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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 27 Sep 2015 (Sunday) 16:32
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EF 16-35 F4/L or EF 17-40 F4/L for occasional amateur?

 
tomstephens89
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Sep 27, 2015 16:32 |  #1

Hi guys, I'm new on this forum and the question in the title is bothering me.

I am a keen amateur photographer, but due to work commitments don't get out with the camera as much as id like to. I am on my 3rd DSLR, started with a 450D, then got a 7D 18 months ago, and now have just taken my first steps into full frame with the 5D Mark III.

I am currently using the kit 24-105 L which I love, its also what I used with the 7D. However I want something wider since landscape photography is my favourite kind.

So I am at a crossroads.... For someone who isn't professional at all, is the 16-35 F4 really worth the extra £300 on the used market over the 17-40? Reviews are mixed for the 17-40 but most bring up an issue with corner sharpness and extreme barrel distortion at the wide end and wide open... I am sure these are picked up on reviews because its an extreme test thats looking for those issues? I would assume that in general use, if these issues are obvious, they can be corrected in lightroom with the lens profile?

Or... is the 16-35 F4 really that much better?

I can afford either of them, but is the 16-35 F4 worth nearly double the cost?

Tom


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welshwizard1971
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Sep 27, 2015 16:37 |  #2

Yes, I've got the 17-40, sharpness hasn't been that bad in the corners, but the distortion has been horrible at times, even with lens correction software, I can't even use it for things like street photography as it's that obvious, not an issue for the 16-35, so, I'm saving for a new lens, again....


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tomstephens89
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Sep 27, 2015 16:51 |  #3

welshwizard1971 wrote in post #17723866 (external link)
Yes, I've got the 17-40, sharpness hasn't been that bad in the corners, but the distortion has been horrible at times, even with lens correction software, I can't even use it for things like street photography as it's that obvious, not an issue for the 16-35, so, I'm saving for a new lens, again....

Thanks for your opinion :-)

Since I will want to use the wide lens for some indoor / urban type photography the distortion also sounds like it will be an issue for me. That 16-36 F4 is looking more and more to be the way to go.


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welshwizard1971
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Sep 27, 2015 16:53 |  #4

My pleasure, if you are going to be doing urban, then from my experience of doing urban, it's a no brainer, buy the 16-35 :-)


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davesrose
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Sep 27, 2015 17:11 as a reply to  @ tomstephens89's post |  #5

At this point, only reason to consider 17-40 is if you can't afford the 16-35. If you're looking for justification for the price, I think the 16-35 is a great value for being a new L glass (it's got top notch optics and is one of the best uwa zooms). My other L lenses are more expensive, and I'm more a hobbiest as well.


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tomstephens89
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Sep 27, 2015 17:14 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #6

Thanks for the advice.

So it seems like the 16-35 F4 really is a different class and should be considered good value by its own right instead of being compared to the cheaper 17-40?

What about the 16-35 2.8? I can never see myself using an UWA wide open since I'm going to want to stop down for a bigger focal plane nearly every time. So is the 2.8 old hat now compared to the f4?


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FarmerTed1971
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Sep 27, 2015 17:20 |  #7

I sold the 17-40 and purchased the 16-35 f4. It is way better in the corners. Is it worth the extra price? Only you can make that decision.
IMHO I wouldn't even consider the f2.8 at this time, but that also depends on what you plan to shoot.


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davesrose
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Sep 27, 2015 17:22 as a reply to  @ tomstephens89's post |  #8

It's actually considered long in the tooth now. The f4 actually is sharper with less CA. There's also less need for 2.8 in that FL range IMO. I also like having both the 16-35 f4 IS and 24-70 2.8...can have the option of either 2.8 or f4 IS with 24-35


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blanex1
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Sep 27, 2015 17:24 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #9

i also use my 17-40/4 for alot of urban shooting on the streets for the past 2 years,this lens will do in a pinch! but been saving for 16-35/4,if i where you,get this lens!and i think you would be the better one for what your photography.


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Nick5
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Sep 28, 2015 10:05 |  #10

tomstephens89 wrote in post #17723864 (external link)
Hi guys, I'm new on this forum and the question in the title is bothering me.

I am a keen amateur photographer, but due to work commitments don't get out with the camera as much as id like to. I am on my 3rd DSLR, started with a 450D, then got a 7D 18 months ago, and now have just taken my first steps into full frame with the 5D Mark III.

I am currently using the kit 24-105 L which I love, its also what I used with the 7D. However I want something wider since landscape photography is my favourite kind.

So I am at a crossroads.... For someone who isn't professional at all, is the 16-35 F4 really worth the extra £300 on the used market over the 17-40? Reviews are mixed for the 17-40 but most bring up an issue with corner sharpness and extreme barrel distortion at the wide end and wide open... I am sure these are picked up on reviews because its an extreme test thats looking for those issues? I would assume that in general use, if these issues are obvious, they can be corrected in lightroom with the lens profile?

Or... is the 16-35 F4 really that much better?

I can afford either of them, but is the 16-35 F4 worth nearly double the cost?

