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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
509 1029977 Nov 19, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $672.17
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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stephenmak
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Registered: Feb 16, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jun 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap for an L, Wide, Weather Sealed (it's an L), Rugged (it's an L), Good Mechanical Action (it's an L)
Cons:
Expensive for a lens (it's an L), Distortion, S L O W.....

I have to give this lens that I've had for around two years an okay review. I liked it on my 10D, didn't like it much on a 5D, and actually rather like it on a 1D (my current rig). On the 5D FF, it's just, well, too darn wide. Distortion was strange, and shots taken on a 5D at 17mm just seemed to be wide, for the sake of being wide. The barrel distortion on the 5D was problematic, nothing that can't be fixed with software, but still, it's a lens that shouldn't distort.

On a 1D, the crop take the wide distortion out, but (obviously) the barrel distortion remains.

On the positive side, on any Canon camera, it's a pretty flexible zoom for landscape, architectural photography, going from super wide on a 5D, to medium wide on a 10D or similar 1.6x crop camera.

On the 1.3 crop, it seems to have found, at least for me, a pretty sweet spot. The wide distortion is gone, it's now a 22.1mm on a 1D, as opposed to a 27.2mm on a 10D, where it really wasn't quite wide enough (especially for the price).

I'm not so sure if a barrel distorting lens should be commanding an L moniker, but given the crop of lenses available at this focal length, it's not a bad lens, especially given it's current structure and regime of rebates.


Jun 3, 2009
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Gaspar Avila
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Registered: Sep 6, 2006
Location: Portugal
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good in every way, when used with a full frame
Cons:
None

Excellent image quality and build quality. Affordable. Excellent for landscapes.
I've been using mine on a Canon 5D (MkI) for almost 2 years, and I have no intention of selling it or trade it for anything else.
Corners can be a bit soft when used at 17mm and f/4, but I forgive her Smile


May 17, 2009
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anthonygh
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1880
Review Date: Apr 21, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: All the things already mentioned...
Cons:
None...it does what it supposed to do...very well..

This is my second review of this lens, which I have used for a couple of years now.

I use it for landscape on a FF 35MM 1V (exclusively B+W) and on a 40D. In both cases the images are excellent although the B+W images seem to have far more impact when printed...but this might be to due with using film as well as the wider viewing angle.

I mostly use this lens in a small studio environment on a 40D and it works really well...being a crop camera it is the equivalent of about 24 - 60mm...which nicely covers head shots to full length. I have a longer zoom which gives a better perspective on headshots, but this lens gives very acceptable results in my limited space.

It is really hard to fault this lens. Some people argue it's not 2.8...but then it never claimed to be...and in my experience (which included weddings etc ) the f4 max is fine..no focussing issues, and sharp images. Lovely colours as well.


Apr 21, 2009
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Norwin Uy
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Registered: Jul 8, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 364
Review Date: Apr 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great contrast and colors
Cons:
vignette on FF, softness in the corners

Wonderful lens to have in your arsenal. I've shot this on a 30D and a 5D. Images were slightly better on the 30D as this lens shines in its center sharpness. But the perspective this lens gives on full frame is spectacular. Vignetting is bad at f/4 but is almost non-existent at f/8. Highly recommended ultra-wide for full frame. Crop shooters might want to have a look at the 17-55mm

Apr 4, 2009
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Perdu
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Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1683
Review Date: Apr 4, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Color, contrast, sharpness stopped down, build quality.
Cons:

This is my walk around lens on my 30D - I bought it before the 17-55 being available. I am always blown away when I see the prints from using this lens. Although a little soft until stopped down the images have a quality about them that makes the image jump out at you. Prior to this I had a Sigma 17-35mm and the 17-40 blows it away. Shooting inside with flash it is equally impressive. Mine is better at the 40mm end. Well worth the money in my opinion.

Also, it's very well built. I dropped mine out of the back of my truck onto the garage floor. The filter broke but the lens survived and works just as well as before the drop. Amazing. You don't need to baby this one.


Apr 4, 2009
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Jman13
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 13365
Review Date: Apr 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, great color, wonderful build and handling, light weight, good focal range.
Cons:
Extreme corners are a bit soft on full frame.

For the price, it's hard to get much better. I originally bought this for my 1D, but then I got a 1Ds II, so it's getting even more use on that body. The lens is wonderfully sharp over 98% of the frame, with only the very extreme corners staying a bit soft. For my uses, it's never been an issue. Color and contrast are wonderful, and the lens is great at any aperture. Build quality is typical Canon L...very nicely built, with good tolerances. One nice thing is that even with the robust build, the lens is very lightweight. I'm still amazed at how light this lens is.

