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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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515 990790 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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pldragon
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Registered: May 2, 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Build quality, good contrast and colors
Cons:
Very soft, especially in the edges and at wide angles. Kit lense (18-55) has much better sharpness at wide angels.

Well, the first copy of the lense I received had very poor performance I figured it must have been dropped or something during transportation. The replacement copy I got from the store wasn't any better. So that lense has been returned too.

The problem with the 17-40 is that one does not find many reviews considering the fact that this lense is very very soft at wide angels and especially in the corners. Taking its price into consideration it's unacceptable!

My Canon 350D has been tested at a Canon certified repair facility and no errors were found.

I know of other photographers that have had the same experiences with the lense.

The increased contrast and color on this lense makes people think that its sharper than the kitlense but it isn't.

Take a look at my website with a comparison of the two lenses: http://msomso.homepage.dk

Well the pictures speak for themselves....

In other forums I have been told that lots of people are having troubles with the 17-40 and that they have to try several copies before obtaining a good one.




May 2, 2006
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Agent Buckwald
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Registered: Apr 1, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 37
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Feel/Quality, IQ, colours. Not EF-S.
Cons:
hood on 1.6x

A beautiful lens. Feels great on the on the 30D. Solid. Sharp with great colours. A great introduction to L lenses. Works very well matched with a 50mm prime and a 70-200 L F4 on a 1.6x camera. I will eventually move to FF at some point in the next few years and I will be able to take this lens with me, unlike the 17-55 2.8 IS EF-S, which was a serious consideration.

May 2, 2006
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smartrav
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Registered: Apr 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 40 mm max, good macro
Cons:
price price price!

I tested this lens vs the Tamron 17 to 35mm lens and the image quality is identical. Both lenses were flat from the center to the edges of the frame. I was FF using a Canon 5D. I made resolution targets at every f/# at 17mm and 35mm and the two lens were within one chart. Since price is an issue with me I almost decided to go with the Tamron mainly because it had 2.8 F/# on the 17mm end and f/32 on the 35mm end where the Canon is f/4 to 22 straight across. But the Canon focused faster and the 40 mm high side gave bigger macros. The only non- flat resolution was with the Tamron in the center at 17mm it started out at 0 1 at f/2.8 maxed at 0 4 at f/8 and dropped to 0 2 at f/22. The Canon was 03 from end to end all aperatures. I wasn't going to weld the aperature at f/8.

I rationalized I would buy the Canon 17-40 because the max focal length was 40mm and this would keep me from buying an intermediate lens. rather I will just get a 70 to 200mm to complete my travel backpack. O someday I will get a 50 or something else. I was tempted with the Canon 24 to 105mm w iS but my tests showed the copy I had was too soft. Not worth the price.


Apr 29, 2006
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YellowBullet
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Registered: Jan 14, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2432
Review Date: Apr 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Great build, USM focusing, fairly inexpensive for an "L" lens, good color and contrast
Cons:
Softish wide open, very bad corner performance on full frame digital

I am not very impressed with this lens.

I have tried six (6) copies of it, and while some were better and some worse, none lived up to the "L" moniker in terms of image quality.

Color and contrast are good, but sharpness is not that great wide open. Stopping down to at least 5.6 definitely helps.

The worst thing about it is the poor corner performance on full frame digital. I guess it's not designed for digital, since it performs pretty good on film. Light hits the sensor at too narrow of an angle, so the corners look very mushy and muddy. Stopping down helps, but even at f/13 the corners are still not that great.

Good all-around lens for 1.6 crop cameras, or even 1.3 crop bodies.


Apr 27, 2006
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tbsteph
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Registered: Mar 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Apr 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid build; Good price for an L quality lens; Fits well on a RebelXT; Manual focus; Very sharp with good contrast.
Cons:
Huge hood on a cropped camera

I find the 17-40L to be a great walk around lens on a cropped camera particularly for landscape photography. I don't see any noticeable softness at any f-stop or focal length in prints up to 8x10. AF silent and quick.

Would the 17-40L be better if it had with a wider zoom range and was a bit faster (2.8) - sure! But, for what it does, its a great lens!


Apr 23, 2006
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deriscal
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Registered: Dec 5, 2005
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic colours. Distortion are minor.Build extreamly solid at the same time not heavy.
Cons:
None.

