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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
514 982610 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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Gregg Swail
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Registered: Dec 31, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quality,build,sharpness and WOW factor.
Cons:
Limited range for some

This is an excellent lens. I have been using the Sigma 10-20mm and Canon 50 1.8 for the past six months. looking at the first results from this lens on my 30D, the other lenses will probably gather dust.FF also.
The range is perfect for my style of shooting. Others may find it not long enough or wide enough. Move around, it will be worth it!


Dec 31, 2006
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jirok12944
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Registered: Nov 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent performer, color, sharpness, build, price
Cons:
none for the price

Unfortunately Canon does not have perfect QA, and some of us getting bad copies... or maybe body+lens do not much by some reason. I recommend sending body and lens for calibration if you get sharpness less than perfect. It is simply as sharp as 35mm f/1.4L at f5.6-f11.

I‘ve used it on 5D for over 6 months. For the price it is an exceptional performer, some corner softness and distortion at 17-24mm, some vignetting and CA wide open :: nothing to worry about, especially at half price of 16-35mm.


Dec 20, 2006
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Toby Werner
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Registered: Nov 21, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 89
Review Date: Dec 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $520.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrast, build, fast
Cons:
"Only" up to 40mm

I've had this lens for about a month now and it has been on my 300D producing amazing results. Image quality, contrast, and bokeh are all perfect. Only thing that "sucks" is that the lens only goes to 40mm but for the price one can't argue. A very fine piece of glass!

Dec 19, 2006
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johnshinn3
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Registered: Jun 28, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 143
Review Date: Dec 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, good color saturation and weather-sealed.
Cons:
huge lens hood

I've had this lens for about 4 months now and I can say that this "L" lens---though it may be one of the cheapest "L" lens---delivers when it has to. My copy is sharp from 17 to 40 on my EOS-1D or 10D. While I may desire a 2.8L in the near future, for now the 17-40 is my favorite wide angle lens.

Dec 18, 2006
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Partha Pal
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Registered: Dec 13, 2006
Location: India
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Contrast, Fast response, comparitively light weiight,Excellent build up.
Cons:
17-80 f/4 may be a alternative I think.

I have purchased the lens just a month before. Still now I am very impressed by its performance. It is fast responsive, very sharp and can produce contrasty and saturated photograph. It matches perfectly with my Canon 30D , balanced with 30D wonderfully and produce stunning results. I can enhance 20" X 30" print without any deterioration. The minimum focussing distance is quite helpful and u can create even more strong perspective shot using it. The 17-40 f/4 L and 70-200 f/4 L combination will bring most of the thavel and all purpose photography.
I recommended it strongly.


Dec 16, 2006
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carycary
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Registered: Jan 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Dec 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Its wide.
Cons:
Its soft.

I am quite perplexed when I read reviews here that say this lens is sharp. Can I assume these are people with bad eyes or novices that wouldn't know the difference between sharp and soft? I say this because mine isn't anywhere near sharp. I have sent it in once already and I don't really see any difference. The build quality is great but I find it sits in my bag most of the time because I hate soft pictures and I hate having to post process everything that comes off of it.
Has anyone here ever had one of these that they felt was much to soft and sent it in and got it back sharp? Maybe its just mine that is bad. Who knows, all I know is that it is a worthless chuck of glass at this point.


Dec 10, 2006
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ryan aguas
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Registered: Dec 7, 2006
Location: Philippines
Posts: 42
Review Date: Dec 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, good contrast, lightweight ultrawide, cheap, minimal distortion, flare resitant
Cons:
corners are soft on FF, no IS

I completely disagree with those people who complain about this lens' distortion or soft corner problems. I use it on my 5D and i get very good results. To date, I think this is Canon's best ultrawide angle L-series lens available. At one point, I have owned both the 17-40 and 16-35, after comparing them side by side on a FF camera (5D), I decided to sell the latter. I would go as far as considering the 17-40 better than the 16-35 for the following reasons:

