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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
515 995403 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $670.44
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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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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Location: France
Review Date: May 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The image quality is outstanding on my 10D. The photos literally leap off the small preview screen on the back of the camera and boy, do they leap of my monitor at home. This was my first L lense and convinced me to buy the 70-200 and 24-70L's within a month (even though I couldn't really afford them!) This lense stays on my camera most of the time and is plenty wide enough for me on my x1.6 focal factor body. Simply superb!!!
Cons:
None...

The image quality is outstanding on my 10D. The photos literally leap off the small preview screen on the back of the camera and boy, do they leap of my monitor at home. This was my first L lense and convinced me to buy the 70-200 and 24-70L's within a month (even though I couldn't really afford them!) This lense stays on my camera most of the time and is plenty wide enough for me on my x1.6 focal factor body. Simply superb!!!

May 27, 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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Location: United States
Review Date: Apr 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $659.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp; fast and silent focusing; Quality "feel"; Great balance.
Cons:
None

This lens has become my everyday lens. It is well suited for my type of photography, architecture and urban scenes. Great indoor w/flash lens. You get truly wide angle on digital cameras.

Apr 30, 2004
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Cahir Davitt
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Registered: Feb 4, 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 19
Review Date: Apr 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality engineering, superb build quality, smooth control action, colour, clarity, sharpness, good range of focal lengths, fast autofocus.
Cons:
None, other than the ridiculous overpricing of the lens by Canon dealers in my country.

The best lens in my kit, without a doubt. Very useful for architectural shots especially interior ones. Performance from this lens is excellent, producing crystal clear shots, with good clarity and colour, giving an almost "3d type" quality to my shots.

The engineering quality of this lens is the best I've experienced. Nice smooth action on all controls and I particulary like the manual focus option on the autofocus setting. Canon if you're reading this, please put this feature on all your lenses! Dust seals on the mounting, nice touch.

Overall sharpness is amazing compared to my last Sigma wide angle (never again!). Bottom line, you get what you pay for. Make sure you get some form of lens protection, with a UV or skylight filter as the front element is large.

I have just returned from my holidays, where I used this lens much more than my other lenses, taking over 1000 shots with it in a 2 week period. This lens is utterly addictive and will burn a hole in your wallet if you are still using film based equipment !

Price of the lens is ridiculously overpriced in my country, So, I was forced to buy overseas in London where I saved a large amount of money. I would have prefered to buy in the US, where it is even cheaper still, but by the time customs duty is added, it works out more or less the same as here.


Apr 25, 2004
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Tom_W
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Registered: Jan 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5428
Review Date: Apr 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness, color, and clarity. Very good build quality.
Cons:
Flat hood (many recommend using the EW-83D II hood on the Rebel and 10D)

This is my first "L" lens. It is also the first lens I've ever owned that has provided me with that almost indescribable clarity - the images are sometimes almost surreal. I haven't seen that effect since looking at pictures that my Dad took with his rather expensive Lieca.

The zoom range is very useful on the 10D. It works well for anything from landscapes to indoor photography. Architecture works well also, with just a bit of distortion at the wide end. Depending on your photographic desires and situation, this can be used as a walk-around lens.

In short, I am more than happy with this lens - it is excellent.


Apr 23, 2004
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Bambos
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Registered: Mar 5, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 130
Review Date: Apr 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, beautiful color rendition, excellent build quality, Light, a must have.
Cons:
Prices is high in the U.K (like everything else)

Built quality is superb.

Apr 20, 2004
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DrewMorris
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Registered: Dec 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Apr 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $689.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I have had my copy of this fine lens for about two weeks. It is everything I have looked for on a lens. It had very crisp detail, good color and an acceptable focal length range on my 10D. I love it. I also got the EW-83B!! len hood and have it about 98% completed in modification for this lens. I feel that this is an absolute must with the narrower angle of view on the 10D to keep out extraneous light. However, I am very disappointed with the hood to lens fit. It is very loose. The original hood is an excellent fit to the lens. Canon needs to have better quality in their spare parts.
Cons:

I have had my copy of this fine lens for about two weeks. It is everything I have looked for on a lens. It had very crisp detail, good color and an acceptable focal length range on my 10D. I love it. I also got the EW-83B!! len hood and have it about 98% completed in modification for this lens. I feel that this is an absolute must with the narrower angle of view on the 10D to keep out extraneous light. However, I am very disappointed with the hood to lens fit. It is very loose. The original hood is an excellent fit to the lens. Canon needs to have better quality in their spare parts.

Apr 18, 2004
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gregdhumphreys
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Registered: Aug 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Apr 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good contrast, well-built, takes 77mm filters.
Cons:
Considering the price vs. performance, I have no negative comments.

I really like this lens, especially for the price. The lens is well-built and produces sharp pictures with good contrast. I used to own the 16-35 f/2.8L (I do not want to discuss why I no longer own that lens), and the 17-40 is at least as sharp as the 16-35 (perhaps even a bit sharper than the 16-35, but it would be very difficult to tell from a printed picture), but I think my copy of the 17-40 has a little better contrast than my copy of the 16-35. Well, better is a strong word, but the pictures from the 17-40 seem more pleasing to me, maybe because they appear slightly warmer. The performance of both lenses is excellent in my opinion.

So if money were not a factor, which lens would I own? It depends. If I needed a lens for low-light situations, I would consider the 16-35. However, if I used the lens mostly for landscapes (and that is what I use this lens for), then I would spend my money on the 17-40.


Apr 14, 2004
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Location: United States
Review Date: Apr 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $719.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Well built, smooth operation, wide enough and sharp enough. Bargain priced for L glass.
Cons:
Oversized lens hood.

Great range for my 10D. I used to have a Rebel with the kit lens and this is a little wider. It is also much sharper with better color and contrast that the Rebel kit lens. I use it for lanscapes and some portraits as well. It is currently my favorite lens.

Apr 12, 2004
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maljo
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Registered: Mar 1, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 464
Review Date: Apr 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, light, fast focusing, a joy to use
Cons:
none

This is my favorite lens of all time.
When I hike, this lens is on my camera/tripod.
Great zoom range, light, well made.
I don't need a faster lens for landscape photography.


Apr 11, 2004
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 995403 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $670.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
9.0
ef17-40_4l_1_


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