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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
515 991004 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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Robertdrake
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Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 171
Review Date: Nov 4, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $950.00

 
Pros: Sorry, nothing
Cons:
Soft focusing, notorious for focusing issues

Mine wasn't as sharp as my cheapie sub-$200 lenes. Sent it for Canon to have a look at it, and can't even get them to give me a trmeframe for the repair. Never again!


Nov 4, 2005
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Mad Monte
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Registered: Nov 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide lens good for APS SLR's. Quality
Cons:
None

Great lens on my 6.3 APS sized Rebel. I sold my 18mm-55mm kit lens and got this one. Photos I took before look quite " lackluster " compared to photos taken with this lens. I must say photos straight out of the camera to the computer look a bit dark to me , but a minute or so with the PHotoshop Elememnt 3 brightens them up. Quality is great and I have blow up many shots to 20 by 30 and sold with this camera and lens combo. ( I do also 24 by 36 three shot vertical stitch shots which come out great blown up as well) No need for the 16.7 meg camera doing this little trick!! The lens also is used on my Cheapy K2 Film Rebel as well and have the full 17mm view is awesome.. I give this lens a 10!!!

Nov 4, 2005
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jd1566
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Registered: Dec 7, 2004
Location: South Africa
Posts: 46
Review Date: Nov 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good wide angle coverage for film and full frame digital
Cons:
Build quality is shocking

I have been overall quite happy with the results of this lens, and seeing as I bought it because I couldn't afford the 16-35.. I think it is money well spent. Though the 1mm difference is quite a lot at the wide angle, you still get impressive wide angle vistas.. I use it very often with landscape and interior photography.

F4 means that in low light it hunts, but that is the nature of the beast.

Build quality for an L lens is quite shocking.. I always thought it was quite robust, until I dropped my padded camera backpack from about a metre onto grass and dirt.. The lens snapped in two! A lens, like a chain, is only as strong as the weakest link, and plastic is used throughout! Well, it is being repaired and will hopefully be back up to speed again.. Of course I will be a bit more careful with it, but I expected better quality from an L lens. Canon is not involved in the repair as it is out of warranty, so a third party repair guy is fixing it for me.

Overall though, if you are in the market for a decent ultra-wide, and especially now that the price has dropped, by all means go for it.


Nov 2, 2005
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mbarrow67
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Registered: Aug 21, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 15
Review Date: Nov 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price (especially compared to the 16-35 f2.8), image quality, build
Cons:
Range (but I knew this when purchasing), hood fitting

I have owned this lens for around a month, and have taken around 300 shots with it. On the 20D, the range makes it very nice 'walk around' lens, although a slightly longer range would be nice (maybe 17-50). That said, I knew the range when I bought it, and chose the more pleasing pictures and fixed apatrure of this lens over the better range of the 17-85; this is the personal choice you need to make.

Build quality and ergonomics are excellent, with one single exception, my lens hood does not sit tightly, but wobbles slightly. This makes no difference to the excellent optical quality, and really is only a small complaint. The camera mount is tight and rubber sealed.

I tend to keep the lens attached to the camera most of the time, and have had a few interested looks and comments on it's size, albeit a factor of 10 fewer than with the 70-200 IS mounted!

If you're reading this, you're probably trying to decide between this and either the 16-35 or the 17-85. I decided to save $700 and take a risk on the f4, and have not had a problem yet. I regularly use the lens handheld around dusk without problems, and for important shots that I will enlarge (sunsets/skyscapes/landscapes/indoor group shots), I always use a tripod, so a longer exposure is much less critical. I believe the 16-35 performs maginally better corner-to-corner on a FF camera, but on the 20D, this 17-40 really is excellent.

Whilst not quite as sharp and vibrant as the 17-40, the 17-85 was still excellent, but with rumours at the time of something in the 24-105 f4 range, I decided I'd rather have the quality and long-term residual values of two L's, than the more economical, but more versatile 17-85.


Nov 1, 2005
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mrkon
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Registered: Jul 26, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 511
Review Date: Nov 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $544.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: L glass, sharp, vibrant colors, contrast, build quality
Cons:
price

Really sharp glass even wide open at f/4. The build quality is superb, the colors are dead on and rendered very vibrant. Not much post processing is required with this lens.

