OpticalLimits reviews the Canon EOS RF 16mm F2.8 STM

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
501
350
I’m honestly not sure what you’re arguing about. Nor am I sure why you feel the need to copy/paste large swaths of text from sources that were previously linked. It reminds me of people who try to win an argument with verbal diarrhea, not letting others get a word in edgewise. Except that tactic doesn’t work well online (unless your goal is just to have people ignore your bloated posts).

As to what I’m arguing about, as I’ve said very clearly and several times now, it is your statement, “Fact is, the RF 16/2.8 is not a good lens.” That’s not a fact, it’s your personal value judgement on the lens as a whole. There is nothing objective or factual about it.

Testing has shown the RF 16/2.8 has poor corner sharpness.” Objective statement, fact.

The RF 16/2.8 has high levels of barrel distortion, and the required correction of that distortion has a deleterious effect on image quality.” Objective statement, fact.

The RF 16/2.8 is a bad lens.” Value judgement, not fact.

Every time I have quoted your statement of the third example, you’ve responded with (excessively lengthy) arguments similar to the first two examples.

Perhaps if I frame the discussion in a different, completely hypothetical context. I've looked over LEroy's portfolio of images, and I have the following comments:
"The colors in his image of Ayers Rock are oversaturated."​
"The shutter speeds he used for the surfers at Lennox Point are too slow to freeze their motion."​
"Fact is, LEroy is not a good photographer."​
I can repeat the first two points with multiple posts and thousands of words of text, but my statement about LEroy's photography remains a value judgement, not an objective fact.

You have repeatedly ignored the point I raised. You can continue to pretend that my point does not exist, or you can finally acknowledge that your statement was your personal value judgment, not a fact as you originally labeled it. Either way, I see no point in discussing this issue further.
Which extract from the review did you miss which you would have read in the original review?

Seems you're getting caught up in semantics over what a 'bad lens' is, that's a question you need to ask yourself, as you have a stack of gear and have probably encountered a few in your experience of photography over the years. Obviously, none of them have the words "BAD LENS" embossed on the side, so you're using some criteria to evaluate that, making a comparison against a specific benchmark. Perhaps people have different criteria that they measure against, depending on what they use the lenses for. Technology play toys or work tools? Big difference!

You can ask yourself, what more technical shortcomings would this lens need for me to consider it bad? High distortion- check, high vignetting check, chromatic aberration in corners - check, soft image corners - check, image circle that doesn't cover full frame sensor - check, lens coma - check, focus breathing - check, audible focus action - check, slow STM motors unable to maintain video focus on moving subjects - check. There's not much left.

If you want to believe that there are no bad lenses in Canon's budget RF series, that's your prerogative. Since most things follow standard distributions statistically (and yes there are exceptions such as poisson distributions), odds on there would be a 50-50 split on the matter when it comes to opinions. I'd say that the reviews sum it up as a 'fun', cheap, lightweight and 'good for the price' UW that's easy to carry, those are the attributes they praise.

This discussion kind of reminds me of the CNN reporter with a blazing US city behind him burning sky high telling the audience "...the protests are mostly peaceful here tonight" ;) There's no point flogging a dead horse, and as Dr McCoy would say "It's worse than that: he's dead, Jim", and this one's going nowhere fast!

We're obviously looking at the same data and drawing two very different conclusions lol! If you can't see it, no point continuing this discussion, I'll let it be, agree to disagree, and put it down to a case of very different perspectives. :)

This is old news anyway, there's a rumoured Canon EOS R1 on the latest thread that we're all meant to get excited about now! Everyone is required to speculate about its 100+MP sensor and make wish lists about its specifications! :oops:
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

AlanF

Desperately seeking birds
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
10,334
16,806
Which extract from the review did you miss which you would have read in the original review?
Kind of reminds me of the CNN reporter with a blazing US city behind him burning sky high telling the audience "...the protests are mostly peaceful" ;)
Did you quote the final lines of summary from the review: "Overall, you may argue that you get what you pay for but this isn't really true. A 16mmm f/2.8 for this kind of money is an insane bargain even with the mentioned limitations. Just don't expect Mercedes quality for a Lada price tag."? If you didn't, we may wonder who here is the CNN reporter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
Upvote 0

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
27,914
7,995
…we may wonder who here is the CNN reporter.
In my experience, very few CNN reporters pretend direct questions don’t exist or completely ignore them. That is typically the province of their interviewees, who know they are in the wrong but are unable to admit it so they just ignore the question.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Upvote 0

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
501
350
Did you quote the final lines of summary from the review: "Overall, you may argue that you get what you pay for but this isn't really true. A 16mmm f/2.8 for this kind of money is an insane bargain even with the mentioned limitations. Just don't expect Mercedes quality for a Lada price tag."? If you didn't, we may wonder who here is the CNN reporter.
Well, short of cut and pasting the whole review, this is the point I've expressed multiple times, and totally agree with. You'd think people would actually read the review the article is about before commenting! :unsure:

