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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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514 982712 Mar 16, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $671.49
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
9.0
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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forestwan
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Registered: Jan 9, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: useful walk-around lens great pictures, great sharpness and contrast, and great AF. amazingly low flare
Cons:
None to this price.

Very useful walk-around lens for a 1.6x crop camera, I use this lends and EF-70-200/2.8L on my 350D to walk around Japan, I really enjoy the trips with it, especially the low weight compared with 70-200,hehe.
http://spaces.msn.com/perfect-life-japan/
Great pictures, great sharpness and contrast, and great AF.
Flare is amazingly low for such a wide glass.
One only shortcoming is the distortion on the wide end, It's not a f/2.8, but I would not pay the extra money for one f-stop.


Jan 29, 2006
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Rigardt
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Registered: Dec 15, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, colours, sharp, wide
Cons:
Bit slow

Build quality is what is expected of an Canon L.

I have read many of the reviews here before purchasing one and think that I might have struck it lucky with a good unit. It is pretty sharp all the way through and only slightly softer at f4. One step down and it holds all the way through. Corners as slightly softer at 17mm as well, but again is only slight and takes some serious scrutiny to notice it. Many of the faults I have found was based on previous reviews and did not find it to be visible at first glance at all.

It is not as sharp as the 50 f1.4 or Sigma 150 Macro that I have. These are the bench marks in my arsenal, but have to admit that the drop in sharpness is very marginal and it takes some serious cropping and magnifying to appreciate the difference.

AF is very quick and accurate. I am most surprised that it has not hunted at all during the week that I have had it. Most of the time that I have used it has been during poor light hours of the day. In general it is to slow for handholding in poor light, but it still focusses true.

Oh, yes, have I mentioned wide? Very wide! Barrel distortion could perhaps be a bit better at the wide end, but is not to bad considering the range.

All in all I am very happy with the lens and would encourage anyone who would like to purchase. F2 would have been nice, but not the end of the world not having it.


Jan 27, 2006
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Canonised
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Registered: Dec 11, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jan 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build Quality, Colour, Sharpness at mid stops
Cons:
f4 is slow and not useable in low light and evening indoor events. Size.

I researched a long time for a solid best bang for the buck wide angle zoom and narrowed to this model and Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4. It was a very close call and decided in favour of the f4L because I liked my other L lens very much. I have had my lens for about a month now and I think its no where as good as everyone makes it out to be but its still a good wide angle zoom lens. Unfortunately it does not perform equally well all through the zoom distances as well as f stops. It is unuseable as a party camera or for low light indoor shots.

But if you can get good light, this lens works and very effective.

I will keep this lens because its good for the money paid BUT I am not sure I would buy another one in the future. I would go for a wide angle prime instead.

BTW - I am not sure if the Tamron would have performed any better with my type of use. Having a 2.8 is not much more faster IMHO. The real difference can only be seen under f2 for low light situation.


Jan 24, 2006
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: It`s the sort of lens that grows on you. Solid build. should last a long time.
Cons:
A bit soft at corners on FF

I`ve had this lens a long time, I mainly use it on the FF 1dsmk2. It`s one of those lenses that doesn`t smack you around the face with the WOW factor but!! the more you use it and the more other zoom lenses you buy after it makes you realise that as far as zooms go this is a stellar performer. For me, one of the things that make this a good lens is that it is consistent. It isn`t quite on par with primes but on the printed page there isn`t much to choose. It does go off a bit right in the corners but really makes up for it in the central 2/3rds. It`s not without a touch of cA but nothing bad, it`s not without a touch of flare but not bad. It is a lens that I can rely on when I need the wide end. As I say, you might not be blown away by the out and out quality of the images as opposed to primes but as far as zooms go it is as good as most good zooms and better than a hell of a lot of the others.I have a really good copy of a Sigma 20 1.8 and at the edges it beats this lens but 1/3rd in and the L takes over. I like using the 20 for the bright finder but in the real world the flexibility of the 17-40 range makes this more worthwhile in a lot of situations. My re-evaluation of this lens is brought about by the recent purchase of a 24-105IS that I`m not impressed with.

