Review: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III

StudentOfLight

I'm on a life-long journey of self-discovery
Nov 2, 2013
1,444
3
38
Cape Town
Attached is an unscientific test I did at the Canon roadshow this weekend.
Opened in LR, with standard adobe conversion
Converted to black & white
Exported to TIF
(Bucketfill and text edits were done in GIMP.

Center brightness is 48.0% (roughly the same color as mid-tone patch on colorchecker)
Corner brightness is 14.2% (roughly the same color as the black patch on colorchecker)
 

Attachments

  • Vignette @ 16mm f2.8.jpg
    Vignette @ 16mm f2.8.jpg
    56.4 KB · Views: 112

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
839
281
A little sidenote regarding the vignette. The Zeiss 15mm f2.8 for DSLRs seems to be almost as bad at f2.8, tested on a Nikon at Photozone.de:

http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/988-zeisszf1528ff?start=1
 
StudentOfLight said:
Attached is an unscientific test I did at the Canon roadshow this weekend.
Opened in LR, with standard adobe conversion
Converted to black & white
Exported to TIF
(Bucketfill and text edits were done in GIMP.

Center brightness is 48.0% (roughly the same color as mid-tone patch on colorchecker)
Corner brightness is 14.2% (roughly the same color as the black patch on colorchecker)

it's worth checking the variance of the signal in the corners vs the centre

If canon add no processing then the variance will be correct for the signal level, if they "correct" it even marginally it will show up.

Also I've seen conflicting results for vignetting on lenses between sites. I don't know why this should be except for good honest foul ups, but I've seen almost a 2:1 variation in vignetting results.


Roger (if you're reading this): could you add a quick and dirty vignetting test to lenses on their own?. then we remove the camera from the equation.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
rfdesigner said:
StudentOfLight said:
Attached is an unscientific test I did at the Canon roadshow this weekend.
Opened in LR, with standard adobe conversion
Converted to black & white
Exported to TIF
(Bucketfill and text edits were done in GIMP.

Center brightness is 48.0% (roughly the same color as mid-tone patch on colorchecker)
Corner brightness is 14.2% (roughly the same color as the black patch on colorchecker)

it's worth checking the variance of the signal in the corners vs the centre

If canon add no processing then the variance will be correct for the signal level, if they "correct" it even marginally it will show up.

Also I've seen conflicting results for vignetting on lenses between sites. I don't know why this should be except for good honest foul ups, but I've seen almost a 2:1 variation in vignetting results.


Roger (if you're reading this): could you add a quick and dirty vignetting test to lenses on their own?. then we remove the camera from the equation.

Photozone will run vignetting when they get the lens. They are 90%-ish likely to review staple zooms like this.

- A
 
ahsanford said:
rfdesigner said:
StudentOfLight said:
Attached is an unscientific test I did at the Canon roadshow this weekend.
Opened in LR, with standard adobe conversion
Converted to black & white
Exported to TIF
(Bucketfill and text edits were done in GIMP.

Center brightness is 48.0% (roughly the same color as mid-tone patch on colorchecker)
Corner brightness is 14.2% (roughly the same color as the black patch on colorchecker)

it's worth checking the variance of the signal in the corners vs the centre

If canon add no processing then the variance will be correct for the signal level, if they "correct" it even marginally it will show up.

Also I've seen conflicting results for vignetting on lenses between sites. I don't know why this should be except for good honest foul ups, but I've seen almost a 2:1 variation in vignetting results.


Roger (if you're reading this): could you add a quick and dirty vignetting test to lenses on their own?. then we remove the camera from the equation.

Photozone will run vignetting when they get the lens. They are 90%-ish likely to review staple zooms like this.

- A

but they still test it on a camera, although I agree their testing always seems pretty good, I know roger tests the lenses on their own, I beleive he's the only one to do so.
 

StudentOfLight

I'm on a life-long journey of self-discovery
Nov 2, 2013
1,444
3
38
Cape Town
Here is a series of images that show peripheral illumination: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7a8yp018bb45x9c/AAAAG1f1Gjrc_7nFNIuHjxpna?dl=0&lst=

Not exactly a flat field with the 16-35mm shots. There is a bit of light spilling into the frame from the top right. I included a reference shot at 16mm f/8 which highlights this spill light. I also included a decent flat frame taken with the 35L II at f/1.4.
 
Oct 7, 2013
350
0
This lens sums up exactly what Canon stands for in 2016: very high priced, very good specialized products.

