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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
508 996663 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $671.61
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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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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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: 5468
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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maljo
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Registered: Mar 1, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 467
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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Finn Magne
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Registered: Mar 14, 2004
Location: Norway
Posts: 4
Review Date: Apr 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Possible to use pola filter on 17mm without vignetting. Good results with cheaper Canon cameras with 1,6x crop factor (EOS20 and EOS 300).
Cons:
Strong barrel distortion on 17mm. When used on the EOS 1Ds camera: Some Cromatic Aberations, soft in the corners and big problems with dark corners on the new 1Ds mk.2 camera: On 17mm about 4 f-stops loss on f4!!!

Better sharpness and contrast than my previous zoom: the Canon EF 17-35/2,8L lens, but still not good enough. The new lens has much more distortion in the wide area: Strong barrel distortion on 17mm, almost none between 20 and 24mm, and then some distortion from 28mm to 40mm.
Because of the lower price I think this lens is a better buy than the EF 16-35/2,8L. If you want good results on a super wide angle zoom you never use f2,8 or f4 after all...

Update: I have now sold this zoom and bought the EF 24-70/2,8L instead. The reasons? The 24-70 have a much more effective hood (important when using on sunny days) and gives sharper pictures together with my EOS 1Ds camera.

In spring 2005 I need to buy a lens with wider angle than my new EF 24-70/2,8L. But I hesitate to do it because I find the quality of the EF 16-35/2,8L or the 17-40/4L not quite good enough on the EOS 1Ds.

An alternative would be a fixed lens. But strangely enough Canon has no wide fixed focal lens of good quality either! The EF 14/2,8L is an old construction from the mid 1980s (actually it was constructed as a FD lens in the 1970s...) and is no good combination with the new digital cameras. (The EF 20/2,8 is no alternative, it is not wide enough).
I feel that the Canon engineers have some work to do here! For my own use quality is more important than wide zoom area. HEY CANON, PLEASE TRY TO CONSTRUCT A HIGH QUALITY EF 17/2,8L FIXED LENS OR A EF 14-24/2,8L ZOOM FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WITH THE EOS 1Ds AND 1D mk.2 CAMERAS!!!! Like it is today wideangle buffs are better suited with the EOS20 - EF 12-24mm combination or even better: buying Nikon....

Finn Magne Grande
www.artfoto.no


Apr 8, 2004
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mhoo
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Registered: Mar 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Mar 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Really sharp, lightweight
Cons:
Not quite fast enough

Good price for L series lens if you can live with the f/4. I've enjoyed using this as my primary lens on my 10D for the last couple of months.

Mar 31, 2004
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jimmythefish
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Registered: Sep 27, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 5
Review Date: Mar 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $690.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, image quality, silent USM.
Cons:
Front element moves in and out when zooming, so a UV filter must be used to seal the front.

I ordered this lens after finding that my kit (28 2.8, 50 1.4, 28-105 3.5-4.5 and 70-200 4L) didn't have anything wide enough for my 10D. I love my 70-200 and was therefore expecting similar performance from this lens.

Well, it's better than I expected. Images have the same look as the 70-200 - slightly warm, excellent contrast and sharp sharp sharp. I find it amazing that Canon can get this performance out of such an extreme design.

If (when really) I eventually get a 1.3x or full-fame camera I expect that the true beauty of this lens will show itself, but for now I'm satisfied with its exceptional performance and I'm now really considering selling my 28 2.8 and even my 28-105. When I go to paid shoots it's going to be this and the 70-200 in a pocket and I'll be covered. This, the 50 1.4 and the 70-200 is really all you need with a 10D for professional coverage and image quality.

A joy to use in every way, really. If you have a 10D just get it. Don't think about it any more, just get it.


Mar 31, 2004
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junbug
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Registered: Apr 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Mar 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: same as the rest of the people say.
Cons:
big HOOD which looks like sunflower. you'll get much attention in public places with it... indeed, it's oversized for 10D because of the crop factor. also, it's hard to put the camera on flat surface with the hood. camera sits perfectly level w/o the hood though. I use EW-83D II instead.


... stop reading this and just go get one.



Mar 30, 2004
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glideslope
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Registered: Mar 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 785
Review Date: Mar 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Sharp. Build Quality. Versatility.
Cons:
None IMO.


This stays on my 10D most of the time. Superb value.

Life is good.



Mar 27, 2004
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craiu
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Registered: Jan 1, 2003
Location: Romania
Posts: 5
Review Date: Mar 22, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty and very solid build.
Cons:
None, except price.

Before testing the lens, I was afraid the results will not be sharp given that almost every other wide angle I've seen was somehow soft. Surprisingly, the 17-40 delivers excellent images, both very sharp and contrasty. Colors are excellent and for this weight, you may carry it just about everywhere with your 10D, they seem to have been made one for each other.
Put side by side with the competition (eg. 17-35) I especially like the 77mm filter thread and fast USM autofocus, which I'd rate about 5 times faster than the Sigma 17-35. (yes, I've had that one as well, went to 17-40 for an upgrade)
Bottom line, after using it for about one week I've become hooked to it, will probably never travel or go shooting without having the 17-40 in the bag.

Superb quality, no doubt worth the 'L' in the name.


Mar 22, 2004
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hahiran
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Registered: Nov 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 328
Review Date: Mar 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $675.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, beautiful color rendition, excellent build quality.
Cons:
Would like to have the extra stop for indoor shooting, but like others, do not want to spend another $600 for one stop. Cheap bag provided by Canon...why bother?

This lens is a beautiful thing. From the moment I took some test photos in the camera shop I was hooked, and then it only took three months to decide on parting with all that money. I'm shooting with the Digital Rebel, and so I can't comment on edge-to-edge sharpness for full-frame, but edge-to-edge with the Rebel is near perfect and comparable to my 70-200 f4L. I shot with a friend's 16-35 L, and I can see little or no difference in the quality between the two, plus her lens is significantly heavier (and takes a heavy toll on the finances). There is absolutely no comparison between the Rebel's 18-55mm kit lens and this one, so all I will say is that it only took one test shot with the 50mm 1.8 to convince me to get rid of it for good. Dittos on almost everything that's been said by others in the forum.

Although relatively inexpensive for L glass, it's still a big chunk of change for someone not earning their living with photography. The only alternative for me was the Sigma 15-30mm, but every time I saw a used one for sale, the reason they were selling the lens was to get the 17-40mm. Big hint. For $200 more I will never second-guess my buying decision and I am guaranteed to get my money's worth--also, I know it will work with next generation Canon bodies without having the lens rechipped. Those with error 99 messages understand that last statement.





Mar 21, 2004
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
508 996663 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $671.61
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
8.9
ef17-40_4l_1_


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