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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 24 Sep 2014 (Wednesday) 17:31
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Canon 16-35 F4 Review vs. 17-40 Shootout

 
grahamclarkphoto
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Sep 24, 2014 17:31 |  #1

Hey guys,

As an amateur landscape photographer I was excited to get my hands on one of the first copies of the 16-35 F4. I've been collecting image results ever since, and I recently wrote a Canon 16-35 F4 Review and uploaded 35.7GB of images captured with the 16-35 F4, mainly landscape and travel photographs, with quite a few optical performance tests side-by-side's with the 17-40.

Watch the video review: http://youtu.be/K7n1L1​QCjqU (external link)
Click here to read the full review: http://www.grahamclark​photo.com …-hands-on-shootout-17-40/ (external link) (35.7GB of RAW/TIFF files)

As a Nikon 14-24 and Canon 17-40 shooter I like that this lens has IS, but if there was a non-IS version I'd get that one. It has less CA than both the 14-24 and the 17-40, based on my copies. It's also sharper than both at the corners, but performs similar on center sharpness. Interestingly enough the 17-40 actually resolved sharper on center sharpness on some of my tests, but performed softer on corners on about 75% of the images. CA performance on the 16-35 F4 outpaces both of these lenses by a wide margin.

A majority of the photographs I shot on the Sony A7R and my 5D3/6D. On the A7R the files are coming out incredibly clean and sharp. If Canon is ramping their lineup for high-resolution mirrorless sensors this lens proves they are ready for that future lineup today.

The Good

  • Critically sharp throughout the frame
  • Outstanding CA performance - best on any wide-angle zoom I've used
  • Great weather-sealing, same as other L-lenses I own
  • Great AF - again, same as my other USM lenses
  • 2 to 3-stops of real-world IS is useful, and I can see the usefulness for travel and landscape without a tripod - higher F-numbers and lower ISOs with IS than otherwise possible
  • Larger and smoother focusing ring than 17-40 - higher threshold for IN FOCUS and OUT OF FOCUS making it faster
  • I'm a complete amateur at video too, but in my video tests the IS performed very well, less jittery. Great for handing off to post-processing IS as found in FCPX and other apps
  • Uses 77mm thread size


The Bad
  • Physically larger than 17-40
  • Inclusion of IS makes it noticeably heavier than the 17-40
  • 1 to 2-stops of light falloff inherent without any UV filter at all. Filters with a frame thickness of 4mm or higher add 1-stop of light falloff, filters with 6mm+ add 2.
  • Lens hood extends beyond end of lens when on backwards, so can't use it on conjunction with GND holder like the 17-40. Small thing, but I liked doing this to protect the focusing ring from elements


IMAGE: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Canon-16-35-F4-Review-Hands-On.jpg
IMAGE: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Canon-16-35-F4-Review-vs-17-40.jpg
IMAGE: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Canon-16-35-F4-Review-Focusing.jpg
IMAGE: http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Canon-16-35-F4-Review-with-A7R.jpg



Here's an image I wanted to share based on it's CA and sharpness performance:

Click here for the TIFF: https://app.box.com …/cl9z1d2h4flsyj​u22s9k.tif (external link) (206.9MB .TIFF)
Click here for the RAW: https://app.box.com …/44iyijt80o6nm7​2qkozt.arw (external link) (35.1MB .ARW)
Click here for the hi-res JPEG: https://app.box.com …/7ydhorubh7xe67​kmp2b0.jpg (external link)

Olympic Sunset Sunset - 129s - F18 - ISO 100 - 24mm - Canon 16-35 F4 with A7R
IMAGE: https://app.box.com/shared/static/1aa1gmfz40sxf176y3cj.jpg

There's very slight CA on the distant ridge lines, but it's consistently well controlled and is much less pronounced than my 14-24 and 17-40
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Sharpness detail is excellent on this lens, similar to my 17-40 on center subjects, but with much less CA
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Even on corners this thing performs very well, both in terms of sharpness and CA
1920
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https://app.box.com …/kvmnejfvj67bcl​flm700.jpg
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If you guys have any questions about the lens let me know, I'll do my best to answer them!

Graham

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GeoKras1989
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Sep 24, 2014 20:17 |  #2
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I liked the data and insight you provided. However, your photos are so large that I have to scroll left and right to read the text. Not sure if that issue is on my end or yours. It certainly makes reading your post extremely tedious.


WARNING: I often dispense advice in fields I know little about!

  
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Talley
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Sep 24, 2014 23:07 |  #3

Photos are too large....

similar to me but in other ways :D


A7rIII | A7III | 12-24 F4 | 16-35 GM | 28-75 2.8 | 100-400 GM | 12mm 2.8 Fisheye | 35mm 2.8 | 85mm 1.8 | 35A | 85A | 200mm L F2 IS | MC-11
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revluke
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Sep 25, 2014 00:01 |  #4

I've got it after finding the 2.8 version lacking in corner sharpness. This lens is a rock star, as your review reiterates. Thanks for your work on this!


5dIII | 70d | Rokinon 14 | 16-35 f4 IS | 40 2.8 | s50A | 70-200 2.8 IS II | 100 f2 | s120-300S | sigma 2x | 600EX-RT

  
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NWPhil
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Sep 26, 2014 11:28 |  #5

Any sampling done with stars/nighshots?
I am looking to see if it displays any coma effect - f/4 is ...a bit slow for, but 16mmm kind of helps a bit if the camera handle higher iso. However, nothing much one can do to coma (other than look for another lens)
Thanks in advance

ps: great review btw


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grahamclarkphoto
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Sep 30, 2014 15:33 |  #6

revluke wrote in post #17176277 (external link)
I've got it after finding the 2.8 version lacking in corner sharpness. This lens is a rock star, as your review reiterates. Thanks for your work on this!

