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Author Topic: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...  (Read 48017 times)

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2014, 10:46:44 PM »
Anyway here are two where I managed to get the placement of the focal plane reasonably close between the two lenses, if still not quite the same really. I accidentally set the 16-35 II to a touch wider FOV. The lighting changed so development had to be a bit different and I didn't quite match, anyway don't judge on large scale contrast or colors or such since this wasn't a good test for that.

I let ACR do CA correction (probably should have left it uncorrected since this is a demo), applied 21 sharpness at 0.6 in ACR and then 44% high ISO sharpening in NIK with edge/area setting pretty well balanced. No luma NR. ACR chroma NR on 8. No distortion corrections applied (found a house to shoot so you can really see the distortion differences).

24-70mm f/2.8L II at f/8 and 24mm:
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3904/14536246791_b966c88403_o.jpg
16-35mm f/4L IS at f/8 and just under 24mm:
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3882/14539623435_acec6ec0d3_o.jpg

I got a strange impression that the 24-70 II seemed to keep the center portion of the image near max sharpness, especially near the left part of the house over a slightly wider range of focal tweaks, but I might have been misled since the focusing wheel for the 16-35 IS is VERY, VERY short throw. It seemed like it was easier to not get 100% max sharpness at THE point of focus with the 16-35 IS for whatever reason, be it the lens or the short throw focusing wheel or whatnot. (EDIT: note I accidentally wrote "16-35 II instead of 16-35 IS in this paragraph originally, now fixed")

(for this set the aim had been to try to get peak crispness on the bricks just to the left of the door, and let the DOF fall where it did)

Anyway if it's this hard to tell apart from the 24-70 II it can't be that bad :D.
Although I still have an overall impression that the 24-70 II might be made to more easily have super ultra bite to it.

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2014, 10:46:44 PM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2014, 10:49:18 PM »
I'm getting the feeling that there is a reason many sites (as well as myself) mostly to stick to lab tests or a ton of general shooting to get a general feel for a lens and don't try with a lot of careful real world comparisons as between slightly differing true f-stops, different field curvature, the surprisingly large differences in various parts of the frame that the TINIEST nudge of the focusing makes when shooting complex scenes with tons of detail at all sorts of depths up and down and side to side and back to front (yes even at 16mm and 24mm and f/8 or even f/10!), it's hard to carry out a decent test, one minute I am like oh man the 24-70 II truly is much sharper dead center than the 16-35, the next minute, hmm maybe it's actually close, one minute man the 16-35 does the near corners better, the next hmm maybe not because in that frame what I thought I focused on looks worse but this other focusing trial makes the corners a touch worse when the main subject is more similar in micro-contrast and yet at the same time dead center bottom frame near subject the 16-35 is crisper and same for far subject upper top center and on and on, just a little tweak, even at 24mm and f/8 where people talk about extreme DOF and a touch focusing difference making no difference, well it makes a lot of difference.

And you really need to shoot on a 100% cloudless day near noon in an open area where you won't get brightness constantly subtly changing and changes in shadowing and angle of light hitting the scene every few seconds. As how bright the light and what angle it glances off things can change apparent relative micro-contrast, etc.

It's almost easier to get a feeling by just randomly popping of tons of shots and eventually noticing that one lens, say a 24-105, just seems to never nail certain things, while some others do or doing that and sticking to easier scenes with less depth and just getting a general feeling after a while whether a lens can ever make far edges or corners sharp. Or a careful indoor chart test (but these are a bit tricky for wide angles, it's hard to test the edges in a normal fashion and it doesn't tell you as much about FC). It's almost like either strict test chart constant indoor lighting procedure or just a ton of random snapping makes it easier to get a sense than attempting a too quick supposedly careful real world tricky outdoor test.

But these tests where you have a scene with all sorts of depth and can't find a 100% cloudless day, etc. makes it tricky. And you really need to take like at least 12 focusing attempts, trying to exactly focus on the same spot and maybe another set where you keep trying to get best overall balance of all things in focus at once. Tricky. I have shots that I could show that would make the same lens appear to have somewhat noticeable different corner performance and peak center sharpness and difference in focusing was considerably small. If I labelled on lens A and one lens B you might think boy those lenses perform quite differently :D.

