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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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514 982005 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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gwhitegeog
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jun 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb build quality - gasket seal on rear mount, solid controls and no front element wobble! I love the fact that it has internal focussing and internal zooming and the fact that it has full time manual (FTM) facility. Good focal range. The optical quality is very good and can be used with confidence with a APS sized sensor digital camera (e.g. EOS 10D, 20S, 300D, etc...). Best aperture f5.6 but f4.0 is quite usable too.
Cons:
None at all - if only all lenses were like this...

Highly recommended. I use this lens on an EOS 10D and use it as my standard lens. Ok, it's a bit slow (f4.0) but it can be hand held with ease and the good full aperture performance gives flexibilty. Distortion acceptable on EOS 10D and very low CA. 17mm gives about 28mm equivalent (35mm camera) but actually looks wider in use. Lovely to use with excellent focussing.

Jun 17, 2005
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klockworks
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Registered: Dec 29, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: I shoot alot of whitewater rafting and snowboarding/skiing and this lens (new 3 weeks ago has opened my eyes to the 20Ds strengths. Awesom sharpness and clarity. Excelleent in all but the lowest light and the field of view is great on the 20D.
Cons:
Frickin huge and expensive circular polarizing filter!



Jun 9, 2005
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Dajon
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Registered: Jun 8, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jun 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great optics!!!!! excellent balance on my cameras and fast AF
Cons:
Standard lens hood is to big for my camera bag

I love this lens! wonderful and sharp -i know it has won various awards which is nice but i had to try it myself and see: and wow great optics! its my standard lens on my DSLR. (27-65mm on my 300D) Heres a tip i found on the web: if you are using this lens on a DSLR with 1.6 sensor (10d,20d rebel etc..) you can leave the regular lens hood at home and buy a EW-83DII! this lens hood is not as wide (its made for the EF24f1.4L) -it works great!

high praise for this lens and the price is right too!



Jun 8, 2005
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LostPatrol
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Registered: Jun 8, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide enough for a DSLR, fast and silent A/F very sharp from f4.5 down constant aperture.
Cons:
I have tried but would have to be realty picky to find any. IO guess the hood is a bit inconvenient.

I have used this lens for 18 months, ok I could moan about it only being f4 and not enough range but I knew that when I bought it. So there is little point in moaning about what it isnít.
Really this is an excellent lens for the price, you can hand hold as slow as 1/15 if you are careful, IMO one of the best lenses in the Canon range. Shame is isnít a bit longer but there is the 24-85mm f2.8L if you can afford it.
The build quality is excellent and can take some knocks, it has!


Jun 8, 2005
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imeod
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Registered: May 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 35
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $630.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Solid Build, Non-Rotating Front Element, Great Image Quality
Cons:
Only f4, Huge Lens hood, Limited Focal Range

A nice lens that takes great pictures, but I had to sell mine; I traded it for the 17-85mm IS.

I liked the stronger build of the 17-40mm and the fact that the lens is built super tough, but the loss of light with a f4 lens was a major draw back. The size, weight, and huge lens hood didn't help either.

I chose the 17-85mm for the extended focal range and image stabilization. The lens has a telescoping zoom and isn't built a tough, but it is a much better everyday lens.

$629 was to much for a limited focal range and f-stop of only 4. Someday I will buy the 16-35mm and have the best of both worlds.


May 30, 2005
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jph1
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Registered: Jun 2, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1004
Review Date: May 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, image quality. Price.
Cons:
Not as sharp as some primes. Speed.

I shoot mostly wide angle. I bought this lens when I was shooting film. I've had some strong wides over the years. I wouldn't say this is the outright winner in sharpness. But it is too close to make me want to go for the alternatives. Example: Just got a Nikon 20mm f/3.5 with Canon adapter. Tested it against the 17-40. The 20mm prime (the version that came out after the f/4-Galen Rowell lens), one of my favorites in my Nikon system. Not that much difference at 20mm. I was shocked. This affordable L can hold its own against a legend? Well...it's too close to call. I would have to put more effort into it. Sure, I wish it was faster. But for the price? I'm shooting full frame and can not think of anything that would work better for landscapes.

May 29, 2005
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benpaul67
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Registered: May 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: May 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It does everything very professionally. Best lens I've ever owned. For DSLR, this is THE ONE. It just looks really 'right'. Its very very accurate, and sultry even though it's razor sharp and geometrically razor straight. Wide open, 17mm through 40mm, I cant find a fault with it on my 1.6 dslr.
Cons:
Very slight purple fringing, but its controlled and subdued, kept on a very short choke chain, best I've ever seen yet.