Do you find it to be significantly sharper than the 2.8, or just marginally?

Graham


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grahamclarkphoto
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Sep 30, 2014 15:34 |  #7

NWPhil wrote in post #17178895 (external link)
Any sampling done with stars/nighshots?
I am looking to see if it displays any coma effect - f/4 is ...a bit slow for, but 16mmm kind of helps a bit if the camera handle higher iso. However, nothing much one can do to coma (other than look for another lens)
Thanks in advance

ps: great review btw

Hey Phil,

Not too many yet, but going to Death Valley shortly so I'll have some soon enough :)

I typically use F5.6 - 7.1 on Star Trail photographs, and 1.4 on still stars, never go in-between. Do you typically shoot still stars at 2.8?

Graham


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NWPhil
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Oct 01, 2014 13:01 |  #8

grahamclarkphoto wrote in post #17186529 (external link)
Hey Phil,

Not too many yet, but going to Death Valley shortly so I'll have some soon enough :)

I typically use F5.6 - 7.1 on Star Trail photographs, and 1.4 on still stars, never go in-between. Do you typically shoot still stars at 2.8?

Graham

Depends on the lens used - and most of the time not after star trails.
Canon lenses tend to show coma pretty much at any aperture, probably way more noticeable wide open.
Not an issue for star-trail shots....
The 24mm II f/1.4 seems to have little or no affect as far as I was able to read on the web, I find it not wide enough for what I want
Looking forward to see some still shots.

Saw your gallery - great shots you have there.
I will be visiting Patagonia soon, but will be doing a lot of hiking, therefore debating carrying the 5Dmk2 with a WA zoom or two primes, because will be using mostly the G1X mk2. The 16-35 wil only overlap the G1X by a little, and indeed I want the UWA range.
Judging from what I have seen so far with the new 16-35, makes me believe that I can take it instead of the zeiss 15mm and 21mm - other options I have will not allow for regular filters. However, as the G1x will handle statrails shots, I want a capable UWA for nightscapes and landsacpes
Thanks


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grahamclarkphoto
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Oct 01, 2014 13:08 |  #9

NWPhil wrote in post #17188186 (external link)
Depends on the lens used - and most of the time not after star trails.
Canon lenses tend to show coma pretty much at any aperture, probably way more noticeable wide open.
Not an issue for star-trail shots....
The 24mm II f/1.4 seems to have little or no affect as far as I was able to read on the web, I find it not wide enough for what I want
Looking forward to see some still shots.

Saw your gallery - great shots you have there.
I will be visiting Patagonia soon, but will be doing a lot of hiking, therefore debating carrying the 5Dmk2 with a WA zoom or two primes, because will be using mostly the G1X mk2. The 16-35 wil only overlap the G1X by a little, and indeed I want the UWA range.
Judging from what I have seen so far with the new 16-35, makes me believe that I can take it instead of the zeiss 15mm and 21mm - other options I have will not allow for regular filters. However, as the G1x will handle statrails shots, I want a capable UWA for nightscapes and landsacpes
Thanks

Patagonia's amazing you're going to have a great time!

It's funny you mention the G1X as I was just chatting with a friend - imagine how amazing it would be to have this small compact yet very sturdy and well-built camera with a full frame sensor. The industrial design of this camera and the size and weight are very similar to the A7 series by Sony.

When I was in Patagonia myself and majority of my photographs I captured with the 17 to 40 handheld, so when doing the 16 to 35 review I couldn't help but imagine if I had had that lens during my time in Patagonia. I think it just would have resulted in lower ISO and higher F numbers, both good things :)

Make sure to post your photographs from Patagonia!

Graham


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NWPhil
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Oct 01, 2014 13:35 |  #10

grahamclarkphoto wrote in post #17188198 (external link)
Patagonia's amazing you're going to have a great time!

It's funny you mention the G1X as I was just chatting with a friend - imagine how amazing it would be to have this small compact yet very sturdy and well-built camera with a full frame sensor. The industrial design of this camera and the size and weight are very similar to the A7 series by Sony.

When I was in Patagonia myself and majority of my photographs I captured with the 17 to 40 handheld, so when doing the 16 to 35 review I couldn't help but imagine if I had had that lens during my time in Patagonia. I think it just would have resulted in lower ISO and higher F numbers, both good things :)

Make sure to post your photographs from Patagonia!

Graham

Thanks - I will
That's what I realized looking on 500px and flickR - 24mm is not going to be enough, when you get so close to the mountains.
Back in 2012 in Nepal, when I had the 17-40, often I had to grab the rokinon 14mm so I could get the mountain tops, or the whole valley width
Been waiting for canon's rumoured 11/14-24mm lens, but does not seem it will happen this year. I have a good 12-24mmv2 Sigma copy that handles itself very well (except sun flare), but not willing to carry a wonderpana filter system.
I might buy this one indeed, but still looking forward for the UWA zoom

I bought the G1XII because did not want to invest on another lens system or loose DOF and WA ranges among other reasons too
no regreats here, but it would be nice if canon would release a FF mirrorless body


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