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  Reviews by: JS Bedard  

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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jan 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $679.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great sharpness when well used (between f/5.6 until f/11), robust, sealed against dust if used with a front filter, lens size not too big, distortions and aberrations well controlled, price O.K. for this quality, good overall contrat
Too narrow f/4 maximum aperture, which really sucks (but the price is in consequence compared to the 16-35mm f/2.8), badly designed hood

I bought this lens to be used with the cheapie plastic-built Canon Rebel XT. This lens works better to do landscape photography IMHO. Why? Because the aperture is limited to f/4, it limits a lot the possibilities for better works. And you begin to have acceptable sharpness and definition around f/5.6. So this apterture is not acceptable for standard portrait or to make any kind of blurring effect.

Zooms are cool, but the aperture is generally too narrow. I prefer to carry 2-3 prime lens, and be able to take better picture, despite that you need a little more time to change the lens and compose the picture.

I recommend this lens for a general purpose use, but if you need to do more "landscape" than "portrait" photo. The 24-70mm f/2.8 could be a better option, but you lose the 17-24 gap for "wide-angle", which is not acceptable on a cropped-sensor camera. So if you are more serious, the 16-35 is surely a better option, but you pay the price for it (because of the f/2.8 aperture).

I realized that Canon don't do enough lenses for the new cropped cameras, and that's why I will change for a full-frame model. It seems that their new EF-S lens are all dust-sucker models, very plastic with lower optical quality. Better avoid those doubtful 17-85 or 17-55 new models, which are just (let's hope) some Canon bad mistakes.

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