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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 02 May 2009 (Saturday) 22:20
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Rant: Why Canon UWA sucks

joe ­ mama
Senior Member
666 posts
Joined Oct 2005
Location: Earth
May 02, 2009 22:20 |  #1
bannedPermanent ban

I think this is my third "Rant" thread. Let me know if I've used them all up. : )

Anyway, check this out:

http://forums.dpreview​.com …rum=1018&messag​e=31752380 (external link)

Horrific. If Canon cannot make a UWA that has sharp corners at 16mm f/2.8, then what's the point of f/2.8? : )

Seriously, this is why I rarely take claims about lens performance seriously, unless pics accompany the claims. I've even seen people post pics with motion blur and/or camera shake and blame the lens.

And, of course, it does cut both ways. I've seen claims that such-and-such is "razor sharp", which sounds good, until you see the pics. So, sure, some lenses have issues, some lenses are great, but without a pics and EXIF, who knows what to make of a claim?


www.josephjamesphotogr​ (external link) (external link)

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3,726 posts
Joined May 2005
Location: Lonestar State
May 02, 2009 22:27 |  #2

Well, I think Canon is weak in the UWA department, and it appears they know it as witnessed by them releasing "new & improved" versions of the 14mm, 16-35mm, and 24mm lenses in the last couple of years. The new versions do appear to improve corner performance, but I'm not sure put them in the same league as the Nikon 14-24, for example.

The "traditional" argument I've heard many times on this forum, is that you typically stop down when using a UWA and thus, wide open corner performance is not critical. I tend to shoot wide open, and thus do want wide open corner performance. The link you posted is the MK 1 version of the 16-35. From comparisons I've seen, the MKII version is much better. Is the picture posted in your link representative of all 16-35 MKI ? Well I certainly hope not as that is a very poor performance.

David (aka BigBlueDodge)

Senior Member
580 posts
Joined Jul 2005
May 02, 2009 23:26 |  #3

Well, nothing is in the Nikon 14-24 G league. It's obliterating even the well-known primes in it's range.

As already pointed out, that's the original version. And by the looks of it, a bad one at that. Even my 17-40 is better, let alone the II.

iLUKphotography (external link)

Senior Member
456 posts
Joined Nov 2006
Location: Perth, Australia
May 03, 2009 02:48 as a reply to  @ M3Rocket's post |  #4

lol thats horrible! my 16-35 is nothing like that!

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207 posts
Joined Jan 2009
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
May 03, 2009 03:13 |  #5

I don't know much about UWA's, but I do see green fringing, which is usually a sign of missed focus. However, the corners are even worse than the center, so I'm guessing that there is something majorly wrong with that copy of the lens.

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The ­ Fox
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Location: Eugene, OR
May 03, 2009 03:16 |  #6

But doesn't the ultra wides have lots of distorsion in the corners more then the center?

PS- The 10-22mm I am holding has amazing corners wide open.


"I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don't arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself" -Diane Arbus
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4,490 posts
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Joined Mar 2006
Location: San Jose,CA
May 03, 2009 03:50 |  #7

Every manufacturer, has a weakness in it;s product lines. Canon's is to an extent, WA or UWA. UWA was not that big a market except for the last few years. Remember that 95% of working photographers never went below 20mm so a 16 or even a 14 was unheard of in most circles. Superwides were specialty cameras or lenses depending on format and usually they were rented for onetime shoots. If a newspaper had one it was because they had a budget for exotic stuff and got them. Long teles were not considered exotic for most pros work.

So cameras like Leica, Hasselblad, and other niche cameras had those markets sewed up. You just rented what you needed. But today with various formats or chip sizes, the camera companies had to put their emphasis in the areas that made the most money, sports...

Les Baldwin (external link)

Tom ­ W
Canon Fanosapien
12,747 posts
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Joined Feb 2003
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
May 03, 2009 05:59 |  #8

WillOPhotos wrote in post #7847987 (external link)
lol thats horrible! my 16-35 is nothing like that!

Indeed, that copy is hosed! My original 16-35 had some softness in the corners at f/2.8, but nothing like that. I'd send that one in to Canon. The Mk II version is very good in that respect.

Anxiously awaiting the results of the new 17 mm tilt/shift. That could be an interesting lens.

5D IV, M5, RP, & various lenses

Cream of the Crop
8,833 posts
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Joined Sep 2005
Location: CT
May 03, 2009 06:06 |  #9

joe mama wrote in post #7847064 (external link)
Horrific. If Canon cannot make a UWA that has sharp corners at 16mm f/2.8, then what's the point of f/2.8? : )

Let's be realistic though, the picture posted in that thread is not representative of most 16-35's. This guy either dropped his, or got a REALLY bad one. The one I had was certainly a lot better than that.

connecticut wedding photographer (external link)

Double ­ Negative
10,533 posts
Likes: 11
Joined Mar 2006
Location: New York, USA
May 03, 2009 07:34 |  #10

That lens is clearly b0rked. It's not a Canon *design* fault, just a bad copy.

I don't think Canon UWA lenses are all that bad. Look at the 14L and 24L; both sweet lenses. Though honestly if I need something stupid wide and need really sharp, distortion free - even in the corners - I'll use my Zeiss 4/18 Distagon ZM. The 14L comes close, stopped way down (Mark I). The 16-35 Mark I definitely had some corner issues though. But again, that's not the problem in the linked discussion/image.

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Senior Member
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May 03, 2009 07:38 |  #11

So we should get a D700 + 14-24 and a 5DII + 70-200/2.8

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Rant: Why Canon UWA sucks
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