fireworks videoing - 16-35 ii f2.8 or the new f4?


Apr 12, 2013
Heading out to DisneyWorld for NYE and plan on videoing the fireworks out there. I've got a Canon 6D ii (yeah I know I whined but the built in image stabilization for videoing and the sweet deal over thanksgiving was too good to pass up) and the 16-35 ii f2.8 and the newer F4. Generally I've used the F4 for daylight videos and the F2.8 for fireworks/nighttime stuff. I've also got the 24-70 F2.8 ii and recently recorded part of a nighttime outdoor concert with both it and the f2.8 wide angle because I wanted to get some closeups of the band members. (well - closer than i could get with the wide angle!). Checking the videos I was surprised at how soft the 16-35 was compared to the 24-70. It's not that the 16-35 is bad but there's a definite loss of detail in the shared ranges.

So now I'm rethinking if I want to use the f4 for nighttime videoing and, more specifically, the fireworks for the upcoming trip. I'm going to lose a stop and the 6D ii's sensor is definitely more noisy in darker settings than the 6D i. Ideally I'd just experiment with both but I don't have a solid way of testing before the actual event.

Anyone have any strong opinions one way or the other?


Dec 4, 2013
Fireworks are bright. You don't need wide apertures to capture them adequately. As for sharpness, I wouldn't have thought the difference in *lens* sharpness was all that much in HD footage - both these lenses are made for full frame stills photography, which means they should resolve considerably more than ~2MP. Either way, you could stop down to f/5.6 and still video the fireworks; I guess for night-time crowds or whatever that would be impractical as you'll need all the light you can get.

You could test with sparklers at night in your garden... But my view is, if you can afford the lens you prefer, get it. If you're price-constrained, use the cheaper one. If you're handheld, use the one(s) with IS, if using a tripod, it doesn't matter.

Is the 6D2 noisier at high ISO, particularly in videos? (Genuine question).


Apr 12, 2013
Re: lens sharpness - there were christmas lights up on the stage and when I video'd with the 24-70 I had much more detail of the lights then I did when I video'd with the 16-35.

Re: noise - it seems that way to me. In some cases it's the same but in a few situations I think there's more noise in the video then in comparable situations on the 6D (in low light situations) It's nothing that can't be fixed in post but it may also be something in the video compression algorithm and not necessarily the sensor.


Sep 9, 2015
Calgary, Canada
My setting (using 24-70 f/4.0L or 16-36 f/4.0L lens, manual focus, on tripod, stabilization off, camera back illumination off, noise reduction off).
For video work of Disney parade, etc.: f/4.0, 1/60 sec, ISO 6400.
For photo of fireworks: f/8.0, 6-8 sec, ISO 100.
If the firing gun of the fireworks is in the frame, you may need some square ND filter on the lower half of the lens to eliminate excessive brightness there.
For video shots softness is because of excessive noise reduction due to using high gain (ISO). You can trade off noise for softness in post to get the balance you are comfortable with.

Note: Tripods are not allowed inside Disney resorts anymore. Good luck with handheld video and/or photo.


Jul 6, 2017
Davidson, NC
Several years ago I was at Disneyworld and came upon a night parade when I didn’t have a real camera on me. I got out my iPhone 5, I guess it was, and took pictures anyway. A surpring number turned out really well. So taking pictures of a lighted night parade must not be that much of a trick.