Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
lens rental
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens (full-frame tests) Gordon Laing, December 2006 / updated July 2007
 
 

Canon EF 17-40mm verdict

The EF 17-40mm f/4.0L is one of the best lenses in Canon’s range. It brings you a taste of the truly exotic with ultra-wide coverage, while boasting ‘L’ quality all at a surprisingly affordable price. Sure it ain’t exactly cheap, but it’s considerably more affordable than the EF 24-105mm f/4.0L and almost half the price of the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L.

The coverage may sound extreme, but as we’ve shown in our Gallery, it can be more practical than you’d think, and if you mostly shoot at wide angle, you’re effectively getting at least four classic prime focal lengths in one convenient package. Coupled with a full-frame body like the EOS 5D, it’s a great performer.




Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L






On the downside, our samples were quite soft in the corners when zoomed-into 40mm and focused at infinity, and the combination of full-frame digital with wide angle means you’ll have to put up with quite significant light fall-off in the corners. There’s also the annoying fact many EOS 5D owners wanting a practical two lens kit could end up with a gap between 40mm and 70mm. If you're after a more practical general purpose lens, check out our EF 24-105mm review.

But you only have to look at the shots in the Gallery to see the unique opportunities open to the EF 17-40mm. It’s a truly exciting lens to use in practice with a full-frame body and a valuable addition to any lens collection. The EF 16-35mm may seem more exotic still with its slightly wider coverage and impressive f2.8 aperture, but the EF 17-40mm is bright enough for most situations and the slightly longer coverage makes it more practical and a lens you could arguably leave on the body for general use – and crucially you’re getting ultra-wide coverage and ‘L’ quality at a relatively low price.

Click here for the Conon EF 17-40mm lens video tour

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 - see our 400D lens upgrade group test. 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.


For an overview of the headline features of this lens, check our Canon EF-S 17-40mm lens video tour.






Good points

Extreme wide angle coverage
Well-corrected at wider focal lengths
Fast and quiet USM focusing motor
An exotic but affordable 'L' lens

Bad points
Zoom range too limited for general purpose
Soft corners at 40mm focused at infinity
Unimpressive macro capabilities
Light fall-off at wide angle (but expected)





Scores

(relative to other zooms)
 

Build quality:
Optical quality:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

22 / 25
22 / 25
19 / 25
20 / 25

83%



If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs