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Author Topic: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?  (Read 2820 times)

RomainF

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16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:11:44 AM »
Hi everyone,

I currently own an old 17-35 f/2.8L which might be about twenty years old...I'm quite satisfied with the sharpness, in the center, even at f/2.8 it makes the job.
I'm concerned by a strange occurrence : when shooting with a strong backlight, i have some kind of de-contrasted circle in the center of the frame. Like a white haze. That's ugly and ruins my shots.

That's why i was wondering about getting the 16-35 II, which is two versions younger than my 17-35 and is supposed to be better. But, reading the forums, i often notice than no one is really happy with his 16-35II. That's why I need your help to determine how better the 16-35II is compared to my 17-35. If it is real better, i'll get it sooner than if it is not that better.

So i need you, 16-35II users, to tell me how good/bad/disappointing it is. Is it a pleasure for you to take it, or you only use it when you NEED an ultra-wide and it 'makes the job" ?

Are you, like me, waiting for a 16/18mm f/1.8 Canon prime ?

Thanks
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 09:28:33 AM by RomainF »
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16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:11:44 AM »

WPJ

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 10:19:08 AM »
Hi, I only have the 17-40, thought about the 16-35, but cost ruled in the end.

I'm going to upgrade one day buy not soon.

its funny when the mark II first came out it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now people complain about it.

my question is it that much worse than the mark I?  Or is it just internet crying people spreading bad words because they saw it somewhere else.

privatebydesign

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 10:35:38 AM »
The problem with the 16-35 MkII is that it was never as good as lenses offered by other manufacturers and it has fallen even further behind as others have released newer lenses.

On it's own it is a very good lens, more than capable of fantastic results, it just isn't as good when compared to others.

Of course it very much depends on your stye of shooting, I use my MkI almost exclusively for environmental type portraits where corner performance is not normally an issue and is easy to work around by shooting to crop, I used it much more on the 1D APS-H format than FF too. People hoping to shoot landscapes and print big really do struggle a bit more, again when compared to other lenses available. Ultra wide angle landscape shooters really should be using the superlative TS-E17.

Incidentally, I kept my MkI for a couple of reasons, the MkII is not that much better than the MkI and for the longest time finding underwater port systems that accommodated the MkII was impossible. If Canon come out with a newer better ultra wide zoom that has comparable optical qualities to their prime TS-E's then I will be all over it, regardless of focal lengths, 16-35, 12-24 whatever, and even though I know it will be expensive if the quality is there I'll happily get one.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 10:36:03 AM »
I can't speak to a comparison between the 16-35L II and the MkI or 17-35L, but the 16-35L II is a decent lens.  Not stellar, but it gets the job done.

Having said that, I've been using it for panoramas lately, and I'm considering the 14L II (and/or TS-E 17L).
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privatebydesign

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 10:44:53 AM »
I can't speak to a comparison between the 16-35L II and the MkI or 17-35L, but the 16-35L II is a decent lens.  Not stellar, but it gets the job done.

Having said that, I've been using it for panoramas lately, and I'm considering the 14L II (and/or TS-E 17L).

Neuro,

Knowing your penchant for quality (your single handed purchasing of and recommendations to RRS have kept them in business  :)  ) I'd strongly suggest the 14 is a comparative POS and the 17 is sublime. The only application I'd think of using the 14 is in action sports where the AF does play a good part, for stitching and landscape work the 17 is in a league all its own.
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WPJ

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 10:54:34 AM »
The problem with the 16-35 MkII is that it was never as good as lenses offered by other manufacturers and it has fallen even further behind as others have released newer lenses.

On it's own it is a very good lens, more than capable of fantastic results, it just isn't as good when compared to others.

Of course it very much depends on your stye of shooting, I use my MkI almost exclusively for environmental type portraits where corner performance is not normally an issue and is easy to work around by shooting to crop, I used it much more on the 1D APS-H format than FF too. People hoping to shoot landscapes and print big really do struggle a bit more, again when compared to other lenses available. Ultra wide angle landscape shooters really should be using the superlative TS-E17.

Incidentally, I kept my MkI for a couple of reasons, the MkII is not that much better than the MkI and for the longest time finding underwater port systems that accommodated the MkII was impossible. If Canon come out with a newer better ultra wide zoom that has comparable optical qualities to their prime TS-E's then I will be all over it, regardless of focal lengths, 16-35, 12-24 whatever, and even though I know it will be expensive if the quality is there I'll happily get one.

thanks for the explanation.  It clears it up a bit.

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 12:39:47 PM »
Lots of great pictures are captured with this lens. It is not amongst my favorites, but that does not change the fact that lots of great photographers are using it and produce great results. It has issues with CA, fringes and sharpness, but still.
As I have pointed to in few other threads, there is a statistic available, showing what cameras and lenses that were being used to capture the 100 best pictures at Reuters. (They have a few to choose from.) The mostly used camera was a 1DIV and the most used lens was the 16-35 f2.8L II. It would not make sense for these pros to risk the quality of their work by using crap lenses, so regardless of all the harsh criticism this lens gets, it has a proven track record.
5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 70-300/4-5.6L IS, 200-400/4L IS 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, Zeiss Otus 85/1.4, 100/2.8L IS Macro, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L IS II

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 12:39:47 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2013, 12:46:23 PM »
I can't speak to a comparison between the 16-35L II and the MkI or 17-35L, but the 16-35L II is a decent lens.  Not stellar, but it gets the job done.

Having said that, I've been using it for panoramas lately, and I'm considering the 14L II (and/or TS-E 17L).

