Ordinary Light Photographs

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

Updated Mar 19, 2009

Canon's 17-40mm f/4 L is a wide angle zoom lens. I use mine most often for landscape and travel photography and find it well suited for these types of work. I'm continually impressed by the sharpness, contrast, and color of photographs taken with this lens.

Canon's USM gives the lens lightning quick focus and allows for full time manual focusing. The 17-40mm f/4 L is parfocal - meaning that the lens focus does not change while zooming. I find that when focusing for wider shots zooming to 40mm to lock focus then zooming back out to compose and shoot results in more acurate focus then attempting to autofocus at 17mm.

When used on a 1.6 crop factor DSLR such as the EOS 10D, 20D or Digital Rebel, the 17-40mm f/4 L has a field of view similar to that of a 28-70mm lens on a 35mm film body. This makes it useful for capturing a fairly wide range of photographic subjects and as such it is one of my most frequently used lenses.

Using the 17-40 on a 35mm film body for Digital SLR with a full frame sensor gives you a versatile wide angle lens. The view at 17mm is impressive and I often find it a challenge to make pleasing compositions with such a wide lens. Still, there are many times when having a lens that can "take it all in" is invaluable.

If you're looking for a high quality wide angle zoom for outdoor shooting, it's hard to beat the 17-40mm f/4 L. If you need f/2.8 in a wide zoom then you want the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L, which is about twice the price of the 17-40mm f/4 L.

Find more Canon 17-40mm f/4 L lens reviews at Canon-Reviews.com.