Though it is quite spendy for a f/4, this lens wasn't intended for portraits or low light anyway. This is more of a landscape lens, and it does a hell of a job at it. I'm still amazed at the level of detail this baby produced on my XT. I'm definitely keeping this one when I go FF in the future.

Surprisingly, this lens is also a decent performer at ISO 1600 @ f/4. The noise was surprisingly low, and the color noise wasn't all over the place. It was very controlled.


Nov 1, 2005
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malla1962
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Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build quality, colour and contrast. Excellent value L glass.
Cons:
I'm not going to complain like others about it being F4, as I knew that fact before I bought it, and I don't find it a problem. Not too keen on the hood.

I bought this lens as a wide angle for my 20D and found it superb. It's sharp and color and contrast are just out of this world. Just upgraded to a 1D, and I find results are even better. Super wide.

Oct 29, 2005
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sigbusyff
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Registered: Oct 21, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Oct 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, well-built, relatively inexpensive.
Cons:
Slightly soft wide open at 40mm.

Like many others, I bought this as a 17-55mm kit lens replacement. It's not sensible to compare the two lenses; this one is streets ahead.

It's perfectly possible to get decent pictures with the kit lens; if you're in bright sunlight, and thus can stop it down a bit, you'll be fine, except at the very wide end where the kit lens is quite soft all the time. I went for this lens to sharpen up that wide end.

I wasn't disappointed. This lens is very sharp, even at f/4, and produces lovely contrasty colours. AF is as fast and precise as you'd expect, and it's very solid (but remember you do need to buy a UV filter to completely seal the front).

On the downside, sharpness drops off wide open at 40mm, but it sharpens up again if you stop it down even just a little. Of course, it'd be great if it was faster, but given the reasonable price you can probably get yourself a fast prime for indoor available light stuff.

Overall - recommended.


Oct 22, 2005
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Jakob D.
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Registered: Mar 30, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 59
Review Date: Oct 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid build, weight
Cons:
Not THAT sharp

A friend of mine just bought this yesterday and I took it for a spin today. All-in-all, it's a decent lens, but it produces no where near the level of sharpness other raters have stated it does. That doesn't mean it's not a good lens, though.

Edge softness is an issue with this copy, and keep in mind that this is on a 1.6x 20D! I expected some quality drop-off, but not as much as was actually there. Either this copy isn't all that good, or the MTF chart for this lens is way off...

There is some distortion, but on a 1.6x, it's hardly an issue.

This is not a low-light lens, but I gave it a shot anyway and found that in some situations w/ non-moving subjects, shots could be exposed properly at an acceptable speed for hand-holding. Most, however, required a tripod and mirror-lockup. Even with that effort, however, the lens will not produce VERY sharp images (i.e. EF-S 60mm macro).

If you're in the market for a wide-angle zoom, this will do.


Oct 20, 2005
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jpfy
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Registered: Dec 11, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 31
Review Date: Oct 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality, Build, AF speed, sharpness
Cons:
Would love it to be faster but would be much more expensive

I am very happy with this lens, It replaced my 18-55 EF-S. Much better constructed and sharper but then 10x cost.
But I can use it on my 50E giving an ultra wide angle.
Love it.


Oct 19, 2005
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neographikal
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Registered: Aug 14, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 22
Review Date: Oct 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness even wide-open, AF-speed is simply awesome. One of the fastest focussing lenses there is and build-quality is just next to perfect.
Cons:
Some CA on some shots, but nothing to worry about. Yes it's F/4 but that's what you pay for.

I had the 18-55 kit, and this is just such a relief. It's damned fast with autofocussing, it's sharp even wideopen in the corners. On some shots there is some CA visible, but nothing to worry about in my regard.

If you're looking for a really decent wide-angle zoom, this is the one. It outperforms the Tamron 17-35, Sigma 20-40 and Sigma 17-35 by a long shot. Yes it does cost €200,- more, but that's worth it!


Oct 19, 2005
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George Chew
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Registered: Sep 2, 2005
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 11
Review Date: Oct 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp and value for money, not too heavy to carry around for street photography.
Cons:
If it could have a stop faster, but then have to pay double.

Greetings,
I dumped my EF-S 10-22mm for this lens, as I foresee I'll be getting a FF Canon DSLR soon. Initial impression of this lens is very good. Test pics are very sharp and with very good contrast. This is a much better lens than the EF-S 10-22m for about the same price. I think I'm bitten by L bugs. Enjoy...