1. Same IQ at similar apertures, with the 17-40 getting better starting at f/11
2. Both lenses have soft corners especially on a FF, but as I have observed, the 16-35 has a larger soft area and it doesn't improve much even at f/8 or 11. As for the 17-40, soft corners are only obvious at apertures below f/8.
3. the 16-35 is very soft at f/2.8 therefore it's useless at that aperture and doesn't justify the extra cost
4. Images from the 17-40 has a bit more contrast and has outstanding flare control
5. the 17-40 is lighter and cheaper (less than half the price I paid for the 16-35)
6. the difference between 17mm and 16mm is negligible, just one step back.
7. the 17-40 has less barrel distortion (in fact it is quite impressive considering that this is an ultrawide angle lens), on the otherhand, barrel distortion on the 16-35 makes it look like a semi-fisheye at 16mm when used for shooting subjects closer than 4 feet
8. the 17-40 is a newer design more suited for digital cameras with more advanced special coatings

With this reasons, I conclude that with the 17-40 you'll get a better deal in terms of image quality and performance for half the price of the 16-35.

Personally, I haven't compared this lens with the 14mm prime, but I have seen several reviews here in FM saying that the 16-35 is better than the 14mm(in fact this is one of the lowest rated L lens)...From this premise, we could also conclude that the 17-40 is better than the 14mm prime.

I rated this lens only at 8 because I believe Canon's wide angle lenses, in general, are still not at par with their telephoto line. There is still some issues for improvement like giving it less distortion, sharper edges, and Image Stabilizer.


Dec 9, 2006
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Indo Kasera
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Registered: Aug 5, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 40
Review Date: Dec 8, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $870.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Build Quality
Cons:
Image Quality

I purchased EF 17-40 f/4L one year ago, as an all-purpose lens on my 350D. I have been trying to get good images from this lens. But the images are not sharp and suffer from poor contrast. There is also problem of under-exposure at wider end, even after updating the camera firmware. EFS 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 (kit lens) is much superior to this ‘L’ lens in terms of image quality and exposure.

Recently, I visited a Canon service centre and they found problem of back focusing in my copy. It is to my great surprise that the ‘L’ lenses also suffer from poor quality control. I refused for re-calibration as I am not sure if this is risk free.

I am giving an overall rating of 3 only for its excellent build quality. And for image quality the rating is 0. I would have considered better rating if it were a non-‘L’ lens.

It is a good paperweight but very expensive.


Dec 8, 2006
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BogongBreeze
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Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 442
Review Date: Dec 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Weight, build, sharpness, colour - love everything about this lens. And it's weather sealed with a filter.
Cons:
None

I got this lens for the wider end plus the convenience of a zoom through to "standard" lens size.

It has wonderful dynamic range as well as being very sharp. The colour is rich and true. Of course at the 17mm end there is distortion but it's even and easily corrected in PS if one wants to (much of the time it adds to the pic). On a crop body there is absolutely no vignetting (don't know about full frame). Have not found flare to be a problem at all either. You can use manual focus without having to turn off AF (if you need it, the AF is great.)

(I can only assume that those who made severely negative posts got a bad copy as my copy is excellent.)

Thoroughly recommend this lens for landscape, cityscapes, buildings as well as an all purpose lens for street shots, people, family gatherings etc.


Dec 8, 2006
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KevinA
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Registered: Dec 5, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 5, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: It's in my bag
Cons:
I wish it wasn't

I've met quite a few photographers that have this lens, everyone of them thinks it's a real stinker. I can only assume the people that like it have a crop factor going on with their camera 'cos on a full frame it's a joke. Sharpish at 40mm, but you don't buy it for 40mm you buy it for the wide end. This is very poor, but is up to par with other Canon wide offerings.
Oh and the distortion at 17mm, try getting a level horizon in the top third of the frame, I could cope with a gentle arc, but a wobbly line that's all over the place. Don't buy this lens, it's not heavy enough to use as a door stop and rubbish as a camera lens on FF. Get anything else.


Dec 5, 2006
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evisione
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Registered: Dec 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Dec 2, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: relatively inexpensive
Cons:
not sharp enough, nor is the color rich

I went through 2 copies of this lens and thehy were both missing that little something called sharpness. I sent both copies back to where I bought them from (2 different camera places) and got a 16-35. I haven't looked back since.

