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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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515 993897 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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bergie
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Registered: Aug 12, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Rugged build; image quality; price
Cons:
None for the money

I can't compare this lens to the 16-35 since I can't afford it, but from the landscape shots I've taken, I'm more than happy with it.

I've seen the reviews of people complaining about corner softness, but for landcapes, I'm always stopping it way down anyway, so the fact it's an f/4 intead of 2.8 doesn't matter to me and I'm much happier to save the $1000 for the replacement of the 5D.

I have this mounted on a 30D and it definitely is not as wide as the 10-22 I had, but the color rendition does seem to be better, especially for blue skies.

This shot is with no PP: http://bergquist.smugmug.com/photos/211842109-M.jpg



Oct 29, 2007
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pixelda
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Registered: Sep 4, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good price for an L lens. Low CA, Low flare, good near focus, common 77mm filter. That red ring gets you noticed!
Cons:
None

I moved up from a Canon30 and 10-22mm to the 5D and 17-40 recently. Since I take mostly landscapes, and having used the 10-22mm for several months previously, the f4 max-aperture wasn't an issue for my current needs.

The 10-22mm is not that bad a lens compared to the (non-Canon) competition, but the quality of the 17-40mm is noticably better, not least considering I am using it on a full frame camera. A recent UK digital photo magazine featured a pull-out containing about a dozen readers landscapes printed at A4. Over half of them were taken using the 5D and 17-40mm - so it is a performer in the field (literally!)

The 10-22mm has noticeable CA at the edges, whereas the 17-40 does not. CA on the 10-22mm was also exagerated when processing several images into HDR using Photomatix. Results with the 17-40mm are much improved.

I always use the hood to reduce flare, and even shooting into the sun creates very little flare using the 17-40mm compared to the 10-22mm.

The lens isn't heavy to me - you just fit it and away you go. All controls are smooth. I usually manual focus, but I've tried the AF, which works without hassle. Canon's Ultrasonic System always works well my work.

If money is an issue to you, the 17-40mm will not dissappoint. You will have to pay nearly three times the price for f2.8 and no noticeable improvement in quality


Oct 28, 2007
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Josh Bustos
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Registered: Mar 29, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 344
Review Date: Oct 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Internal zooming, not heavy, not very expensive, good bokeh, very sharp.
Cons:
not f/2.8

I use this lens on a 30d, and I've had a LOT of keepers with this lens. even on a 1.6 cropped camera it is pretty wide, and has a decent range depending on what you are shooting. definitely some distortion at f/4 and 17mm.
Is this my favorite lens? No.
If I wanted a great L lens thats under 1,000 dollars would I buy this? YES. this lens is so worth the money if you can't afford a 16-35. It even has that extra 5mm reach.

Here is a sample shot Straight out of the camera, demonstrating the bokeh and sharpness of this lens. This picture was taken on a kind of dark, gray day.

http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y245/Guitar23player/?action=view&current=IMG_0689.jpg


Oct 27, 2007
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Phil UKNet
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Registered: Oct 20, 2007
Location: Thailand
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent, versatile walkaround lens. Good colour rendition, fast and accurate focusing.
Cons:
A little extra length at the telephoto end would be welcome. No IS, which is something we are coming to expect on all lenses these days - even wide angle.

This is the first lens I bought when I switched to a digital system and the lens that I use most of the time. It is an excellent, versatile lens capable of delivering very pleasing images.

At just over 27mm (full frame equivalent) on the wide end, it is adequate for almost all of my needs but occasionally a little extra length on the telephoto end would be welcome.

The 17-55mm F2.8 EF-S IS sounds like an interesting alternative but I would need to upgrade my camera body first, my 10D not being able to accept EF-S lenses. The extra stop, extra zoom range, image stabilisation, and reportedly high image quality all sound great.

The 17-40mm - as with all L series lenses - is built like a tank and feels like a serious piece of equipment. Colour rendition is good; focusing quick and accurate. It actually makes for a good portrait lens without subjects suffering from ugly perspective distortion.

Physically, it's a big lens (77mm filter) and with the lens hood attached I cannot use the onboard flash on the 10D at 17mm although it is OK at 40mm. The built-in flash on later 1.6x crop body cameras raises higher so this may not be a problem with the 20D/30D/40D.

