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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
514 982092 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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njezzo
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Registered: Apr 16, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 23
Review Date: Jan 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, built quality, size, internal focussing, one of the cheapest L..
Cons:
None so far

By having this lens, now I'm no longer having problem using CPL filter as I had before with my EFs 18-55mm. The internal focussing system really helps me in photographing landscape.

It is also sharp !.. Now I even shoot my model with this lens..This is one example: http://www.gallery1905.com/details.php?image_id=1052


Jan 3, 2005
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nighthawk
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Registered: Dec 19, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 30
Review Date: Jan 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Fantastic outer build quality, fast usm action and that L factor
Cons:
Mine won't let me manual focus!!! which is a bit of a bind :(

I have owned this lens for under a week and have taken around 70 shots with it.
On auto focus it's fine on my Canon 300D and it really helps balance the camera (mines fitted with the battery grip), but for me and this particular copy it all changes when you switch to Manual focus.

It just won't stop !!!! it's almost like it's possessed.
I half depress the shutter release and the USM does it's job and snaps the image in to what it thinks is perfect focus. In reality, it never manages to get it.

This copy is going back to the retailer tomorrow for exchnge.


Jan 2, 2005
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Tony Howell
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Registered: Dec 1, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Review Date: Dec 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: price, quiet AF, image quality, low flare
Cons:
edges not sharp wide open at 17mm (but this was expected!)

I love shooting at 17mm as I'm in love with big, open skies, so this lens is ideal. The centre of the image is very sharp all through the zoom range, and the slightly slow f4 is no problem - just use a tripod! I wholeheartedly recommend this lens, and it'll be on my camera for many years to come. I suggest f8 for sharpest results.

Has anyone used this lens with good quality Graduated filters or Lee Filters? I'd like to know what you think before I buy some - they're steep.


Dec 31, 2004
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alfred08
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Registered: Dec 28, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 2
Review Date: Dec 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Sharp, quiet and cheap
Cons:
Not great in low light, range

Had this lens for 3 months before selling and buying a 17-85 IS. I prefer the range and IS is wonderfull...but it's less sharp !

Dec 28, 2004
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Doug Vann
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Registered: Dec 18, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 45
Review Date: Dec 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness and nice zoom range
Cons:
It would be nice if it was f2.8 instead of f4.0 but not a real big issue for me as I also have a 550EX flash......

Nice sharp shots with this lens. 17-40 range works very well for most shots and this is the lens that is on my camera 90% of the time. I have a couple of 11 x 17 pictures in my office from this camera and the sharpness is amazing. Bargain price for this lens. Definitely recommended.

Dec 21, 2004
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discreet
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: China
Posts: 1148
Review Date: Dec 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great Build Quality, Perfect Focal Range for a 1.6x body. Relatively Cheap
Cons:
Slow F4.0 aperature but the 16-35/2.8 cost way more

The 17-40L has to be the best performance/price in the canon line-up.

If you are using a 1.6x Camera and take the following kind of photos, this len is perfect:

General "sight-seeing":
On my drebel, this is a 27-65mm lens. Which is perfect for general photography I do when I go travelling. It is wide enough to take most things and the zoom range generally capture 80% of what i shot.

Archicture:
this is one of the more decent 17mm option you have in the canon line-up

Indoor:
Though it is kinda of slow, the wide angle makes up for it. most of the time, I push the ISO or use flash

Portraits:
Together with the 85/1.8, these 2 lens cover all my portraits needs. When I need a half or full body shot, I use the 17-40L as I prefer to be close to the model to communicate with her/him. I sometime use the 17mm end to take "fish-eye" head shots for effect. The close focusing distance allows that. The 85/1.8 is used solely for head shots in my book

Being an L lens, the built quality is amazing and the AF is fast and accurate. It commands confidence in the user and I feel very confident using the lens.

