Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L

Last updated (10 May’10):
– Review by

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L features Ultra-wide high performance zoom lens offering excellent image quality, Dust-proof and moisture-proof construction, Rear focusing and ring USM for silence and high-speed AF, 2 UD and 3 types of aspherical elements reducing chromatic aberration of magnification and providing -superb image quality, and Non-rotating front element during focus.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Reviews reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and writes;
“The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens is very handy for landscape and other form of wide angle photography. On a digital body with 1.6x crop factor, it has an effective focal length of 27.2mm at the wide end. Hence, though much more expensive, the 17-40mm lens can serve as an option against 28-80mm kit lens for those who need a wide angle alternative. At f/4, it is not a fast lens and requires constant use of tripod for use in serious landscape photography.”
Rating: ★★★★★

CameraLabs reviewed the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L where they rated the lens 83% and wrote:
“So the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L comes Highly Recommended both for full-frame body owners, along with those who have APS-C bodies and are thinking of upgrading to full-frame in the future It may not be as flexible as the EF 24-105mm, but it’s much more exciting and cheaper too. Put it this way, if you’re into wide angle photography with a full-frame body and don’t already have the EF 16-35mm, we’d say it’s a mandatory purchase.” reviewed the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L and wrote:
“The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 USM L showed a very good to excellent performance in the lab as well as during the field tests. The lens exhibited very little vignetting and excellent resolution figures. On the downside the level of distortions could haven been a little better at the wide-angle setting. Typical for most wide-angle zooms chromatic aberrations can be visible but the problem remains comparatively low. The construction quality is next to perfect. All-in-all probably the best standard zoom for APS-C Canon EOS DSLRs at the moment. “
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Luminous Landscape compared the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L & Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L and wrote:
“The new 17-40mm f/4L is a welcome surprise though. At nearly half the price of the faster and slightly wider 16-35mm f/2.8L it provides excellent image quality, surpassing that of the more expensive lens in several areas.If you don’t yet own a super-wide zoom, and don’t absolutely need the extra speed of the 16-35mm, then by comparison the new 17-40mm lens is a real bargain and an excellent lens in its own right.”
Rating: N/A reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and writes;
“The 17-40mm lens image sharpness is exactly the same as its competitors the 16-35mm lens. In-fact I found that for the most part the 17-40mm won out over the 16-35mm, but that was before they came out with version II, so we will see how good the improvements actually were. The only hugely noticeable difference between the Canon 17-40mm and the Canon 16-35mm is that the 16-35mm lets in twice as much light for twice the price. “
Rating: ★★★★★ reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and writes;
“Overall, images taken with Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM are very sharp in the center with some softness at the border. Stopping down to f/5.6 seems to help and images are sharp across all focal lengths with very vivid colors and exceptional contrast. “
Rating: N/A reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and writes;
“This is an exceptionally good lens and deserves it reputation, finding its place in most camera bags of professionals using Canon gear. The slightly warm colours produced by Canon L glass and the good contrast and control of other elements required for a nice lens are all there. The results will not disappoint. With recent improvements in lens design however, at the very top end it is staring to look a little long in the tooth.”
Rating: N/A reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and writes;
“The Canon 17-40mm f/4 L is a high quality lens with a full-frame image circle that showed really exceptional performance on the EOS-20D we used to test it with. Sharpness at maximum aperture is excellent across the board (just a slight decrease in sharpness around 30 mm), and the “sweet spot” for sharpness is unusually broad, with truly excellent results from f/5.6 to f/8 at all focal lengths.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and writes;
“If you shoot wide angle, full frame photographs with Canon cameras stopped down at f/8 and beyond, the EF 17-40mm f/4L lens is an outstanding lens…Performance drop at the long end of the zoom range is unlikely to be objectionable in most landscape photos. Linear distortion is present as expected for a 2.5x zoom. Overall, this is a high performance superwide angle zoom for full-frame Canon cameras as befits the “L-lens” designation. “
rating: N/A reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L and writes:
“Though it’s a pretty expensive lens at $800 and probably not likely to be high on the list for new Canon EOS 300D owners, many EOS 10D owners are buying this lens. It does give you true wide angle coverage (equal to a 27mm lens on a full frame 35mm camera) and being an “L” series lens it’s built to professional standards with high quality optics, a silent USM ring motor, distance scale and comes with a hood. It’s certainly a recommended lens if you can afford it.”
Rating: N/A

The Digital Picture reviews the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L and writes:
“Although not an extremely wide angle lens when mounted on a Canon 1.6x FOVCF body, this is about as good as it gets for wide angle photography. My primarily use for this lens was wide landscape photography. The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM Lens could also make a reasonable walk-around lens if your needs lean toward a wide angle lens – such as when shooting in relatively confined spaces. “
Rating: N/A