Even if I were to buy the 17-55mm, I cannot imagine selling the 17-40mm because it has served me so well for over three years.

Some sample images at:

http://phil.uk.net/photography/canon_17-40F4L.html


Oct 26, 2007
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balje064
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Registered: Oct 7, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, great color, good contrast
Cons:
at 17mm a bit too much distortion

I use this lens on a 30d.


Oct 7, 2007
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deepak kumar
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Registered: Sep 27, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Oct 4, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $697.00

 
Pros: Full frame performance is awesome
Cons:
copy variation is a problem

I have to add a comment to my previous review.

My previous lens had an right sided back focus problem. I had to go through two copies before finding a perfect one. There seems to be some copy variation that's a little concerning for a top tier lens.

With the new copy, this lens is contrasty, sharp and much more colorful than my previous lens.

When mounted on a 5d, it completely changes character and shows it's potential. Compared to a 10-22, it's very sharp in the corners, although showing a bit more vignetting. Really excellent images -sharper throughout the whole frame than the 10-22 with similar color and contrast. Take the comparison with a grain of salt - these were obviously on two different camera models.

Basically, on a full frame body, this lens makes a lot more sense. It's really a 'must buy' on these types of cameras. If you get a good copy, it's absolutely top-notch. On a crop, it's not as compelling.


Oct 4, 2007
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deepak kumar
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Registered: Sep 27, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Sep 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $697.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, solid construction. Essentially an internally focused lens with the very little zoom extension done within the main barrel. Good IQ
Cons:
Not truly weather sealed. Images a little dull.

Good not great IQ right out of the box. Sharpness, contrast and color are not as vivid as some other lenses. RAW images PP well, though, and with a little work were excellent. Keep in mind that unfinished RAW images from this lens are relatively low in contrast and saturation. I've owned two copies of this lens, both with spot on focus and they both had these tendencies. Compared to a lens like the 24-105, these characteristics are obvious. I don't know that I would necessarily call these weakness b/c, as I said, a little PP is all it takes for very good pics.

Build is very good and I really like the size and weight as well as the fact that it doesn't extend outside the body of the lens.

Awesome value - I can't think of another lens this nice with this level of quality.


Overall, very good. Takes a little work to get the most out of this lens. Pics are more subtle and don't pop like some other lenses (ie 24-105). I would recommend trying other lenses in this range, in addition to this one, as its color rendition, etc. will not be to everyone's taste.


Sep 27, 2007
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Nicholas S
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Registered: Jun 14, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 7
Review Date: Sep 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Constant aperture, sharp wide open on full-frame (film) bodies, excellent and great build quality, just a right physical size, weather sealed.
Cons:
Focal length is too short, mediocre image quality (read below..), strange hood.

This is my story of this product. I owned this lens for about a year already.

I use this lens on a 1.6x crop body, and somehow (or maybe it's just me) I'm not satisfied with the image quality it produces. Yes it has great color and contrast, but I think it's not that much difference than my 18-55 kit lens. I don't even notice that this lens is much sharper wide open than the kit lens. When stopped down, yes it is very sharp but only on buildings and geometrical subjects no matter how far you are from the subject. When capturing trees and leaves (both on distant) it is almost no difference than the kit lens.. I really disappointed in this area.

But when I mount it on my EOS 3, it's a different story... Very sharp wide open (unlike my 50 f/1.8 II!!), great ultra wide angle, total weather sealed in this combination. However you must note that vignetting will occur when you use normal thickness of polarizer; or a normal UV + slim polarizer. Sometimes this problem is really inconvenient for me, especially during travel when I have not much time.

Occasionally I use this lens combined with external flash unit when used indoor - that's a very good combination in my opinion - especially mounted on a 1.6x crop body - even I think 40mm it's too short, but still a reasonable range.

Another important point - the zoom and focus is really nice, well-built. And the AF/MF switch is really nice. The USM motor is very silent, fast and accurate.

Recommended if you agree with all of my points =)


Sep 27, 2007
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copeg
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Registered: Jan 16, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 170
Review Date: Sep 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: An excellent and very sharp lens. Fantastic sharpness and contrast. Build quality is fantastic - very solid.
Cons:
A tad soft at 17mm near the edges.

