Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 USM L (full format) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Ok, finally here're some sample shots taken with the EOS 5D II (RAWs converted via CaptureOne).

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

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Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 25.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 39.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/125s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 25.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/400s

Verdict

It's not exactly easy to design a flawless full format lens and the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 USM L shows its part of the struggles here. The lens is not overly fast but it has a comparatively broad range for a lens in this class and it seems as if Canon has overstretched things a little with respect to the 17mm setting. The lens is able to deliver a very high resolution for most of the image field but the corner performance is poor thus spoiling the game here - this is like cappuccino without the cream for a ultra-wide lens where corner to corner sharpness is simply more critical than for a tele lens for instance. High vignetting and heavy distortions on top don't make things any better here. However, these rather critical comments apply to the 17mm setting only and from 20mm onwards it's actually a good to very good lens without any major weakness. The mechanical quality is on an exceptionally high level as is the AF performance. If you're aware of its limitations it's still a desirable lens especially considering its very fair pricing.

Optical Quality: (just)    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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