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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
516 991944 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $670.86
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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ijshusky
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Registered: Dec 13, 2004
Location: Japan
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jan 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons:
None

The greatest wide angle lens ever!!

Jan 30, 2005
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CTYankee
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Registered: Jan 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5316
Review Date: Jan 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, f4, great color, very smooth, no problems with flare, price
Cons:
could be sharper wide open

A very useful zoom for several types of shooting. If you need something hin this focal length its a good compromise of price, performance and speed. If you want better quality, then you need to pay for it with some of the other wide L zooms. Otherwise its one of the lenses I'll always hang on to.

Jan 26, 2005
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canfraggle
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Registered: Oct 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 60
Review Date: Jan 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Quick USM Autofocus Good build quality Good image quality
Cons:
Expensive f/4

Everyone raves about this lens, but I prefer the Tamron 17-35 or the Canon 16-35 f2.8L. The Tamron is better value. If you need absolutely better performance, the 16-35 is the only choice.

f4 is a drag when it comes to low light shooting.


Jan 22, 2005
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cladnin
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Registered: Sep 8, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 150
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $640.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, image quality, value
Cons:
F4

Great sharp lens (even wide open incredibly sharp). Great L build quality. It's only downside is the F4 maximum.

Jan 20, 2005
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Pavel
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4970
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, great build quality, fast focus, sharp wide open
Cons:
lens hood hard to carry, only f4 ( but I knew that buying it :) )

First let me say that I am not much of a wide angle shooter. I bought this for those times I need to go wide. I only miss a faster aperture than f4 .. but you get what you pay for. This lens has sold me on the virtues of "L" lenses. It is great wide open, both sharp and contrasty. The pictures have a snap and clarity to them that make me feel good. I don't use the hood very much as I like to pack light and the darn thing is impossible to pack in my bag without taking up way too much space. A great lens at a decent price. The start of "L" fever I'm afraid!

Jan 20, 2005
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CurtPick
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Registered: Nov 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3260
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, compact, easy to carry around, sharp images with wonderful contrast
Cons:
Lens hood is a beast, When using onboard flash you will get shadow from lens even without the hood

I am rating this using the Canon 10D.
First time I used the lens I was in awe at the sharpness, even at full zoom, corners were very sharp. Its light, compact, a great WA for the 1.6 crop on the 10D. If there was anything bad to say about the lens is the F4. Low light is tough to get a great shot. But for outdoor and well lit subjects this is the lens to get ! Well done Canon !


Jan 19, 2005
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Dave Baker
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Registered: Aug 27, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 7412
Review Date: Jan 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful images. Beautiful build. Beautiful lens.
Cons:
I find it (almost) useless on a 1D.

A bargain. I bought it a week or so after they became available and it stayed (almost) glued to my D60. After switching to a 1D I used it less and less and eventually replaced it with a 24-70, but for the 1.6x sensor this lens simply cannot be beaten.

Buy the other lens hood (designed for 24/1.4), though. The one that comes with is a dinner plate.


Jan 18, 2005
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fletcho
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Registered: Jan 16, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Does what it should do.
Cons:
Doesn't have a focal length of 1000mm...

Help me understand....
The majority of cons about this lens are because it's an f4. The lens description before you buy the product says f/4L.

Help me understand...

I sure wish this lens had a focal length of 1000mm. Someone should complain to Canon.


Jan 16, 2005
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mauriceramirez
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Registered: Jul 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2911
Review Date: Jan 14, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Price.
Cons:
You get what you pay for.

It's way too slow for anything available light. Colors, sharpness, and edge quality are all nothing to brag about. Vignetting is very apparent.

For an f4 lens it should be much smaller. It's not very heavy at all. So it's somewhat cheapy feeling.

After one shoot I decided this is about as good as having a bag full of dull, slow primes. I sold it as soon as I could.

As a former 17-35 EDIF AF-S f2.8 owner I would say that the Canon 17-40L is probably the most overrated L lens available.

If you're a pro, just the 16-35L and be done with it.


Jan 14, 2005
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GEvo
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Registered: Jan 13, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jan 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp at F/4.5, very sharp after that; accurate and fast focus in low light with 300D; constant aperture
Cons:
Nothing really!

When I first bought this lens, I never thought that L lens was that good. It was not often used unless taking group shots. Once, during a dark performance, I am amazed that the 17-40 can still focus accurately with Canon cheapest dSLR, together with 550EX AF assist though. It is so sharp, fast focusing and all these come packaged as the 2nd cheapest L!! What a deal!

Jan 13, 2005
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mediahound
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Registered: Jul 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 394
Review Date: Jan 13, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Build quality seems good. Performance when stopped down is good. It's a popular lens so you will probably be able to sell it for a good price when you decide you really want the 16-35.
Cons:
Can't go wider than f4, a real compromise. Not that sharp. Pricey in that respect.

This is a good lens but consider that it's really an overpriced cheap lens
with the L badging. I feel this lens under performs most other L lenses and
I owned it for a while before selling it for the 16-35 f2.8.