Oct 18, 2005
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albertomonte
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Registered: Sep 19, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: obiettivo eccezionale quasi privo di distorsione molto nitido e particolarmente contrastato. Per nulla pesante o ingombrante. Il suo prezzo" ottica L " è accessibile rispetto ad altre ottiche dello stesso livello qualitativo
Cons:
nessuna

non ha nulla da invidiare alle ottiche come il 24-70 2,8 nelle relative focali o il 16/35 2,8 -paragonato sempre alle stesse focali con il 24-105 Stabilizzato mi ha lasciato molto sorpreso.
In pratica, in termini di nitidezza e contrasto, viene fuori con grande onore e qualità. Ottimo obiettivo veramente.


Oct 15, 2005
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mlavander
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Registered: Dec 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 701
Review Date: Oct 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $679.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Aweome photo quality
Cons:
Would love the same lense as f/2.8...but then I should have bought the 16-35mm.

I used my year end bonus to buy this lense in 2004. At the time I was using a 300D Rebel. I chose this lense since the 2005 North American International Auto Show was coming in Detroit. It worked AWESOME! The 17mm wide angle letme get right up to the vehicles. Anyone that has shot at the auto show knows what a pain it is to be away from the vehicle - people walk in front of you, even thought they see you are taking a photo.

Now it is working awesome as a close-up mountain bike photography lense. I just purchased the 70-200mm f/2.8L to team up with the 17-40mm for cyclocross racing. They will work great together.

The photo quality with this lense and my 20D are amazing. At 1:1 viewing, I can read CHRIS KING on the headset of a racer's mountain bike headset - and its extremely sharp. The action effects with speeds down to 1/30s are great!


Oct 13, 2005
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afred
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Registered: Mar 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 710
Review Date: Oct 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, size, sharp, price
Cons:
f/4, build

Well, i've got to say, this is a very sharp lens. It might be my sharpest lens. I think i got really lucky with this one, because i dont see a difference between f/4 and f/8, and they're both tack. Then lens is pretty light, i was expecting it to be a little heavier. The build seems OK, but not great.

Oct 12, 2005
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mauriceramirez
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Registered: Jul 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2911
Review Date: Oct 12, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $800.00

 
Pros: It's cheap.
Cons:
It's an f4.

available light works better photographically in most situations, and this f4 lens, like any f4 lens, flat out doesn't work for that. I'm not a landscape or flash lover so it's going back. Tripods are not my friend for travel.

I'd much rather get an off-brand f2.8 than an L f4. Better yet, a prime. Something that can work in light that's actually INTERESTING. Remember interesting light? It's kind of important.

This lens has turned me off to slow zooms for GOOD. What I really don't get are the all the 70-200 f4 lenses out there. What purpose on this earth can THAT ridiculous lens serve?

My guess: Status.

-m


Oct 12, 2005
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arnolo
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Registered: Oct 7, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 43
Review Date: Oct 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very Sharp at wide angle and good colours
Cons:
A bit less contrasy at the long end of its range.

I found this zoom Sharp and contrasty in general. The sharpness drops a bit at the long end of the range, but remains very good.
I found it to be clearly sharper than the 28/2.8 prime at f/4, particularly on the edges (tested with 1.6x sensor of the Canon EOS350D).
I also compared this lens with the very good value 50/1.8 II ( at 40mm and f/4.... ok its a big dodgy given the difference in focal length). The 50 mil was very much sharper in the centre and edges of the picture at f/4

Compared to the EFS 10-22, this lens has a comparable sharpness, it also has a small amount of CA on the edges (almost undetectable on the 10-22), and is 120grams heavier. Finally, this lense appears to include a slightly wider tonal range than the 10-22 (particularly on the warm side of the spectrum). This in my view makes the pictures a little nicer to look at, but the difference is a subtle one and may depend on the lighting conditions.

It also comes with a hood and leather bag (unlike the 10-22).

I intend to use it as my main lens, and maybe to combine it with an EFS 60/2.8 macro or 50/1.8II when travelling (where weight is an issue and you cannot bring 5 lenses with you)

Overall this looks like a very good lens.


Oct 9, 2005
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 991004 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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