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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
509 1030132 Nov 19, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $672.17
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
8.9
ef17-40_4l_1_

Specifications:
A new and affordable L-series ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that's ideal for both film and digital SLRs. Superior optics are assured by the use of three aspherical lens elements, in addition to a Super UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) glass element. Optical coatings are optimized for use with digital cameras. This lens focuses as close as 11 inches (0.28m), and offers both Canon's full-time manual focus and a powerful ring-type USM for fast and silent AF. It has a constant f/4 maximum aperture, and offers the choice of screw-in 77mm filters or a holder in the rear of the lens for up to three gel filters. Finally, it offers weather-resistant construction similar to other high-end L-series lenses.


 


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TMJ1974
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Registered: May 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Review Date: Sep 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent build quality, sharp/crisp photos with exceptional colors, good at keeping out dust
Cons:

I upgraded from the 17-85 IS lens and have been happy ever since.

This lens produces very sharp photos with very vivid colors. It feels very well built and does well keeping dust/particles out of the lens interior.

Zoom is super smooth, much smoother than my previous "consumer" zooms.

After using it for almost a year, I can say there have been very few pictures I haven't liked from this lens.

I highly recommend it.


Sep 24, 2006
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Maliketh
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Registered: Nov 6, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 67
Review Date: Sep 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Tank build quality, fast focusing, very wide on a 5d, relatively light, great image quality almost to corners, close focusing
Cons:
Front of lens not sealed and dust gets in after a while, corner sharpness quite bad, but most wide angle lenses are like this...

When I first bought this lens, I was tossing up between the 12-24 sigma, the 10-22 canon ef-s and the 17-40 f4L.

The differences in price werent huge, so I kept looking at the 17-40, for its good build quality and resale value (having owned the lens I won't be selling it any time soon).

The 10-22 was looking good, but I didn't really want to buy a cropped sensor lens, as the 5D was in my thoughts as a future purchase.

Sigma's 12-24 looked promising, but bad reports of image softness and not being able to use front filters ruled it out.

I am glad I went with the 17-40, and on the 350d, images were sharp from corner to corner. The distortion caused by this lens was quite severe, but it took on a whole new meaning when I got a 5D full frame. A word of caution: Be very very careful with the 17-40 (or any wide angle non Tilt and shift) on a full frame camera! Avoid putting people at the corners of the frame, as their faces will be stretched and distorted badly.

The image quality at the corners of this lens is less than perfect but that is partly the nature of the beast. If you want corner to corner sharpness with no distortion, get a longer focal length.

Wide angle photography can be quite tricky, but with great results when done properly. I am glad I purchased this lens, as it opened up many more photographic opportunities to me.

I have since become more interested in longer focal lengths, say from 50mm, 200mm and up but I always have this lens with me for when it's needed.


Sep 24, 2006
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riversen
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Registered: Apr 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Sep 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $740.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This is a great and affordable "L" lens. Is there such a thing as an affordable "L" lens? In any case, when I can spend less than a $1000 for image quality this good, I think it is great. My shots are clear, focus is fast and quiet, relatively light for "L" quality, and at wide open it does perform a lot better than the 17-85mm EF-S IS USM I just sold. Yes, it is not a prime, but I am okay with that. It does not have great reach, but I am also okay with that.
Cons:
Could have better reach for the same price... oh that would be the 24-105mm, huh? I don't have any great complaints.

I have taken some great family shots with this thing. I really enjoy the quality for the price. It is solid and produces beautiful images when I seem to get everything put together correctly. I can't blame the lens for the problems with the photographer... :-) I have to admit, it does quite well at 17mm. I had the 17-85mm EF-S IS USM, and it was great; however, it did not does as well as this lens. Yes, I could get a prime and probably have the best shots in the world, but this is darn close for my budget. If you are willing to take the next step, then this is the lens for you. If you have money to blow and/or want the absolute best, then consider something a bit better. In any case, this is an almost perfect lens for the price!

Sep 20, 2006
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FlyRN
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Registered: Sep 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 226
Review Date: Sep 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Built like a tank, sharp, incredible color/contrast, internal focus/zoom
Cons:
Not a lot

Recently traded a 17-85 IS towards this after I was totally blown away by a 70-200 4L. Expected and got very similiar results. Sharp, colorful, contrasty images. Built strong enough to use as a weapon and butter smooth focus/zoom. Wish it was a 2.8 but I knew going in that I would need more light indoors. Not bad indoors with a lot of light or a flash, but it's unbelievable outdoors. The color is amazing. Incredible outdoor portrait and landscape lens. Very pleased.