I've been pointing out its a Lada, at a Lada price with Lada features and performance all along, from day one.
Others are suggesting that's not the case, and that it's actually no different from a Mercedes.
Neuro's attempting to gaslight folks here by suggesting that in in fact not a Lada because Lada's don't actually exist lol! ;)
Hmmm, CNN... :)
 
Upvote 0

AlanF

Desperately seeking birds
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
10,334
16,806
Well, short of cut and pasting the whole review, this is the point I've expressed multiple times, and totally agree with. You'd think people would actually read the review the article is about before commenting! :unsure:

I've been pointing out its a Lada, at a Lada price with Lada features and performance all along, from day one.
Others are suggesting that's not the case, and that it's actually no different from a Mercedes.
Neuro's attempting to gaslight folks here by suggesting that in in fact not a Lada because Lada's don't actually exist lol! ;)
Hmmm, CNN... :)
It was indeed pointed out on day one:
And Klaus' final word (which should always be remembered in relation to low-cost options):

"Overall, you may argue that you get what you pay for but this isn't really true. A 16mmm f/2.8 for this kind of money is an insane bargain even with the mentioned limitations. Just don't expect Mercedes quality for a Lada price tag."
to which I replied:

Mercedes came 23/28 in terms of reliability according to US Consumer reports with a score of 34 compared with Lexus, Mazda and Toyota in the 70s. So maybe you do get Lada quality for a Mercedes price tag.
 
Upvote 0

AlanF

Desperately seeking birds
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
10,334
16,806
There are 3 other sites that measure resolution using Imatest as does opticallimits

https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/canon-rf-16mm-f28-stm
I paired the RF 16mm with the 45MP EOS R5 and Imatest software to check out its optical performance in the lab, and used it with the R5 and the EOS R3 in the field. It performed well on sharpness tests, showing excellent detail in the center (4,150 lines) and good results toward the edges (2,800 lines) when wide open at f/2.8.

Images shot at narrower apertures show just a bit more detail. The lens nets outstanding results in the center at f/4, and continues to sharpen at the edges at f/5.6, with the best performance at f/8. You'll see some resolution loss at very narrow f-stops, so take a little care not to go all the way down to f/22. The lens manages both good resolution and crisp multi-point sunstars at f/16.

Rated 4.0/5.0* Excellent

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-rf-16mm-f-2-8-stm-lens-review-35969
Central sharpness is outstanding from f/2.8 to f/5.6, excellent from f/8 to f/16 and still very good at f/22. The edges do not fare so well, but are very good from f/2.8 to f/5.6, good from f/8 to f/16 and just fair at f/22. Depending on the subject matter, the lower edge performance would not be an issue in say vlogging and in any event is better at longer distances than test charts.

Rated 4.5/5.0* Excellent value for money; it's good and it's not expensive.

https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/reviews/canon-rf-16mm-f28-stm-review
Sharpness is very good across most of the image frame, even when shooting wide-open at f/2.8, and the extreme edges and corners follow suit between f/5.6 and f/11. However when compared to most other Canon RF-mount lenses, centre sharpness is a little disappointing.

Rated 4.5* An amazingly versatile lens, the RF 16mm is tiny yet epic for shooting anything from architectural interiors to sweeping landscapes, and from close-ups to the starry sky at night. Despite its pocket-sized build, it delivers impressive image quality and boasts a speedy, unerringly accurate autofocus system. Canon really has come up trumps with this lens, which ticks all the right boxes and is incredible value for money at the price.

Never waste your time basing your conclusions on just one review site. The only reliable guide for you is the performance your lens has. But, it seems to me to be incorrect that the lens has been panned by review sites in general.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Upvote 0

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
501
350
There are 3 other sites that measure resolution using Imatest as does opticallimits

https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/canon-rf-16mm-f28-stm
I paired the RF 16mm with the 45MP EOS R5 and Imatest software to check out its optical performance in the lab, and used it with the R5 and the EOS R3 in the field. It performed well on sharpness tests, showing excellent detail in the center (4,150 lines) and good results toward the edges (2,800 lines) when wide open at f/2.8.

Images shot at narrower apertures show just a bit more detail. The lens nets outstanding results in the center at f/4, and continues to sharpen at the edges at f/5.6, with the best performance at f/8. You'll see some resolution loss at very narrow f-stops, so take a little care not to go all the way down to f/22. The lens manages both good resolution and crisp multi-point sunstars at f/16.

