my first post here, but have been reading the forums for several years actually.. I´ve been practising shooting with G-series cameras and borrowed some DSLR´s for few years, and now it is finally time to move to my first own DSLR .
Sorry for the longish thread but I do have problem with choosing the right glass to start with. I think I know what I want, or maybe at least what I like, but still I am in complete darkness with the decission. I´ll try to be as precise about the backround info and my needs so if I´d get to the concluson with Your help..
The backround is, I´m gonna start with a crop camera wich will be 40D, due the good reputation and current price level. As camera it seems to have everything I need for now. I have been using 20D and 450D and have some experience on the crop bodies. But, I am hoping to have financial possibilities to move on to FF in 2-3 years, and I would like it wouldn´t mean selling all the glasses and buying new ones, but I could use as many of them as possible (they get different of course, but still). This is not fully limiting factor (taking out all EF-S´s), but something I would like.
I am kind of all-around-shooter, havent really focused on any specific area of photography at least yet. I do travel quite a lot, take pics of inside and outside parties, some exhibitions, would like to learn sports shooting a bit (irrelevant to this question tough), like portraits, and over all shoot quite a lot inside. And like to to go hiking in wilderness, so some landscapes included too.
Still awake? Ok, to the main question.. I wan´t to have a good quality all around zoom lens. At the beginning I can afford only one glass, maybe one prime too. Later on I will get 70-200L 4 IS, so my tele needs are covered by that. But the problem is the same many seemed to have also, choosing the right all-arounder for the crop body.
As in the topic, I have narrowed the options to two possible Canon lenses, being the 17-40L and 17-55 2.8IS. Many would say, why only Canon lenses, as there is many other options cheaper and equally good if not even better. Well, for that argument I have no good answer, I simply wan´t to have Canon glass now and that´s it. Well one thing being the warranty issues, anything wrong with the combo it is at least one company fixing it (maybe).. So, I think these are the two I need to choose from, altough good ideas and any other opinions are very very welcome.
I know this is annoying to bring this very same 17-40 vs 17-55 question back again, as there has been half dozen long threaths about this, I´ve read them all (twice), searched through hundreds of lens example threaths, and interviewed all the semi-pro photographers I know about this, and still I cannot make my mind.. Seems there is fans for 17-40L even with the crop, but around 70-80% of the people would go for the 17-55.
I also already made my mind (I thought), wich was the 17-55 as so many people seem to recommend it, and yes, it is superior in everything at least on paper. Faster yes, as wide yes, reach yes, IS yes. Yes yes yes yes.
BUT, what mostly annoyes me about it, is that after looked through hundres of actual pic´s people have taken with it, in many (most) of them the colours seem somehow "pale" or "cold". Don´t know really the right word for it in english but somehow they are not very colourful, even nice and in great harmony. Is it just me or does anyone agree? Then when I look the shots taken with 17-40L they seem so rich in contrast and specially in colours. Altough I didn´t always check wich body was used, could it be the reason, as more likely people do use FF bodies with 17-40 and obviously just opposite with 17-55. Maybe that can affect, you tell me? Anyway, this one thing has stopped me to struggle with the decission for several weeks now - now I need some more opinions with good arguments and I just go to the damn shop and buy something.
Another, but bit more minor thing, is the build quality I hear people complaining. I would need to take this all-arounder to the hiking trips with me, it will get some dirt / shake / even few drops of water on it. Will it be a problem with 17-55 is subjective I guess but this bothers me a bit too. And yes I know the body isn´t weather proof either, still don´t think it would harm to have well built objective.
Whoa don´t know if anyone is even reading this far but let me try to summarise what I appreciate on the lens I need and what´s not so important.
Most important features for me:
Wide angle and reach for multipurpose use
travelling, indoor, party hassling (usually related to heavy drinking meaning shaky hands AND targets ), landscapes, exhibitions, portraits. After some testing I find 24mm on crop not wide enough for me, but then again I feel at least first 50% of 10-22 are too wide for my taste. And, I can borrow 10-22 when really needed for some special. So, 17mm is the wide angle I´d like on crop. Then there should be as much reach as possible, concidering other features are not suffering from it too much.
Quality of photos
Like warm rich colours. I don´t think sharpness is any issue here. Don´t like the barrell effect but not so big deal for me. Soft corners not biggy either, but don´t like it really either. I do hardly any photo editing, so the lens should fit my taste and don´t want to be fixing some certain problem in every picture no way.
Overall speed of the lens
Speed of course, but I´m not sure if f4 is problem outside, and then again 2.8 is not fast enough for low light inside pictures anyway. I am ok using flash inside, and will have some fast prime some day too. IS I´d like, but for some reason don´t give too much value for it in shorter lens, could be wrong tough.. But what I would love, is as fast focus as ever possible. Tried my friend´s 75-300 and could drink cup of coffee before it was focused, it´s whole anohter glass I know, but still I really hate slow(ish) AF.
Second important things
Like the quality, no rational reason for it. Except would like it to last for long, and some sealing and good materials wouldn´t harm in the wilderness where I can take only one glass maybe.
Compatiblity for FF
I would give + for the glass to fit FF some day, will upgrade when the prices are on lower level step or two. Would be nice to have UW lens so this goes for 17-40L sure. Altough, selling the 17-55 shouldn´t be any problem what so ever.
No matter / not so interested
Price in certain limits, budget about 1000 usd / eur for this glass (unfortunately it is eur in here..).
Small errors in the image (small barrell, soft corners etc), if noticeable on every image I mean
Speed if I need flash in low(ish) light anyway
If it says "L" on the lense, doesen´t matter but the features do
Puuh... So here we are. What a heck I´m gonna do?
Thank you in advance, and have a great shots and warm summer!