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Author Topic: How do you deal with lens reviews...  (Read 4802 times)

twdi

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How do you deal with lens reviews...
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:21:12 AM »
you read on the internet about lenses?

I am/was considering a UWA for my 5DmkII and have read reviews of the 17-40 (nice priced) and the 16-35II. Just for fun. I'm not a pro so spending my money is not based on earning money with the lenses.

When I read them, I get into doubts about to spend money on the lenses. Why.. well if I read the reviews on photozone, for both lenses they complain for ex. about corner sharpness. The 16-35 wide open should be also worse etc etc... There is always something worse.

Just thinking, how do you deal with...
believe...
what ever
those reviews?

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How do you deal with lens reviews...
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:21:12 AM »

dolina

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 03:49:23 AM »
^^

Are there any better alternatives to these ultra wide zooms? If there are then you should go for em.

I have both lenses and they're good enough for photojournalist who work for Reunters, AP, AFP, EPA and other orgs.

As for choosing either one it boils down to f-number, weight and price.
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Eldar

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 04:58:31 AM »
You need to learn how to read lens reviews. You also need to find a review site that represents objectivity, consistency, competence and sufficient detail to give you the whole picture. I read lots of reviews, but my favorite site is The-Digitial-Picture.com. There are people on this forum who can give you a full walk-through of all optical phenomena and design. I can´t. But I believe I am able to read a review the way a review needs to be read and extract what is important to me.

To begin with you would expect that something like the expensive L-series lenses to be perfect. Well, no lens is perfect (even though a few are very close). The two lenses you mention are not perfect in any way. But you will most likely find them more than good enough. The 17-40 is a bargain in my view.

neuroanatomist

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 07:27:42 AM »
Read several reputable reviews (TDP, Photozone mainly), see if Roger Cicala has anything to say (lensrentals.com - the guy in a position to evaluate lots of copies of a lens, they do vary).  Understand that a stop of light costs a lot of money, you have to decide if its worth it.  Double the price often buys you the stop and not much more (16-35 vs. 17-40, 70-200 f/2.8 vs. f/4).
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twdi

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 07:47:03 AM »
Hmm yes I think you are right. I haven't found "better" alternatives so fare. All lenses have something less convenient.

So I think, i will give the 17-40 a try first. It saves me a lot of money although because i still can use my 77mm CPL. Thanks!

AcutancePhotography

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 11:31:57 AM »
If the lens review agrees with your opinon, it is a good review.
If the lens review opposes your opinion, it is a flawed review.

 ;D
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Zlyden

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 12:23:11 PM »
I do not think that there is any review that states that 17-40 is the worst lens in the world (reviewers normally save such description for 3rd party lenses).

Otherwise, you just should have some initial ideas about "who" and "why" writes a review, and what do you expect from the lens.

PS: If you use Canon's EF/EOS products and read somewhere that the best wide lens in the world is Nikon's (and this is probably true!), it does not mean that you need to sell your gear tomorrow and get Nikon's (and this is probably what you should do to get the best WA-pictures).

PPS: There is only one thing that is worse than reading reviews. And this is: to ask advices on internet forums. Because it's the same thing -- before you follow any advice you should have basic understanding of "who" and "why" suggested it...

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 12:23:11 PM »

Ruined

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 12:51:21 PM »
For the 16-35 II - which I purchased - I considered several things:
* The lens history.  The 16-35 II has already been updated once many years after its debut. The update was minimally sharper than the original at 16mm & 35mm, and in order to do so sacrificed a bit of sharpness at 24mm and also increased the front element to 82mm filter thread.  This indicates to me that from an engineering standpoint, this is a very difficult focal range to make tack sharp.  If it got sharper, I'd assume it would need to be increased to 86mm front filter making it even larger and heavier than it currently is.
* Competitors.  The 16-35II f/2.8 is the sharpest f/2.8 UWA zoom I am aware of that accepts front filters without expensive and cumbersome adapters.  Nikon has a sharper 14-24, but it is bulbous and thus requires third party expensive and bulky solutions for filter usage.
* Reviews.  I could see that the 16-35II f/2.8 was not as sharp as I'd like.  But, there was no other similar lens in this range that appeared superior.

So, bottom line, if you like the 16-35mm range and want the front filters, I think the 16-35 II will be the best it gets for a long time.  If improvements are made, I think they will be minimal.

But, if you are just looking for an UWA zoom, I would not be suprised if Canon released a 14-24mm that does not accept front filters very soon.

So then it boils down, would you rather have the lighter, smaller, filterable, but less sharp 16-35 II?  Or, the heavier, bulkier, non-filterable, but significantly sharper 14-24 that will likely be released in the near future?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 12:53:01 PM by Ruined »

mrsfotografie

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2013, 12:57:06 PM »
For real world use, I'm very happy with my 17-40 f/4 L and I use it a lot on my MkII. Its light weight and relatively compact dimensions also make it ideal for travel. I don't do landscape photography so I don't care about corner to corner sharpness. In any case, stopped down this lens really delivers the goods. I genuinely love this lens and won't travel without it ;)
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neuroanatomist

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2013, 01:06:55 PM »
For real world use, I'm very happy with my 17-40 f/4 L and I use it a lot on my MkII. Its light weight and relatively compact dimensions also make it ideal for travel. I don't do landscape photography so I don't care about corner to corner sharpness. In any case, stopped down this lens really delivers the goods. I genuinely love this lens and won't travel without it ;)

Conversely, I shoot a lot in low light, so I went with the 16-35/2.8 II.  If corner to corner sharpness is important, neither zoom is a good choice - consider the TS-E 17 or TS-E 24L II, or a Zeiss prime like the 21mm.
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nc0b

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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 09:29:47 PM »
After looking at sample pictures in reviews, and being very unhappy with my non-L Canon wide angles, I chose a Zeiss. While the 21mm is better and faster than the 18mm f/3.5, I went for the slower, cheaper, smaller, lighter and wider 18mm.  I couldn't be happier with my purchase for $999.  I generally zone focus it, and often shoot it at f/8. It does accept normal filters, is as wide as I need on my FF bodies, and is a nice 28mm on my crop bodies. The build quality is stunning, and the focus smooth as glass.  It also has full EXIF data, and the electronic focus aid helps to some extent with any Canon body, though with some hysteresis. If the lack of autofocus doesn't freak you out, give Zeiss a look for your UWA needs.
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Re: How do you deal with lens reviews...
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 09:29:47 PM »