Testing Canon 17-40mm F4 L Lens

The subject for this blog post is an older photo that I came across today while going through images I’ve taken this year. I rented the Canon 17-40mm lens this past April from Lensrentals when I needed a wide angle lens to take group photos of my kids’ school’s kindergarteners. I had also recently acquired a small 24×24 softbox for speedlights for taking individual portraits of said kindergarteners outside. Thankfully, my oldest was willing to pose for me outside so that I could try out the lens and softbox before the big day. This was my third year of taking photos of the kindergarteners and I knew that I was going to deal with strong mid-day sun behind the subjects during the shoot, so a fill light from the front was absolutely necessary.

I went out to our back yard with my oldest, found a sunny spot, and put the lens and softbox to test. I remember being really pleasantly surprised by the lens – autofocus never missed, it produced plenty contrasty and sharp images, and I pretty much decided that the day I become rich and can finally add a wide-angle lens to my collection, that will probably be the one I’d get.

I loved the light in this image from the get-go, but I remember spending a long time trying to create some sort of “mood” in the image in Photoshop. Despite the pretty light, it seemed boring to me. When I felt like I had worked the image to the point where I started to make it worse rather than better, I set it aside, still not being fully happy with it, and never looked at it again. Until today. I like it, I think. The lens certainly delivered. Yet I think that there is something missing. It’s not as memorable to me, and probably anybody for that matter, as I wish it were. Still, I like it, I think.

(40mm, ISO 100, f/4.5, 1/125 sec + speedlight with 24×24 softbox on camera right)


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