For the money, I don't think you can beat this lens. The 16-35 f/2.8L II might be a little better in the corners, and it's a stop faster, but you pay a hefty premium for those things. I am more than pleased with the 17-40L on my 1Ds II. It's a great lens!


Apr 4, 2009
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retrofocus
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Registered: Apr 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 6920
Review Date: Mar 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality and sharpness, weight, price, overall performance
Cons:
Chromatic aberrations at 17 mm (can be fully removed with DPP and aberration correction tool)

I bought this lens to be used in combination with my 5D MkII as super-wide lens, mostly to be used at 17 mm. F4 was not an issue for me since I mostly use this lens stopped down to f8-f16. Even indoor photography is not a problem since the 5D MkII can be used with a fairly high ISO-number to compensate easily for the one-stop advantage of the 16-35 f2.8 lens.

I decided to go for this 17-40 lens instead of the 16-35 mostly because of three factors:
+ much more reasonable price tag for the 17-40
+ the 17-40 lens has a filter diameter size of 77 mm which allows me to use my slim B+W 77 mm circ. polarizer
+ better border sharpness of the 17-40

The lens performs extremely well, especially to mention at the 17 mm end on full-frame. Border distortions are minimal. Very sharp in the center and at the borders. The sharpness only decreases a bit in the corners at 17 mm when the picture is not corrected yet for distortions with some software (even when stopped down).

When you enlarge the photo to 100% and check the borders, you will notice some blueish/purple chromatic aberrations (e.g. visible around tree branches in the corners). This can be easily and perfectly corrected with the Canon DPP software tool (lens aberration correction).

The AF works very fast and reliable with this lens, too.



Mar 1, 2009
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halse
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Registered: Oct 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 186
Review Date: Feb 25, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: 5D2 + 17-40 a lot better than 20D + 17-40
Cons:

originally used this with a 20D mostly for garden/landscape photos and rated it a nine in a prior review
now use it with a 5D2 and the 17-40 is just all around a lot better on the 5D2: color, contrast and IQ; have even used it for a few portraits; no other lens showed as much improvement/change between the 20D and 5D2 (and the changes are not focus related)


Feb 25, 2009
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Chococat
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Registered: Nov 26, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 171
Review Date: Jan 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, versatile, and in general a good value lens.
Cons:
At 17mm there can be a certain amount of distortion especially at the edges.

This lens seems to have some detractors; this review in particular comes to mind: http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/1740.html . From my experience, the criticisms are unfair. You should first of all realize what you are buying--this is not a race horse of a lens, but a versatile, sharp, all-in-all good-performing lens that functions best when stopped down. If you need a fast lens, and you want to shoot wide open, this lens will be unsatisfactory. Stopped down, however, I have always found it to be very solid. I have owned several L series Canon lenses, and frankly I have found most of them to be over-hyped and over-priced, and I have sold of the bulk of them. This lens is a keeper for me, however. It fits the way I shoot, and it has always produced well for me, and it cost only half the price of some L lenses which were a major dissapointment. Frankly, I find that stopped down (and I am talking about between f8 and f16) my copy of this lens outperforms Canon's wide angle primes. In fact, I dumped my 24L and kept this lens--stopped down, I found this lens to be sharper in the corners, and without the annoying fringing of the 24L. The 17-40L is a quality product, and the best bargain among Canon's L lenses--but like I said, realize what you are buying. If you really want a fast lens (24L, or 16-35L) to fit your shooting style, and you buy this lens instead due to the more affordable price, you will not be satisfied. In such a case, you would be much better off to wait until you can afford the more expensive lens. But if this is a lens that can meet your needs, I am sure you will be as satisfied with it as I have been.

Jan 24, 2009
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stargazer78
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Registered: Jan 18, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 385
Review Date: Jan 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $625.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness, color, and contrast; Very good build quality; Zoom range is versatile; Excellent lens for such a relatively low price;
Cons:
Optical distortion is noticeable at the wide end;

[reviewed on an EOS 5D Mark II]

Negatives:

-- Chromatic aberration is noticeable at the wide end
-- Barrel distortion is noticeable between 17mm to 20mm
-- Ugly looking hood



Positives:

-- Very sharp in the center at all focal lengths, all apertures
-- Very sharp edges at the longer end, at all apertures
-- Sharp edges at the wider end, when stopped down
-- Excellent build quality
-- The smallest and lightest of all "L' zoom lenses
-- Superb color and contrast
-- Quick and reliable autofocus
-- Versatile range goes from Ultra Wide to Normal Field of View
-- Arguably the best lens for the money, regardless of brand


Jan 20, 2009
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Gary Lee 44
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Registered: Jan 1, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 7077
Review Date: Jan 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $670.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp-light weight-not expensive-Great for wide shots-build quality is vey good
Cons:
none

I have had this lens for two years and have never be dissappointed with the results. When I have had less than good results, it has been the guy behind the camera not the lens. It seems better stopped down one stop. I have used it for landscapes and indoor shots and have always been pleased. Great lens! BUY IT!

