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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
515 993861 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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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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painterdood
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Registered: Nov 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jun 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: light, fast focusing , great build, very sharp to sharp from about 40mm-25mm, good walk about lense.
Cons:
only just beats out the kit lense in sharpness at 17 -25 or so mm. Poor performance in strong light as contrast becomes exxtreme

I just purchased this lense a few days ago and have been doing extensive tests with it. It is definitely not on par with my 70-200 2.8 L in image rendition, re color and contrast, thought it is actually in some instances sharper. It just beats the 18-55 kit lens in terms of resolution, but there is little image difference between two lenses from there.
I got up before sunrise and shot a ton of shots of a local pennisula with cliffs rising from the ocean. The results were extremely disappointing. The colors were warmed up beyond recognition and as the sun rose the contrast the lens created destroyed shadow detail almost entirely. As the sun rose further the lense washed out some colors and left others poster like. Later at mid day I shot some forest interiors. Exposue levels set to eliminate highlight clipping made for unusably dark images out of the camera. I retruned home and shot some flowers in my garden that I had previously shot with my 70-200. Colours were shifted to the warm side and highlight clipping in the extreme became a compensation impossibility. Shadows which teh 70-200 easily "saw " into, were blind to this lense.
On the positive side in less intense light the lense performed very well. It is sharp sharp at 30-40mm when stopped down, and can create some awesome closeup shots- (somewhat sharper than the kit lense here ).
Overall this is a good lense in terms of build, mid to close range sharpness, and general zoom range. If you can live with softness at its extreme wide angle ( lanscape zone) and the general issues I have mentioned re colour, contrast, and don't shoot in strong light, then you will like this lens.
Me ..well I am struggling with whether I will keep it or send it back for the 17-55..





Jun 26, 2006
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veroman
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Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3798
Review Date: Jun 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $639.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness Build Contrast Detail
Cons:
None

Simply a great lens and, considering the quality, something of a bargain at less than $700. There's really not much more I could add to what others have said. First-rate all around.

Jun 25, 2006
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IamPhil
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Registered: Jun 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 43
Review Date: Jun 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $565.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, focuses well, looks as good as the photographs it produces.
Cons:
40mm is too short even with the 1.6 crop fractor and f/4 is too small for indoor-no-flash-photography.

The two lenses I'm actually proud of is this and my EF-S 10-22mm but having this lens cover half the range of the 10-22mm is making me consider selling it. Unfortunately I think the fun of the 10-22mm was at 10mm and I'm having a hard time letting go of it. Someday I want a 24-70L and I get the feeling that with the 10-22 and 24-70L I'll never use this 17-40L so even though I love it, it might this I should actually sell.

Jun 24, 2006
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sym5
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Registered: Mar 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Review Date: Jun 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: pleasant color rendition, good contrast with plenty of pop, excellent build, light weight, reasonable distortion, great flare control, fast and accurate AF
Cons:
a bit soft wide open, some light falloff especially on full frame, f4 can be too slow

The 17-40 is my workhorse lens. It took a few shoots for me to get used to framing with its wide-to-normal zoom range, but once I did, it became a real joy to use. It handles wonderfully, and its build inspires a lot of confidence. The edge sharpness can be a bit soft when shooting wide open, but it improves quite nicely when stopped down just a bit, and the center sharpness is excellent even wide open. Color is a bit on the warm side, which I think is actually nice for landscapes and sceneries. One great thing about the 17-40 is that it handles flare very well, even without the hood. The main frustrations w/ the 17-40 are that it's f4 (too slow when it gets dark) and that it stops at 40mm (too short for portraits). The new 17-55 addresses these issues, but at the cost of build, flare, price, and size, so there are some significant tradeoffs to consider. Overall, the 17-40 is a fantastic lens for those looking for a good wide zoom. It's a consistent, reliable lens that you can shoot with in a wide variety of situations and know exactly what you'll be getting.