One curious thing is that both 24-70 II and 16-35 f/4 IS set to 24mm and f/8, it seems like I can get center frame top distant and center frame bottom close both a touch crisper with the 16-35 than with the 24-70 which seems to hint that the 24-70 II is truer to the f-stops and gives a touch less DOF (and more brightness) for the same aperture, OTOH the extreme corners might be a touch crisper on 24-70 on the torture test scene (maybe a sharpness difference or maybe a field curvature issue or maybe just a nudge of the focus as I'm still not sure I quite got the placement of focal plane quite exactly the same for both, it's very tricky to do, maybe with some giant slanted ruler or an array of cereal boxes to get a better sense of exact focusing, but just based off focusing on a real world scene, it's very tricky, even with more than one attempt, I bet you need a good 12 tries at least).

I also notice that even with copies of the same exact lens and with the camera left locked down tight on a tripod it seems like the framing slightly chances, perhaps hinting at slight tilts of the lens mounts copy to copy being common, which makes it all the more tricky to compare real world.

ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2014, 01:46:08 AM »

More reviews...

This brief one is from Ben Neumann:
http://www.benneumannphotographyblog.com/canon-16-35-f4-review/

- A

ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #18 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:

http://www.slrlounge.com/canons-new-16-35-f4l-initial-thoughts-cautiously-optimistic/

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ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #19 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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT4vQZckk7Q

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brad-man

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2014, 10:51:56 PM »

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT4vQZckk7Q

- A

Yup. I have the Tokina and it was, until now, sharper than Canon's offerings. But it's bigger, heavier, has that bulbous and difficult-to-filter front element, and doesn't handle flare nearly as well (unless you like that sort of thing). I also suspect the Canon is more effectively weather sealed, though this is pretty much a guess.

ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2014, 12:19:52 PM »

A fun unboxing video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpTaVMCpfvI

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

- A

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2014, 12:19:52 PM »

ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2014, 12:23:50 PM »

A really long review video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db3GvPz6nbI

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.

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3kramd5

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2014, 12:59:41 PM »
Lets see. The trade off is 1 stop of ISO for sharp across the frame.

But wait, I thought:

Anyone that focuses on image quality always uses raw files at ISO 100 on tripod. Everything else is a compromise in one form or another.

Guess not.

Personally, I'll probably buy this lens. Seems like a bargain for shots where I control the lighting.
Some Canon, some Nikon, some Sony, some Olympus

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2014, 01:16:58 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 much tried to post up real scenes in a scientific test manner before, it's tricky. I'm trying this time, but it's very tricky. I used charts and constant indoor lighting and general real world impression discussion and a few sample pics. It's hard to use tests for UWA though, at least for me, since I need to put the test chart awfully close to test edge performance in direct fashion, other choice is to rotate camera so edges face a distant test chart, that's not quite the same though and it doesn't tell as much about real world FC.

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.).
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 01:21:42 PM by LetTheRightLensIn »

ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #25 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
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 03:49:33 PM by ahsanford »

wsheldon

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2014, 02:36:50 PM »
...
Either way, lens testing is road to madness.  I say rent before you buy and you'll never be upset.

- A

Even that isn't a guarantee, given sample-to-sample variation in lenses and lens-body interactions. Check the LensRentals blog for some large sample-size comparisons of popular lenses to see how scattered they are in IQ and focus accuracy, e.g. http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/09/there-is-no-perfect-lens

Bottom line is that imaging perfection is a unicorn chase, requiring lots of free time and money. Not to say that I'll stop reading these tests and lusting too ;)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 02:40:16 PM by wsheldon »
Canon 6D & 50D, nice set of lenses

mackguyver

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2014, 10:09:22 AM »
Here's another:
http://www.davidmurphey.com/canon-ef-16-35mm-f4-usm-lens-review/#.U7Vjk0BUhI0

Summary:
Wow, not even close.  Canon clearly has a winner with the new EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM lens.  It holds details well in the extreme corners and it’s almost free of chromatic aberrations.  It’s definitely worth the upgrade from the 17-40.  While I don’t have a direct comparison to the 16-35mm f/2.8 II, I’ve used that lens in the past and found it about equal to the 17-40 in the mid range apertures.  if you don’t need the extra 1 stop, the new EF 16-35mm is the way to go for an extreme wide angle zoom lens.
CPS Score: 111 points

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2014, 10:09:22 AM »

ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2014, 12:11:09 PM »
And now Photozone joins the conversation -- and this spurs an interesting conversation:
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/877-canon_1635_4is?start=1

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?

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ahsanford

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2014, 01:11:41 PM »

And Kai's classic adjective-laden review of the 16-35 F/4L IS:
http://www.digitalrev.com/article/canon-16-35mm-f-4l/MjM5NzkyOTAy

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Re: Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2014, 01:11:41 PM »