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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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514 982747 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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BostonGreg
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Registered: Apr 19, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2201
Review Date: Jan 13, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $797.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid Construction, Image Quality, Sharp, Price Point, Weight
Cons:

The Canon 17-40 f/4L was my first L series lens years ago and still has an active spot in my camera bag. The image quality is great ~ in fact it, it beats the hell out of the "improved" 16-35II. A solid performer and the perfect choice for anyone looking to upgrade into L series glass. Very versatile and perfect as a "walk around" lens. I choose to keep this lens over the equally awesome Tokina 16-28 because I'm able to use my Kaseman polars and I also enjoy using my neutral density filters on some wide angel applications. The 16-28 (also the Canon 14L) do not accept filters.

Jan 13, 2012
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agnesleung
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Registered: Dec 12, 2010
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Built, weight and balance, price, range, color.
Cons:
Not really sharp wide-open.

I brought lens with my first canon DSLR 400D several years ago (instead of the kit lens) and this is a really good walk around, all-rounded lens with a crop body.

Many people compare this lens with 16-35L f2.8, I think unless you shoot a lot of indoor subjects with low light or architecture, this is the lens for you. f4 is pretty enough for day light and landscape capture.

I use mostly the wider end of this lens after I brought my 5D mark II and my 35L f1.4. In terms of sharpness and bokeh quality, of course 35L is the winner, yet from aperture f5.6 onwards, the quality of this lens is comparable to the 35L.

my photos taken by this lens for your reference:

http://agnesleung.com/tag/canon-17-40mm-f4l/


Nov 17, 2011
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asanduloiu
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Registered: Feb 2, 2009
Location: Romania
Posts: 377
Review Date: Oct 25, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Sturdy, resistent to a hard wear, sharp, excellent value for the money.
Cons:
None. What I would have to say it is because it is not an 2,8...

I already have it since more than two years and I used it in mountains, caves and a lot of different outdoor places. Didn't noticed any dust inside, or something to bather me. I've been very enthusiast when I purchased it and I'm still a fan of this lens, so I come again with a review. Almost all my landscape pictures on my site
http://sanduloiu.ro/en/home
are taken with the 17-40 which is always in my bag, even if I'm more a telephoto person. Even the O-ring on the attaching rail is a very good thing and I have to say that I didn't noticed on my other L lenses, like 70-200 f4 and 300 f4... Not the same bokeh like 2,8, but that's lghter, cheaper, so depends what you need.


Oct 25, 2011
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FindingNature
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Registered: Sep 4, 2011
Location: France
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight, range, weather sealing, price, 77mm diameter
Cons:
no IS, a bit soft and the edges

Along with the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS L, this lens is always in our backpacks when we are in the field, here is why:

- Lightweight, you basically don't feel it in your backpack.
- Weather sealed when used with a filter.
- Very fast autofocus.
- No purple fringing like I used to have with my Canon EF-S 10-22mm.
- Distortion is moderate.
- Has 77mm filter diameter, with is the case for a lot of Canon lenses.

Its biggest competitor is the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 II (or I) but we don't need f/2.8 with this kind of travel around lens. If we want a nice bokeh at a short focal, we will generally use my 35mm f/1.4.

If you want to see real situation samples, check :
http://www.finding-nature.com
And join us on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Finding-Nature/206803999379616

Emmanuel.


Sep 4, 2011
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sbay
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Registered: Aug 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 50
Review Date: Aug 20, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: inexpensive, lightweight, sharp in the center
Cons:
poor edge/corner sharpness

I was very excited about this lens because it fills a very useful range for travel photography. However, I've gone through two copies of this lens trying to find one that had good sharpness out the edges. While stopping down a lot helps, I remain unsatisfied. You can see crops on a full frame at http://bayimages.net/blog/reviews/canon-17-40mm-f4-l-lens-review/

Aug 20, 2011
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arthurb
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Registered: Jan 24, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 93
Review Date: May 7, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: It's an L. Build quality. Super sharp optics.
Cons:
It's only f4

This is my first L lens. I was dubious about buying the 17-40mm L as there seems to be variable reviews of this lens. I had sold my old 300d with the 18-55mm kit lens and needed something with a similar range. After using the new 17-40mm with my 550d body for two weeks, I can say that the images taken so far are outstandingly sharp. Makes my other non-L lenses seem a bit dull! Perhaps I was lucky and bought a good copy.