Jan 21, 2006
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LeonD
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Registered: Oct 7, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 227
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros:
Cons:

Probably the first L for most(this or the 70-200F4).Great package for the relatively "low" price(in comparison).Probably the best (Canon)standard zoom you can have on a 1.6 crop.I took back my 17-85 IS for this.If you're a wide angle fan this lens is wonderful,if its all you do you would probably be better off with the 16-35 2.8 since its more versatile.Some people are under the impression this lens is soft and produces blurry images,mine performs great.But it is true that small apertures are its true sweet spot,though F4 and 5.6 are still in the very good range.
Why pay L price for a lens that has similar characteristics to a budget lens?(slightly soft wide open,sharp around F8)? That is up to you.For one,when i say soft i compare it to its sharpest,which is considerably more than cheaper alternatives.Also it amazingly well built,solid,sleek and weather sealed,a very good job on its body.Still,do not drop it.
Colors out of this lens are great,USM is the fastest of all my lenses.Should always use its lens hood.
It also comes with a very close focal distance which lets you shoot some nice closeups at 40mm.Use this lens right and youd be surprised how much detail your landscapes and architecture shots can have.
Like most wides in this range,tHe lens barrel distorts a bit at 17mm,this is bad for most people but to me its like having a slight fisheye mode in my lens.Nice for landscapes,very bad for portraits.This lens does not like faces too much,you can use it for portraits at 40mm but truly this is its weakest spot,but why would you buy this to do portraits?
A great lens for its price IMO.


Jan 21, 2006
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gliphix
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Registered: Jan 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super Wide Angle, Size & Weight, Build, Excellent Optics
Cons:
Bulky Hood, No IS, F stop

I don't claim to a pro at this after all it's just a hobby at this point for me since someone bought me a Canon EOS 350D. The 17-40mm was my first L and most favorite optics so far... It works wonders for landscape shots especially here in Hawai'i.

If you care to take a look, please be my guess. Feedback and creative comments are always welcome...

Pbase Gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/gliphix

Favorites @ DCPrints:
http://gliphix.dpcprints.com

Impossible missions with this lens, so i think:
http://gliphix.dpcprints.com/278820
http://www.pbase.com/gliphix/image/54382338

Thanks and Regards,
Jc


Jan 9, 2006
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tt81156
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Registered: Feb 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Dec 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Size, Weight & Build Quality
Cons:
low light focus sometimes slow (hunts)

I shoot exclusively with film bodies, so with no crop factor this lens is very wide and can produce some very interesting perspectives.

Here are some samples images created with this lens:

http://www.newyorkslideshow.com/17-40.htm


Dec 30, 2005
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schoelink
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Registered: Dec 29, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $875.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great added value for my 10D with the 1.6 cropfactor. Great contrast Fast en silent autofocus
Cons:
Hood is to big!



Dec 29, 2005
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hijkim
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Registered: Oct 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 85
Review Date: Dec 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $669.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build. Sharp. Fast AF. No hunting. Full time manual focus. Light weight.
Cons:
No IS. Big Hood. F4

I got this lens to replace my EF-S 18-55mm kit lens for 350D and to be my walk around lens but it is not a good walk around lens even on 350D, not long enough. But it is soooo much better than 18-55 I had it on my camera all the time until I got EF 24-105mm F/4L IS USM. Noise is way down and CA is much better. The sharpness is about the same as EF 24-105mm IS USM but with no distortion and little CA. I use it as my Wide Angle lens now, only on my camera 10% of the time.

The hood does not fit in my camera bag so I never get to use it unless Im shooting at home. Im getting a backpack just to carry around the hood of this lens and hood for 24-105mm. Truthfully Im getting the backpack to carry around my laptop with my camera gears.

After getting 24-105 and EF 70-300mm IS USM, I rely on the IS so much I wish 17-40 had it also I think all F/4L lenses should have IS.

Overall I really like the images from this lens. The color is little on the warm side. It is like my EF-S 60mm Macro with warming filter on but I like it


Dec 28, 2005
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execom99
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Registered: Oct 23, 2005
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 173
Review Date: Dec 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: perfect build, very good handling with 20D, sharp @ f4 and very sharp from f5.6, contrast is amazing, no visible CA, silent USM, L quality
Cons:
77mm filters, big hood

really must-have lens for canon dSLR, build quality and optical performance are execelent

Dec 28, 2005
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Califfoto
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Registered: Dec 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Dec 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent lens. Love the optics.
Cons:
I would have loved an F lower than 4.