Eventhough it is slow at 4.0, being an L, I dare to use it wide open and it gives me great results over my 18-55

Overall: A*


Dec 15, 2004
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drfrank
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Registered: Apr 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Dec 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $679.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lens is extremely sharp, images are 3D like in appearance, USM is very quiet, auto focus is fast and accurate, construction built like a tank, on my 300D the balance is very good, colors and contrast are excellent.
Cons:
None to date.

This is my second L series lens. I purchased the 70-200 F4L and based on the excellent performance of it decided to go for the 17-40 F4L. I can say it was a good investment. These two lenses are the best that I currently own. I find the 17-40 F4L to be pin sharp from 17mm to 40mm.

The 17-40 F4L has replaced my 28-135 IS for 90% of my walk-around shooting. Except for low light conditions where the IS can make a difference, the 17-40 F4L is my lens of choice.


Dec 14, 2004
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John Daniel
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1301
Review Date: Dec 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Light, sheaper , good focus, good lens
Cons:
Not great in low light, pin cushion.

Had this lens for 3 months before selling and buying a 16-35 which I really prefer because of the greater aperture opening and the wider range; at a multiplying factor of 1.6, the 17-40 is less wide by almost 2 mm than the 16-35.

I had problems in low light situation where the 17-40 is too slow for me.

otherwise it is a good lens.


Dec 14, 2004
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jimnms
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Registered: Mar 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 15
Review Date: Dec 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $640.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Perfect lens for a 1.6 crop DSLR, sharp, quiet, good build quality, good price for an L lens
Cons:
Nothing to complain about yet.

I purchased this lens from jgbryan021900 in the Buy/Sell Forums here.

Until now I've mainly shot telephoto. I had purchased a Sigma 18-50 for the occasional wide shot. I found myself using the 18-50 more often, so I dicided to take the plunge and get the 17-40 f/4L.

This has become my favorite lens so far, and I've found myself shooting wide shots more often now. When testing it the day it arrived, I tried hard to get it to flare, but I could only manage one shot with a tiny little flare that's hardly noticable. I've only noticed a slight bit of CA on extreme shots in the corner.

I took it to an airshow a few weeks after I got it, and I was extremely pleased with the results.


Dec 9, 2004
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MichaD
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Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 407
Review Date: Dec 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, weight, af, construction
Cons:
massive barrel distortion on the wide end

Very useful walkaround lens for a 1.6x crop camera (get the EW-83DII hood if you got an APS sized sensor). Great sharpness and contrast. AF does it's job great. It's not a f/2.8, no, but you get what you pay for. Haven't found any CA worthy of mentioning on my copy. Flare is amazingly low for such a wide glass. Only real downside is the hefty distortion on the wide end. Software correction becomes a must when having straight lines in the frame.

Dec 9, 2004
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corgiwcn
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Registered: Apr 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 50
Review Date: Nov 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent resolution and acutance. Great color rendition. Accurate autofocus system.
Cons:
Some chromatic abberation on the edges when shot wide open at the wide end.

This is a so-called "no excuse" lens like my 85mm f/1.8. The USM system focuses accurately and silently; the high resolution and acutance in the optics produce very sharp images; the color rendition reflects what an "L" lens should be. From now on, any failure to produce good wide angle photos is entirely my own.

My copy is sharp wide open through the focal range. Two stops down to f/8, the lens manages to push my 1.6x crop 300D to its limit. From 30cm to infinity, it consistently and instantly locks the focus points without hesitation, unlike my previously owned EF 24mm f/2.8. Optically, this lens is as good as the primes in the focal range except for the distortion on the wide side.

It also controls flare quite nicely when used without protective UV filters. When used in-doors with flash, be sure to take off the UV filter before shooting. If it weren't for the weather sealing, I would have gotten rid of the UV filter altogether.m Also be sure to use the lens hood EW-83D II (for 24mm 1.4L) when mounting it on 1.6x DSLRs.

The only flaw I can think of is the chromatic abberation introduced on the edges when shot wide at F/4 against very contrasty objects using DSLR.

Before using this lens, I thought shooting wide angle to be very difficult because I constantly struggled with autofocus systems. Now, with the experiences of my short telephoto 85mm f/1.8 and this one, I am sold on the importance of advanced focus systems like Canon's USM.

