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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
515 990544 Jul 28, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $671.09
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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monsieuroctago
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Registered: Jun 28, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 38
Review Date: Apr 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wide and still good on a crop body, constant aperture, (relatively) compact, really great build quality, 77mm filter thread matches my other lenses
Cons:
Slow, longest length is still pretty short on a crop

I owned this lens for about 5 months and sold it so I could buy a fast 50mm prime. f/4 is useless once you step inside, so an external flash becomes just about essential.

This range is really great on a crop. It works out to a 27-64mm f4 zoom, which covers pretty wide landscape shots to portraits.

The price point is really good and I recommend it as a walkaround lens, but your shutter is going to start to drag once you step inside. Get a 50 1.8 to supplement it, and you have a really good general purpose range.


Apr 10, 2007
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Alex Achucarro
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Registered: Mar 23, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, wide - even on 1.6x crop. Sharp even at F4, L glass, price
Cons:
Build is a little plasticy. Had to send mine back as the Autofocus started to squeek.

Not a fan of Canon's quality control process as I've had to send it off for repair. Luckily I checked about international warranty when I got this lens in Brisbane, Australia hence great price I paid.

Aside from that, I love this lens. It's the best. Couldn't afford 5D so I bought the 400D with mind to add a FF body years later! But I wanted to start collecting L glass and wanted a wide first buy. Couldn't justify 16-35L and didn't see much point in F2.8 as I'd be using tripod a lot and be out doors a lot with lots of light.

Started collecting Cokin filters and I just love this lens more and more. Slapped this baby onto me mates 5D and it's like falling in love again. So wide and sooo sharp, such good value. I have the 70-200 L IS F2.8 loaned to me at the moment and I love my lens more! The 70-200 will probably me my next lens, if not the 24-70 but this is my walk around lens and if I had to choose one. It'd be this one. I'd give it 10 out of 10 if it was built a tiny bit better. Still feels great though.


Mar 25, 2007
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Fridriksson
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Registered: Mar 17, 2007
Location: Iceland
Posts: 147
Review Date: Mar 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $656.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast focusing/USM, sharpness, weight&size, good price for an L lens...
Cons:
none really...

This lens is a fantastic lens!

I bought it for the wide angle, even though I have a crop body (Rebel XT/350D). It's really fast in focusing and the sharpness on all focal lengths is great.

For me the weight and size isn't an issue, because I like lenses that make me feel like I truly have something in front of the camera. I am really happy with this lens and it's always on my camera.

The price is great for an L lens and I would definitely recommend it.



Mar 17, 2007
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Jordan Diaz
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Registered: Sep 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 108
Review Date: Feb 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp. Fast. Silent. "Weather Sealed".
Cons:
None



Feb 18, 2007
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casch
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Registered: Mar 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpnes and Price
Cons:
For an L lens a little too much plastic

One of the best buys around. Fantastic sharp lens. While the build is a little off from other L series lenses its auto focus speed and quality of image are not. I only wish it were a 2.8 aperature.

Feb 18, 2007
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John Alberto
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Registered: Jan 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Feb 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Contrast, Weight, Price
Cons:
Nothing so far

I did not know what to expect after recieving this lens based on all the reviews I have read here and other forums. I did not know what to believe anymore, so I decided to find out for myself. Took some sample shots of the street with my Rebel XT, and looked OK, but when I mounted it to my 20D on our recent trip the pictures blew me away. I read a lot of sharpness issues with this lens, but @ f4-8 it was up there with my 70-200 f4 and would easily compete with my 50 f1.4. I guess I got lucky and with an ultra sharp copy of this lens. Overall, very happy with this purchase. So far even the prints are comming out great. Here is a sample shot:
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e308/zoroski0/IMG_2324.jpg


Feb 17, 2007
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tmr_wa
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Registered: Sep 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1023
Review Date: Feb 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

When I first purchased my 10D several years ago, I realized that I would eventually want a lens that could provide me with something in the 28mm range on a full frame camera. I thought about the 16-35/2.8, but it didnít make sense for me to pay over twice the amount of the 17-40 for what essentially amounts to the ability to use a lens at f/2.8. Donít get me wrong: I appreciate fast lenses. Indeed, I own several fast primes, and they see a lot of use, especially in low-light, non-flash applications and for selective focus. But, I recognized that in most situations, Iíd be using the wide angle lens on a tripod and stopping down, and for snapshots Iím not opposed to using bounced flash. Thus, the 17-40/4 L was my choice.