A great lens. One of my favorite lenses for landscapes and portraits. My lens has been through a lot, and has survived it all. Very tough build. Its image quality is outstanding. In my comparisons with the 18-55 (Ok, is that really a comparison?), this lens won hands down - the difference was pretty remarkable.

Sep 20, 2007
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Kari Post
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Registered: Jan 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 660
Review Date: Sep 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: price, weight, size, overall image quality especially when used stopped down for landscapes, non-rounded diaphragm
Cons:
some distortion and vignetting, lack of sharpness in corners

I use this lens on my 1.3x crop factor 1D Mark II N and I'm very happy with the results. I use this lens primarily for landscapes, so usually in the f/11-f/18 range and throughout all its focal lengths. Before I switched to Canon at the beginning of 2007, I had been strictly a Nikon photographer and was using a D200 and 17-35mm f/2.8 Nikkor for landscapes and wide angle nature photography.

I've heard all over that the image quality of Canon's wide angle lens lineup is inferior to what Nikon has to offer, but I don't think the generalization is entirely fair. Nikon's 17-35 is regarded as the best wide angle zoom ever made, but in practical application as a landscape lens, I haven't found any situation where it drastically outperformed the Canon 17-40.

The 17-40 suffers from obvious barrel distortion when used at 17mm, but the distortion lessens greatly when zoomed out only a millimeter or two more. This effect is noticeable when shooting straight horizons, so it order to have a normal unbowed horizon, I usually zoom to about 20mm to be safe when shooting beach scenes. There is some vignetting at the wider settings, but nothing I have not noticed with any other wide angle zoom. I haven't had many problems with CA, although some minor CA not visible unless you interpolate upward or zoom past 100% can appear in very high contrast areas. When used wide open, the corners of an image are not as sharp as the center, which is typical for this type of lens and easily fixed by stopping down. In fact, most of the problems associated with this lens virtually disappear when used in the mid-zoom range at intermediate apertures.

I hit this lens hard when I slipped while crossing a creek and it still is sharp, fast, and accurate, so I can vouch for its durability.

My boyfriend's copy of this lens has one soft corner that is still softer than the others when stopped down. I'm not sure if he has a bad copy or somehow damaged his lens at one point.

In comparison to the 17-35 f/2.8 Nikkor, I like this lens better. The 17-40 Canon does not have rounded diaphragm blades, so when stopped down to f/18-22 you can create sunbursts and starbursts. The 17-35 Nikkor has rounded blades so sunbursts cannot be accomplished with it. This lens also has 5mm more zoom on the long end and costs less than half what the Nikon does. Of course the Nikkor opens up to f/2.8, but for landscape photography this isn't necessary and the lenses are used stopped down anyway.

I really like this lens and think its a great deal at around $600, especially for anyone who needs a wide-angle zoom with AF capability, but doesn't focus strictly on wide angle photography. For serious architectural photographers, it may be worth it to spend a thousand dollars or more on a good wide-angle lens, but for most people who do weddings, journalism, nature, or even some landscapes (depending on your camera and specific subject matter) the 17-40 is more than an adequate performer.


Sep 10, 2007
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Iosif Adamache
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Registered: Sep 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Hi guys.
I'm a new photographer, in exploring the new camera EOS -5D, and I need a help to clean inside, mirror, sensor and all glases. I tried to use dust cleaner spray (Century Duster), I did not touched any parts of mirror or sensor, but I realize when I look through viewfinder a lots, hundreds of litlle particle of black dust. I there any chance, to solve this problem without send it back to store ? It is brand new, I got it just 2 weeks ago, and I can not take any more pictures at this moment. It is anyone to help me ?
Help...., Help ...
Iosif


Sep 9, 2007
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Joshua June
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Registered: May 14, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tight Crisp images and great color rendition. Price. Weather seal, sold balance, speed, IQ, quiet. Does a good job breaking down problems with chromatic and barrel aberration.
Cons:
well... I really miss being able to stop down to 1.8... but I knew it buying an f4, but still (whine whine whine)

Great lens, I'm addicted to Ebay! Anyway my copy is sweet to the edges at f4, and at f20+ it does blue out on me or over darken the edges like cheaper lenses to... Or is that a camera trait? Not sure, anyway the lens still requires me to be a good photographer to get it to work properly indoors, no IS, but, the glass is top notch, well worth the money and the skillz you will develop using this lens.