Get this lens if you can afford it. Don't buy it if you don't want to get addicted to L lenses.


Nov 30, 2004
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Hrow
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Registered: Oct 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5332
Review Date: Nov 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $659.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Just about everything.
Cons:
None

Certainly one of the bargins of the Canon line. This lens is sharp, the images have good color and contrast and the build quality is superb. It just feels "right" on the camera. There is no other way to describe it. I love this lens.

No, it is not a 2.8, but then again I didn't pay for a 2.8 either. For my shooting, the extra stop wasn't worth the extra cost of the 16-35 2.8L. That 17mm may not be wide enough for some on a 1.6x camera should not be viewed as a negative against this lens. It is what it is and does what it does superbly.


Nov 30, 2004
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tekgik
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Registered: Dec 17, 2003
Location: Philippines
Posts: 27
Review Date: Nov 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $705.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: excellent build quality, color rendition, focus speed, very silent motor, weight, sharp at 40mm
Cons:
marginal difference on photo quality from my efs 18-55

My first "L" lens. Superb build quality. I got the sigma 70-200 2.8 hsm, and i must say USM is a lot quite.

Surprisingly on its wide end the sharpness of my canon efs 18-55 was on par with this lens. Oh yeah i agree with other reviewers about the CA, there is but not as bad as the plastic kit lens.

I think im gonna keep it because of its other advantages!

yup yup! annoying lens hood =(


Nov 29, 2004
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winty
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Nov 22, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, very 3d images. Well made. Balances well on the camera. Able to focus to 28cm, which seems very close to me. Good range on a 1.6x body. Quick focus.
Cons:
Ultra-conspicuous with the hood on, slightly conspicuous without the hood on.

All I can say is that this lens seems to be an ideal partner for the 20d. Focusing is incredibly fast and accurate. The f4 can be ameliorated by the 20d's excellent high iso performance. It seems to work much better with the camera than my other lenses (50mm 1.4 doesn't autofocus as well, 24-85mm isn't as sharp). Even comparing to my prime lens, I am truly amazed by the 3d-ness of the images the 17-40L produces. I don't think I will ever regret this purchase.

Nov 22, 2004
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Hardtail
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build strength, flexability, weight and it even looks the goods. Results are sharp, and focussing is faster then Superman out of a phone box.
Cons:
Haven't found any yet. I may develop some reservations about the hood though, time will tell.

I've only just bought this lens, but so far I'm extremely happy with its performance. It just may supercede my Canon 28-70 f2.8 L as a general "walk around" lens. If not, it will definitley share that distinction.

For me, f4 is adequate for my needs in this focal range, so I can't see me ever needing to crack the piggy bank upgrading.to 16-35 f2.8.







Nov 18, 2004
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phagan
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Registered: Nov 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 64
Review Date: Nov 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $665.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range, build quality, image quality, flexibility.
Cons:

Like others have said this is a great lens. I don't agree with people saying this is not a super wide lens simply because they put it on a 1.6x crop body. That's a limitation of the body not the lens because once you put 17mm on a 1x factor it is super wide. I use a 1.6x DRebel and I knew from the purchase it wouldn't offer a 17mm view. No big deal though because what other choices does one have for WA? I looked at everything from a Sigma 15mm fisheye to the Tamron and Sigma zoom offerings. No comparison in quality and future compatability. Buy the Canon and consider it money well spent. Everybody with a 1.6x body can grow with this lens because we will soon have 1x budget priced digital bodies and until then we can enjoy the heck out of this lens. What use, other than as a novelty, would a Sigma 15mm fisheye be on a 1.0x? I couldn't find one so I got this lens. I highly recommend 17th Street Photo, great service and price. I don't consider the 16-35 a competitor due to price. Image quality is very close and I can't imagine anyone being able to really tell the difference in a real life situation (unlike most tests which press every lens to their very edge of performance). Enjoy this lens.

Nov 16, 2004
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
514 982092 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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