User Opinions

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM User Reviews

Amazing wide angle and walk-around lens, even on 1.6 crop factor | Rating: ★★★★★
“I was pleasantly amazed at the quality of pictures I took hand-held at night (shame on me for not using a tripod, I know). This is a great walk-around lens that I used for a recent trip. I didn’t want to take it off, even though I had to for some macro shots. I was tempted a few times to attach my 28-135 IS zoom lens but kept this one on and am really happy with the results. Bottom line: this lens takes SHARP pictures every you go with it. Just get used to not being able to really zoom so much as frame a picture. I plan to use it as my walk-around lens now and when I upgrade to a not-scaled down sensor, it will be a great ultra wide angle.” – by Fima Macheret “FM”

This lens really shines in full frame! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I love the realistic skin tones, high contrast, and amazing color. The wide angle is perfect to get 3 walls in small room shots. I took some shots for a flower arrangement designer of some banquet rooms she did and they came out super sharp and got everything! At 17mm this lens does give a bit of distortion in the corners, but it’s only noticeable if you’re close to a wall, low low ceilings, etc. I am very impressed with this lens.” – by J. Tilson

Competent lens | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This lens does a fine job, but I did notice that when I took picures of builings with words or other features that had good straight-lined contrast, the sharpness was exceptional. However, when I take pictures of nature scenes, it seems that trees, rock formations, etc. look a little soft. Not sure if this is the camera or the lens. I do wish I had a full sensor camera for this particular lens, maybe sometime in the far future. “ – by C. J Prunty “cpurple5”

Good for APS-C Cameras | Rating: ★★★★★
“it is an excellent option for a APS-C size sensor such as Canon 50D and Rebel T1i. On a full frame camera, this lens produce soft corners however, because of the crop effect of APS-C sensor this problem does not show up in the pictures and the lens deliver Pin Sharp pictures from the center to the corner always. As any Canon L series lens, the image is superb with high resolution and wonderful color saturation. The construction is also superb and comes with lens hood as well which is a plus. One also have to consider the prices which is very low for a Canon L lens. I certainly recommend this lens for any APS-C sensor cameras.” – by Marcio Jose Bastos Silva

Great standard lens | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This is the lens I use 90% of the time. Its a great investment. Pictures are sharp and the wide angle zoom suits most needs. The construction s typical L – great. I’ve used this lens on several Canons and have always had positive results. Expensive, but worth it. “ – by Jonathan R. Houck “J Houck”

Must-Have for APS-C Cameras | Rating: ★★★★★
“If you’re shooting an APS-C Canon and you’ve decided that you only want EF full-frame lenses for future use on a full frame camera, the 17-40 is a must-have. The focal range on the cropped sensor is 27 to 64mm which covers a large range for the majority of shots most people are likely to take. I’ve found this lens is perfect for social gatherings and essential for group shots. The size and weight is perfect on the 7D, making this my favorite lens for handling (compared to the 24-70 f2.8L and the 70-200 f4L). The build quality is superb. The focus and zoom rings couldn’t be smoother and AF is fast.” – by P. VANDALEN

I got a gem! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I am very pleased with my recent purchase. I tried one of these a while back and was not all that impressed. Returned it. I can not justify the cost of the 16-35, so I tried again and am so glad I did. This one is super sharp. Possibly more than my 35mm f1:1.4L prime – although to be fair, I usually don’t shoot at f:4.0 with that particular lens. This is prompting me to ship the prime to Canon for adjustment. “ – by I am el Jeffe

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Sample Photos

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Flinders Ranges taken with Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM at f/11
Flinders Ranges@17mm, f/16, ISO 100, Hoya CPL, Tripod

Petronas Tower taken with Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM at f/4
Petronas Tower @40mm, f/4, ISO 200, Tripod

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Sample Photos @
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Sample Photos @
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Sample Photos @
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Sample Photos @
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Sample Photos @


Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM User Manual

– Download Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM User Manual (PDF – 1.2Mb)

Features & Specifications

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Specifications

Broaden your perspective with the Canon EF 17-40mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens. Ideal for both film and digital SLR cameras, the lens offers three aspherical lens elements in addition to a Super UD (ultra-low dispersion) glass element, creating superior optics in all conditions. In addition, the lens focuses as close as 11 inches (0.28mm), and offers both Canon’s full-time manual focus and a powerful ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) that produces fast and silent autofocus. Other features include a constant f/4 maximum aperture, the choice of screw-in 77mm filters or a holder in the rear of the lens for up to three gel filters, and optical coatings optimized for use with digital cameras. Boasting weather-resistant construction similar to other high-end L-series cameras, the lens carries a one-year warranty.

* Focal length: 17-40mm
* Maximum aperture: 1:4
* Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups
* Diagonal angle of view: 104 to 57 degrees (at 30 feet)
* Focus adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM
* Closest focusing distance: 0.9 feet
* Zoom system: Rotating type
* Filter size: 77mm
* Dimensions: 3.3 inches in diameter, 3.8 inches long
* Weight: 1.1 pounds

3 Responses to “Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L”

  1. bagus says:

    beautifull shot

  2. eugene says:

    thanks for the review!nice shot!

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