Rated 4.0/5.0* Excellent

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-rf-16mm-f-2-8-stm-lens-review-35969
Central sharpness is outstanding from f/2.8 to f/5.6, excellent from f/8 to f/16 and still very good at f/22. The edges do not fare so well, but are very good from f/2.8 to f/5.6, good from f/8 to f/16 and just fair at f/22. Depending on the subject matter, the lower edge performance would not be an issue in say vlogging and in any event is better at longer distances than test charts.

Rated 4.5/5.0* Excellent value for money; it's good and it's not expensive.

https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/reviews/canon-rf-16mm-f28-stm-review
Sharpness is very good across most of the image frame, even when shooting wide-open at f/2.8, and the extreme edges and corners follow suit between f/5.6 and f/11. However when compared to most other Canon RF-mount lenses, centre sharpness is a little disappointing.

Rated 4.5* An amazingly versatile lens, the RF 16mm is tiny yet epic for shooting anything from architectural interiors to sweeping landscapes, and from close-ups to the starry sky at night. Despite its pocket-sized build, it delivers impressive image quality and boasts a speedy, unerringly accurate autofocus system. Canon really has come up trumps with this lens, which ticks all the right boxes and is incredible value for money at the price.

Never waste your time basing your conclusions on just one review site. The only reliable guide for you is the performance your lens has. But, it seems to me to be incorrect that the lens has been panned by review sites in general.
Keep in mind the overall rating score in reviews considers criteria such as value for money, construction, etc and average out up to five different criteria, of which IQ is only one, because there's more to a lens than just IQ.

The digitalcameraworld list of suitable uses for this lens is just a lazy template UW lens text cut and paste that should be taken with a grain of salt though....

It's important for people to read the reviews in their totality, look at the actual Imatest results (remembering that the score is also affected by the sensor resolution) and to realise that some reviewers go deeper and are more critical than others in their conclusions. The sample images in decent review sites like TDP speak volumes.

It's really very simple for people to draw their own conclusions from actual evidence. As a quick personal test, they can just look at the centre and corner crop images from the TDP review at the various apertures, of which the corner ones clearly look soft and blurred (I won't repost them again) and ask themselves "Is this image quality acceptable for my purposes?" It's a straight-out yes or no decision for anyone, no need for debates.

A second thing worth looking at is the TDP - Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens Image Quality tool testing the Rf 16mm f/2.8 wide open at f/2.8 vs stopped down at f/8 if people want to see what changes in image quality in the centre, mid-frame, periphery and corners when the lens is stopped down:


This tool can be used to compare the performance to lenses that people already own, and like/dislike to see if it's better or worse.

An interesting point that Bryan from TDP makes in his review is "While the enhanced resolution test chart results show rather impressive corner performance (aside from the strong lateral CA), the outdoor examples captured at longer distances show the corners rendered more softly. Improvement shows as the aperture is narrowed, but the corners are still slightly soft at f/11." Outdoor, real-life use photos taken at realistic distances yield different results from test charts, which Imatest is based on.
 
Upvote 0

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
27,914
7,995
Never waste your time basing your conclusions on just one review site. The only reliable guide for you is the performance your lens has. But, it seems to me to be incorrect that the lens has been panned by review sites in general.
It’s not a waste of time. It’s a very fruitful use of time to find and present only those sources that support your argument. It’s almost as honest as accusing someone of gaslighting when you’re the one pretending a statement you made doesn’t exist.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
501
350
It’s not a waste of time. It’s a very fruitful use of time to find and present only those sources that support your argument. It’s almost as honest as accusing someone of gaslighting when you’re the one pretending a statement you made doesn’t exist.
I was taking the mickey out of you about gaslighting, it was a joke! :D
 
Upvote 0

AlanF

Desperately seeking birds
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
10,334
16,806
Keep in mind the overall rating score in reviews considers criteria such as value for money, construction, etc and average out up to five different criteria, of which IQ is only one, because there's more to a lens than just IQ.

The digitalcameraworld list of suitable uses for this lens is just a lazy template UW lens text cut and paste that should be taken with a grain of salt though....

It's important for people to read the reviews in their totality, look at the actual Imatest results (remembering that the score is also affected by the sensor resolution) and to realise that some reviewers go deeper and are more critical than others in their conclusions. The sample images in decent review sites like TDP speak volumes.

It's really very simple for people to draw their own conclusions from actual evidence. As a quick personal test, they can just look at the centre and corner crop images from the TDP review at the various apertures, of which the corner ones clearly look soft and blurred (I won't repost them again) and ask themselves "Is this image quality acceptable for my purposes?" It's a straight-out yes or no decision for anyone, no need for debates.

A second thing worth looking at is the TDP - Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Lens Image Quality tool testing the Rf 16mm f/2.8 wide open at f/2.8 vs stopped down at f/8 if people want to see what changes in image quality in the centre, mid-frame, periphery and corners when the lens is stopped down:


This tool can be used to compare the performance to lenses that people already own, and like/dislike to see if it's better or worse.

