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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
508 996803 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $671.61
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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jirok12944
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Registered: Nov 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 11, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: perfect lens in all aspects, usable at f/4, priced very well, excellent first professional wide-angle lens
Cons:
none for the price

This is my update after two years use. I was lucky and did not need to calibrate my copy, it was perfect out of the box. Sharpness, contrast, resolution, colors are exceptional. I primary use it for people photography, to be honest I only do photography with people, and in time I understood that my favorite FL is up to 40mm, that's why I used this lens more than others, and that's why I invested in 35mm f/1.4L.... 17-40mm is perfect lens for what it does and especially for the price (1/3 of 16-35mm mk2). If you are looking for your first not-expensive wide-angle lens, that's the one. I think everybody needs to start from it, to grow up and realize that f/4 is the limitation. It is not artistic lens, not a lens to make artistic shallow DOF photos... that's the drawback compensated by the price. Until 16-35mm mkII was introduced I did not think about replacing it, and bought 24-70mm f/2.8 in addition. But unfortunately I do not feel comfortable with 24-70mm, plus it's much stronger on 70mm than 24mm (resolution wise). And I'm thinking about upgrading it to 16-35mm mkII. Here's to sum up: perfect lens in all aspects, usable at f/4, priced very well, excellent first professional wide-angle lens, solid 10.


Jul 11, 2007
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mathie
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Registered: Sep 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Jul 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Popular for valid reasons, great IQ, solid build, fast, good price
Cons:
None

A very popular lens and for many reasons. It's on my XTi all the time now, quite versatile, excellent quality, fast and I think a combo of 17-40 & 70-200 would be sufficient for me. Great build quality, great IQ, can't think of any complaint for now. It's popular so you should be able to get a used one for a good price at a decent quality like I did.

Jul 10, 2007
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FatBoyAl
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Registered: Sep 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 671
Review Date: Jul 5, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $525.00

Pros: Out of the box wow factor, build quality, weight
Cons:
The HOOD!

This is a follow-on to my previous review. I've now owned a number of L's and a number of 'consumer grade' and third party lenses. I've taken thousands of shots. My L's have included: 24-70, 24-105, 17-40, 70-200 (all verions but the 2.8 non-IS), 100-400.
With the sole exception of perhaps, perhaps! the 70-200/4IS, there's not been a lens that simply WOWED me like this one has. When I glance through a days' shots in ACDSee, you can immediately see which were taken with this lens. It's that good.
Lightweight, fast focus, 'hella good' (as my daughter would say) image quality - this lens has it all. While I have sold my 100-400 (huge mistake) and now own the 70-200/2.8IS after owning both the f4 versions, trading my 24-105 for a 24-70, I've never once considered selling this lens. I might, for some reason I've yet to fathom, get the 16-35/2.8, but this lens will be right next to that one in the bag. You ain't never getting me to part with my 17-40!!


Jul 5, 2007
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Jim Schemel
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Registered: Oct 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4822
Review Date: Jun 29, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

Would like to add to my previous comments about this lens.I took it to a social event and used it to take snap shots of people and it did a great job.Default settings in camera were 1/60 and f4 and all the pics were extremely sharp with no distortion.Many wonder how this shot does with people.Let me just say it does a great job!!
-Jim


Jun 29, 2007
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Jim Schemel
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Registered: Oct 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4822
Review Date: Jun 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Contrast very good, Colors rendered very good esp vibrant in skies
Cons:
None i can think of at this time

It was hard at first for me to get a good read on this lens.If shooting in raw one must always remember that all pictures taken in raw require sharpening and other adjustments.I think some of the 'soft' comments or 'not sharp enough' comments that i have read hear and on other review sites, might come from some shooting in raw and expecting the pics to be perfect right out of the camera.With a few minor adjustments in DPP the pictures that i took were excellent!! Looking forward to taking this lens with me to NYC and take some bridge and building pics i'm sure that i will be thrilled with the results.Highly Recommended
-Jim


Jun 27, 2007
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aero145
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Registered: Jul 1, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 333
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $735.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: superb image quality - little chromatic abberation - very good build quality
Cons:
I had to test SIX copies of this lens until I was satisfied!