Unfortunately if you are an allrounder, and want to just pay high prices for just good products, Canon does not have solutions for you: even as an owner of 16-35/2.8III, 16-35/4 and 11-24/4 I tend to use the Tamron 15-30/2.8 VC instead most of the times, because it's the only 2.8 VC and it's all in one lens.

Same situation with cameras: the new Sony A99II could replace the 1DX2, 5D4 and 5DsR which you will need if you want to shoot high MP and fast fps. Very often, with Canon you need to buy 2-3 as many products to get versatile jobs done, as they intentionally don't release equipment that can do everything. And even if spending 2-3x the money wouldn't be the problem, logistics will be because nobody wants to carry 2-3x more items than necessary.

My suggestion to Canon is: I know you need to make money. But then at least do it like you did it with the 1DC, and release an ultra-expensive version of needed products so that at least it exists - like in this case a very sharp 16-35/2.8 WITH stabilization. Also, nobody would complain if you would also release a 14-24/2.8. Release a 14-24/2.8 IS and it would be a killer, and also fit in the lineup. As Nikon starts to charge insanely crazy prices, you could charge 4000 bucks for it and nobody would even be surprised anymore.
 

CanonFanBoy

Purple
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
5,326
3,643
Irving, Texas
douglaurent said:
Very often, with Canon you need to buy 2-3 as many products to get versatile jobs done, as they intentionally don't release equipment that can do everything. And even if spending 2-3x the money wouldn't be the problem, logistics will be because nobody wants to carry 2-3x more items than necessary.

Bwhahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahha! ::)

Um, yeah. Canon sabotages itself committing harakiri with the product line. ::)

Sony is the answer. ::)

Quick! Somebody get that A99 II down off that cross!

Back in Kansas now. I want this new Canon lens.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
douglaurent said:
This lens sums up exactly what Canon stands for in 2016: very high priced, very good specialized products.

Unfortunately if you are an allrounder, and want to just pay high prices for just good products, Canon does not have solutions for you: even as an owner of 16-35/2.8III, 16-35/4 and 11-24/4 I tend to use the Tamron 15-30/2.8 VC instead most of the times, because it's the only 2.8 VC and it's all in one lens.

Disagree. Again, someone has judged the all-around usefulness of a zoom based on two questions:

  • Is it f/2.8?
  • Does it have IS?

There's more to it than that. Do you enjoy putting an ND or CPL on that Tamron? Because one would think an 'allrounder' might have that functionality.

Consider what the dream UWA zoom might be:

  • Some folks want wider than 16mm
  • Some folks want f/2.8
  • Some folks want IS
  • Some folks want coma free performance
  • Some folks want light weight
  • Some folks want front filter threads and to employ standard 4x4 / 4x6 landscape filters

And it's quite clear you can't put all of those things into one lens.

Our needs vary. Canon fully understands this, and that's why they didn't chase the squirrel and do what Tamron did. You cannot satisfy the masses with a single ultrawide lens, so it gave us three. I am ecstatic with my 16-35 f/4L IS as I do not have to suffer through the weight and filtering house of horrors going faster than f/4 or wider than 16mm brings about.

- A
 

GMCPhotographics

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Aug 22, 2010
1,673
377
50
Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
fish_shooter said:
Much of the light fall off is due to the cosine to the fourth power rule. There is probably some mechanical and optical vignetting as well - a result of keeping the front filter size as small as 82mm and having a large maximum aperture for this angle of view.

No not really....the previous 16-35IIL also had an 82mm front element, and f2.8 aperture and had a lot less vignetting.
 
Oct 7, 2013
350
0
ahsanford said:
douglaurent said:
This lens sums up exactly what Canon stands for in 2016: very high priced, very good specialized products.

Unfortunately if you are an allrounder, and want to just pay high prices for just good products, Canon does not have solutions for you: even as an owner of 16-35/2.8III, 16-35/4 and 11-24/4 I tend to use the Tamron 15-30/2.8 VC instead most of the times, because it's the only 2.8 VC and it's all in one lens.

Disagree. Again, someone has judged the all-around usefulness of a zoom based on two questions:

  • Is it f/2.8?
  • Does it have IS?

There's more to it than that. Do you enjoy putting an ND or CPL on that Tamron? Because one would think an 'allrounder' might have that functionality.

