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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
515 992599 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $670.44
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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nickjohnson
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Registered: Sep 15, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 764
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good range, fine build, good weigh / balance, good IQ, reasonable price.
Cons:
some IQ inconsistency

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used – all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

17-40 L
Comment
Overall a really useful focal length range and a joy to handle and use.

Used hand held for gardens, and scenic Used on a tripod for landscape and night shots. Typically used at f8 to f16.

IQ generally very good. A3 prints no problem – A2 with a little extra pp work. Some CA - ease to correct. At wider end – occasionally - some complex distortion that I am unable to correct with CS or DXO.


Sep 19, 2009
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rail
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Registered: Sep 6, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: too soon to tell
Cons:
too soon to tell

Just received the lens thirty minutes ago. I was a bit concerned that it would vignette like the 24-105 I used to own (I switched to the 24-70). Yes, it does show vignetting but from the few indoor shots I've taken so far it is less dark in the corners. I got this lens primarily because I'll be making a trip to Asia soon. I have a feeling that this will be a fun lens to shoot with.

Sep 15, 2009
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cdryall
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Registered: Mar 19, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lovely colours, great centre sharpness, REAL value for money
Cons:
Soft on the extreme borders with full frame great on APS - H upwards

One of the best value for money lenses in the Canon lineup, great colour and centre sharpness - recommended especially if an APS H or APS C user, on full frame 5D2 edge limitations do show up....

Sep 11, 2009
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Haring
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Registered: Sep 11, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good range on full frame body - 17 40
Cons:
slow

The 17-40 I mostly use it for real estate photography on a 5D. I also use it for aerial pictures although it is a bit heavy for it.
For interior shots it is great because you need not worry about the F/4. It is good at wide 17, however there is distortion as you can see: www.haringphotography.com
Look for the interior pictures. I have tried to eliminate distortion but I couldn’t 100%. It is not as flexible as my 28-70mm L but the latter is not as wide either...:)



Sep 11, 2009
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DocTP1885
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Registered: Aug 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Aug 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent Build. Fast autofocus. Internal focus. Perfect weight.
Cons:

Even though this lens is for landscape, I bought this for close quarter photoshoots. On occasion, I work in tight spots and require something wide. I rarely shoot in low light and if I did, I prefer to mount the camera on a tripod, so the F4 works well for me. I bought a 70-200L F4 few weeks back and was spoiled with the build, speed, quality, and image of the L. The 17-40 is my 2nd L glass and this one is just as amazing. Very fast focus, image is phenomenal and quality is expected from an L. Love the internal focus and hoping they eventually move the 24-70L 2.8 to that direction since that will be my next purchase. My bud was doin a close photoshoot, so I let him borrow my 17-40 and he was blown away with the image quality. Think I got another person hooked on L glass. Smile When you hold the glass, it feels extremely solid, but yet light. zoom is buttery. and USM is very silent. Highly recommended.

Aug 16, 2009
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eidelman
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Registered: Aug 8, 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 13
Review Date: Aug 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Robust, sharp, good colour and really wide and sharp on a full frame. A delight to use and minimal distortions
Cons:
nothing at this time

I tried this lens on my Canon 1D mark 111, Canon 5D and Canon 5D mk 2. It has given me very satisfying results with sharp images, good colour saturation, sharp and manageable.

Since its main use is landscape I shoot a f8 or higher so dont need the F2,8

I tried the 16 to 35 type 1 (not type 11) and results on full frame were not good at all

Impression: The Canon 17 to 40 f4 L is a well priced, handy and dependable wide angle lens.


Aug 6, 2009
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akilah
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Registered: Aug 27, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 162
Review Date: Aug 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good performance on a full-frame sensor.
Cons:
None, really, for what it is.

Like an earlier reviewer I bought this originally for a cropped frame sensor (40D), and was underwhelmed (decent EFS alternatives in that range were not available at the time). It seemed to overexpose a lot, and didn't seem as sharp as I would have liked.

I've since bought a 5DMII, and now this has become a favorite lens. Initially I thought the photos lacked contrast and were not sharp. I think part of this perception was not having the experience with wide-angle photography that this lens allowed, and when I zoom in on previous photos realize this judgement was not justified.

As I worked with the lens, I began getting consistently sharp photos with good contrast and color. As mentioned some work in Photoshop to get the best results will help, but I think this is true of all lenses not this one in particular.

Patience will pay off with this lens, making it an excellent value.


Aug 3, 2009
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bluefox9er
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Registered: May 10, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 361
Review Date: Aug 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: size,weight,build quality
Cons:
nothing really

don't be mislead by the post before mine, this is a WIDE lens, even if you use it on a x1.3 sensor or a x1.6

the IQ is absloutley nothing to write home about, this is not a lens where you can use images straght out of the camera and will need to post process to get reasonable results.

i do beleive,however, it isn't that great optically and suspect it's 'L' designation comes from it's robust build and construction rather than it's remarkably unremarkable IQ.


Aug 2, 2009
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tchan748
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Registered: Jul 28, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 324
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: impressive and versatile with full frame camera.
Cons:
not really a wide angle with non-full frame camera.

