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Canon L lenses & crop sensor camera??


TPF Noob!
Mar 28, 2009
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I'd like to get the Canon L 17-40mm for my D60. I mostly take portraits, which given the crop sensor of D60, this lens would be good for. However, in the end it's still a wide lens and wide lens are know for face distortion & not good for portraits. BUT - since it's a cropped sensor and all, it makes this lens basically appx. 27-64mm (less wide), will the distortion be diminished or should I still expect it to happen?

I'm more inclined towards the L 24-70mm but it's twice the price and the cropped range is way too "close" for me...What do you think?

The main reason for me to buy this is because i have a 18-55mm kit lens & a 50mm. I only shoot with my 50mm because the kit lens produces too much distortion. I'm happy with the 50mm but most of the time I miss the moments just because I didn't have the zoom - stepping forwards & back is quite inconvenience...
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The "distortion" you mention is an effect of the angle. So if you crop down the field of view of your 17mm to the field of view of a 27mm by using a smaller sensor, the "distortion" will be reduced accordingly.

For portrait I personally would still however prefer longer lenses. So the 24-70 would be my preferred choice. Also the latter comes with a larger aperture (f/2.8 instead of f/4 for the wide angle), right? This will allow for more freedom when it comes to reducing depth of field, quite handy for portraits.
Do you mean the 60D? The D60 was canons like 3rd ever dslr from 2002.

Anywaym you should consider the canon EF-s 17-55 2.8 IS lens, or the cheaper tamron or sigma equivalents.
Yeah, but Canon L lenses probably won't fit on that :p
If you're really interested in portraits and want an L lens maybe take a look at the 35L or 50L. They're over twice the price, but they'll do a substantially better job than the 17-40L for portraits. The 35L is really quite reasonable in my books.
Yes, I meant 60D from Canon that came out a short while ago :)

I thought about the EF-S lenses but I definitely want to upgrade later, so I'm only looking at the L-series.

The reason Im not considering prime lens is that I've been working with 1 for a very long time now - stepping forwards & back doesn't sound too bad but it's quite inconvenient. Hence the L-series & zoom lens...

But thank you Alex, very clear! :)
Well, you really are giving yourself only two options then, the 17-40 or the 24-70. The 24-70 is a more versatile all-round lens and if you plan to upgrade to full frame later (as you implied) then it is really the perfect all-round focal range. Plus, the longer focal lengths will work better as portraits, and you get f/2.8 skills.
you don't have to get L lenses to have them fit on a full-frame body. zoom or otherwise, if you're doing portraits, i would recommend 50mm or longer. i have the 17-40mm, 50mm f/1.4, and the 100mm macro (all fit on full-frame) and for portraits i use the 100mm if i've got the room, and the 50mm if i don't. the 17-40 isn't great for portraits simply because of that distortion you can get.

here is my 17mm:


and here he is on the 50mm:


it bends his face quite a bit to use the wide-angle. obviously you don't have to use 17mm... but then there's not too much point to getting that lens if you don't need the wide angle.
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Don't be so quick to dismiss the "inconvenience" of stepping forward and back when using a prime lense. I have a couple L lenses and my 50 f/1.4 is sharper then both at a fraction of the cost. Portraiture is the perfect situation to be using a prime lens, especially a 50mm (on your crop body).
Don't waste your time with a slow f/4 zoom lens.

Go for a 50mm f/1.8 or 1.4, either will blow the 17-40 out of the water.

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