Dec 2, 2006
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arthurgoh
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Registered: Feb 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, compact size, sturdy build, price
Cons:
unwieldy lens hood

One of the most economical lenses of the EF-L series, the 17-40 is particularly well suited for landscape photography. It's size/build/cost ratio gives it, in my view, an unbeatable value if you're looking for a quality replacement for the kit lens (18-55).

Although it may not be fast enough for some in low-light handheld situations, a flashgun solves the issue relatively well. A bit short if intended for owners of full frame cameras as a walkaround lens, users of 1.6 crop cameras may find the range more usable for that purpose. Also, 1.6 users don't have much to worry about in the way of vignetting.

Those who are undecided about this lens over the 16-35, luminous landscape has a fair comparative review of the two.

In any case, an excellent piece of glass all round. Highly recommended.


Nov 30, 2006
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timnosenzo
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Registered: Jun 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1374
Review Date: Nov 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, build, weather-sealing, weight
Cons:
....none?

This lens rules. It's relatively cheap, built well and takes excellent pictures! When I upgraded to my 5D, I sold my 16-35 f/2.8L and bought the 17-40 f/4L because I didn't need the extra stop anymore. While I would say that the 16-35 its built a little better, the 17-40 really is a champ. Its a great lens on the 5D.

Nov 28, 2006
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Thomas Ware
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Registered: Nov 17, 2006
Location: Finland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Colour, sharpness
Cons:
None for the price

Although my style prefers teles, everyone needs a decent wide-angle, a role that this lens fills very well.


Nov 27, 2006
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SAUMBI
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Registered: Nov 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Nov 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: outstanding image quality, light weight, build quality, OH SO VERATILE ON A 1.6 20D, PRICE, SMOOTH OPERATION, COMPLETE PACKAGE!!!
Cons:
If someone can find one let me know?

This is the second L lense I bought. I've had it for about a year and a half now, and love every thing about it. It was superb on my 10D and remains that way on my 20D. My first L lens was a 100-300 5.6 antique that I stole off ebay for $275.00, slow not built as well as this lens and push pull zoom which I hate, but one look at the pics and WOW, I still have that lens and use it all the time in good light, and it kicks!
This lense though is an up to date top notch zoom in canons L SERIES, Canon has held distortion flair and fringing to the point it is non existant in all but extreme cases, in my opinion it is more usable than its more expensive counterpart the 16-35 2.8 because of its much more usefull 40mm big end. And as far as image quality I can see no difference, since I have no reason to crop to any great extent in this focal range, if I did maybe there would be a difference. I dont know how this lense could be topped in this focal range. I have the 24-70 2.8 also and I can say I think it is as fine a lense as any prime I ever used and credit the 17-40 for me purchasing the 24-70. It showed me what real life difference there is in canons L SERIES lense's. they are true professional quality in every way. I have had several aftermarket manufactures lense's in a wide aray of focal lenghts and they dont compare,and I dont think they deserve the questionable reviews I've seen wrote here on them, disstortion flare and sharpness can only be equaled with expessive single focal lenth lense's, and only if they are from quality manufacturers.
This lens and the antique mentioned earlyer, also led to the purchase of an L lens that has no place for a review on here and that was the excelent discontinude 80-200 2.8L, known as the majic drainpipe, which with the exception of focus speed, is equal to or beter than the now 70-200 2.8L. A true diamond in the rough!!
I mention these other lenses which I currently own to simply show that I am not comparing the 17-40 to just any other lense some can be happy with, but to compare it to the best canon has or had to offer and it is as good as it gets!! I dont think I'll ever part with this lens it is as good as it gets!!
If you have a use for a lens in this focal range BUY IT, YOU CAN THANK ME LATER, if you don't think you have a use for this lens, BUY IT, YOU WILL THANK ME LATER!!
And did I say IT'S AS GOOD AS IT GETS. Because you should know, IT IS, AS GOOD AS IT GETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Nov 22, 2006
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greg_c
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Registered: Jun 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 38
Review Date: Nov 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, excellent contrast, solidly built
Cons:
hood is a tad akward

I upgraded from my stock 18-55mm kit lens to the 17-40mm lens. In short - no comparison between the two. This lens is awesome. When I compared the two lenses in a few shots in the field, the difference in color, constrast, and sharpness was all too apparent. The lens has a solid build and gives excellent results.

Nov 15, 2006
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
514 982610 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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