Canon 17-40mm f/4 USM ‘L’ lens review with samples (full frame and APS-C)

Canon ‘L’ lenses have a reputation for extremely high picture quality – but what about older designs? The Canon 17-40mm f/4 ‘L’ is clearly a great ultra wide angle lens for full frame cameras, but what are its shortcomings, and how would it perform on modern full frame and APS-C cameras? Remember, I love Canon ‘L’ lenses just as much as everyone else, but…I have to be completely objective in my reviews. See what you think.

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All pictures and footage taken by me on Canon 6D and 60D cameras.

Be sure to follow my Photostream on Flickr, to see sample pictures of lenses I’ve reviewed and to see previews of upcoming lenses, too!

Music by Kevin Macleod, ‘Opportunity Walks’ (


duabebietyeu says:

love your work, thank you for making videos!

Abhyuday Tewari says:

who’s house it this whose picture is always clicked by you?

steven l says:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L USM review please, it can help me a lot which lens I should buy 17-40 or 16-35mm f/4 🙂 thanks

herald9 says:

I have the opportunity to get this lens for around $550 for my 7D as I’m looking to get a wide-angle lens to compliment my telephoto (tamron 70-300m). should I bite? I also have intentions to buy a full-frame in the distant future.

Emmanuel Nalli says:

Dear Christopher I have both apsc and full frame and currently using canon 10 18 4.5 5.6. I find zoom range of 17 40 quite interesting, do you recommend selling my 10 18 and go for this for my 6 d ?

Abhyuday Tewari says:

what is special/distinctive about ‘L’ lenses?

A Rijkse says:

Dear Christopher frost, i own a canon 70D, and i want the best possible image quality for travel photography at daylight. (no ultra zoom needed), what do you recommend?

Thanks in advance! Adrian

Jose Rios Obreque says:

hi, can you do a review from Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 AT X please??? i’m been thinking in buy one, but first i want to know more about the quality and sharpness, i saw a few videos on youtube, but nothing better than your reviews, greetings!!

mrnomore says:

Hi Chris. I wonder one thing…was the corner softness in all 4 corners?

Krans says:

should I buy 70-200 f/4 L or 17-40mm F/4 for landscapes/portrait use ?

Antonio Rivera says:

Thanks for the review Christopher. One large camera store has a sale that includes this lens and the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens for $899! I will probably get it. All the best! Maranatha!

Vladimir Brozik says:

I would like to see your review of EF 16-35 f4L IS USM on full frame if possible 🙂

Obaid Hofiani says:

I love your reviews man! Very helpful!

Pavol Pav says:

very good but that price 🙂

Metal FilL says:

why the image is shaking ?

hi hi says:

Hi are there any issues if I buy this lense for a camera which is not full frame?

Robbe Gils says:

Hi Chris!
Do you know how this lens performs on a 7D mark II?

Dwhphotography says:

You have great informative videos but that background piano music is bloody awful and distracting

Christian Leonardi says:

hello chris, better Canon 17-40mm f/4 L or Canon 24-70mm F/4 IS USM L? thanks!

RedGear Films says:

Will this work on my GH4 with my MB speedbooster?

人外 says:

Might be a stupid question, but I have a 70D and plan on buying this Lens, will it still be a wide angle even though my camera isn’t a full frame? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

davin phelps says:

Thank you for all your reviews Christopher, they have been very helpful! Im currently trying to decide between this lens and the TAMRON 17-50MM F/2.8 VC. I shoot with 2 canon 7D cameras, which have APS-C sensors. Based on this review I am thinking I will go with the Tamron lens because of my APS-C sensor and because I can get the Tamron for $300 cheaper than the Canon 17-40mm f/4. Would you agree the Tamron is the correct choice for my 7D cameras? Thanks again for your help!

James Bell says:

16-35 F4 please 🙂

Eco Habitat says:

I always enjoy your videos. Great advise when it comes to making desitions on what lenses to buy according to personal needs and budget.
Thanks for sharing.

Rob Level says:

Great review man. Thank you 🙂

Rafael Bruno says:

Boo doesn’t have IS image stabilization! Video is so shaky!!

CalyptusCity says:

Hey Cristhopher, thx for your video. Can you make a video comparison between this lens and the ef 24-70 f/4? or with one you think is better?. Thank you so much.

Youssef Higgins. says:

Would you suggest to take photos, as wide as possible and then crop them in for the sharpest results and to avoid those blurry edges.

Khatija Barday Wood says:

I have purchased a canon77d and have this lens Which wide angle lens would you recommend to replace my 17-40mm lens

Bethan Jones says:

Hi Christopher, great vidoes. What lens would you recomend form my 7dmk2…Canon 17-40F4L or the Canon EFS 17-55mm IS F2.8? many thanks.

Gregor says:

I’ve searched for a lens suited for travelling and landscape photography on an aps-c camera. Later I found this one used for 350€, should I invest in a l-series lens or should I rather buy the samyang 14mm f2.8 instead?

Akiss Paraskevopoulos says:

How does it compare to 16-35 f4 IS?

Zenza says:

hello chris, I think it would be very interesting review for sony a7 shooters if you compare some budget – affordable UWA zooms such as Canon 17-40 and Tamron 17-35… The only UWA zoom is so far fe 16-35 which is very expensive for so many….

Jesse H says:

Best reviews around. Glad I saw this because I was not impressed with this lens in this review.

Jo Perez says:

I go to Digitalrev for a bit of laugh. I go here because I want actual information. Thanks!

MaT Cecchetti says:

what lens u think is better? 17-40 or 24-70 f4 ? just need to buy a lens of those 2

Monstermayank says:

Nice review, how is it compared to Tokina 16-28 f2.8 ?

YellowDieselGolf says:

I just bought one of these tonight.
For my 60D.

I was shopping for a 16-35, but the 17-40 seemed like a good buy. Should have watched this review first! 🙂

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