Need advice...tired of EF 17-40mm f/4L

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bleugt, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. bleugt

    bleugt TPF Noob!

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    I bought a Canon Rebel XSI last year with the EF 17-40mm f/4L lens. I am just an average Joe that bought a nice camera for a really good deal. I've been trying to teach myself how to use it by reading forums and books. For the most part, I'm pretty happy with it but sometimes the pictures just look washed out and not "that" great. Of course most of this is user error. I've heard that wide angle lenses are harder to learn with, is this true? I've been looking for something different and am looking for any recommendations. Should I get rid of the 17-40 and get an 18-200? Or keep it and get a zoom lens?

    What would you guys recommend for a beginner?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Learn to shoot. Changing lenses isnt gonna make your pictures better. You already have one of the nicest lenses money can buy for a canon dslr...

    Spend 200 bucks on books and you will get better, spend 200 on gear and you will have more **** to carry around.
     
  3. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    :clap: Not many people admit that... I agree with getting books. I haven't taken that step but that's only because I cant make up my mind which ones I want!
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    post up the picture that you're most proud of and we'll tell you if it's the gear or not.

    Do you know how to control exposure or the color modes on your camera?

    if you can work those, there's no reason you should have "washed out" pictures.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think that you'd be sorely disappointed if you went that route.
    The 17-40mm is a very good lens. Any of the 18-200mm lenses are mediocre at best.

    Also, the 17-40mm isn't really that 'wide' on your camera. On a full frame or film SLR, it would be really wide, but your camera crops the view to a pretty normal range.

    The range of the 17-40mm is fairly limited though. I can see where you might want to have something a little longer sometimes.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    The 17-40 is one of my favorite lenses. It works great and produces outstanding images. I prefer it over the more costly 16-35.

    If your images are "washed out", I suspect it has more to do with the lighting you're shooting in (such as broad daylight). Get a book on lighting and start to control your environment more, or start to understand how different types of light can change the dynamic of an image.
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The only reason to dump the 17-40 f4L is to get the 16-35 f2.8L. Be ready for the sticker shock if you look at that route. The 16-35 will set you quite a ways further back then the 17-40 did. If you need more length look at one of the 70-200 L. lenses. Canon makes 4 different versions with various prices. All are excellent pieces of glass.
     
  8. bleugt

    bleugt TPF Noob!

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    Here is a post of mine with a few pictures that I like the most.
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...5-1st-time-pic-post-thoughts.html#post1875635

    Let me know what you think.
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you swap the 17-40 for a crap 18-200 that will be the biggest photographic mistake you will ever make, just learn how to use your camera properly
     
  10. Green Li

    Green Li TPF Noob!

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    I'm with Sw1tchFX on this. Post your images. We'll tell you what's wrong ;)
    17-40 is awesome :)
     
  11. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    Do you shoot alone ? Maybe find someone to shoot with, learn from someone else or at least see what they do.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'm going to suggest that the 17-40mm focal lenght range is rather difficult to learn on, and is also an immensely boring and dreary range of focal lengths on a 1.6x crop body camera. The 17-40 translates to 27.2mm to 64mm in 24x36mm focal lengths, which offers semi-wide angle to the "dead zone" of 55 to 64mm which is a sort of no-man's land that has proven to be an exceedingly unpopular focal length for literally,decades. The list of failed 55 and 58mm lenses is long, and shallow. Pentax, Nikon, Mamiya,Topcon, Pentacon, and a few others have made 55 and 58mm lenses, and the acceptance of them by the public has been exceptionally tepid--even when those lenses were super high quality, ultra-speed offerings like f/1.2 or f/1.4...people simply do not want, or buy, lenses that offer the over-50mm but under 70mm focal length or equivalent angle of view, and they have made virtually ever offering a commercial dead-end. Since the 1950's.

    So, yes, definitely, consider the 18-200mm lens as one that offers a HUGE range of pictorial options, in a single lens that you do not need to change. The optical quality of the 18-200mm lens might not be super-fantastic, but the **pictorial** potential of the 18-200mm lenses is huge. You asked for advice, so my advice is, keep the 17-40-L as a high-quality lens with limited range only if high optical quality is a concern to you. There's a difference between getting the shot you WANT to get, and getting what a lens is able to get, but being dissatisfied with the results on a consistent basis. As a newcomer to photography, you would probably find your way more readily if you had a lens that was not so constricting and so limited in its range of focal lengths; you have absolutely NO telephoto capability with the 17-40...it offers absolutely zero ability to compress distance, and zero ability to offer narrow-angle compositions. There are numerous 18-105,18-135,18-200mm zoom lenses currently on the market from six or seven manufacturers, and they are very popular lenses with hobbyists and for people who want versatility and adaptability; the 18-XXXmm zoom lens is know as a walkabout or travel or all-in-one or superzoom lens, and it has its place. If you bought one, you would be in the company of millions of other owners.
     

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