Sep 7, 2007
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toma7
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Registered: Jan 31, 2007
Location: Austria
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, light, weather sealed, contrast/sharpness/colors are okay, fast AF, bizarre hood
Cons:
soft corners, f/4, no IS
Sep 3, 2007
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James pf Chow
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Registered: Jan 19, 2007
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Aug 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, great contrast & colours, weather-shield and well built. AF is fast, smooth and quite. Great value for money. Excellent UWA. Love it.
Cons:
None for what it is designed for. It should NOT be compared with the sharpness of Canon prime L-lens.

This is my 2nd L lens and obviously was anxious to find out how this Canon UWA would perform as compared to other L lens esp the only L lens that I own i.e. 200mm f/2.8L.

My initial concern soon disappeared after a few landscape shots I took at a nearby golf course. I was a bit concerned earlier on it's sharpness after reading some reviews that QC of 17-40mm might be an issue esp after seeing some testshots with 100% crops. Then soon realized that the 17-40mm is designed for wide-angle shots and it should not be compared to equivalent focal length prime lens. Wide angle photography can be quite tricky, great results when it is done properly. Do not get me wrong, 17-40mm IQ is very sharp and consistent! I am impressed with it as it's IQ is close if not as good as the same of 200mm f/2.8L in terms of color and contrast.

This lens is well bulit, weather-shield and definitely an L quality. Nice weight and not too heavy to lug around for travelling and trekking. Hood is slightly big but no issue for me as it could fit into my NOVA-1. AF of the lens is smooth, fast and quiet with the convenient and useful feature of full time manual focus.

The best of all is that 17-40mm f/4 USM is value for money at about half of 16-35mm f/2.8L price but with same if not better IQ. Great lens. Highly recommended.



Aug 17, 2007
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Breitling65
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Registered: May 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5233
Review Date: Jul 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $639.99 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Wide and fast for wide shots, quick AF, excelent weathersieled build. Good fro travel.
Cons:
Not up to wide primes level at all, even my 15mm fisheye is way better lens. Softer at 35mm end, was nto happy with corners sharpness.

I good this lens almost free with 5D double rebate in 2006, after 7 month replaced with primes. Averall good lens for travel, light and well build. Weather sealed!!!.
However since I was looking for better results and faster apertures, better colors and sharpness I got 15mm fisheye, 24L & 35L instead. Each of this primes are amazingly superb and superior to 17-40L, which is still good entry level L zoom.


Jul 22, 2007
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Vincent Armato
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Registered: Jul 15, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color, Contrast and Naturally the WIDE focal length.
Cons:
A little pricey for an F4 lens....but quality costs!

After getting so much good input from others on my lens purchases I felt it was time to contribute to the groups. :-)

I already own a 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/2.8 L and the 28-135 IS. I have been so impressed with the 70-200mm L as well as the 50mm prime, but the 28-135 always left the pics a little shy in color and contrast. I really liked the IS on the 28-135 and wanted to upgrade to a higher quality lens.

The 24-70 f/2.8 was what I wanted, but I figured I would wait longer and see if Canon was going to release an IS version of the lens like they did for the 70-200mm f/2.8 series.

Given everyone else's comments, the 17-40 seemed like a good general purpose lens for 1.6 sensors, so I made the plunge figuring I would reap the benefit an ultrawide with a larger sensor body upgrade.

Boy was I impressed! This lens is as good a quality as my 70-200mm L in terms of color and contrast. The zoom is only so much but the wide angle is great! I can finally get a whole room shot indoors where the 28-135 was failing me. This is going to become my lens for indoor shots and I'll use the 70-200mm for all events. The 17 focal length is definitely an advantage in landscape shots as well.

The weight of the lens is light and the size feels 'just right'. Not too light, not too heavy. The zoom and focus rings are top notch in terms of build quality. No loose rings here!

The 10-22mm EF-S looks like a good lens as well, but considering it doesn't come with a case or a lens hood, it is much more expensive and only useful on the 1.6 crop sensors. Stick with the 17-40mm L if you are a 20D or 30D owner!

- Vince


Jul 15, 2007
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 993897 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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