Jan 18, 2009
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minhnestrone
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Registered: Jan 26, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 122
Review Date: Jan 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp. Light Weight. Beautiful looks and construction. A must-have for landscape photographers. Very well priced.
Cons:
None.

This lens is sharp, light, relatively inexpensive and well constructed. I use to think the down side to this lens was it's constant F/4. But through the forums I've learned that the F/4 lens are lighter, cheaper and sharper than the F/2.8 counterparts.

The 16-35 F/2.8 might seem tempting for low-light needs but the price and (from what I heard) IQ might not be worth the dough at almost 1400 USD. That's double the cost of this lens. Since most of my Wide Angle usage is for outdoor the f/2.8 is unnecessary.

When I first used this lens I thought it was the biggest, heaviest lens ever. But now I know better, its the smallest, lightest L I own. haha.

I don't think you'll be disappointed by this lens and if you decide to sell, it retains its value well.


Jan 13, 2009
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HMZRHS
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Registered: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Brunei
Posts: 62
Review Date: Jan 8, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Good for FF body,outdoor photography landscape,events
Cons:
none it's an L lens

This is my second review.So far i'm happy with this since i just hook it up to 1Ds MKIII,Satisfaction

samples;

http://dastar.shutterchance.com/photoblog/The_Supporter_/
(indoor with 580EXII)

http://suprasonic.aminus3.com/
(outdoor sligh adjustment on colour temperature)


Jan 8, 2009
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EdStanley
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Registered: Dec 25, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Dec 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $545.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cost, image quality, build quality.
Cons:
None

I used this lens on my Canon 20D and now use it on my 50D (both 1.6 crop bodies) as my walk around lens. It is just a tad soft at f4, but is razor sharp when stopped down. Some complain about the lack of wide aperature or IS. Adding these features would add to the cost of the lens. As it is, the price point is good. The color saturation is excellent. I have used this lens for everything from product photography to shooting on vacation.

Dec 25, 2008
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Abdullah M
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Registered: Jul 10, 2008
Location: Saudi Arabia
Posts: 64
Review Date: Dec 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $720.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, L quality, Good zoom range for 1.6x body.
Cons:
F4 needs high ISO in low light.

I think its best all around lens for 1.6x bodies like my 350D, with zoom range 27-64mm.

Its L lens with great image quality, with fast USM and acceptable price.

Indeed, the lack of fast aperture and IS reduce the capabilities of this lens.


Dec 23, 2008
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Alanu
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Registered: Mar 8, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 644
Review Date: Dec 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Very sharp wideopen @ f/4, excellent colour and contrast, fast USM, L quality at a reasonable price.
Cons:
none

The purpose of this lens in my gear lineup is for UWA for my 5D and walkaround for my XTI. F/4 is not an issue since I tend to use flash majority of the time and for UWA it would be used for well lit outdoor photography (ie, car shows, landscape). I could not justify spending double $$ for a 16-35mkII since my application I would not use f/2.8-3.5 for UWA. If I'm in a bind I'll bump up the ISO.

If you have a crop sensor APS-C body the Tamron 17-50, Sigma 18-50EX and Canon's 17-55IS may provide you more "pop" to your images due to f/2.8.

The 17-40L on the 5D has significant barrel distortion from 17-2xmm so this lens has a specific application for the FF body. It is a fun lens when taking indoor photos of my little one. When used with my crop camera (XTI) the lens is a pleasure to use. On both of my camera bodies I am very impressed with the wideopen capabilities of the 17-40L.

If your on the fence between the 16-35mkII and the 17-40L it will depend on your style. For my application the 17-40L is perfect for my needs and the price is nice on the wallet. My 24-70L is my typical walk around for my 5D so the 17-40L will be the least used. If you require f/2.8 look no further and buy the 16-35L.










Dec 14, 2008
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
509 1029977 Nov 19, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $672.17
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.49
8.87
8.9
ef17-40_4l_1_


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