May 29, 2005
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dphototeam
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price..Price..and Price (Compared with the other L ) with the same Quality, Built Quality, The LensHood (this thing really WORKS!), USM, Sharpness
Cons:
Ok, The lenshood does work, but it's quite BIG!

This is my first 'L' lens. I bought this lens after I have been using my 300D for about 1 1/2 years and having some other third party lenses (Sigma & Tamron).
This lens indeed stands out from my other lenses.

If you're new to SLR, and thinking of buying third party lens, or Non L lens.. Then, I must say...Don't do it! You better save your money and buy a really good quality lens.

Sample of my latest shots using this lens:
1. http://www.dphotojournal.com/free-wallpaper-nature/
2. http://www.dphotojournal.com/free-wallpaper-flying-high/
3. http://www.dphotojournal.com/free-wallpaper-petronas-towers/

ps. Those are only thumbnails, u might want to dl the photo to be able to see their quality properly.

Cheers,



May 19, 2005
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mg98
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Registered: Mar 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $670.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid construction, not too heavy, fast focussing, not as expensive as the f/2.8L zooms, comparable center sharpness to 24mm f/2.8 prime, gives you a somewhat fish-eyed perspective at 17mm on a film SLR if you like that kind of thing
Cons:
soft at the edges compared to 24mm f/2.8 prime, contrast not quite as good as 24mm f/2.8 prime, a bit pricey (it would be nice if it were priced about $100 less...closer to the price of a 70-200 f/4.0L which makes a good companion for it...)

I did the old "news print" test using a 24mm f/2.8 prime at f/5.6 (I used a map). I took a number of shots with each lens and compared the best of each resulting image against the other. The center sharpness was nearly indistinguishable between the two lenses...though if I were forced to choose the best one, I would have chosen the 24mm prime. The contrast and colors seemed a little better with the prime too, and may have influenced my judgement of center sharpness. At the edges, the prime's advantage was clearer, though not hugely so. Overall, I would say the 17-40 f/4.0L compares favorably with the 24mm f/2.8 prime, and the latter rates quite high in optical quality at testing sites like photodo.com. So, for the flexibility of having a zoom in the wide to normal+ range, I'd say the 17-40 f/4.0L is a nice, high-quality lens to have on your camera. (Note: even the 24-70 f/2.8L pales against the 24mm f/2.8 prime at 24mm....). I'm giving this lens an overall rating of 8, though I would like to rate it closer to something like 8.5.

May 13, 2005
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stebelski
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Registered: Feb 8, 2005
Location: Poland
Posts: 10
Review Date: May 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stellar build and picture quality, walkaround range, well balanced on 350d/rebel xt
Cons:
Need to replace hood with EW 83DII. Wish it was 1.4...

I am using this as a standard walk around lens on my 350d/rebel xt and I am very satisfied with the build and picture quality, as well as range.

This is my first L lens and I find the stellar build quality truly addictive (as some have called it). I find it very well balances on the 350d - supporting the camera by the lense actually leaves your right hand free for all the settings on the camera body.

As probably many others, I am constantly considering whether to move to 16-35 or 17-85. Here is my rationale for not moving to either of these:

16-35: I find the one-stop difference not menanigful enough for double the cost and losing 5mm at the longer range. When I am in a low light situation, I often check whether a 2x faster lense would be enough to manage handheld, but usually it comes out that even the 16-35 would not be enough to handhold with the speeds required for handheld. My other lense is a 50 1.4 and while it is somewhat long on the 350d (with 1.6x factor), I usually prefer to use this one at around 1.6-1.8 aperture to give me the speeds I need.

17-85: while I find the longer range and IS very appealing, I just can't yet decide to lose on the build quality the 17-40 gives and I am concerned on the battery life with the IS. The 17-85 feels very wobbly to me and having had the 28-135 before I know how much of a dust sucker it is and would like to avoid it with the sensor dust issues present in dSLRs.
Additionally, my key interest is travel photography and having had the 28-135 before I know that the IS is a fast battery killer, requiring to take more batteries than with a standard lense. I just prefer to switch to the 50 1.4 if I really need the longer range.

Hope this helps and I look forward to any reviews commenting above discusson points on the lens selection. And thanks to all the previous FM contributers - this was the source of knowledge which convinced me to get this lense.


