Originally Posted by Jua17oI3
Originally Posted by trancebboy
Is anyone using the Canon 17-40mm f4L lens?
How is it?
I also plan on combining this lens with the 430ex flash for indoor photography...
It's a very good lens. There is some distortion though (if using FF) so you might want to look out for that but IMO it is the best wide-angle, especially for the price. That setup will be good.
That combination is actually really nice. I tried it out for a couple of hundred shots (17-40 f/4L + 430ex + Canon 40D) and enjoyed it thoroughly. Like it was said before, there is some distortion on a full frame camera, but if you are using a crop body, it's fine. The pictures are super sharp (the "L" quality lives up to its name) and the build of the lens is really solid with weather sealing. The price is great for what it offers.
However, if you are not using a full frame, I would rather get something that is of faster glass and larger range. After using the 17-40 for a few weeks, I realized that I wanted a little more range on the long end. I felt myself having to move closer (which is not necessarily bad), but I wanted to maintain a shallower DOF. And although the pictures are great even when the pictures are taken wide-open, at f/4 it leaves much to be desired in darker areas. If you are permitted to use flash, then it is great. But for those times when you can't use flash, don't have battery, or just want to pack light, it does not perform well under darker circumstances.
I was considering buying the 17-40 that my friend lent to me for $600, but I realized I needed something with more zoom and faster aperture. So when I get the funds right, I will purchase a Tokina 17-50mm f/2.8. This may also be a good option for you if you have a crop body. It is cheaper than the 17-40, constant 2.8, has a longer range, and is compact. If you have the money, look into the Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS. That is a lens with L quality optics, IS, a longer zoom, and USM focusing. Unfortunately it is sold around $1000 or a little less, is not weather sealed, does not come with a lens hood like the L or Tokina, nor a lens case like the L. It also is not compatible with FF bodies, so if you plan to upgrade, also plan to sell this lens.