Canon EF 17-40 F/4 L Review

posted on 3rd of june, 2008

Hi guys, it' time for me to write another review of mine. This time I'll deal with one of the most famous Canon L-series lens: the 17-40 F/4 L.
Well, L-series lenses are Canon's models of excellence, top quality lenses provided with top quality construction body. When Canon makes a lens of this quality, it carries that catchy red ring on the extremity near the lens that emanates power and self confidence, really =)
What's so special in this lens anyway? Well...
First thing first, the body. It is made in sturdy magnesium alloy, it's waterproof, and the focus and focal rings run so smooth it's a pleasure tu use them. This is also the lightest L lens available, with a weight of only 475 g. Despite of that, it's a rock-solid jewel.
Quality lens: well, here we come to levels of absolute excellence. Though (especially if you're using a Full Frame camera) near the borders you could notice a certain loss of quality and sharpness at 17 mm, at higher focals the image quality is the same through the whole frame. And do I need to say it's SHARP even at full aperture? Even at F/4 you can obtain sharp images, and from F/5,6 on sharpness is stunning. Try a F/8 landscape and tell me... =)
Bokeh, for a lens of this category, is really good.
Another thing to mention is that this lens, as well as the other L lenses, is exceptionally resistant to flares. It means you can shot in backlight without worries. Just make use of the lens hood included within the package. Also, it gives high contrast images and saturated colors even in awful conditions. A GREAT lens, really.
Minimum focus distance is 0,28 m, so it could be useful for portraits too, though that's not it's main purpose.
Speaking of focus, the AF system is lightning fast. Every L lens is provided with a ring ultrasonic motor, that grants VERY fast focus and pratically no noise. A pleasure for your eyes, and for your ears too.
For a L lens, it's not even that much expensive: here, in Italy, it costs about 660 € (it's up to you converting in dollars =)), but maybe in USA it might cost less. So yes, it isn't cheap, but it is worth all the money, believe me.
Is then this lens flawless? Uhm... no =)
I can only make two objections to this lens. First, it's only F/4, so it's not the most luminous lens in this world. Second, it's not IS, and paired with the small maximum aperture it could be a problem. Anyway, it's a wide zoom, and I don't consider these flaws to be so critical.
To summarize...
This is a great lens, and by the time you'll mount it on your Canon DSLR you'll hardly want to use another lens. I LOVE it.
But since a lens, to deserve a full 10/10, should be perfect in ANY aspect (IS, aperture, quality and so on), I rate this lens with a 9 out of 10.
Buy it if you can.
Thanks for reading, goodbye.

Comments (3)

Posted by Valeria73 on July 02, 2008
Very interesting review!!!
Posted by MinervaStudio on June 04, 2008
Thank you Leda =)
Posted by Leda_d on June 04, 2008
nice photos and useful blog!

This article has been read 4458 times. 3 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: MinervaStudio.

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