I bought this lens about 2 years ago. at the time i had the 30D body and the lens was not impressive as a wide angle until i trade the 30D for the 5Dmk2. This lens really impresses me with the full frame angle paired with the 5Dmk2.

Jul 28, 2009
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Paul_88
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Registered: Jul 1, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Affordable, superb built quality, Excellent IQ, relatively light weight for "L" lenses.
Cons:
none for the price

I purchased this lens a year ago after I did quite a lot of research comparing this lens to 16-35 f/2.8 II. I chose this one and happy with my decision.

It's cheaper, smaller, lighter (all good!!) and similar build quality compare to 16-35. IQ is excellent, very sharp and excellent color and contrast. All you can get at the price as low as "L" lens can be (almost half of the 16-35II price!!).

If your need is to shoot in low light condition, you need 16-35 f/2.8 II ( more expensive and heavier). If not, look no further and get this one.


Jul 15, 2009
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J Andersen
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Registered: Apr 20, 2003
Location: Denmark
Posts: 1002
Review Date: Jun 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, sharp at F4.
Cons:
The hood is very small and almost not worth using - use a hand instead ;-)

This lens is wery usable as a walk around lens on a crop camera. I found the lens to very very sharp even at F4 and never hesitate to use it wide open. It's light, fast focusing and durable - I'be been shooting in jungles, deserts, at desertes islands and never had any problem.

Jun 26, 2009
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mauro stucchi
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Registered: Jun 11, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Review Date: Jun 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: this lens is very wide and sharp enough, even is build like a tank
Cons:
no cons

i simply love this lens
i do photography in some jewelry store and it work great
f4 is not a problem for me i have canon5D mark II that worh great with high ISO
www.maurostucchi.com


Jun 13, 2009
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stephenmak
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Registered: Feb 16, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jun 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap for an L, Wide, Weather Sealed (it's an L), Rugged (it's an L), Good Mechanical Action (it's an L)
Cons:
Expensive for a lens (it's an L), Distortion, S L O W.....

I have to give this lens that I've had for around two years an okay review. I liked it on my 10D, didn't like it much on a 5D, and actually rather like it on a 1D (my current rig). On the 5D FF, it's just, well, too darn wide. Distortion was strange, and shots taken on a 5D at 17mm just seemed to be wide, for the sake of being wide. The barrel distortion on the 5D was problematic, nothing that can't be fixed with software, but still, it's a lens that shouldn't distort.

On a 1D, the crop take the wide distortion out, but (obviously) the barrel distortion remains.

On the positive side, on any Canon camera, it's a pretty flexible zoom for landscape, architectural photography, going from super wide on a 5D, to medium wide on a 10D or similar 1.6x crop camera.

On the 1.3 crop, it seems to have found, at least for me, a pretty sweet spot. The wide distortion is gone, it's now a 22.1mm on a 1D, as opposed to a 27.2mm on a 10D, where it really wasn't quite wide enough (especially for the price).

I'm not so sure if a barrel distorting lens should be commanding an L moniker, but given the crop of lenses available at this focal length, it's not a bad lens, especially given it's current structure and regime of rebates.


Jun 3, 2009
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Gaspar Avila
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Registered: Sep 6, 2006
Location: Portugal
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good in every way, when used with a full frame
Cons:
None

Excellent image quality and build quality. Affordable. Excellent for landscapes.
I've been using mine on a Canon 5D (MkI) for almost 2 years, and I have no intention of selling it or trade it for anything else.
Corners can be a bit soft when used at 17mm and f/4, but I forgive her Smile


May 17, 2009
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anthonygh
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1846
Review Date: Apr 21, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: All the things already mentioned...
Cons:
None...it does what it supposed to do...very well..

This is my second review of this lens, which I have used for a couple of years now.

I use it for landscape on a FF 35MM 1V (exclusively B+W) and on a 40D. In both cases the images are excellent although the B+W images seem to have far more impact when printed...but this might be to due with using film as well as the wider viewing angle.

I mostly use this lens in a small studio environment on a 40D and it works really well...being a crop camera it is the equivalent of about 24 - 60mm...which nicely covers head shots to full length. I have a longer zoom which gives a better perspective on headshots, but this lens gives very acceptable results in my limited space.

It is really hard to fault this lens. Some people argue it's not 2.8...but then it never claimed to be...and in my experience (which included weddings etc ) the f4 max is fine..no focussing issues, and sharp images. Lovely colours as well.


Apr 21, 2009
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Norwin Uy
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Registered: Jul 8, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 364
Review Date: Apr 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great contrast and colors
Cons:
vignette on FF, softness in the corners

Wonderful lens to have in your arsenal. I've shot this on a 30D and a 5D. Images were slightly better on the 30D as this lens shines in its center sharpness. But the perspective this lens gives on full frame is spectacular. Vignetting is bad at f/4 but is almost non-existent at f/8. Highly recommended ultra-wide for full frame. Crop shooters might want to have a look at the 17-55mm

Apr 4, 2009
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 992599 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $670.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
9.0
ef17-40_4l_1_


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