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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
514 988982 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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webisweb
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Registered: Mar 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 331
Review Date: Aug 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp at all apertures, superb color redention, well balaced weight/size ratio, fast AF.
Cons:
None. Well, it has a little corner softness at 17mm which doesn't affect the IQ at all.

I've finally switched from Nikon to Canon last week. I think this lens is much better than Nikkor 17-55/2.8 DX ED in every aspect: images are much sharper, color reproduction is more accurate (maybe I've got a great copy).

Aug 31, 2006
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Ron Fischer
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Registered: Jul 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good weight and size for a "walk around" lens. Good sharpness.
Cons:
None, so far

I have been using this lens for about 2 months now. I purchased it along with the Canon 70-200L f/4 lens. Overall, the sharpness of this lens is far better than the "kit lens" that came with my Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D). I have used the lens for wedding photography and landscape photography, and I have had no performance problems. You can view some of the photographs I have taken with this lens on my web site at:

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/gallery.asp?memberID=125176



Aug 25, 2006
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ShutterLover
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Registered: Jul 6, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 613
Review Date: Aug 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Jaw-dropping sharpness when compared to everydaylenses. Light for an L-lens. Useful length for a walkabout lens on a cropped sensor. Very good build quality.
Cons:
Thought it a little 'rough' on the zoom ring when new, but got smoother. Other examples I've tried seemed the same so maybe expectations were too high. Not's not f2.8, but that's nit-picking.

Bought this as my first 'L-lens' together with the 70-200 f4.

It was all my budget could take and I was wondering if I'd often feel the need for f2.8 but so far have not missed it at all as it's so easy to simply up the ISO on Canon DSLRs with little or no noise being introduced.

Compared to most run-of-the-mill lenses (by which I mean anything not strictly pro) the 17-40 is jaw-dropping. Sharp, beautiful images right across the zoom range, even wide open. It's a useful zoom range for a walkabout on a cropped sensor camera like the 30D. I've also put my 17-40 on a 5D and there it function as a brilliant true wide angle with only minimal vignetting you'd only notice if pixel-peeping.

I've used it for travel photography involving street scenes, architectural shots, landscapes and cityscapes and for these it is exceptional. It's also great for group shots, portraits (although f4 and a smaller focal length make it harder to get big background blur), and strolling around events. It focusses close so brilliant for snapping little detail shots too.

It's a cliche to say that it's the photographer not the camera but if you want to render your compositions with as much quality as possible, check out lenses like this.


Aug 15, 2006
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Niatrap
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Registered: Nov 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $675.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Have had my 17-40 lense a couple years it is a good and solid lense It is used on my 5d-20D

Aug 9, 2006
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PeepingTom
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Registered: Aug 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 609
Review Date: Aug 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

For digital shooters shooting group shots and landscape (with 1.6 crop factor) there is no alternative to this zoom lens under $ 1000.

I prefer working with this lens over the 20mm Canon prime lens & Sigma 24 mm 1.4 lens in all well-lit situations- color, sharpness, limited flare, 'pop' factor.

I have not had luck with indoor / flash shots despite thousands of shots and my best efforts. Perhaps I expect to much.

If you can afford the 16-35 f2.8 L (twice the price and one stop faster), I would bite the bullet and take that route.

Fantastic build quality, worthy of L siblings in every way.

Happy shooting.


Aug 9, 2006
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JanPhoto
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Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Location: Ethiopia
Posts: 32
Review Date: Aug 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $549.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Half price of 16 mm, Sharp and excellent image quality
Cons:
... nada ...

I was looking for some time for wide angle glass ... I did try number of them including Canon 16-35 mm after all I have decided for 17-40 mm. Why ? Price versus quality is unbeatable. This lens is very, very good.

Aug 5, 2006
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Jul 27, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp at the wide end As good in the centre @35mm as the 35mmf1.4L at similar apertures Excellent colour
Cons:
Had to go in twice to adjust for sharpness - was MUCH worse on just one side

I compared the 35mmf1.4L at similar apertures it to the 17-40L zoom, processed them both the same (just sharpened 300, radius 0.4). The first thing I did was test the focussing, and that was spot on.

The 17-40 gives average resolution (esp.for landscape shots) at the 35-40 range, also the 17-40 zoom has a reputation for not being very good at 35-40 range i.e. worse in all reviews at that FL than the 16-35 which is sharper @35mm), yet the 35f1.4 does not give noticably improved resolution over the zoom at similar apertures! The colour rendition of both is IMO excellent so they are on a par there too.

In fact the zoom might even have the edge over the 35mm 1.4 on apparent sharpness at the centre

The zoom falls down very badly at the corners at all focal lengths, which is to be expected at the wide end but I had expected better at the long end

Reasonably priced


Jul 27, 2006
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Allen Ko
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 59
Review Date: Jul 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, price, fairly good optical quality, light
Cons:
f/4, short range (comparing with 17-55 f/2.8 IS)

I bought this lens to use on my Rebel XT as a general purpose lens. It has good build quality, fairly good optical quality and not too heavy. But it was not as sharp as my 70-200 f/4 L or 60mm macro. Sometimes I wish it has a longer range for portrait and a faster speed for indoor. When the new EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS came out, I put my 17-40L on eBay because the new lens is sharper, has longer reach, IS, and faster aperture.

Jul 18, 2006
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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Jul 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent build quality, contrast, colors and sharpness.
Cons:
Can't find anything negative, except maybe the price.

This lens replaced my junk 18-55 kit lens since my 28-70L is not wide enough on a 1.6x crop DSLR. I didn't want to spend twice the amount on the 16-35 just for the f/2.8. After all, I can just bump up the ISO on the DSLR, it's not like shooting film anyway.