Obviously the max aperture of F4 is a bit limiting but I have other faster lenses of different focal lengths if I am working in poor light.


May 7, 2011
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dmcharg
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Registered: Nov 30, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 788
Review Date: Apr 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent wide angle lens on a 1.6 body. Light weight and overall excellent.
Cons:
F4 and no IS so its not ideal for indoor/lowlight

Overall this is an excellent lens i think. I've used it on various 1.6x bodies and its a nice wide angle lens. Coupled with the 70-200 F4L its a nice travel kit, covering a nice range. In the end i ended up selling it because i found that 17-40 wasn't really ideal as a general purpose lens, i found 40 too short and 17 to wide except for landscapes etc.

Apr 29, 2011
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AutoMotoMedia
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Registered: Mar 11, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 11, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great picture quality, light weight, good value
Cons:
plastic barrel

Here's a few pictures I have taken with it.

http://automotomedia.net/showthread.php/86-Canon-17-40l-Great-lens

My only problem with it is when I dropped my first one while on my camera and the lens broke off leaving the metal mount on the camera. I liked it enough to buy another one however. Smile


Mar 11, 2011
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BMsPics
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Registered: Feb 19, 2011
Location: Argentina
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

I only had the Lens for a few Days and granted I am not a pro or anything like that, but I have been taking pictures for a couple of years now and I can say that what seems to be lack of sharpness is due to the lens high quality. In other words is a very demanding lens that would be altered by the smallest disturbances.

If you got this lens you must a) know what you are doing b) have the right tripod c) realistic settings for the picture you are taking.

This as lens is an L lens that is bound to give you the best quality pictures in the world within the range for which it was intended.

Many people say this lens does not need IS, and is true for most of the time, however and option such as the 70-200, with IS would be appreciated by many (not me tough), especially those that want a walk around casual lens.


Feb 19, 2011
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Kaeru
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Registered: Feb 2, 2011
Location: Japan
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 2, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

I would like to add that if you are looking for the sharpest ultimate ultra wide zoom lens for full frame, get Tokina 16-28mm 2.8. It's much sharper than 16-35 II and 17-40. It's sharp at extreme corners already at F4. It's VERY heavy so I sold it to a friend but it was the sharpest I have ever seen. As sharp as Nikon's UWA zooms, if not better.
http://www.popphoto.com/lens-test/2010/12/tested-tokina-x-16-28mm-f28-pro-fx





Feb 2, 2011
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Kaeru
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Registered: Feb 2, 2011
Location: Japan
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: No lens flare, sharp corner to corner (between F8-F11), weighs only 475g! 77mm filter size.
Cons:
HUGE sample variations. Worst quality control I have ever seen among Canon lenses.

I rate this lens '10' ONLY for my second copy. My first copy would have been barely '5'.
I own 16-35 2.8L II but I rarely use 2.8-5.6 as I only shoot landscape and I want my gear to be as light as possible for backpacking. Also I'm not happy with 16-35's 88mm filter size since I cannot share the filter with my other lenses.
I was very skeptical of this lens due to mixed reviews but after I read the review on terragalleria.com with comments from well-regarded photographers supporting the comparison result, I decided to give it a try.
http://terragalleria.com/blog/2010/08/17/canon-wide-angle-zooms-comparisonreview-16-35f2-8-l-ii-v-17-40f4-l/

My first copy was horrible, nothing like the tested sample on terragalleria.com so I returned it and I got another copy, which was sharper but still the left bottom corner was pretty soft even at F11-F13. So I took it to Canon and asked them if they can fix it. Two weeks later, I got a call from Canon saying they "calibrated" it. I was really surprised with results from my tuned 17-40mm. It's like another lens. At F8, it defeats my 16-35 II and my friend's 16-35 II in terms of sharpness from center to corners.
However, 16-35 II remains sharper in corners at any aperture wider than F8. So if you need to shoot under low-light with hand-held, go for 16-35 II. If you use tripod in low-light, get 17-40, it's more flare resistant.


Feb 2, 2011
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bartolomej
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Registered: Sep 22, 2010
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: lightweight, my lens is very sharp, built quality is above standard, bargain price
Cons:
soft corners, at 17mm it produces strong barrel distortion



Sep 22, 2010
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tuanv1980
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Registered: Aug 24, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 152
Review Date: Sep 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light weight, Sharp, L built, inexpensive compare to other canon UWA, and Fixed F4
Cons:
I have none so far

I have this lens for one week on my 5d2. I love the UWA and different aspect to my image it provided. I bought it used but I got an ultra sharp copy...almost as sharp as my Canon 24-70mm, therefore it stay attached to my 5d2 75% of the time now.

