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Messages - ahsanford

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Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 06, 2014, 01:11:41 PM »

And Kai's classic adjective-laden review of the 16-35 F/4L IS:

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 06, 2014, 12:11:09 PM »
And now Photozone joins the conversation -- and this spurs an interesting conversation:

I'm glad we know have sharpness numbers to compare, because it speak to a concern of mine.  I am reading that everyone who uses this lens finds it a sharpness improvement over the 16-35 F/2.8L II and 17-40 F/4L, especially in the corners.

But the sample pictures I see do not give a ringing endorsement of sharper corners other than new lens has more useful corners at larger apertures

So I looked at PZ's sharpness data, and my eyes may not fooling me after all:

@ F/4 @ Widest FL:

(Center / Border / Corner)

17-40 F/4L:         3342   2730    1073
16-35 F/2.8 II:     3482   2945    2195
16-35 F/4L IS:     3540  2826     2556

@ F/8 @ Widest FL:

(Center / Border / Corner)

17-40 F/4L:         3278   2896  2197
16-35 F/2.8 II:     3249   2882  2744
16-35 F/4L IS:     3390  3023   2766

@ F/11 @ Widest FL:

(Center / Border / Corner)

17-40 F/4L:         3012   2760  2577
16-35 F/2.8 II:     3000   2734  2669
16-35 F/4L IS:    3059   2796  2614

And, without transcribing it all, the relationship on the longest FL end is similar.  PhotoZone only gave it a 3.5 star (out of five) for optical quality, and with the numbers above, I can see why.

So -- were we to assume this data is correct (remember, PZ only gets one copy of a lens) -- we might think that:

  • The new lens will, in fact, not be sharper at the apertures landscape photographers shoot
  • The new lens is sharper in the corners for more wide open apertures.

Do you folks buy this?  For those who own the new 16-35 and either the old 16-35 or 17-40, have you had a similar experience?

- A

Lenses / Re: 24-70 f4 IS macro performance
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:49:46 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I think I will go for it as soon as I find a buyer for my 24-105 :)
the dedicated macro lens will have to wait for another day as I am afraid that the limited use it would see doesn't justify the cost. Btw, what would be the approximate working distance to get 0.7 magnification on the dedicated 100mm macros?

A few comments:

  • The 24-70 F/4L IS is a clear winner over the 24-105 for sharpness and distortion, and it's comfortably better than the 24-70 F/2.8L Mark I.  Only the 24-70 II is sharper, and for $2K+, it ought to be:  http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/canon-24-70-f4-is-resolution-tests

  • The 100L macro is not a dedicated macro lens so much as a fully featured macro lens.  Dedicated implies that's all it does, like the 180L macro (AF too slow to do much else with it, maybe landscapes?) or the MP-E 65mm trombone 5x macro.  The 100L macro is not such a lens... but I think that's a good thing.  The 100L macro is a stellar prime for non-macro purposes -- the AF is quick and the sharpness is terrific.  Sure, it's not an ultra-fast aperture, but you can nail some terrific shots with that lens (see CR's review here: http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/review-canon-ef-100-f2-8l-is-macro/).  I never shoot video, but I'd imagine the IS is pretty good for that as well.

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:20:00 PM »
which makes it all the more tricky to compare real world.

So it sounds like you've discovered why DxO use the methodology that they do.

Yes, it's also why I never tried to post up real scenes in a scientific test manner, it's tricky. I'm trying this time, but it's very tricky.

You still have to take great care with charts and constant lighting too though, as DxO seems to have not yet discovered though, or perhaps only very slowly discovering (see: 16-35 II having best corner performance at f/2.8, 70-200 2.8 II being the worst at 200mm f/2.8 of all the Canon 70-200 2.8s; 70-300 non-L having better 300mm performance than 70-300L and 300 f/4L, 24-70 f/4 IS supposedly having mediocre edges at 70mm; etc.).

Or you can do it the way TDP does it -- I believe Bryan Carnathan now shoots head to head comparisons simultaneously on separate bodies to ensure the light is the same.

Either way, lens testing is road to madness.  I say rent before you buy and you'll never be upset.

- A

Lenses / Re: 24-70 f4 IS macro performance
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:58:33 PM »
I have this lens and I've enjoyed the macro mode.  My observations:

  • First: it only delivers macro functionality at 70mm, it is not a 'zooming macro'.
  • I am not a pro, but from what I've read of professional macro shooters, shaping the light is delicate, scripted  process that this lens would not support due to the limited working distance.  So I only use this lens' macro mode for handheld walkaround work in great light.
  • Kai very very briefly spoke to macro use here (including a demonstration of the working distance): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-q0JcUCwpw  (see 7:14 to 7:35 or so)
  • Image Stabilization, as you might imagine, cannot remotely overcome the added DOF you need.  So if you want an entire flower, bug, etc. in frame, you have to stop down to comical levels (like F/22) or focus stack with multiple shots.  In either case, you should probably be on a tripod.  (The working distance is so small that I think a macro flash would be difficult to use.)
  • Some folks really do want to stop down to comical levels with macro lenses.  Both 1:1 100mm macros Canon sells stop down to F/32, whereas this 24-70 only stops down to f/22.  This has not been a limitation for what I shoot.

That said, I enjoy this mode thoroughly for what this lens is made for -- the perfect travel/walkaround option.  I slam this on my 5D3 and go explore things.  In my travels, I may see something I want to get close to -- that's where this mode is great.  My 100L macro stays at home (as I'd only use it for 1-2% of my travel shots) and I have more space in my bag.  I also use this lens as my single lens for hiking, as it's got a very sharp wide end, is light/compact (for a zoom), and it's weather sealed.  In that instance, I've got a great landscape lens and a serviceable macro all in one.