Tom

Tom.
In January of 2014, I needed to buy a Wide Angle Zoom for a 5D Mark III.
My choices were the 17-40 f/4 L and the 16-35 f/2.8 L.
Since most of my Wide Angle does not require tha additional stop of light that the f/2.8 provides, I went with the significantly less expensive 17-40. Lighter in weight as well.
A few months later, the announcement of the 16-35 f/4 L IS, yes Image Stabilization!
Reading all of the reviews along with improved everything and the inclusion of IS, I knew that this was on my list of upgrades.
Last month, I added the 16-35 f/4 L IS for a trip to Rome. Having the IS really helped in the Cathedrals and Basilicas. No way I would have been able to hand hold and achieve critical sharpness throughout. Plus the colors and newer design technology shows.
For me it was and still is worth the upgrade. To be honest, for what this lens achieves, the price is very fair.


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Sep 28, 2015 10:26 |  #11

Nick5 wrote in post #17724779 (external link)
To be honest, for what this lens achieves, the price is very fair.

I agree.

Tom, I was in the same boat as you back in January. I really liked the 16-35mm f/4, but it was over $1k and there were a bunch of 17-40mm copies in the FS section for around $400. While I was on the fence a pretty good deal showed up on canon.com and I got a refurb copy for $800ish. I can't comment on the optical properties vs 17-40mm as I never had one, but I have found IS to be extremely helpful. Only you can tell if the lens is worth the extra money, but as Nick5 had already said the lens is priced very fairly.


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Sep 28, 2015 11:12 |  #12

For as little as I use my 17-40L, it is hard to justify upgrading to the 16-35L F4. The colors are fantastic and the sharpness is acceptable. For under $500 it is a solid lens. When I need it, the lens is good enough for my purposes.

But, if I went wide even just a little bit more I would upgrade to the 16-35L for the IS and improved distortion.


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artyH
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Sep 28, 2015 13:23 |  #13

I bought the 17-40L before the 16-35IS came out. I tend to use the lens for travel on full frame, or as a "normal" lens on crop. On a crop body, you lose the distortion that you get in the corners of full frame. Used outside, the lens is sharp across the frame, even on the 6D.
I have been able to use the lens in very low light, but most effectively on the 6D.
The optics of my copy are good enough so that I am not tempted by the 16-35IS. When I want to shoot in very low light, I take a fast prime. If buying an ultrawide for the first time, I would be in a quandry. The more expensive lens, F4 IS, is sharper and has less distortion. However, it is much more expensive, and I don't use the ultrawide enough to justify the cost...for me.
I like the fact that the 17-40L goes to 40 mm, and I also like the reasonably compact size and weight. If I were unhappy with the results that I got from the 17-40, I would be more likely to upgrade. However, there are other things I would rather spend the money on right now.




  
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MalVeauX
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Sep 28, 2015 13:28 |  #14

tomstephens89 wrote in post #17723864 (external link)
Hi guys, I'm new on this forum and the question in the title is bothering me.

I am a keen amateur photographer, but due to work commitments don't get out with the camera as much as id like to. I am on my 3rd DSLR, started with a 450D, then got a 7D 18 months ago, and now have just taken my first steps into full frame with the 5D Mark III.

I am currently using the kit 24-105 L which I love, its also what I used with the 7D. However I want something wider since landscape photography is my favourite kind.

So I am at a crossroads.... For someone who isn't professional at all, is the 16-35 F4 really worth the extra £300 on the used market over the 17-40? Reviews are mixed for the 17-40 but most bring up an issue with corner sharpness and extreme barrel distortion at the wide end and wide open... I am sure these are picked up on reviews because its an extreme test thats looking for those issues? I would assume that in general use, if these issues are obvious, they can be corrected in lightroom with the lens profile?

Or... is the 16-35 F4 really that much better?

I can afford either of them, but is the 16-35 F4 worth nearly double the cost?

Tom

Heya,

The 17-40 F4L is a staple for a reason. It's a great lens. It's sharp all over stopped down, and you will be stopping down since your'e doing landscape. It does not have "horrible soft corners" stopped down. That's just internet exaggeration from pixel peeping and no one looks at the images on the web or printed large and loudly points out "Weird, I wonder why the corners look so soft compared to the rest! Where's the photographer? I must point this out to them!" The 17-40 handles flare like a dream, very good control. This is essential in my book on an ultrawide. It takes normal filters. This is a great lens. Is it the best anymore? No. But it's still just as good as it always was!

The 16-35 F4L IS is even better.

Granted, keep this in mind, a lot of this is pointless if you're not printing large images! If you're just viewing your work on a monitor (even at 4k!), on the web, etc, then all of this is just an academic novelty for dumping money into.

Ultimately I would have argued you to stay with your 7D and a 10-22 rather than springing for a 5D3 + 17-40 just to look at images on monitors/web.

Very best,


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tomstephens89
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Sep 28, 2015 18:24 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #15

Thanks for the advice guys.

I think I'm going to drop the extra cash and go for a 16-35 F4. Its image quality is superior across the board apparently, its a lot newer and a big one for me... Also has IS.

I have been looking at some comparisons between 17mm and 16mm focal lengths and theres a good chunk of extra image on the 16, so much so that I figured if Im going to buy an ultra wide lens, I might as well go for all I can get with the 16.

Thanks all. I shall report back with my first impressions when I get it anyway!

Tom


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EF 16-35 F4/L or EF 17-40 F4/L for occasional amateur?
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