I think this is a great buy especially on the 2nd hand market where the price range between $500-600. Compare to the canon 16-35mm at 1/3 the price, this is a steal. Overall, I mainly using this for landscape so so f4 will do just fine, but when stop down to about f8, this is especially sharp.


Sep 22, 2010
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Jos Tesseract
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Registered: May 28, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 615
Review Date: Sep 15, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: crystal clear and sharp, good flare control, good range for club/party enviro, lightweight!
Cons:
slow AF, AF hunts, doesn't work well when partial metering, poor fall off at edges

I rented this lens for a weekend, hoping to get some awesome pictures. It seemed to me that this lens best excelled at end of day, when the sun was setting. That pre-twilight hour sun really allowed this lens to give that L-series pop. However, during overcast moments, the colours were flat. With flash added, the colours were better, but my results were reminiscent of a point and shoot camera.

The lens itself is surprisingly lightweight, which is a god send at 4am.

Overall, it's a nice lens, but not one I see myself buying any time soon.


Sep 15, 2010
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marcinklysewic
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Registered: Aug 19, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 19, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: excellent built quality, fast and silent
Cons:
lack of sharpenss

i got this lens 3 days ago and i was testing it heavily on my canon 40d camera. i have to say that i love the built quality and quiet and fast usm. the problem is that my lens didn't produce sharp images at all. i shoot in raw and i had to correct sharpness on every single photo. i tested this lens shooting landscape and then at home on tripod comparing it to canon 18-55 kit lens that i got for 35 second hand. there was no or very little difference. i tested it with and without filters, using F4, F8, F11 and F22 at ISO100-400 using AF and MF.
it was very frustrating experience. i have Canon 70-200 F4 lens and the IQ is superb. i was expecting the same from Canon 17-40 lens as it is a member of L series.
either i'm not lucky and my copy of this lens has some fault in optics or it's a wide angle thing - images in general are not that sharp. i don't know but my decision was to return this lens.
shocking for me was that it was impossible to find difference between images from this lens and 18-55 kit one. little bit better colours but both lenses produce photos of same quality sharpness which for me is unacceptable.
if you buy it i just hope you'll have more luck then me.


Aug 19, 2010
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timothyjames
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Registered: Aug 13, 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: excellent build quality, fast accurate focussing, nice colours. useful zoom range - ultra wide on full frame!
Cons:
my copy was not very sharp. 'reasonable' would be my pixel peeping opinion of the sharpness. if top end sharpness is a must i'd have to say don't buy this lens, go for a prime instead. massively distorted at 17mm (this is probably inevitable with such wide angles, but it is very noticeable on anything below 24mm). bokeh on full frame is smooth and even but F4 isn't big enough to produce anything really nice.

the zoom range (mainly talking about angle of view) on full frame sensor (5dm2) is particularly useful for a 'walkaround' lens. by that i mean the angles and framing you can capture inside and for people allow for very few missed opportunities. perhaps a little on the short side for portraits on full frame, it's ideal for landscapes and indoor photography/architecture (assuming you have enough light). the lack of sharpness is my main gripe with this lens, considering the price and weight, imho when you have this attached you may want better results. go for prime? go for a more expensive zoom? that said, if you're not printing large or pixel peeping, this is an excellent lens. distortion at 17-20mm will call for correction in photoshop depending on what's in the picture (people's faces for example, will look unnatural in the edges of the photo).

as an aside, F4 is a bit on the small side for me. i mainly shoot with a f2.0 now and that is a much more versatile aperture. those looking for a versatile walkaround lens should look at getting something with f 2.8 ability at least. those looking for very shallow depth of field should also look at wider aperture options. this isn't necessarily negative feedback, as F4 is a clearly published spec and there is no grey area or anything regarding this, so it is more a mention of my experience with the lens in general shooting conditions. knowing if F4 is a wide enough aperture for you should be a research issue, i personally didn't research this thoroughly enough and have found that it's not quite bright enough for shooting handheld without a flash indoors. going to iso 3200 on the 5dm2 is still useable even in dim conditions but obviously such high ISO settings should be avoided unless grainy is what you're going for.


Aug 13, 2010
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
514 982747 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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