Consider what the dream UWA zoom might be:

  • Some folks want wider than 16mm
  • Some folks want f/2.8
  • Some folks want IS
  • Some folks want coma free performance
  • Some folks want light weight
  • Some folks want front filter threads and to employ standard 4x4 / 4x6 landscape filters

And it's quite clear you can't put all of those things into one lens.

Our needs vary. Canon fully understands this, and that's why they didn't chase the squirrel and do what Tamron did. You cannot satisfy the masses with a single ultrawide lens, so it gave us three. I am ecstatic with my 16-35 f/4L IS as I do not have to suffer through the weight and filtering house of horrors going faster than f/4 or wider than 16mm brings about.

- A

Lightweight is not a factor with any of the Canon lens options, as there is no lightweight fullframe camera. Even the 16-35/4 IS with a 5D4 is alreasy so big and heavy, that there is not much of a difference to a 5D4 with a Tamron 15-30/2.8 VC. Lightweight would be a Sony A7R2 with a 10-18/4, which also works as a 12-16mm fullframe lense.

While you can't add sharpness or stabilization to a lens that doesn't have it, you can add external filter systems. Not convenient, but in terms of vignetting and placement of gradient filters much better anyway.

A 16-35/2.8III - especially for the price!!! - would have deserved IS. I just bought a tiny Panasonic GX85 camera with sensor stabilisation that stabilizes better than anything Canon has ever built. I don't think sensor stabilization in the new III version would have made the lens extremely bulky, or that it was technically impossible. The main problem for Canon is that all people who would buy a 16-35/2.8 IS now, might never have to buy any new similar wide angle zoom again, which will hurt their profits. This is why their internal roadmap for sure will include a 16-35/2.8 IS in the coming 2-4 years, and they also know how to build it.
 
Oct 7, 2013
350
0
CanonFanBoy said:
douglaurent said:
Very often, with Canon you need to buy 2-3 as many products to get versatile jobs done, as they intentionally don't release equipment that can do everything. And even if spending 2-3x the money wouldn't be the problem, logistics will be because nobody wants to carry 2-3x more items than necessary.

Bwhahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahha! ::)

Um, yeah. Canon sabotages itself committing harakiri with the product line. ::)

Sony is the answer. ::)

Quick! Somebody get that A99 II down off that cross!

Back in Kansas now. I want this new Canon lens.

Canon's big business problem is that all the millions of people who bought a Rebel and now own a smartphone don't see why they should buy any new DSLR. The worst thing for them would be to release pro cameras and lenses that already include all relevant timeless features, so that pros never will upgrade for decades instead of upgrading every few years. This is why a 16-35/2.8 is missing IS, and why the 1DX2 and 5D4 are missing several other modern and simple features.

Canon's paranoia is so big, that with the 5DsR they even released the first fullframe video autofocus camera, without mentioning it anywhere - just because someone could have thought it might be the perfect allround camera for photo AND video, leading to less sales for their video product department.

It's Canon's right to act like this - but it's also the right of Canon users who are heavily invested in their products to tell them that they will lose credibility and money for these obvious politics.
 

Random Orbits

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 14, 2012
2,432
303
douglaurent said:
Canon's big business problem is that all the millions of people who bought a Rebel and now own a smartphone don't see why they should buy any new DSLR. The worst thing for them would be to release pro cameras and lenses that already include all relevant timeless features, so that pros never will upgrade for decades instead of upgrading every few years. This is why a 16-35/2.8 is missing IS, and why the 1DX2 and 5D4 are missing several other modern and simple features.

Canon's paranoia is so big, that with the 5DsR they even released the first fullframe video autofocus camera, without mentioning it anywhere - just because someone could have thought it might be the perfect allround camera for photo AND video, leading to less sales for their video product department.

It's Canon's right to act like this - but it's also the right of Canon users who are heavily invested in their products to tell them that they will lose credibility and money for these obvious politics.

The issue is that you're barking up the wrong tree if you think posting to this forum is an efficient channel in providing feedback to Canon.
 

jeffa4444

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 28, 2013
1,519
176
67
I will never likely purchase the EF 16-35mm f2.8L III as I shoot mainly landscape at f11 where I can.
For those that cannot afford the over double price for this lens the EF 16-35mm f4L IS USM is a brilliant lens and in real world shooting your hardly see any difference judging by the MTF figures Lens Rentals supplied.
 