This is a very nice wide angle lens with superb image quality, lots of sharpness, little CA and very good build quality.

As to expected with wide angle zoomlenses, it's more difficult to find a good copy than with telephoto zoomlenses (e.g. I found my 100-400L copy straight away), so I had to try 6 copies of the 17-40L to find the right copy. This is however *'Canon's horrible quality control'* to blame, as it shouldn't be that difficult to find the right wide angle lens copy.


Nevertheless, my example is good and it's a recommended lens for this focal length range.






Jun 15, 2007
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Matt Kerby
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Registered: Jun 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 513
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Contrast, Color, Sharp, Fast, overall quality, build Reletively Small
Cons:
No complaints, this lens is a work of art

The contrast is beautiful, my copy is very sharp edge to edge. I prefer this over my 24-70 at times, lighter and thus easier to lug around. The build is very strong, IQ is spot on. Compared to my other Ls, I have no idea why this one is 1/2 the price, but I'm not complaining:)
The nature shots I've taken lately look 3D right out of the camera with no PP...Anyways, I have no complaints just praise for this lens


Jun 15, 2007
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hedredm
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Registered: Dec 31, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jun 10, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: nice build quality, silent USM focusing, light
Cons:
sharpness

I really wanted to like this lens. I bought this to upgrade my Tamron 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5. It felt great on my camera, focusing was fast and silent, and I really wanted a L lens... I came home and did some tests, expecting this L lens to blow the Tamron out of the water. The L beat the Tamron in edge sharpness by a small amount. Otherwise, center sharpness was pretty much identical. So I paid $500 extra over the Tamron for build quality and silent focusing? I'm not too happy about that... I don't really care that it's built like a tank if the pictures it takes is almost the same as something 1/5th the cost.

I'll try another copy of this lens, but if the results are similar, I'm returning it for good.


Jun 10, 2007
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blueish
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Registered: Aug 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 48
Review Date: Jun 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely solid construction. Has dealed with rain and the rain of death (Roommate spilled soda on my camera...) and nothing bad has happened. Very sharp and great for landscapes. Price is amazing for the quality of the lense it is. About half the price of a 24-70/f2.8L and although they are used for different occasions, the 17-40/f4L is greatly used.
Cons:
F4 is isn't that exciting, but it works well for what it is.

Overall, great lense. My first L lense before I jumped on the 24-70/F2.8L. I would recommend it for anyone who has a Rebel XT/30D to the people who have the 5D. 17mm is great and you'll miss it if you ever do jump to the 24-70.

Jun 5, 2007
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udoo
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Registered: Dec 16, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 220
Review Date: May 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: - AF is fast & quiet - Good color and contrast - Does not show vignetting on 1D Mark II - Really good price for value
Cons:
- Does show vignetting on full frame especially with Flash on.

I would highly recommend this lens if you are using a 1.3x or a 1.6x camera. However if you are using a full frame, there is vignetting at 17mm, it shows more pronounced when you have your flash on.

Other than that flaw, I see this as an exteremly good lens espcially at this price point. It has all the other nice features that all L series lens has like fast AF, silent motor and good color and contrast.

Highly recommended!


May 31, 2007
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Steve Jamroz
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Registered: May 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 250
Review Date: May 24, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Red Ring, Canon Brand
Cons:
Image quality doesn't justify price

I shoot studio stuff with a 5D. I bought this lens thinking it would be great, and unfortunately it is not. It has a blue cast, is dark and doesn't produce sharp images. I find this lens sitting in my bag when I need a critical shot. I pull out my much less expensive Tamron 28-75 DI and get bright pictures so sharp you could cut your hand on them. This lens just doesn't deliver for me. Though my Canon 70-200 does, every time.