But make no doubt of it, a proper, purpose-built macro with 1:1 and a decent working distance will trump the 24-70's macro mode handily if you shoot macro often.  My thinking is this -- if I need a tripod, a bulb sprayer and a reflector, I reach for the 100L. 

If I just want to snap a flower as I'm walking around, I leave the 24-70 on, take the shot, and move.

Shots below were taken with the 24-70 in macro mode.

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:23:50 PM »

A really long review video here:


Note: it's in German, but he did do a number of side by side shots at similar settings with the 16-35 F/2.8L II and walked around his shots in comparison mode to show the virtues of the new lens.  I have not watched it all, but you might find it helpful.

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:19:52 PM »

A fun unboxing video:


(Made by noneother than one of your fellow CR Forum dwellers! -- see his familiar icon below the video)

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 01, 2014, 01:51:52 AM »

Yet another one.  This is a side by side video review of stills taken with the new 16-35 compared against the Tokina 16-28 F/2.8:


- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 01, 2014, 01:48:46 AM »

Yet another review...

This one's a first glance review from SLR Lounge, who seem to be reviewing this on crop bodies:


- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: July 01, 2014, 01:46:08 AM »

More reviews...

This brief one is from Ben Neumann:

- A

This is very helpful.  I'm still using the 17-40 but hope to migrate to the 16-35 f/4 shortly.  I've been in the process of trying to figure out the Lee holder/CPL/UWA conundrum.  Next step:  order the 105 ring and the B&W CPL.  Thanks.

Before you pull the trigger on the 105 CPL, you should consider the wonderpana system:

I haven't used it, but it's basically a Lee-style system with much larger filters so that the vignetting problem is a non-issue for UWA focal lengths.  If you want to stack stuff and have a CPL at 16mm, this is the system you should look into.

That said, I love my Lee setup.  It's well built and has industry standard sizing so I am not married to first party 4x6 filters or CPLs.  And it's flexible and powerful.  I can double my ND grads on harsh sunlight, stack an ND grad with a 10 stop ND, and now with a front ring the CPL is an independent consideration if I need to manage the sky (only for longer FL) or reflections (at any FL).  The only time I need to juggle/think is between 16-20mm, and that's fine by me.

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: June 30, 2014, 10:34:48 PM »

And here's my super quickie sharpness offering.

I didn't have a 16-35 to compare this against, so I compared it at 24mm against my 24-70 F/4L IS.


* Both lenses set to 24mm
* Taken at F/4, F/5.6, F/8, F/11
* Tripod, cable release, LiveView focusing, etc.
* Aperture priority @ standard exposure
* Did not have peripheral illumination on
* RAW processed in ACR, sharpness set to 50 and everything else was default;  no lens correction profiles were used


What you'll see here are the actual 1000x1000 pixels in the corner of images captures at four different apertures on two different lenses.  Make sure you click on the 'original' size at the top to see this without downsampling problems.

Note that at 10x, I was focusing on the boards of the bench, not the ground behind the bench.

Clear limitation:  I was in a mad rush (the rental is due back tomorrow) so I shot a scene without a clear near-infinity planar target (like a house).  It was a park bench that was within perhaps 5-6 feet of the camera.  So I actually LiveView focused at 10x in the corner itself (on the bench boards as said before).  So these shots were not center focused -- they represented the best focusing I could get in the corner of interest.

My thoughts were good ones.  The new 16-35 F/4L IS lens out-resolved a very sharp L zoom at 24mm in the corners.  That and my other finding about vignetting with a Lee filter holder...


...has me leaning strongly towards buying this lens.

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: June 30, 2014, 08:24:17 PM »
Every review/poster of samples has shown similar IQ.

(inferring what you meant) similar IQ... between the two lenses?   

If so, I refer you to my prior post.  I think Carnathan's shots show a clear corner sharpness improvement for the new lens at 24mm and 35mm -- even at F/11.  At 16mm, I'd say the shots are a pretty much a draw if you stop down to F/11.

(if that's not what you meant, apologies -- wasn't sure)

And we should expect a sharper lens based on those MTF charts, right?

- A

Just to add, I bought a 105 - 77 step up ring and have successfully used this directly on the lens with the Lee polariser with no vignetting at 16mm. Just need to be careful to avoid banding of a blue sky...

Agree.  If I am using a CPL for a wide angle shot, I'm only using it for reflections and water, not for darkening a blue sky.  I hate that field of view related CPL darkening.

- A

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: June 30, 2014, 04:16:09 PM »

Finally, note that the 16-35 f/2.8L II is actually sharp across the frame at f/11 (and pretty close at f/8).  So if you have this lens, all you have to do is stop down - which you probably would be doing for DOF in landscape anyway.  f/4 is really where the 16-35 f/2.8L II gets trounced in sharpness by the 16-35 f/4 IS, but that is the aperture that would likely be least used by either event or landscape photographers - too slow for event photographers, not enough DOF for landscape.

Have a look at these comparisons at F/11, though.
(mouseover the aperture values to see the pictures change)

I would not call that "sharp across the frame" for the F/2.8 lens.  At 16mm, the F/4 lens is very slightly better in the corners at F/11.  And at 24mm and 35mm, it's clearly better.  The new zoom even fares well against a Zeiss prime on that same page.

The one distinction is why a boatload of landscape people will buy the new F/4 lens. No Canon UWA zoom has delivered sharp corners... until possibly now.  I'd like a few more reviews corroborating TDP's findings, but I'm optimistic.

- A

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