Sep 13, 2006
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webisweb
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Registered: Mar 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 583
Review Date: Aug 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp at all apertures, superb color redention, well balaced weight/size ratio, fast AF.
Cons:
None. Well, it has a little corner softness at 17mm which doesn't affect the IQ at all.

I've finally switched from Nikon to Canon last week. I think this lens is much better than Nikkor 17-55/2.8 DX ED in every aspect: images are much sharper, color reproduction is more accurate (maybe I've got a great copy).

Aug 31, 2006
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Ron Fischer
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Registered: Jul 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good weight and size for a "walk around" lens. Good sharpness.
Cons:
None, so far

I have been using this lens for about 2 months now. I purchased it along with the Canon 70-200L f/4 lens. Overall, the sharpness of this lens is far better than the "kit lens" that came with my Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D). I have used the lens for wedding photography and landscape photography, and I have had no performance problems. You can view some of the photographs I have taken with this lens on my web site at:

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/gallery.asp?memberID=125176



Aug 25, 2006
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ShutterLover
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Registered: Jul 6, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 613
Review Date: Aug 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Jaw-dropping sharpness when compared to everydaylenses. Light for an L-lens. Useful length for a walkabout lens on a cropped sensor. Very good build quality.
Cons:
Thought it a little 'rough' on the zoom ring when new, but got smoother. Other examples I've tried seemed the same so maybe expectations were too high. Not's not f2.8, but that's nit-picking.

Bought this as my first 'L-lens' together with the 70-200 f4.

It was all my budget could take and I was wondering if I'd often feel the need for f2.8 but so far have not missed it at all as it's so easy to simply up the ISO on Canon DSLRs with little or no noise being introduced.

Compared to most run-of-the-mill lenses (by which I mean anything not strictly pro) the 17-40 is jaw-dropping. Sharp, beautiful images right across the zoom range, even wide open. It's a useful zoom range for a walkabout on a cropped sensor camera like the 30D. I've also put my 17-40 on a 5D and there it function as a brilliant true wide angle with only minimal vignetting you'd only notice if pixel-peeping.

I've used it for travel photography involving street scenes, architectural shots, landscapes and cityscapes and for these it is exceptional. It's also great for group shots, portraits (although f4 and a smaller focal length make it harder to get big background blur), and strolling around events. It focusses close so brilliant for snapping little detail shots too.

It's a cliche to say that it's the photographer not the camera but if you want to render your compositions with as much quality as possible, check out lenses like this.


Aug 15, 2006
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Niatrap
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Registered: Nov 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $675.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Have had my 17-40 lense a couple years it is a good and solid lense It is used on my 5d-20D

Aug 9, 2006
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PeepingTom
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Registered: Aug 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 610
Review Date: Aug 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

For digital shooters shooting group shots and landscape (with 1.6 crop factor) there is no alternative to this zoom lens under $ 1000.

I prefer working with this lens over the 20mm Canon prime lens & Sigma 24 mm 1.4 lens in all well-lit situations- color, sharpness, limited flare, 'pop' factor.

I have not had luck with indoor / flash shots despite thousands of shots and my best efforts. Perhaps I expect to much.

If you can afford the 16-35 f2.8 L (twice the price and one stop faster), I would bite the bullet and take that route.

Fantastic build quality, worthy of L siblings in every way.

Happy shooting.


Aug 9, 2006
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JanPhoto
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Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 32
Review Date: Aug 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $549.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Half price of 16 mm, Sharp and excellent image quality
Cons:
... nada ...

I was looking for some time for wide angle glass ... I did try number of them including Canon 16-35 mm after all I have decided for 17-40 mm. Why ? Price versus quality is unbeatable. This lens is very, very good.

Aug 5, 2006
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 53
Review Date: Jul 27, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp at the wide end As good in the centre @35mm as the 35mmf1.4L at similar apertures Excellent colour
Cons:
Had to go in twice to adjust for sharpness - was MUCH worse on just one side

I compared the 35mmf1.4L at similar apertures it to the 17-40L zoom, processed them both the same (just sharpened 300, radius 0.4). The first thing I did was test the focussing, and that was spot on.

The 17-40 gives average resolution (esp.for landscape shots) at the 35-40 range, also the 17-40 zoom has a reputation for not being very good at 35-40 range i.e. worse in all reviews at that FL than the 16-35 which is sharper @35mm), yet the 35f1.4 does not give noticably improved resolution over the zoom at similar apertures! The colour rendition of both is IMO excellent so they are on a par there too.