The 17-40 L is very well built, fitting of its L-designation, and is capable of producing very sharp images. The fast, quiet USM is certainly appreciated. I did purchase the hood designated for the 24/1.4L to use with the 17-40 on my 10D. I think itís certainly a much better choice than the hood that is included with the lens, at least for the 1.6x DSLR crowd.

If the number of reviews on FM is indicative of anything, the 17-40 is probably one of the most popular lenses in the Canon line. At 17mm, the lens covers a reasonably wide 27mm range on a 1.6x DSLR. I rarely used lenses wider than 28mm when shooting film, so I donít miss too much on the wide end with this lens. I do, however, sometimes take photographs for my realtor relatives and for this purpose, I must admit that the 17-40 doesnít cut it for wide indoor shots. Alas, I must reach for a wider lens (in my case with the 10D, the Sigma 10-20). But, I have used the 17-40 exclusively for a project focused on outdoor architecture and it performed very well. Generally speaking, the 17-40 sees much more use than the wider zoom for most of my applications.

The 17-40L has been my primary travel lens for several years. I do not find the f/4 too limiting with the great high ISO performance of Canon DSLRs. After owning the lens for a while, I'm a bit surprised to note that it has performed quite well for me as an indoor event lens, especially with bounced flash from a 420EX. That said, the performance of this lens really shines outdoors, in particular for wide open spaces where I want to emphasize the sky or the scope of the land:

http://www.pbase.com/tmr_wa/image/63691506

I also find uses for the lens indoors without flash, usually with a tripod:

http://www.pbase.com/tmr_wa/image/62946654

I use aperture priority quite a lot, so I like the constant f/4 across the zoom range. In experience, the 17-40 is a bit sharper on the wide end. Stopping down certainly improves sharpness (not a surprise), but Iím certainly not afraid to use it at f/4.

Overall, I am very pleased with my 17-40L.


Feb 11, 2007
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Nimnar
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Registered: Nov 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Feb 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

I traded a 10-22mm for my copy of this lens because I'm switching to a full-frame camera. I love the 17-40mm. It's really sharp, much better than the 24-105mm at identical focal lengths and f-stops. Great contrast and usual L color. I guess I got a good copy!

Feb 7, 2007
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Vilhelm Ernir
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Registered: Jan 9, 2007
Location: Iceland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $810.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: excellent build, good colors, sharpness & range
Cons:
f4

For this being my first L lens I find it amazing. Recently bought it and im loving it. Love the range of this lens, its perfect for people photography. If youīre thinking about getting one, I wouldn't hesitate, its worth it.

Feb 5, 2007
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Mike Fiction
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Registered: Jan 2, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 86
Review Date: Jan 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent quality lens - very sharp - great contrast - great resistance to flare. Weather sealed.
Cons:
none for me

I got a great deal on a used one. The lens is just magnicifent. I have always been wary of the quality of zoom lenses until I bought this one. The L series lenses are definitly a class above. My copy is very sharp.

The range is perfect for landscape photography though I've been using it for ebay - larger item product photography as well.

17mm on a 35mm or full frame is absolutly awesome. Of course it has distortion, but not nearly as bad as I would have thought.

Excellent lens, I will keep as a permanent resident in my bag!