Jun 21, 2006
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NorWester
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Registered: Apr 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 342
Review Date: Jun 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $699.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wonderful build quality. Great optics, terrific color contrast and rendition. I bought this lens while on vacation and now I'm not quite sure how I got along without it.
Cons:
None.

This lens performs wonderfully on my 10D; both indoors (at a party last night...) and at Yosemite last week while on vacation. It is beautifully made and the focus and zoom rings operate smoothly and quietly. I am more than pleased with the image quality: image rendition is quite on a par with my 70-200 f4L....my benchmark. At 77mm, I guess it might a little difficult to get a good polarizer, but thats next. If you love build quality as well as great optics, this lens should be in you bag. It isn't as big and heavy as I had feared....it stays on my camera unless theres a real good reason to remove it.

Jun 17, 2006
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Ashley Chaplin
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Registered: Jul 27, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jun 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great sharpness. CA is very well handled and only apparent at the widest focal lengths. Light. Very well built. Great VFM.
Cons:
It's hard to find any fault. I don't even consider the min aperture of f4 to be a problem.

I originally got the 16-35. What a mistake! Sent it back and got this one. The 17-40 is a very good quality lens and is also a great price. Don't worry about the loss of the stop compared to the 16-35. Full framers will not even notice this and I could think of other lenses that would (I amagine) work better on crop bodies such as the new 17-55 f2.8.

A great lens for full frame cameras. Exceptional sharpness right through the aperture range and focal range. CA and distortion both handled very well with just a little CA at 17mm.

The only gripe I have is that I cannot get a filter system that does not cause vignetting for this lens! I've tried Cokin Xpro and Zpro and took both kits back as the ring adaptor (Xpro) and the filter holder (Zpro) vignette very clearly from 20mm and that's without a skylight. I don't personally like not using a skylight as I'm always paranoid I'll accidentally damage the front element. Also, of course, this lens is not dust tight without one. The best solution I've found so far is a screw in Jessops circular polariser (causes a smidge of vignetting up to 18mm) and grads blue-tacked infront when required. I've not tried Lee filters but they seem to employ a very similar system to Cokin??. Surely someone makes a system that does not vignette on this lens and allows you to keep a skylight filter on??


Jun 10, 2006
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skumar
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Registered: May 16, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Weight, L optics, value for money, build quality, design (No extending parts).
Cons:
None.

This is arguably Canon's best value L. I use it primarily on a 1.6 crop body and love it.

It is my landscape / environmental portrait / travel / event photography lens and it compliments my L primes really well.

In sharpness, I find it comparable to the 24-70L I had.

The optics and build quality are awesome on this lens, I highly recommend it.


Jun 2, 2006
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RikWriter
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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2502
Review Date: May 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, sharp, great colors, little distortion, good corners even on full frame 5D, great price.
Cons:
A bit slow at f4.

When I bought the 5D, I picked up a 17-40 to replace my 10-22 I'd used on my 20D. I fully intended to save up for a 16-35 at some point but in the interim I've discovered that the 17-40 is an excellent performer on the full frame camera. It's a bit slow at f4, but 17mm is so wide on a full frame camera, that I mostly use the lens for wide landscapes and don't need a faster lens. For the money, this is a can't-miss lens.

May 31, 2006
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gwhitegeog
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: May 23, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Build quality, internal zooming, FTM, very good optical quality
Cons:
None, if you can live with f4.0

This is a follow-up to my previous review. The more I use the lens, the more I am so impressed with it. See the pictures of Bruges on my website:

http://www.garywhite-photography.com/section40929_23276.html

It is very good across the whole range, relatively good a wide settings and only slightly soft wide open. One of the best L zooms. Buy with confidence


May 23, 2006
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PokGuy
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Registered: Mar 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $615.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: - USM - L QUALITY - SHARP, SHAPR, SHAPR, SHAPR
Cons:
-NO IS -NONE WHAT SO EVER

VERY VERY SHARP LENSE COLORS ARE AMAZING, ONE GLASS I WILL ALWAYS HAVE WITH ME, L BUILT QUALITY, OVER ALL I AM VERY PLEASED WITH THIS LENSE. A MUST HAVE.