This is the first L-lens that I've ever tried. I was really impressed by the quality of the optics.
Here are a couple of shots taken with this lens:

http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/100534

http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/97121





Dec 20, 2005
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anndel
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Registered: Dec 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent sharpness, myh most used walk-around lens on my 20D. Light and "L" optical quality. Low priced cost effective L-lens.
Cons:
Some softness which is expected for this price.

I bought this lens as a replacement for the 28-135 IS USM as my walk around lens for traveling though I brought both on my previous trips. I found I liked the picture quality of the 17-40 better than the 28-135 so this lens sits on my 20D all the time. For the price I paid, I expected the lens not to perform as well as the 24-70 at twice the price. When zoomed in at 200% in Photoshop, I can tell the difference but I'm not dwelling on the small details.

Dec 18, 2005
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mariusg
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Registered: Sep 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 17, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: cheap FF WA lens, weight, size, range.
Cons:
very soft esp on FF corners. Minimum F4. Extends/contracts during zoom (and it's noisy too). Bluish cast. Expensive for what it does

I first got this when I was using the 300D knowing I will update to FF soon. I knew it's supposed to be soft, but not THAT soft. The kit lens at 18mm f3.5 was sharper than this thing at F4. It could be that my kit lens was an excellent copy, but.. that doesn't matter. I also compared it with a Sigma 18-50 f2.8 and all can I say: people must be really crazy to get 17-40 for crop sensors (or to get 17-40 for 4x6 prints?). I can't believe how many positive reviews are there, I guess not everyone is able to evaluate a 1:1 crop, or not every person has another lens for comparison and spends some time with the lens.

When I upgraded to full frame I found it simply unusable for all-purpose wide angle lens. I don't use it at all, and I can't find a convenient replacement.

Summary for 1.6x crop: Really soft in corners, in center is unacceptable, sigma 18-50@F4 is much sharper, and Canon 50mm 2.5 Macro wide open is sharper than both the long end and F4 ;-))) (17-40@40 instead of 50mm of course).

Summary for FF: If you have low MP or print small, it's ok at around F8 and some crop. But otherwise is a really soft lens that you will use just because there is no alternative in this price range.

It's ok for web pictures. It does not deserve the red ring.

And no, it's not my copy, but I'm probably stricter than most people.



Dec 17, 2005
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Tom C. Amon
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Registered: Apr 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 71
Review Date: Dec 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, Great Range on my 1.6x sensor, Light weight, Fast, color, and did I say sharp. This lens is the only the second lens that made me say, yes this is what I was looking for (out of many) the other was my 70-200L 2.8. Now my walk around lens.
Cons:
f4 maybe, but you gotta love a lighter lens that you never get with the 2.8 and L

Simply just the perfect lens for my 20D and walking around. The range always seems to be there. The color is right on and the pictures are sharp. The CA is very low (with my side by side test with others).

The lens hood is small but it seems to work even though it doesn't look like it would. For all you others that complain I wonder if you are just looking at the hood and saying "That couldn't work." Well maybe Canon has actually tested it or something. Hooked it up to a optical machine worth more than any of us earn in a year. I think they do more than tape used magnifying glasses together. Ya think? Canon never seemed to be shy about making big lens hoods if needed.

Well I love it and think that it will also be outstanding on my next full frame sensor when I get it. This year nest year or when ever, this piece of glass will still be strong.




Dec 17, 2005
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Dec 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Better than the equivalent Fixed FLs 17-24 inc. (except for speed & therefore VF brightness) Close minimum focussing
Cons:
Bit ropey at the long end

I would have given higher build rating but my first two copies were duds, both had OOF areas and one clunked when zoomed. Current copy is a cracker though

Dec 15, 2005
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evangellydonut
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Registered: Dec 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 16
Review Date: Dec 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $561.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp for the entire focal range at wide open
Cons:
my copy is softer at bottom right corner than bottom left...

Got it used locally, via eBay. Very sharp throughout 17-40mm F4. from 24-40mm range using Aperature priority, it utilizes faster shutter speed than the 24-105. F4 in the 24-40mm range is as sharp as my 24-105 at F5.6. However, I'm keeping the 24-105 as I'm hoping that 30D will be a 1.3x crop camera, which makes 17-40 less ideal of a walk-around lens than on a 1.6x crop.

Dec 13, 2005
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
514 982712 Mar 16, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $671.49
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
9.0
ef17-40_4l_1_


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