May 13, 2005
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popey
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Registered: May 10, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: May 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, image quality, constant aperture.
Cons:
Quite big, huge lenshood

I've had this lens for all of three days and I'm absolutely delighted with it. I was going to buy the 17-85mm EFS lens (to go on an EOS20d), but on reflection, I think I have made a much better choice by going for the L series lens.
The filter size is a bit on the large side, but I can live with that.


May 10, 2005
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shaohuizeng
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Registered: May 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $641.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Blazing fast focusing. Relative sharpness, solid build
Cons:
Wide end slightly softer than the tele end. Moving front element can suck in dust. 77mm filter size for 58mm glass. The hood blocks internal flash.

This is a L lens and deservingly to be so. It is solidly butilt, with metal casing.

It produce good color and very pleasant image.

It will get you sharper image than the 18-55mm canon dslr kit lens, but not noticeable until you make big prints. It is not quite as sharp as the cheapo 50mmf1.8. The wide end is slightly softer than the tele end. The main advantage I got from the 10x price is the focusing speed. You will notice it if you ever shoot anything moving.

The front element is installed on a piston that moves back and forth within the outer cylinder when you zoom. There does not seem to be a gasket or sealing between the piston and the outer cylinder. If you are shooting in a dusty environment, it might be prudent to put on a UV filter to seal the moving piston in.

I have been wondering why the f4 lens share the same 77mm filter size of the f2.8 16-35mm lens. The f4 lens is supposed to have only half the glass than the faster lens. I found that I was right the first time I looked it. It does have only half the glass. There is a 10mm rim around the glass. The front elment is small enough to fit a 58mm or 62mm design. Have you ever seen a 135mmf2? The glass on that lens reach all the way to the edge of the 72mm rim. 77mm filters cost quite a bit more than the smaller ones. A good coated polarizer costs around $150 - $200. Ouch.

I am guessing Canon does this to allow the 17-40 and 16-35 share the circuits and motor. But the lens do look a bit cheap with that thick rim. Well, hope others only see that red rim and the silly big hood.

The hood blocks 20d's internal flash between 17mm - 35mm.







May 7, 2005
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justruss
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Registered: Jul 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4184
Review Date: May 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: build, sharp
Cons:
f/4... fine for most things

No qualms really. I wish I had something faster and wider (sold a Sigma 14 f/2.8, which was amazing)... but for the cost of this thing, I can't complain. Highly Highly recommend a CP for a lens like this.

-Russ


May 3, 2005
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IraGraham
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Registered: Oct 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 622
Review Date: Apr 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build quality, fast auto focus, sharp optics even at F4, works great with 1.6x sensor factor on the 10 & 20D.
Cons:
None

I use this lens for ceremony shots as well as reception shots when I don't have my 70-200 2.8 IS on the camera. These are the only two lenses you need for weddings. The 17-40 is fast enough, I really don't see any need for 2.8 aperture with my 10D or 20D. I can just dial in 1600 iso when needed and shoot away. This is a great lens for the price that you will find stuck on your camera all of the time because of its useful focal range.

Apr 28, 2005
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SBBluewater
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Registered: Apr 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 193
Review Date: Apr 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light and Sharp!
Cons:
Sometimes wish I had F/2.8

I've had this lens for about 5 months and really like it. It is very sharp and the colors look very good. It works very well with the 20D. The balance on this body is very good and the relatively light weight of the lens makes it very easy to carry around for hours at a time. The build quality is very good and the lens feels solid. Sometimes I wish it was F/2.8 but the option for that lies with the 16-35mm at quite a bit more money! I plan on keeping this lens for a very long time!

Apr 24, 2005
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Apr 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: "L" build quality, f/4 aperture, close focusing. Good AF.
Cons:
Flare prone, you might have to try a couple to get a good one. IMHO the optics are so-so. Build quality is "L" but the optics seem to be lacking.

I was lucky and it only took swapping the lens out once to get a "decent" performer. My first lens was just horrible on all my camera's. (300D, 2X-10D's, 1D, 1DMKII, 1VHS and Elan 7NE).

My second lens is so-so on the 1.3X sensors and pretty decent on the 1.6X sensors.

Is the lens worth $650.00 ??? Not in my opinion. $500.00 - 550.00 would be fair. I still feel it is one of the most "over hyped" Canon lenses out there.

My other WA zooms Tokina 20-35 f/2.8 ATX - PRO and Sigma 15-30 EX ASP DG constantly provide as good if not better photo's and can be bought "LNIB used" for roughly half of the price of this lens.

Would recommend this lens??? Yes, but only to Canon L snob's wanna-be's.


Apr 13, 2005
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†††



Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
514 982005 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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