Image quality is about the same as my 28-70L, which is amazing, with gorgrous colors and contrast. Sharpness is nothing to complain about, though it is not as sharp as my 100mm macro obviously. It is as sharp as my 28-70L which is pretty decent. Still, sharpness is not everything. I shoot raw all the time and there is a significant amount of post processing that goes in to every image and that includes sharpening.

DPP and capture one give me awesome results and C1 is able to pull an enormous amount of detail from this lens. On the whole it's a great lens, though f/4 may be limiting in some cases. If I'm shooting in low light I pull out the 50/1.8 or the 20/2.8 USM.


Jul 17, 2006
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PDP108
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Registered: May 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Contrast, Sharp, Build quality
Cons:
None

This is my third L lens and the IQ that I get from this lens seems to be sharper than my 24-70mm F2.8L and even the 135mm F2L. (I may have gotten a great copy). It is sharp even when it's wide open.
This lens lives on my 1DII 90% of the time since I have gotten it.


Jul 13, 2006
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vin14
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Registered: Jun 28, 2006
Location: Ireland
Posts: 265
Review Date: Jul 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: image quality, focal length range, build, weight, price
Cons:
distortion at 17mm

After switching from shooting Nikon to Canon, this lens replaced my 12-24DX. I have not been disappointed. It's more than a match for my old lens. It produces excellent sharp images. It's lightweight and well built. It's not perfect, but I wasn't expecting utter perfection from an ultra-wide zoom. Barrel distortion is strong at 17mm, but can be corrected in post, by 20mm it's very manageable. It vignettes at f4, but so what, it can be fixed in post too. Though I almost always stop down with this lens, I have no hesitation shooting wide open if the situation demands it. I also tried the 16-35L before buying. It is very similar, I couldn't justify the extra cost for an extra stop. I also prefer the 17-40 focal lenght range.

Jul 10, 2006
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hermosawave
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Registered: Jul 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jul 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Wide, very wide
Cons:
corners, but that is a problem with every wide angle

Got this lens as a walkaround lens for my 20D and 300D, where it worked admirably -- much better than the kit lens.

I've kept it for use as an extreme wide angle now that I've upgraded to the full-frame 5D. I also have the 24-105mm f/4 so I almost never use this lens at the long end of it's range anymore (the 24-105 is sharper but larger, heavier, more expensive and has its own issues).

The people that complain about the corners and vignetting on this lens are right of course. At 17mm and f/4 (where I use it) every picture needs work in Photoshop. Stop down or zoom in a bit and these problems go away.

But how else can you make super wide photos except with a lens like this? http://photos.hermosawave.net/pix/detail.php?path=2006/&photo=IMG_1070.jpg

So on an APS sensor, it's a good choice but there are several other ones now that I haven't tried.

On a full frame, this lens fills a unique need that very few other lenses can. Until someone makes a sharp prime in the 16~18mm range (and no the 14mm f/2.8 is not it) this lens will stay with me, although not in my bag every day...


Jul 2, 2006
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f4lens
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Registered: Jun 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $647.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality - sharp, quick accurate focus. Excellent contrast across the image plane.
Cons:

After spending several weeks of research, reading reviews about this lens and searching for sample images, I finally decided to purchase it. I have no regrets. This is my first "L" lens, and I must say I am very impressed. Image quality is superior to any glass I have ever used. The overall feel of this lens is very professional and wreaks with quality. I now have empirical evidence that truly supports the merits of owning this lens.

See my 17-40mm gallery at: http://www.f4lens.com/gallery/photos/default.aspx

See for yourself what this glass is capable of. Nothing scientific about my images. No filters used, no lens hood, no magic. All photo's unmodified and pulled right off the CF card.



Jun 30, 2006
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j_ambrose
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Registered: Dec 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 837
Review Date: Jun 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Contrast and sharpness are amazing
Cons:
Might seem heavy to some, somewhat short and not super wide on 1.6x crop

Coming from a point and shoot camera this lens blows me away everytime I look at the images. Somewhat weighty but not bad, I carry it mountain climbing along with the XT and the weight is negligable. Price wise I think its perfectly priced. On a 1.6x crop its not terribly wide but wide enough for landscapes (26mm or so) and it seems short at times but a few steps forward can change that.

As my first lens I think its a great starter L at a decent price.


Jun 29, 2006
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vhsema
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Registered: Mar 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 45
Review Date: Jun 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $670.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid build, images have a creaminess that is hard to define, pretty sharp. Overall, a very nice lense.
Cons:
A little on the short side, but I knew that going in. Distortion on the wide end, but it is a wide angle.

I really like this lense. The build quality is superb and the images have that "pop" that I hadn't gotten with some other lenses. The lense is short, even on a 1.6x body, but I knew that when I bought it. Also, there is distortion on the wide end, but it is a wide angle.

Overall, I am pleased. I have thought about upgrading to the 17-55 f2.8 ef-s, but even if I do, I think I will try to keep this lense because it is very good.


Jun 28, 2006
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gbrdnl
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Registered: Aug 14, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 8
Review Date: Jun 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: really sharp even at F4, light, good construction, reduced flare, reduced CA, reduced distortion only slightly visible at 17 on APS-C camera. Really good for portraits.
Cons:
A bit short to be a "general usage" lens and needs another lens to cover the mid-range (like a 24-70 mm).

Very useful lens on APS-C camera where it exhibits the base focal range of 27-64 mm equivalent for 35 mm camera: its good as "base" lens but not really sufficient to use it as "walk-around" lens. Very sharp in all the focal range. Very robout with prof construction.

Highly Recomended for APS-C camera (not tested on FF camera til now)


Jun 28, 2006
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
514 988982 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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