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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
505 1003362 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $672.07
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
8.9
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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BRob
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Registered: Jun 25, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 12
Review Date: Jul 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Contrast, colour and sharp.Price
Cons:
The usual stated below, a good lens at the lower end of the L series

Good on my 10D

Jul 20, 2004
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btjohnston
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Registered: May 20, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1083
Review Date: Jul 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, sharpness ...every thing really
Cons:
lens hood.

This is my second L series lens and after buying the 70-200L 2.8 IS USM I thought it would be hard to match the quality of this lens. I'm loving it, the colour, contrast and dof is excellent. There is distortion at the 17mm end but I can live with that.
Brilliant, just brilliant.


Jul 20, 2004
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socratease
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Registered: May 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Jul 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $710.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, price
Cons:
Easily fogged by stray sunlight - use a shade

Really excellent, sharp lens with good color and contrast for a quite reasonable price. Makes my Tokina 19-35 look like an Instamatic by comparison. Not a bad walking-around lens for a 10D.

Jul 19, 2004
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Buck Forester
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Registered: Jul 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 543
Review Date: Jul 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Well, it, uhhh, seems really sharp and when I point it at pretty landscapes and go click click click it brings back images that I like. That's pretty much why I take pictures. I'm so techy.
Cons:
It doesn't taste like chocolate when I lick the lens.

Hi. I just hike and paddle and take photos. Photograhy is just a means and not an end. I'm first an adventurer, then a photographer. I bought this lens for my wilderness adventure schtuff (I wish Canon® would have given it to me for free, but hey). I needed to go wide to get all those big mountains into my scenes, and for something wide enough to fit my nose into self-portraits. This lens is relatively light for backpacking, built tough, and chicks dig it. What else is there in a lens? It will break if you toss it off a 2,000' vertical cliff, so I'd recommend a bungy cord if you throw it off cliffs. If you take a photo of a soft, fuzzy object, this lens will make that object look soft at all apertures. Trust me. If you take photos of tacks and razor blades, this lens will give you sharp looking photos. If you like the 17-40mm perspective, just get the freakin' lens and go point it at pretty stuff and you won't be disappointed, unless you're apt to be disappointed. Then you'll find something to be disappointed over. But if you're hiking and fishing and climbing and kayaking while using this lens, believe me, you won't be disappointed. Even if the fish aren't biting. Just get out there and have fun. This lens is really really really really ridiculously good.

Here's some photos I took with this lens while hiking the John Muir Trail last summer. Well, most of them are with this lens, but not all, some are with my 70-200. But you can tell which is which, if you're good, real good. You know who you are.

http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=334185


<a href="http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=334185">John Muir Trail and the Canon 17-40</a>


Jul 15, 2004
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Fredrick
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Registered: Jun 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 40
Review Date: Jul 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, clean, good build quality
Cons:
None

This is a step-up lens for me; sold off an EF 24-85mm I used extensively, and an EF 100mm macro I didn't use much.

The 17-40mm is MUCH sharper, better contrast than the 24-85, especially wide open. Suprisingly good DOF wide-open, not quite as good closed down, NO chromatic weirdness at either end.

No lens creep, feels good and tight.

Due to an inherited hand-tremor, I can only use the lens handheld in good to bright light, but that's me not the lens. It's pretty much replaced my EF 28-135mm IS as my walk-around lens except in lower light shots. For lower light situations, I continue to use the EF 28-135mm IS.

These two lenses, along with the recent addition of a Sigma 80-400mm OS, pretty much cover the gamut for me at present. (The Sigma heaves below 150, but that's another story.)

Bottom line: good lens.



Jul 8, 2004
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starlite
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Registered: Sep 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 341
Review Date: Jul 3, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: good backup
Cons:
none

My Cannon rep let me try out this lens. It was ok and probably a good buy if money is the main concern. But I'll stay with the 16-35.

Jul 3, 2004
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8bit Barry
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Registered: Jun 27, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jun 27, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Quality glass, dust seals.
Cons:
wads of distortion at both ends.

If you are a digital user having a 27-63mm lens must be a great relief, but for a film user like me the distortion (no crop factor to hide it) was rather excessive in comparison to the 20-35mm f3.5-4.5 lens which I ended up with. With detail and colour rendition being the wow factor of this lens, I have to say that I think that Photoshop has to be the last word and something to remember when choosing any lens. I have had excellent results with the 20-35, better distortion control by far and stopped down it produces pin sharp images. BUT saying all this I think for us UK purchasers, if I could get one of these for £300 (like you lucky US photographers) I would probably be all over it. At £600 it just doesnt cut it for me.