I have expirience with many Canon non-L lenses like 17-85, 28-135, 20-35 also Tokina 28-80 f2.8 also some sigmas and you can not even compare to this 17-40 F4. I use it on 350D (Rebel xt) and it gives you great results. Its the matter of fantastic balance in the picture of great colours and sharpnes.If you expect that the sharpnes will make you drop on your knees you are wrong.17-40 L its sharp but its not -I would say-over sharp that you can expirience using some sigma lenses.
Sell all your non L lenses (except the prime ones of course!!!) and buy 17-40L . ITS REFRESHING!!!! :-)


Apr 22, 2006
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Sea Dragon Rex
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Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Apr 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $535.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, fast silent focus, VG IQ wide open and excellent stopped down, great price for an L zoom.
Cons:
A little to easy to switch the AF/MF button.

I sold my 17-85 to fund this lens. The build quality is exceptional. The only complaint I have is that I've noticed that the AF/MF button seems to be very easy to switch (there have been instance where I pulled my camera out to take a shot and the lens has been switched to MF).

The focus is fast and silent and the images are sharp. There is some pincushion distortion at the wide end but it doesn't seem to be as bad as the 17-85. Also, the colors seem to be a little warmer with the 17-40L than the 17-85.

I will be doing some comparison shots with a 24L in the near future and may end up upgrading to the 16-35L because I want the extra speed but I am very happy with the 17-40L.


Apr 20, 2006
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dHitman
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Registered: Jun 4, 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 8
Review Date: Apr 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light and handles well. Fast and silent focusing thanks to USM. Smooth natural colors.
Cons:
CA and not as sharp as other Canon L zoom. My Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm proves sharper and better contrast than the Canon. Unfortunate but true.

I bought this lens after reading rave reviews about it and also wanted a walk around lens. Many claim this lens to be razor sharp and very contrasty but unfortunately my copy proves other wise. I believe the 16-35mm L gives better resolution anytime without a doubt but it cost twice as much. I owned a 20-35mm f2.8L before and the 17-40mm is nowhere near it.

I've sold my 17-40mm and replaced it with Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f4 and the Tokina really ROCKS! After the 1.6X on my 20D, the focal range of the 17-40mm is neither here nor there. I found it not very usefull unless on a FF body. Overall if you need to have only Canon lens and you crave for the L 'quality' keep your finger crossed and go for it. Good luck in getting a good copy.


Apr 15, 2006
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powerear
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Registered: Apr 14, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: build quality, colors, fast focus, sharp at 4, very sharp at 8.
Cons:
Hood is too big at a crop camera. At a 1.6 or 1.3 crop camera the EW-83D II seems to be able to use. Itīs the hood for the EF24L. The range could be better. 17-60 would be very nice. Fully dust proof only with a filter.

I use this lens with a 30D and the 70-200/4. At f4 itīs sharp in the middle but could be a bit sharper in the corners. It is still on high level but keep in mind itīs not a 2.8 where you get better result one step slower at 4, you have to use the f4 at many cases. f8 very sharp overall. It plays on a very high level but I would only give it a 10 when it would be fully usable at f4 like a 70-200/4 which is overall very sharp at f4. Very nice color reproduction.
Build quality is very good but a filter should be used to make the front element dust resistant. I use a B&W UV MRC a very good and good to clean filter. In my opinion the best standard zoom you could buy for a crop camera. Comparable to the 24-105L on a full frame but cheaper and with cashback at the moment in europe.
I am not sure if this lens fits the demands of FF users.
Keep also in mind that a EF-S lens like a 17-55 is not usable on EF cameras like the 1D Versions or the 5D. I plan to upgrade to a used 1Ds when I can affort it and this lens would fit where a ef-s lens would not.
Hood is crab, none or two hoods for crop or ff should be delivered with the lens. Itīs not very userfriendly to be forced to sell the EW-83E to get a EW-83D !!!???


Apr 14, 2006
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fozzybear1969
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Registered: Oct 27, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 309
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Affordable L lens, sharp, contrasty, great colours, USM, weather sealed, pro-build. Great for shooting in confined spaces.
Cons:
Large hood, distortion below 24mm, noticable distortion at 17mm. 17-50 would be better range. Hunts a bit in low light.

