Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens review: Popular high-performance option

By Kevin Carter - Monday January 13 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens performance | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM versus Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM | Conclusion
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens review: Popular high-performance option

Although overshadowed by its more glamorous sibling, as a moderately priced, highly portable ultra-wide zoom, the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is a hugely popular model. Read on to find out how well it performs in our labs.

Introduced in 2003 the EF 17-40 f/4L USM was one of the first of the lightweight pro-level L-series zooms from the firm adopting a constant f4 aperture. Not only does that make the lens relatively small and more portable compared with the f2.8 varients, but it also helps keep it moderately priced. This full-frame lens is also popular with users when mounted on APS-C cameras where it’s the equivalent to a 27-64mm. Like other L-series lenses from the company, the EF 17-40mm f/4L has a high grade optical construction consisting of three aspherical lens elements and even adopts a Super-UD glass element, an expensive glass type usually resevered for more esoteric lenses in the range. The 12-element 9-group construction allows a closer than usual minimum focusing distance of 11.02” (0.28m). It weighes 1.05 lb (475g) and measures 3.81” (96.8mm) in length, and is available now for $839 

 
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon8492217
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM13992214
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM7802115
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM16742014
Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX DG Aspherical HSM Canon3502011
Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM2991914
Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX Aspherical HSM Canon7001911
Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM II Canon14001512
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Canon840148
Best performing wide angle zooms on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (prices quoted are prices at launch)

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens performance

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM versus Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM 

Conclusion