In fact the zoom might even have the edge over the 35mm 1.4 on apparent sharpness at the centre

The zoom falls down very badly at the corners at all focal lengths, which is to be expected at the wide end but I had expected better at the long end

Reasonably priced


Jul 27, 2006
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Allen Ko
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 59
Review Date: Jul 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, price, fairly good optical quality, light
Cons:
f/4, short range (comparing with 17-55 f/2.8 IS)

I bought this lens to use on my Rebel XT as a general purpose lens. It has good build quality, fairly good optical quality and not too heavy. But it was not as sharp as my 70-200 f/4 L or 60mm macro. Sometimes I wish it has a longer range for portrait and a faster speed for indoor. When the new EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS came out, I put my 17-40L on eBay because the new lens is sharper, has longer reach, IS, and faster aperture.

Jul 18, 2006
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Jul 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent build quality, contrast, colors and sharpness.
Cons:
Can't find anything negative, except maybe the price.

This lens replaced my junk 18-55 kit lens since my 28-70L is not wide enough on a 1.6x crop DSLR. I didn't want to spend twice the amount on the 16-35 just for the f/2.8. After all, I can just bump up the ISO on the DSLR, it's not like shooting film anyway.

Image quality is about the same as my 28-70L, which is amazing, with gorgrous colors and contrast. Sharpness is nothing to complain about, though it is not as sharp as my 100mm macro obviously. It is as sharp as my 28-70L which is pretty decent. Still, sharpness is not everything. I shoot raw all the time and there is a significant amount of post processing that goes in to every image and that includes sharpening.

DPP and capture one give me awesome results and C1 is able to pull an enormous amount of detail from this lens. On the whole it's a great lens, though f/4 may be limiting in some cases. If I'm shooting in low light I pull out the 50/1.8 or the 20/2.8 USM.


Jul 17, 2006
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PDP108
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Registered: May 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Contrast, Sharp, Build quality
Cons:
None

This is my third L lens and the IQ that I get from this lens seems to be sharper than my 24-70mm F2.8L and even the 135mm F2L. (I may have gotten a great copy). It is sharp even when it's wide open.
This lens lives on my 1DII 90% of the time since I have gotten it.


Jul 13, 2006
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vin14
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Registered: Jun 28, 2006
Location: Ireland
Posts: 292
Review Date: Jul 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: image quality, focal length range, build, weight, price
Cons:
distortion at 17mm

After switching from shooting Nikon to Canon, this lens replaced my 12-24DX. I have not been disappointed. It's more than a match for my old lens. It produces excellent sharp images. It's lightweight and well built. It's not perfect, but I wasn't expecting utter perfection from an ultra-wide zoom. Barrel distortion is strong at 17mm, but can be corrected in post, by 20mm it's very manageable. It vignettes at f4, but so what, it can be fixed in post too. Though I almost always stop down with this lens, I have no hesitation shooting wide open if the situation demands it. I also tried the 16-35L before buying. It is very similar, I couldn't justify the extra cost for an extra stop. I also prefer the 17-40 focal lenght range.

Jul 10, 2006
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hermosawave
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Registered: Jul 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jul 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Wide, very wide
Cons:
corners, but that is a problem with every wide angle

Got this lens as a walkaround lens for my 20D and 300D, where it worked admirably -- much better than the kit lens.

I've kept it for use as an extreme wide angle now that I've upgraded to the full-frame 5D. I also have the 24-105mm f/4 so I almost never use this lens at the long end of it's range anymore (the 24-105 is sharper but larger, heavier, more expensive and has its own issues).

The people that complain about the corners and vignetting on this lens are right of course. At 17mm and f/4 (where I use it) every picture needs work in Photoshop. Stop down or zoom in a bit and these problems go away.

But how else can you make super wide photos except with a lens like this? http://photos.hermosawave.net/pix/detail.php?path=2006/&photo=IMG_1070.jpg

So on an APS sensor, it's a good choice but there are several other ones now that I haven't tried.

On a full frame, this lens fills a unique need that very few other lenses can. Until someone makes a sharp prime in the 16~18mm range (and no the 14mm f/2.8 is not it) this lens will stay with me, although not in my bag every day...


Jul 2, 2006
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
509 1030132 Nov 19, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $672.17
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
8.9
ef17-40_4l_1_


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