I was looking at Gordon's review of this lens 'cos I knew my school had one somewhere for the media club to pair with 400Ds.
While getting it with its drawstring pouch before heading off to the 'event', it didn't seem too big or heavy (this was a while ago so apologies if I remember wrongly).
There, it was removed from the pouch and had the petal hood placed on. I think it looks great with and without the hood. Maybe the existence of a red ring made all the difference
As one of the two L lenses I have used (i will write about the other one later on), I am quite impressed with the build quality, as Gordon mentions in his what-to-expect list of characteristics from L lenses. Of metal construction with that 'pattern' on it(not 100% smooth), it does feel sturdy.
However, practically speaking, the 'feel' isn't too important. But the metal build does let it survive knocks and maybe even drops better.
Focal length wise, I was expecting to see an image through the viewfinder that would be wide enough to blow me away but I fully understand that was silly of me as I already know that 1mm does not make much difference, as Gordon as shown in his review of the lens with the 400D.
The USM is truly very fast, and while zooming or focusing the lens does not extend physically. In Gordon's video review (which I'll link at the bottom, because I refer to it a lot in this report of my own), you can see that it only extends within its lens barrel.
For the focus and zoom rings, I find the focus ring far too big. As its a wide angle lens, by right it normally only needs infinity focus. I keep turning the focus ring accidentally when I want to turn the smaller zoom ring. Need to get used to this.
As this is not a true review, I will not go into deeper detail.
Verdict: Will be a great lens for 5D users, I think. Not recommended for cropped sensor camera users unless you want only high-end stuff. Combined with a Speedlite, this makes a great basic event combination. Weight and size are also acceptable.
Next report: Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L USM
Gordon's review of the 17-40mm L with the 400D
Gordon's review of the 17-40mm L with the 5D