May 21, 2006
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BlenderPilot
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Registered: Apr 29, 2006
Location: Mexico
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 20, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: Good build, nice colors, not too heavy.
Cons:
I have done extensive testing against the 18-55 kit lens and trust me the difference is hardly if at all noticable terms of resolution, and looking at the edges the 18-55 is even sharper.

I have done extensive testing against the 18-55 kit lens and trust me the difference is hardly if at all noticable terms of resolution, and looking at the edges the 18-55 is even sharper.

May 20, 2006
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Waleed Marhoum
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Registered: Apr 12, 2006
Location: Saudi Arabia
Posts: 22
Review Date: May 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: super wide sharp lens
Cons:
nothig

I have 70-200L IS and the 100 Macro
I couldn't love a lens like the 17-40L
I call it my lovly doughter


May 18, 2006
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ontime
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Registered: Oct 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2020
Review Date: May 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $670.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: build quality, color and contrast, autofocus speed, FT-M
Cons:
softness at 17mm, hugangous lens hood, at least for use on crop camera

I really needed a replacement for the 18-55, and I suppose I found one. But at 650+ dollars I expected more. Wide open, focusing near infinity, and @ 17mm, I find this lens to be soft. Other than that it is very sharp, but what use if I can't use the widest angle? Shrug. I'll probably sell it for something else. For now it'll do. Until then, my landscape pictures will be sub-par.

Ok good things: compared to the piece of garbage 18-55, color and contrast are excellent, although during a recent hike I had some overexposure issues. Probably user error, but I'll test it s'more. I'd like to replace it with an L prime or 16-35 L equivalent but they're super expensive.

This lens is kinda large, but don't be a wuss and be like "it's too big wahh wahh for walk around." Hey, it's big but not that big, it's on the heavy side but not really. That probably makes no sense.

Enjoy


May 17, 2006
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littleacorn
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Registered: Aug 7, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: May 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, from F4 on up, from 17 on up, sharp, sharp, sharp. Solid and abuse tolerant.
Cons:
Slow, only an F4, wish they could come out with something like say, 1.8? Ok, I'm a dreamer, but I'd pay 3 times for one.

Best lens I have, I've had it for almost 2 years and it spends 90% or more of the time on my camera, looking at the the other comments I must have gotten a nice one because it's sharp, and when I mean sharp, it's sharp at all stops, even 4, and at all zooms. It beats my 50 1.8 Mark I anyday. As for quality of build, it survived a solid dunking of beer when bottles broke in my pack during a trip, and it keeps on trucking.

May 17, 2006
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edelsolar
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Registered: Aug 16, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 13
Review Date: May 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $640.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Contrast, CA control, build quality, fast AF
Cons:
Overall soft images, defective right corner in my copy.

I purchased the 17-40mm to use for landscape shooting. I had purchased a 24mm 2.8 about two years ago as I found the kit lens way too soft at the corners and not great at the center.

My initial impression was that the images for the 17-40mm were just OK. I liked the color contrast, CA control on the lens, AF response and general feel. Unfortunately, the image quality was not there. I felt the images were a step down from my Canon 10-22mm lens.

I decided to tripod test the lens against the kit lens and the 24mm 2.8. The 17-40 had better CA contrast and resolution at the center and left corner compared to the kit lens. The kit lens, however, had better resolution and contrast at the right corners! The 24mm 2.8 was much better than the 17-40mm at the center and corners by far.

I decided to return this copy and still believe that this is a good lens for landscape shots. However, I would only purchase this lens from a vendor that has a no questions return policy just in case.

I have given this particular lens copy a 4 due to image quality. Can Canon calibrate the defective corner? Maybe..but mine was
returned within the 14 day trial period.

After the return, I purchased two more copies, found another defective corner and returned that one. Kept the other. Would change the overall rating to a 7 due to QC issues.


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

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 993861 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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