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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
515 993675 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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skibum5
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 16606
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: superb contrast and color, fairly sharp, build quality is as good as it gets
Cons:
only f/4, bulky, not as nice as the tamron 17-50 overall

fantastic contrast
seems to be prone to copies with decentering

slower than the tamron 17-50, less reach too, much more bulky, maybe not quite as sharp either, not worth it with the tamron out there


Oct 13, 2008
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Maliketh
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Registered: Nov 6, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 67
Review Date: Sep 21, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,000.00

 
Pros: Light, tough, versatile, sharp corner to corner above 20mm & f/8 (see review), uses 77mm filters,
Cons:
Flares easily (especially at wide end), not sharp in corners at 17mm, not weather sealed in front,

This is my second review of this product. My first review was based on usage of the 17-40 on a 5D. I now have a 1Ds MkIII and for the most part this lens is still great. My original rating was a 9 and I would probably give it an 8 now. The wide end of this lens leaves a bit to be desired...

Just don't expect the image quality to be all that good in the corners at 17mm - even if you go to f/11 or f/16.

Things change dramatically for the better when you hit about 24mm, where at f/8 it is quite sharp across the whole frame. I've found the best results for landscapes, interiors, etc at about 24mm + f/8 -f/16 with this lens. You can get by at 17mm but don't make it a habit. The corners will look really soft, with lots of CA and other strange color problems too.

Canon don't really make a lens in this range with stellar image quality, so most people are probably tossing up this lens vs the 16-35mm II. Test charts show that the 17-40 is just as good or better than the 16-35 II but with a narrower aperture. The 17-40 is much cheaper, lighter and just as sharp or sharper at comparable focal lengths and apertures as the 16-35 II.

I would recommend this lens to anyone not needing the f/2.8 aperture that the 16-35 delivers but be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the 17-40 and use it in ways that take advantage of those strengths.


Sep 21, 2008
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youcai
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Registered: Jul 17, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 324
Review Date: Sep 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $560.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: L-quality, price, sharpness, contrast
Cons:
Corner sharpness, not really good for portrait

This is a great landscape lens with good sharpness and contrast. I've used it on a XTi and a 5D. It's good on XTi and great on 5D. It's sharper from 20mm -35mm than 17-20mm. But you will not use 17-24 range very often on a full frame. The corner is not as sharp but acceptable. Overall, great lens for only $500-600.

Sep 17, 2008
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Cliffee
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Typical L quality. Solidly built, sharp, colorful and contrasty from wide open. Accurate focus thank to a wonderful USM motor. Lightweight.
Cons:
None

I just picked this pristine copy up used on Craigslist for $470.00. Needless to say I'm very happy. I have had and now selling a Tamron 17-35. When I purchased that Tamron I sampled several lenses at my local camera store and took the sharpest copy. I can now honestly say the Tamron doesn't hold a candle to the 17-40L. When people compare the two they obviously have the Tamron and are wishing they had this.

Aug 29, 2008
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HMZRHS
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Registered: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Brunei
Posts: 62
Review Date: Aug 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp.Sharp.Colour separation good for crowded and close up p
Cons:
NONE

My investment paid off since i just purchase 1DS MKiii.Hook to this camera makes alot different since the previous body was 1D MKii. Now this is all time lens hook to 1DS and my 1D Mkii hook full time with EF135mm L F/2.Strongly recommeded for FF and 1.3 Crop.

Aug 27, 2008
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Brendan Rouse
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Registered: Sep 20, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 194
Review Date: Aug 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, build, colours
Cons:
none

Really nice landscape lens and then doubles as a nice walk around if you have a crop body.
Some may say not quite wide enough but it works for me.
Produces high quality images
Highly recommend



Aug 17, 2008
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mushlix
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Registered: Aug 9, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 44
Review Date: Aug 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00

 
Pros:
Cons:

I just bought this lens today and after a full day of testing the lens I must say I'm impressed. Since I've been pondering the idea of investing in a lens I couldn't really decide between the EF-S 10-22mm and the 17-40mm. I liked the UWA of the 10-22 but wasn't sure if I would use the lens on a daily basis. I'm a big fan of prime lens but I also must say that carrying 3 lens and + in your bag and swapping them all the time to get different shots is a bit annoying.

The 17-40mm delivers a good IQ, sharp, colorful and consistent. On the down side I found that it tend to overexpose the sky in some situation but eh, it's only been one day so I guess I'll get better with it (plus NYC is quite smoggy lately). I've read quite a lot of good and bad reviews on the lens, some saying the IQ at the corner was inacceptable at f4. I must have a good copy since mine gets very little distortion at f4-6 and none over 6, but that's a different story for FF owner which isn't my case. Overall good performance and looks solid.

If you're looking for a good lens and don't wanna break the bank for the 16-35mm this is a good alternative (not as good but...). I do recommend a filter for it (UV or clear, up to you) and if you can afford it get the prime 50mm f1.4 so you're covered for portraits and those low-light shots.


Aug 15, 2008
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ingveld
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Registered: Apr 24, 2008
Location: Iceland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $780.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Low price, super sharp, great focus, short minimal focusing length, ability to use filters in front of lens
Cons:
the smallest aperture is 22 – the perfect lens would have 32 or less :)

No lens is absolutely perfect. For landscapes this one gets as close to it as canon gets. Normally you would prefer primes over a zoom but I keep this one on most of the time while shooting landscapes.

Having said that I find it very obvious that this lens is NOT a portrait lens – for that the aperture is not nearly wide enough. If you are looking for a super wide zoom lens for portrait go for the 16-35 2.8. If not its a waste of money.