A nice piece of L glass. The colours are great and the images are razor sharp and contrasty. It focuses fast but it hunted a bit in low light. As everyone stated before the hood is annoying so just don't use it. There is noticable distortion at 17mm but that's what wide angles do. It would be an awesome lens if it was a 17-50 f2.8 L. Can't wait to see what the new 17-55 f2.8 EF-S IS lens will be like. I may get that lens and sell the 17-40.

Apr 13, 2006
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gpfmartin
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Registered: Apr 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 172
Review Date: Apr 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Best zoom for a APS-C dSLR! Sharp, fast focusing, excellent build
Cons:
Distortion at 17mm, corner sharpness at 17mm, the dang hood that always is getting in the way!!



Apr 7, 2006
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njandl
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Registered: Aug 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 231
Review Date: Apr 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Superb build, USM, weathersealing (not that it matters as much on my 20D...), quite sharp, very good standard range on a 1.6x crop.
Cons:
Hood is pointless with 1.6 crop bodies, not quite as amazingly sharp as I hoped.

Has become my walk-around lens on my 20D. Truly professional build quality, very fast AF, excellent range (though 17-55 would be nicer...). Generally very sharp results, including at f/4, but not quite as good as my 70-200 f/4L. Still, there isn't much better of a wide-angle for 1.6x Canon bodies unless you need f/2.8 (which would be nice, but the 16-35 has such variable copies I hear) or you're willing to try out a Sigma or Tamron, both of which are potentially good contenders. Bottom line: get a 17-40L used; it will be more than worth your money.

Apr 5, 2006
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andyjaggy82
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Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1302
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $670.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp on a 1.6X camera. Amazing colors. Fast focusing. Build quality.
Cons:
Corner sharpness. Soft wide open.

I first got this lens when I only owned a film camera and was always dissapointed with the results. The corners and edges were amazingly bad. However on the 350d I have been very happy with the results. I did some comparrisons with my 50mm and while the 50mm definately had an edge in sharpness this lens blew it away in the color and contrast department. I had to boost the saturation 20% on the images shot with my 50mm to get the same color coming straight out of this lens.

Apr 3, 2006
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cp73
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Registered: Mar 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Mar 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $639.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp pictures, focus right on, great pictures right out of the camera with no pp, excellent colors and contrast
Cons:
its big compared to the 18-55 kit lens and when its on it might not fit in your camera case depending on what you have.

I spent months trying to decide which lens to buy to replace the kit-lens. I was primarily debating between the 17-85 IS and the 17-40L. Depending on what day of the week it was I was flopping back and forth. The thing that made me finally decide on the 17-40 was this forum and its ratings. I thought if I buy the 17-85 and I am not satisified with its sharpness I will regret this purchase and be wondering what I was missing. So I decided to go with the 17-40L.

I must agree with most of the owners on this forum its very sharp, quick focus, built like a tank, and great colors and contrast. This is what I was really expecting when I bought my 350D with the Kit lens. I also have the 85mm 1.8 and 50 1.8 and this lens beats them both. Buy this lens and you wont regret it. The L snobs are right.


Mar 31, 2006
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GabrieleNisi
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Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Colori, nitidezza, AF (colors, sharpness, AF)
Cons:
Nessuno (None)

E' stata la mia seconda lente Canon. All'inizio non ho avuto un gran feeling con questo vetro, ma col tempo ho imparato ad apprezzarlo, specie per i suoi colori e per la sua nitidezza da macro (a distanze ravvicinate).
E' veramente un gran bel vetro che restituisce immagini con dei colori pastello incantevoli. Molto itido, ben contrastato, privo di aberrazioni cromatiche e di vignettatura.

Lo uso principalmente sulla mia 20D, ma aspetto di poterlo usare, tra un annetto al massimo, anche su FF.

E' un obiettivo veramente valido che consiglio a tutti incondizionatamente !!!!


Mar 29, 2006
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Multipasser
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Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Location: Belgium
Posts: 23
Review Date: Mar 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap for what you get. Very sharp on f5.6+ till f16.
Cons:
I get some CA on the left side (more that on the right)

I was lucky to get a sigma 12-24mm to test all weekend. At first it looked very sharp and good for the price I had to pay (450euro).

I went back to compare it to a 17-40mm L using a tripod.
The results were amazing. The 17-40mm was so so so much sharper. And less CA than the sigma.

I was considering a 16-35mm L. But for only 1 stop I can now buy a 200mm prime instead. Much more fun.


Mar 29, 2006
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 990790 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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