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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM - Wide Angle Lens Review

written by: arunchs•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/28/2009

This article reviews Canon's EF 17-40mm f/4L USM wide angle zoom lens, covering its features, performance, image quality and the value for money aspects.

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    Features and Specifications

    canon 17 40 lens 

    (Image from Canon Website)

    The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens is known for its sharp output and excellent image quality. Listed below are the features and specifications.

    * A zoom lens with focal length range of 17mm to 40mm.

    * USM Motor for auto focus

    * Minimum focusing distance of 0.28m

    * Speed - f/4.5

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    Image Quality

    Rating Average

    The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM provides a sharp output and excellent image quality. It's large size and adequate weight provides stability when shooting handheld. However, lens flare can be a problem at times, and the lens hood supplied is not very efficient in reducing stray light. There is no significant visible distortion even at wide angle. Below is a sample image shot using the lens, and a 100% crop to demonstrate the image quality.

    test image 

    test image 

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    Rating Average

    Being a light weight, wide angle lens, the 17-40mm is not equipped with IS (image stabilization). At f/4, it is also not a fast lens and is hard to use without a tripod in low light. With the USM Motor, autofocus is silent and instantaneous. A very close minimum focusing distance of 0.28m permits shooting objects from very close.

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    Value for Money

    Rating Average

    Canon's suggested retail price for the lens is $819.99. For this price, the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is good value for your money. It costs only a half of its nearest counterpart (16-35mm f/2.8L) and yet delivers high quality images. The sharpness of the images taken using the lens are on par with more expensive lenses.

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    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.

    For more information on this camera lens, please visit the Canon's product webpage.