Jun 27, 2004
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Rob Ernsting
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Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jun 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality, weight, dimension, no extending tube when focal length is adjusted, fixed length dimension. Excellent optical characteristics even on f 4 in conjunction with EOS 10D. Large DOF even at f4
Cons:
The size of the hood, I seldom use it.

The sharpness and detail IN definition of this lens are outstanding. The chromatic abberation is minimum in my opinion. I seldom use the hood because of the clumsy size, even in bright sunglight I can get away with no color fringing or chromatic aberation or vignetting in most cases except direct sunlight. But then the hood does not do any good either. I keep my hand aside as protection against the sunlight, it helps.
I use this lens as a standard lens on the 10D and by that have an effective focal length of 27-64 mm. Great for landscapes, cityscapes and even portraits. The images are such sharp that you can crop quite extensively for A4 size print (letter size). Even 'macros' of flowers are no problem in this way.
I have made over 3000 photos with this lens and almost never use the 28-135mm IS USM because of its poor sharpness and contrast compared to 17-40mm lens. I can afford to crop and still get better quality in contrast and sharpness of the same object by using the 17-40 in favor of the 28-135 mm.


Jun 24, 2004
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Sprice
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Registered: Jan 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 45
Review Date: Jun 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness; weight
Cons:
None

Wow! I already own the 24-70mm 2.8L and the 70-200mm IS 2.8L and this lens is amazing even compared to those tough standards. It has an excellent build (much lighter than the 24-70mm) and a nice solid feel. The main thing, of course, is the picture quality and all I can say is "Wow!" I received it last week and took pictures of my daughters and some landscapes in the country. The contrast, sharpness, color rendition are all amazing. Although certainly not cheap compared to other lenses, you can get this one at a bargain basement price compared to other Canon L lenses. And it is most definitely worth it.

I originally bought a Canon camera because I was told the lenses really differentiated Canon from Nikon et. al. Until this year, I had just run-of-the-mill Canon lenses, which were all fine. However, I never really understood all the fuss about Canon lenses, but I chalked it up to being an average weekend warrior photographer. After getting L glass in general and this lens in particular, I now understand how great it is to be a Canon owner.

Like so many things in life, you get what you pay for. And what you get with this lens is an unbelieveable performer and a relatively modest price. Like I said, "Wow!"

P.S. I re-read this review on the web site and I realize it makes me sound like a Canon representative. For the record, the views stated in this email are mine and, sadly, I am receiving no compensation from Canon.


Jun 7, 2004
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jupiter
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Registered: May 17, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding image quality: sharpness, low chromatic aberration, contrast. Great built quality. Very fast and silent Auto-Focus
Cons:
Hood is too big. Distortion in the wide end (not really bad for a wide angle lens).

This is my first canon glass, which I am using on a 10D. It is my only canon lens right now, so I have no point of comparison in the canon line.

I was first impressed with the feel of the lens: very good finish, very comfortable control with two progressive and precise barrels for zooming and autofocus.
The front element moves inside the lens; a screw-in filter is apparently a must-have to procted the inside of the lens (from dust, humidity). The global length of the lens does not change while zooming or focusing.

The hood is also extremely impressive because of its size; however I think its efficiency is doubtful when used for an APS sensor. It seems to be a must have however, since it helps protecting the lens of shocks. I would not mind a smaller hood (this one is hard to fit in a bag).

The image quality is awesome. I cannot compare to any other L or non L canon lens since this one is the first I use among these; however, I can witness the improvement is huge compared to the lenses I previously owned (for instance the minolta 24-105 D I have been using for years is said to be quite a sharp lens but the 17-40 is ways better). I could notice very little chromatic aberration and the contrast is good thoughout the frame. The image quality does not really depend on the aperture that much: the maximum aperture is as good as higher apertures.
The barrel distortion is quite noticeable in the wide end (not so good for architectural shots).
I was nicely surprised to see I could take pictures really close and get some nice close-ups (it works nicely for flowers for instance).

The maximum aperture is a bit limiting in low light (eg for shooting indoors, with poor lighting).

My overall conclusion is that this lens looks outstanding to me; and provides a perfect standard range on a DSLR with APS sensor. I use it mainly for nature (landscape, close-ups) and I think it is excellent in this area.
Highly recommended.