Neuro,

Knowing your penchant for quality (your single handed purchasing of and recommendations to RRS have kept them in business  :)  ) I'd strongly suggest the 14 is a comparative POS and the 17 is sublime. The only application I'd think of using the 14 is in action sports where the AF does play a good part, for stitching and landscape work the 17 is in a league all its own.

Yeah, I suspect you're right.  If I'm going to get the TS-E 17L, I'll likely wait until after the rebate ends - I hate the mail-in thing, and the final price likely wont change post-rebate.
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RomainF

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2013, 03:29:40 PM »
Thanks you for your answers.
 I think i'll get it soon. I'll take the time to find the best deal but i'll get it. It might not be a stunning wide-angle-zoom-lens, but it stays the best i can get in Canon lineup...

I'd love the 14mm f/2.8, as Neuro, but it is definitely too expensive and too restrictive. I'll get it after my 16-35II.

Well, you know, about the Reuters most used gear, it ain't a indicator of quality. I work in the press (political news)  and people don't really care about sharpness. They actually really don't care about "sharpness" as we can talk about it on forums. You'll never not sell a picture because it's not sharp as a fixed lens at f/8. I've recently sold pictures with my old 17-35 wide open ; i've sold a lot of pictures with a Sigma 70-200 wide open when the AFP/Reuters photographers have the Canon 70-200 II.
That study only shows that the 16-35 is the most versatile lens (well, do we really need a study to understand that...?) and usefull lens for a generalist-everyday-use.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 03:31:44 PM by RomainF »
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Eldar

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2013, 03:35:11 PM »
Thanks you for your answers.
 I think i'll get it soon. I'll take the time to find the best deal but i'll get it. It might not be a stunning wide-angle-zoom-lens, but it stays the best i can get in Canon lineup...

I'd love the 14mm f/2.8, as Neuro, but it is definitely too expensive and too restrictive. I'll get it after my 16-35II.

Well, you know, about the Reuters most used gear, it ain't a indicator of quality. I work in the press (political news)  and people don't really care about sharpness. They actually really don't care about "sharpness" as we can talk about it on forums. You'll never not sell a picture because it's not sharp as a fixed lens at f/8. I've recently sold pictures with my old 17-35 wide open ; i've sold a lot of pictures with a Sigma 70-200 wide open when the AFP/Reuters photographers have the Canon 70-200 II.
That study only shows that the 16-35 is the most versatile lens (well, do we really need a study to understand that...?) and usefull lens for a generalist-everyday-use.
True, but these 100 pictures were their 100 best ...
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Ewinter

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2013, 07:04:20 PM »
I actually quite like this lens.
It doesn't compare to the 24-70 II or the 70-200II.

I think that's where most people get hung up on it.
Still, it's one of my workhorse lenses. I use it frequently and it doesn't disappoint.
Quite unlike the canon 50mm 1.4

patal05

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2013, 07:34:19 PM »
I actually quite like this lens.
It doesn't compare to the 24-70 II or the 70-200II.

I think that's where most people get hung up on it.
Still, it's one of my workhorse lenses. I use it frequently and it doesn't disappoint.
Quite unlike the canon 50mm 1.4
I would definitely second this. I use mine more as 'niche' lens than anything, just because it's SO wide (and the wider aspect of this lens is actually where the better IQ is).  But I've gotten quite a good bit of use out of it and would recommend it.
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privatebydesign

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2013, 08:01:11 PM »
There are many factors that sway the Reuters image /equipment figures.
  • Reuters staff photographers are issued Canon gear
  • Those photographers are primarily news and current event style photographers and the camera that was made for them was the 1D MkIV
  • Reuters predominantly shoot human interest images, only 9 of the 98 do not have people as the focal point of the image
  • Of those 9 only 2 were shot with the 1D MkIV
  • Of those 9 only 1 was shot with the 16-35
  • If you want a standard zoom on an APS-H you have zero choice if your company buys Canon, the 16-35
  • If you want a wide angle zoom on an APS-H you have zero choice if your company buys Canon, the 16-35
  • If you are interested in image quality as measured by forum members only using the center section of the lenses image circle sure does increase it a lot
  • There is not one landscape style image shot with a 16-35 amongst those 98

So moral from the 98 images, if you shoot landscapes on a full frame camera there is no moral, if you shoot war zones close the 1D MkIV and 16-35 will probably last longer than a Syrian Free Army fighter.

I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of 16-35 owners here would be using it for creative juxtapositions and landscapes on a FF body, when used like this it displays its technical limitations particularly when printed big.
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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2013, 08:01:11 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2013, 08:41:30 PM »
It will be alot better than the old 17-35mm, but the 16-35II won't be as good as other UW from nikon or Zeiss. Personally, I don't care much because being able to use my LEE system is pretty important and its much more expensive to use them on the bulbous 17mm T&S, 15mm Zeiss or the 14-24 Nikon.

I ended up buying the 17-40L because @ f/8, Its too similiar.

Grumbaki

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2013, 08:54:09 PM »
Are you, like me, waiting for a 16/18mm f/1.8 Canon prime ?

Well I'm not waiting for that one specifically but I'm in the exact same boat.

I'm in the market for a UWA, I don't  mind dropping cash on quality gear but the price/quality ratio of the 16-35 doesn't appeal me. 14 seems not flexible enough and 17 TSE is a whole new world for me (not a tripod/manual focus guy).

Rumored 12-24 or even 16-50 might do it for me.

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Re: 16-35 2.8L II - Is it really THAT bad ?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2013, 08:54:09 PM »