Jan 30, 2007
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JDSA
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Registered: May 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 240
Review Date: Jan 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Works beautifully on my 1D Mark II N but on the 5D it's something else. It's small, light, built like a tank and just plain works great.
Cons:
Slightly soft in the edges, lots of distortion wide open, a fair amount of CA

I bought mine in April of '04. I had just sold my Digital Rebel with its 18-55 lens and I needed "wide" for my new 10D. It did the job and has always been a favorite though not very much used lens.

Then I bought a 5D. The 17-40 is terrific on that body. A 5D and a 17-40, that's what real 35mm photography is about. Whether it's a room full of kids or a championship HS basketball team facing photographers and TV people all crowding in for their shots the 17-40/5D gets the job done.



Jan 28, 2007
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Familyandchild
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Registered: Jan 26, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: wide/well built
Cons:
why 40 not 30 or 70

Really nice performance for this price.
F4 is enough for most cases, and i mainly use it at F8 for landscape.
Of cource you do not hope beatiful boken under low light for this lens: wide angle and large aperture.

Most of the nature/landscape pp in my homepage were taken by this lens.


Jan 26, 2007
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Tony Kourlas
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Registered: Jan 4, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 30
Review Date: Jan 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Stellar performer 17mm-24mm
Cons:
Soft at 35mm, all the way to center.

Canon quality control leaves much to be desired. Just bought this new. Beatiful colours. Tack sharp at 17mm-24mm. Fuzzy over 30mm... not a happy camper. I'm sending it to canon hoping it is a callibration issue.

Jan 24, 2007
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JS Bedard
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Registered: Jan 21, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $679.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great sharpness when well used (between f/5.6 until f/11), robust, sealed against dust if used with a front filter, lens size not too big, distortions and aberrations well controlled, price O.K. for this quality, good overall contrat
Cons:
Too narrow f/4 maximum aperture, which really sucks (but the price is in consequence compared to the 16-35mm f/2.8), badly designed hood

I bought this lens to be used with the cheapie plastic-built Canon Rebel XT. This lens works better to do landscape photography IMHO. Why? Because the aperture is limited to f/4, it limits a lot the possibilities for better works. And you begin to have acceptable sharpness and definition around f/5.6. So this apterture is not acceptable for standard portrait or to make any kind of blurring effect.

Zooms are cool, but the aperture is generally too narrow. I prefer to carry 2-3 prime lens, and be able to take better picture, despite that you need a little more time to change the lens and compose the picture.

I recommend this lens for a general purpose use, but if you need to do more "landscape" than "portrait" photo. The 24-70mm f/2.8 could be a better option, but you lose the 17-24 gap for "wide-angle", which is not acceptable on a cropped-sensor camera. So if you are more serious, the 16-35 is surely a better option, but you pay the price for it (because of the f/2.8 aperture).

I realized that Canon don't do enough lenses for the new cropped cameras, and that's why I will change for a full-frame model. It seems that their new EF-S lens are all dust-sucker models, very plastic with lower optical quality. Better avoid those doubtful 17-85 or 17-55 new models, which are just (let's hope) some Canon bad mistakes.

Take a look at my photos at :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jsbedard1977/

Thanks


Jan 24, 2007
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alfieri
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Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 175
Review Date: Jan 23, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: good value; reasonably solid performer; 40mm comes in handy
Cons:
a little soft, particular on the wide end; the 16-35 f/2.8L and 17-55 f/2.8L EF-S IS are much better

sample images and ramblings:

http://alfieri.smugmug.com/gallery/2384229


Jan 23, 2007
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HamishHamilton
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Registered: Jan 8, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 8, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $690.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Light, toughish.
Cons:
Soft...or something? Not "poppy" L quality looking shots. QC on Canon's part.

I am disapointed with this lens and my spelling ability...
I think that the people at Samy's camera in Santa Barbara probably think I am crazy for testing so many...and I still got stuck with a bad copy. I am not nuts because I managed to get great 24-105 and 100-400. Go figure...


Jan 8, 2007
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 990544 Jul 28, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $671.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
9.0
ef17-40_4l_1_


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