May 30, 2004
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bsoten
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Registered: Jan 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 592
Review Date: May 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $689.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A very affordable "L" lens. I paid $689.95 from B&H. Less with the $40 rebate. Very sharp compared to my 28-135 IS. Very solid construction and heft.
Cons:
None really. It's not a 2.8 but that's another lens and a higher price.

This is the second of the three lenses I feel I must have. I have the 70-200 f/4, and now the 17-40 f/4, and will be getting the 24 or 28-70 2.8 soon.

This lens is very sharp at both ends of its range at f/5.6/6.7/8. I just used in on a fine art nude shoot yesterday and the images are beautiful. Haven't shot with it much below f/5.6 or above f/8 much but I'm sure it's just a sharp.

I actually purchased this lens for weddings. I needed something wider than my 28-135 IS and of course something sharper. I have a another wedding scheduled this Sunday and I'll be using it then. I will post some images in the Wedding Photographer forum next week sometime.

An "L" lense at this level of sharpness on a 10D for less than $700 is too good of a deal to pass up. My local camera store has it for $818, and that's with my discount and tax. I really like this store, but the price difference even with shipping ($30) makes it impossible for me to buy high dollar items there. Online with B&H is the only way for me to go.

I'm very happy with my new 17-40. In fact, it's fair to say that I now LOVE this lens.

BUY IT, USE IT, LOVE IT!


May 27, 2004
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jamesvmarshall
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Registered: Dec 31, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: May 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $525.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great lens; solid manufacturing, decent price, nice angle and weight for my 1D.
Cons:
None really, that hasn't been covered.

What can I say and not be repetitive?
I would recommend this lens to any photographer who needs that extra angle width. For construction, I don't think you can beat it. For price comparison and the 1 stop less vs. the 16-35, hands down a better value.
As a matter of fact a person can put near buy 2 L lenses (17-40 & 70-200 - 4.0) for the price of the 16-35 if they shop wisely.

Images are crisp and under close scrutiny I have found no signs of poor lens character. Hope this helps those who are considering this purchase.

James


May 26, 2004
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chansi
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Registered: Feb 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 144
Review Date: May 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $640.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, cheapest L lens, USM motor
Cons:
Large hood, kind of expensive to get 77mm filter

I have been thinking for a while whether I should get 17-40L or 16-35L. The thing is you won't really need f2.8 most of the time when you are shooting wide angle shot. You want more DOF when you are shoot wide angle. So I don't think it is worth it to pay so much more for just a couple more steps. This lens is really sharp at f4 and it is one of the cheapest L lens you can ever get. Perfect for 1.6x D-SLR and even better if using on a full frame camera. This is my second favorite lens beside my 70-200 f2.8L IS.

May 20, 2004
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adrian-e
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Registered: May 12, 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent build, USM zoom, good range for 1.6x dSLR users (27-64 eq.), fair price, superb image quality ("tack sharp"),
Cons:
Expensive 77mm filters, slight barrel distortion at 17mm, f/4 vs. f/2.8, black finish (absorbs heat), big odd hood.

I got this lense fairly cheap (2nd hand, never used in box) a few days ago. This far, I love it. For the price I can't say I have any real complaints. The barrel distortion may be a bit of a downside for indoors/urban/architectural shots, but at 20mm+ it's not even noticable.

The images are razorsharp and the zoom works excellently fast (yep, great work Canon-engineers!). My minor gripe is that the 77mm filters are rather expensive and the front element is huge.


May 12, 2004
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wkoffel
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Registered: Mar 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: May 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great WA + Normal range for Canon 1.6x digital crop. Solid build quality. Still very sharp wide open. Affordable
Cons:
77mm filters are expensive, zoom ring is too close to the camera body.

I've posted a few test shots comparing this to the EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 Digital Rebel 300D kit lens.
http://www.fountainphoto.com/archives/000020.html

Not a comprehensive review, but gives you a quick glance at the superiority of this lens.


May 11, 2004
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Johnny Bravo
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Registered: May 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8869
Review Date: May 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $705.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp. Did I say that this lens is sharp? It is. Great to have a reasonably wide angle on the 10D (but effective 17mm is still a dream) Great look and feel. Excellent build quality.
Cons:
None noted.

My best indoor or crowds lens. Fast focusing and fast zooming. Very sharp results. A great walk around lens.

May 10, 2004
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
505 1003362 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $672.07
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
8.9
ef17-40_4l_1_


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