I think he uses wide angle). I know it seems like a ridiculus question for some (it is really - but then a again I'm not loaded and therefore want to get the most useful for the moment).
Thanks for the responses so far - believe or not you have been most helpful. Most people (including myself) enjoy spending other peoples money LOL.


The 24-105mm has excellent optics, has IS (not critical for a lens like this) and it's an L lens. The range is about as versatile as it gets. The 70-200mm also has excellent optics, no IS (unless you pay for it), delivers a decent bokeh and can function as a fine candid and portrait lens.

On a budget I'd take the Tamron along (it's a good lens, very affordable and at f/2.8 should produce a nice shallow dof for portraits) and the a 70-200L, but...

as others have already pointed out, so much depends on your travel locales and style.
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