May 24, 2007
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Rolando Petit
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Registered: Apr 4, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 59
Review Date: May 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $630.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, smooth and priced just right...
Cons:
none...

if you are considering this lens rent it first, it will help

May 18, 2007
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PeepingTom
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Registered: Aug 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 609
Review Date: May 17, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $650.00

Pros: Sharp, Great Contrast, Color and Build, 'must have wide'angle for 'non-full frame' digital bodies, inexpensive for an L lens
Cons:
Not a fast 2.8 lens

Have owned this lens for almost 2 years. It is my second most used lens with the 20D. Fantastic build, almost perfect in every way. Easy to pack and use ...under all conditions. Works great with auto flash, for events such as weddings, group shots, or similar professional PJ applications.

I have used it extensively for product photography (very large manufactured items on a tripod) with great success.

The only downside is that is not an 'available light' lens with a large aperture (it is a very useful constant F4). On the other hand, the 2.8 L lens cost twice as much!

There is no other lens of this class, in this price range (including Canon Primes). One of Canon's great deals!


May 17, 2007
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rsamant
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Registered: Feb 22, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Apr 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great build quality, good colour, awesome value!
Cons:
Not too much

I bought this lens with my 20D a few months back and I love it. I wanted to get a good quality lens (like and "L" quality) but couldn't afford $1500+ for most of the other L lenses. For the price you get a very well built lens that takes excellent pictures. I haven't noticed any issues with vignetting CA or any thing of the sort. My only complaint is that as my only lens at the moment, its a bit too wide but that is not a problem with the quality at all, I just need more lenses Smile I absolutely recommend this lens to anyone on a budget but would still like to get some good quality glass. As a final note I'll say that in general the ones who give this lens a bad review are usually those who can afford to spend thousands on a lens most likely becuase they make money from photograpnhy. For the vast majority of us out there taking pictures, money is a major issue when purchasing equipment and although this camera may not perform as well as the 16-35 F2.8 L, it is half the price, in other words you could go get another lens:)

Apr 15, 2007
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Generalair
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Registered: Mar 27, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide angle, great colour and contrast,good build, works well with my 5D with no vignetting.
Cons:
Nada

This is my fun lens for scenery architecture and tight spaces. I was using it for an all around lens at events but had to get too close to people which freaks them a little. 40mm is just not long enough, I'm finding most of the people shots around 60 to 70mm for the full frame camera. I bought this lens because of the impressive postings of outdoor landscapes and at this it excels getting a lot of colour and a wider vistas. Only at the very edge of the frames will you see some barreling and only noticeable with tall thin objects like trees. For the price this lens is awesome and might be a better walk around lens on a crop frame camera.

Apr 13, 2007
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anthonygh
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1855
Review Date: Apr 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: build quality, sharpness, focus speed
Cons:
none

I use this lens for studio work on a Canon10D; it allows anything from head and shoulders to full length. It works well in my limited space.

The images have a lovely deep quality with beautiful colours and image sharpness. I also use the amazing 85mm f1.8 and this lens almost rival that for sharpness although a direct comparison isn't possible because of the focal range difference.

I have sometimes taken this lens/camera combination out of doors and the results were excellent; landscapes seem to leap out of the monitor; and take a picture of something mundane like a bush and every leaf in the focal plane seems full of detail. At any aperture setting.

Prior to this lens I used the Vivitar Series1 19 - 35mm, which was both highly rated and cost me only 50 s/h. Maybe I have a good copy because I thought long and hard about shelling out for the Canon having seen what the Vivitar can do, and in some respects it didn't seem the wise choice when comparing results...except that with the Vivitar I had to draw on all it's strengths (best aperture, lighting etc) where as the Canon just gets on with it and everything just looks and works that much better. Overall, a purchase I am very happy with!


Apr 12, 2007
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
508 996803 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $671.61
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
8.9
ef17-40_4l_1_


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