Stopped down this lens is shaper than the 16-35 as you can see on the MTF charts.
You can put 77mm filters in front of the lens, which the 12-24 Sigma doesn´t offer.

I use it on a 5d and in the corners I a sometimes amazed by its sharpness. Some photos I have taken with this lens: http://flickr.com/photos/andriel/tags/1740canon/

MTF for sharpness: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=148&modelid=8940


Aug 12, 2008
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graemeak
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Registered: Mar 30, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 313
Review Date: Aug 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price (in comparison with 16-35mm L it's a steal! And the quality isn't bad at all), sharp (even wide open), very fast and accurate focussing, decent zoom range, very good build quality!
Cons:
None really, just that you need a filter to complete the weather sealing (this isn't really a negative)

Where do I begin?

I bought this lens to replace my old walkaround lens (28-105mm f3.5-4.5 II USM). That lens was quite sharp, but not wide enough for my 40D. Then I looked for a wide angle lens. The 18-55mm lenses just didn't attract me... too cheap and nasty, so I tried out a 16-35mm and this lens and after weighing the positives and negatives of each lens I came to the conclusion that the 17-40L was the lens for me.

It is indeed very sharp, from f4! I only stop it down to f9-11 for architectural/street/landscape photographs as my copy is very sharp from f4.

I recommend this lens for someone who doesn't want to bust the wallet and for anyone who wants a wide angle lens with L series build quality. This lens is very well built and the focussing is very fast and upto now it is also very accurate.

What else can I say? At its price it's a no brainer against the 16-35L for me. Yes the 16-35L is a good lens but for me it didn't go far enough at the telephoto end and the image quality didn't seem too superior (on the one I had used anyway).

Just buy it!


Aug 9, 2008
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jjklar
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Registered: Mar 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Absolute perfect for touring especially if you will be mixing landscape situations with indoor situations.
Cons:
A little distortion on the outer edge (hard to see unless you are looking for it)

Just completed a two week trip in Europe. Visited Rome, Monaco, Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris and London. I bought this lens because I was worried about having a walking around lens that I would not have to change out every minute. I also knew that I would be visiting several historical sights that I wanted to be able to get a shot of the outside of the building and most of inside of the building. This lens was an absolute LIFE SAVER ! Used this lens with my 40D.

Aug 5, 2008
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KiboOst
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Registered: Jan 30, 2004
Location: France
Posts: 601
Review Date: Jul 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light n small, build, optical quality
Cons:
Not really, a bit soft in extreme FF corners.

I use it on 1DsII, and it is a damn good lense ! It is small and light but build like an L !
Contrast and colors are just amazing.
Sharpness at f/4 is very good in center, with corners softs.
At f/8, extreme corners (really extreme !!) stay a bit soft, but overall sharpness is just outstanding, it resolve really thin details everywhere ! A bit of distortion but hey, it is 17mm on FF !

I prefered 17-40L to 16-35II due to 77mm filter alone (I don't need f/2.8 at such focal leghts). Definitely a keeper, specially at that price !


Jul 16, 2008
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noricom
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Registered: Mar 25, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 44
Review Date: Jul 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: My alrounder!
Cons:

After my EF14mm another wonderful lens:

http://www.noricom-db.de/blog/index.php?showimage=9

Norbert


Jul 9, 2008
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Joe Hunt
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Registered: May 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 33
Review Date: Jul 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good build, tack sharp if you use it properly and understand how to use a wide angle
Cons:
Price, I think the lens is slightly over priced

When I first bought this lens I was using it incorrectly. My expectations for a lens in this price range were very high. My first images were disapointing and what I thought I was buying was the answer to all my image woes. The mistake that I was making was that I scrutinizing detail at 100% image size...couldn't see the forest for the trees.

I use it for all types of photography, it's a great lens

LINKS

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22910212@N03/2630054459/in/set-72157603737934728

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22910212@N03/2630054495/in/set-72157603737934728

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22910212@N03/2298887383/in/set-72157605560790728

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22910212@N03/2571008185/in/set-72157605560790728


Jul 5, 2008
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halse
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Registered: Oct 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 158
Review Date: Jun 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very good for garden/landscape
Cons:
not so good for isolated subjects

bought off of Craigslist for $500, it is excellent for what I use it for: pictures of the garden to keep a record of how it is doing with most shots at 20-30mm both at around f/8 or above (usually at hyperfocal focus) on a tripod and some at f/4 handheld, color is fine as is the "IQ", pics could be a bit sharper
overall the 17-40 does what I got it for.... have shot some of isolated subjects (flowers, kids..) but the 50mm 1.4 is much better than this is at 40mm for these kinds of pics
had tried out the 16-35 L and while it is a bit better the optical difference, for my purposes, didn't justify the price difference
the consensus review of the 17-40 seems to be that it is a lot of value for the money and I concur with that


Jun 12, 2008
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carlsbadbum
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Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1986
Review Date: Jun 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Best L for the price. Sharp, light wt., compact and the lens doesn't extent when zooming.
Cons:
Hood. I'll have to switch to EW-83J.

For the price of $500, I have no complaint. The only thing I wish Canon to fix is switch out the current hood, otherwise I have to spend $50 for a EW-83J hood. Some may ask for IS, but is it necessary? It's a wide angle, and I don't want to pay more for something I don't use.

Jun 2, 2008
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wrwhite76
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Registered: May 29, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: May 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very clear, One of the best lenses for Landscapes!
Cons:
none

My new favorite Lens for my 5D

May 29, 2008
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
515 993675 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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