Here's my opinion:


All lenses perform well at higher f stops, that's easy. It's the wide
apertures that really tell you how good a lens is. But this one can't even
go wider than f4 so it's quite limited. The fact that it isn't any faster
than f4 means that it is not good for low light situations. Say you are
street shooting outside, then you walk into a dimly light restaurant.
You'll have to either change lenses or put on a flash. Sure you could up
the ISO setting on your camera but that's a cop out. With a faster lens,
you would have that much greater flexibilty and still be able to up the ISO
and shoot in even darker situations.


When trying to photograph in dim light (and with only f4, it doesn't even
need to be that dim to start giving you problems), this lens will give you
blurry pictures where an f2.8 lens or faster lens will not. Why? Because at
f4, you will require a much slower shutter speed, which unless you are
using a tripod, will manifest as camera shake/blur. Whereas with the f2.8
lens you won't need a tripod in that same light.


Each f-stop is double the amount of light. Because an f2.8 lens is a stop
faster than an f4 lens, it lets in a significant amount more light (double
the amount actually). Huge difference.


The 17-40 also won't allow you good shots with beautiful out of focus areas
(bokeh). The f4 simply doesn't yield shallow enough depth of field. So for
what you get, it's overpriced.


I much prefer the 16-35 f2.8 even though it's double the cost. The 16-35 is
the pro version of this lens, whereas the 17-40 is the consumer one. If the
point is being ready to photograph almost all situations, than a limited f4
lens isn't really the way to go. I believe this lens is a real compromise
lens.


Jan 13, 2005
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Nimra
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Registered: Jan 4, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 37
Review Date: Jan 11, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $699.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Solid, fast focusing
Cons:
Not the best contrast, unsharp in the corners...

I expected a better picture quality, so - don't get me wrong, I wasn't really dissapointed, but when I tested the 17-40 @ 24mm against the cheap EF 24mm / 2.8, the differ in sharpness and contrast was too big for L / non L glas.
I'm going to sell the 17-40 and try out the 16-35, maybe this zoom got better overall sharpness....and I keep my primes...


Jan 11, 2005
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Gijs
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Registered: Dec 3, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 687
Review Date: Jan 8, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Very sharp around about 28mm, even wide open. Good colour. Build quality.
Cons:
Disappointingly soft at the wide end. Some CA in the edges, some barrel distortion. More occurences of flare than I was bargaining for.

I may have gotten myself a bad copy of this lens and if I'm able to get a better copy I'll update this review. However, some reviews I've read elsewhere seem to confirm some of the negative points I've come across.
Basically, I bought this lens for wide angle landscape work. And when tested against my 18-55 kit lens, the wide angle performance of the 17-40L is really disappointing. I couldn't see any improvement in sharpness over the kit lens at the widest focal lengths at all apertures, in the centre and in the corners! CA in the corners is stronger with the L! Barrel distortion is equal.
Of course the L's build quality is a big plus. Weather sealing, the fact that it doesn't extend when zooming and the front element doesn't rotate, FTM focus ... these are nice features. But I expected a much better image quality at the wide end (at around 28mm there is actually a huge improvement) from a lens that's about 7 times the price of the kit lens.
Actually, I don't mind the hood as much as some other people do. One thing to watch out for is that even without the hood the size of the lens can block the light from the internal flash on the camera (I have a 20D). This is no fault of the lens of course, but it's something that a potential buyer that doesn't own an external flash unit may not think of.


Jan 8, 2005
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chocomonsters
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Registered: Jul 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: Jan 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very SHARP. Great price to performance ratio. Weather sealed. Light and portable.
Cons:
Poor COLOR. Limited by f/4

As you all have read below postings and other reviews, this lens is very SHARP and well constructed. For its price, it is amazing bargain.

So why only 4/5? It really falls short on COLOR. Its color is generally flat. I find myself using this lens less and less over time. I only use it for outdoor landscape during daytime only with it (where its strength of sharpness is minimized).

Limitation of f/4 obviously limits its indoor low light situation (ie, inside museum or church) without flash.

Errrgggghhhh.... Again that color.. Maybe I will use it for very sharp B/W shots only Smile

Addendum:
yes, it wasn't free. just forgot to put purchased price.


Jan 8, 2005
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artguy
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Registered: Dec 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 103
Review Date: Jan 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $740.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Smooth action and nice size
Cons:
F4 and a bit soft on the wide end

I read all the reviews before I purchased this lens, and it is a very good lens.

However I have returned it because the focus seems rather soft to me on the wide end. Perhaps I had a copy that is not as good as some of the others that people are raving about.

My general guess is that the 16-35L will be sharper on the extreme wide end (at a higher price of course).

Since my favorite film lens for many of my shots was a 24mm, this lens also suffers in that the 17mm wide end is equivalent to only 27.2mm on a 20D.

Since that is the range that I shot in often I think that it accentuated the weakest area of this lens to the point that I'm really not happy with it.

If this doesn't apply to your shooting and you don't need 2.8 then this lens should be excellent for you.


Jan 7, 2005
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speedbrakesout
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Registered: Dec 2, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 255
Review Date: Jan 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $735.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, beautiful colors and great contrast. Great zoom range, even on a 1.6 dSLR.
Cons:
Bulky hood.

This lens is great! This is what I use 90% of the time as my walk around lens and it provides me wih exceptional images.The colors, sharpness and contrast are perfect. This is an L anyone should have in their photo bag.



Jan 7, 2005
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
516 991944 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $670.86
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
9.0
ef17-40_4l_1_


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