An interesting point that Bryan from TDP makes in his review is "While the enhanced resolution test chart results show rather impressive corner performance (aside from the strong lateral CA), the outdoor examples captured at longer distances show the corners rendered more softly. Improvement shows as the aperture is narrowed, but the corners are still slightly soft at f/11." Outdoor, real-life use photos taken at realistic distances yield different results from test charts, which Imatest is based on.
The thrust of my post was absolutely clear. It was about measured Imatest results, which you yourself have described as being objective, and which results I pasted in. But, as usual you have avoided dealing with the simple issue and put up a barrage of words at a tangent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
Upvote 0

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
501
350
The thrust of my post was absolutely clear. It was about measured Imatest results, which you yourself have described as being objective, and which results I pasted in. But, as usual you have avoided dealing with the simple issue and put up a barrage of words at a tangent.
Sorry Alan, this discussion is quite absurd, wasted too much time simply stating that the review in topic is factual, that should be patently obvious, but no, some people go fanboy mode and get upset over restating the same shortcomings mentioned in this review and others. The religious fervor shown defending a budget lens and playing down the shortcomings is a bit sad, it becomes a bit tiresome after a while. I sometimes wonder how passionate people are about issues that really matter...

I respect you so I'll take time to answer your question. I'm not avoiding your questions or ignoring you; it's quickly becoming less viable for me to spend time online recreationally any longer. My work and study commitments are taking priority over photography forum conversations, which I feel I've been overdoing recently (as you'd probably agree), so I'm trying to spend less time here. We could discuss the intricacies and nuances of the Imatests for many hours, and after a while arrive at come common understanding or whatever, if I had the time and inclination. It's great when people share their valuable experience and knowledge, that's a great learning opportunity, and increases the information signal to noise ratio of online forums, but not a very productive use of time when threads turn to petty disagreements of opinion that don't really matter, that's really more noise than signal, which makes it tedious for forum lurkers to sift through to find the useful information they need, so forgive me if I'm less inclined to contribute much or bother with these old threads. Thanks for the civil discussion we've had to this point, it's always good. :)
 
Upvote 0

LogicExtremist

Lux pictor
Sep 26, 2021
501
350
TL;DR - I can’t admit I was wrong, so I’m going to take my marbles and go home.
Always happy to match wits, it's been good challenging each other's thinking, and as you know I do admit my mistakes so that's a tacky comment. :rolleyes:
People's situations change, you know better, but you just couldn't help but go the ad-hominem route lol! Some things never change! :LOL:
 
Upvote 0

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
27,914
7,995
So extensive use of the copy/paste function is what you consider ‘matching wits’? :ROFLMAO:

Funny how you have time to keep reading and responding, but you’re ‘too busy’ to admit your characterization of the 16/2.8 as ‘not a good lens’ was not factual, merely your value judgement based on some internet reviews.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Upvote 0

Frodo

EOS RP
Nov 3, 2012
463
168
LogicExtremist, this quote from several posts back seems to summarise your position:
"The 50mm is borderline for my uses, so the 16mm won't cut it and I don't have a use for a 16mm prime anyway, which is why I won't buy it. To respond to your statement, I don't need to justify any preconceived notions about not buying a lens, that wouldn't make sense."
So:
-You don't see a need for this lens for your use case
- You haven't bought the lens and so have no personal experience with it.

In the amount of time you spent typing posts in this thread, you could have borrowed a lens and tried it out.

As for me:
- I had a Samyang 14/2.8 that was significantly sharper than a friend's EF 14/2.8
- My RF 16/2.8 stopped down to f/4 is comparable to the Samyang
- DXO Pure Raw2 substantially improves RF 16/2.8 files (as it does with the RF 50/1.8)
- I tested two RF 16s and RF50s and found noticeable differences
-The small size of the RF 16/2.8 means it comes hiking with me and will take images that the heavier and larger Samyang didn't
-I stack astro images, not to improve the performance of the lens, but to improve the signal to noise ratio of the sensor
-I have an exhibition in November and expect to sell A2 photos shot with this lens.

In my experience and for my use case, I think this is a very good lens. I hope the RF 24/1.8, which I am buying next week, will be as good.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
Upvote 0

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
CR Pro
Aug 9, 2018
1,933
2,296
I finally had a chance to try my 16/2.8 for astro. I'm quite happy with the results. f/2.8 is good, f/4 just a tad better, especially in the corners. Are there bigger and better lenses out there? I'm sure there are. But that doesn't make this lens useless or anything of that effect. Works pretty good for my purpose

View attachment 205841
How dare you take such a nice picture with such a wretched lens? ;)
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 6 users
Upvote 0