Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM

I bought this lens used about a year ago. Until today the only photogear I have bought new was the 18-50mm Sigma, back in 2008, a few small extras via Ebay or sometimes the local store and the Fujifilm X100s that I just stumbled upon. So why am I telling you this? well because it may sound like I´m a rich snob when all this lenses with the L attached comes up. Non of the L-lenses wore brand new and I´m always chasing the deal of the lifetime, but back to the 17-40.

Why didn’t I get the 16-35? well the same reason as why I don’t buy brand new… havent found the right deal yet, and frankly I do like the 17-40 so much that I don’t care about it to much. It would sometimes be nice to have the faster 2.8 aperture but most of the time when shooting Landscapes or architecture I go for smaller f-stops and then it does not matter. The 1mm in focal length results in a 93.3 degrees field of view verses the 96.7 that you get from 16mm, for some it might be just that you need but for me it’s just not that important. However if the right deal shows itself infront of me I wouldn’t hesitate the v2.

Hmmmmm… still not getting anywhere with the subject in hand.

Clearly it’s hard to tell anybody which lens is the best, but in my experience you get what you pay for. If you go cheep you will get soft images with not that much detail, low quality materials and with that a short lifespan. So pushing yourself to buy a used L lens rather then going for that brand new kit lens is going to pay you back tenfold when it comes to image quality and feeling. But as I said earlier you can do as I did and buy the “cheaper” L-version if you can live with the one stop slower aperture.

The Size… oh I love the size and weight of this lens. Just perfect for a walk-around. Effectively you have two lenses in this a 17mm for Architecture or landscape…

IMG_1803The tempel Nongwang in Khon Kaen Thailand, is an extraordinary building with to many stairs to count. 9 terraces with incredible views over Khon Kaen and the nearby lake  khaen Nakhon. The Image is as is out of camera just converted in LR from RAW.

The Image also shows how well the lens handles light fall of in corners. To my tast it only gives that nice vignetting.

On the other end at 35-40mm you get a slightly wide portrait-lens preferably fullbody… IMG_1553

Statue of a boxer i Phimai Thailand, It´s not the usual choice for portrait but it shows the possibility of the lens.

Just for reference I added the below crop from the above image to show the slight CA and how well the actual bokah is, I wouldn’t say it delivers any kind of separation from the background at f/4 but it can certainly give you that round soft ball of light.  IMG_1553-2

The build… It’s an L-lens with that all important red ring around the front element. It feels a bit plasticy but its a good feeling. The lens does not extend when changing the focal length.

Now my first and foremost use of this lens and the reason for purchasing it was because of the 17mm Landscape and Architecture… I usually don’t change the focal length at all meaning I could have actually gone for a fixed lens but the only option would have been the 14mm adding about 170grams of weight and removing the slight possibility of me changing the FL on the fly but the heaviest part is price. At approx. 3 times the price of the 17-40mm its a nobrainer for me.

IMG_1325-Redigera This is a rice field nere my wife’s family home in Thailand Kosum Phisai, Thailand. Heavely processed in Lightroom and some help from Perfect Effects.
IMG_1763-Redigera-Redigera Another Image of the Tempel in Khon Kaen. This one has been processed quite a bit as well, both in Lightroom, Perfect Effects and Photoshop.

I hope you have enjoyed this little journey through this lens and I will be adding more to this review in time.

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