M_S

EOS 90D
Jul 31, 2013
158
10
douglaurent said:
CanonFanBoy said:
douglaurent said:
Very often, with Canon you need to buy 2-3 as many products to get versatile jobs done, as they intentionally don't release equipment that can do everything. And even if spending 2-3x the money wouldn't be the problem, logistics will be because nobody wants to carry 2-3x more items than necessary.

Bwhahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahha! ::)

Um, yeah. Canon sabotages itself committing harakiri with the product line. ::)

Sony is the answer. ::)

Quick! Somebody get that A99 II down off that cross!

Back in Kansas now. I want this new Canon lens.

Canon's big business problem is that all the millions of people who bought a Rebel and now own a smartphone don't see why they should buy any new DSLR. The worst thing for them would be to release pro cameras and lenses that already include all relevant timeless features, so that pros never will upgrade for decades instead of upgrading every few years. This is why a 16-35/2.8 is missing IS, and why the 1DX2 and 5D4 are missing several other modern and simple features.

...

Presuming that the customers buy it anyway, making this a multiple dip for the company. But since there are options on the market, one can give the money to other companies. Or staying with the current gear. Either way, its not like Canon is the only company out there and one is forced to buy their stuff.
Sharpnes in this lens seems to be great, the vignetting seems to be a problem though. For me that is, before that neuro stupid idiot (thx Chris Jerico) comes to the rescue again...
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
jeffa4444 said:
I will never likely purchase the EF 16-35mm f2.8L III as I shoot mainly landscape at f11 where I can.
For those that cannot afford the over double price for this lens the EF 16-35mm f4L IS USM is a brilliant lens and in real world shooting your hardly see any difference judging by the MTF figures Lens Rentals supplied.

100% agree. If you solely shoot (non-astro) landscapes, buying this lens is tantamount to throwing $1,200 (and image stabilization) in the trash.

- A
 

j-nord

Derp
Feb 16, 2016
467
4
Colorado
ahsanford said:
jeffa4444 said:
I will never likely purchase the EF 16-35mm f2.8L III as I shoot mainly landscape at f11 where I can.
For those that cannot afford the over double price for this lens the EF 16-35mm f4L IS USM is a brilliant lens and in real world shooting your hardly see any difference judging by the MTF figures Lens Rentals supplied.

100% agree. If you solely shoot (non-astro) landscapes, buying this lens is tantamount to throwing $1,200 (and image stabilization) in the trash.

- A

I agree as well, for non-astro landscapes, the 16-35 f4 is a no brainer. Even though I was hoping this lens would be a 1 UWA lens solution for me, the severe vignetting for astro + price are making me re-think. The lens would mostly get used for non-astro landscape where the IS, smaller size, lower weight, lower price, are all worth more than a very marginal improvement in sharpness.
 

CanonFanBoy

Purple
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
5,326
3,643
Irving, Texas
Random Orbits said:
douglaurent said:
Canon's big business problem is that all the millions of people who bought a Rebel and now own a smartphone don't see why they should buy any new DSLR. The worst thing for them would be to release pro cameras and lenses that already include all relevant timeless features, so that pros never will upgrade for decades instead of upgrading every few years. This is why a 16-35/2.8 is missing IS, and why the 1DX2 and 5D4 are missing several other modern and simple features.

Canon's paranoia is so big, that with the 5DsR they even released the first fullframe video autofocus camera, without mentioning it anywhere - just because someone could have thought it might be the perfect allround camera for photo AND video, leading to less sales for their video product department.

It's Canon's right to act like this - but it's also the right of Canon users who are heavily invested in their products to tell them that they will lose credibility and money for these obvious politics.

The issue is that you're barking up the wrong tree if you think posting to this forum is an efficient channel in providing feedback to Canon.

He's simply transcribing the telepathic messages he sends to Canon engineers and product managers. Problem is, that cell tower is down.

As far as the weight claim goes: 5D Mark IV = 31.4oz Sony A99 II = 29.9oz.

If that makes any difference to anyone, God help'em. But he likes to use the Tamron lens (which I also have) so it is equal there. 1.5oz difference. Wait. What does that lens adapter weigh?

Maybe the Sony lenses are lighter. They aren't as good as Canon's.

I think Mr. Laurent's paranoia is made evident in his above description of the 5DSr and Canon fearing anyone would think it is the perfect all around camera for stills and video.::) Nuts.

In the real world, nothing is perfect... except Sony.
 
Oct 7, 2013
350
0
People here seem to assume that nobody at Canon does care about this website and the forum. That has to be either wrong, or it is correct and would make Canon look stupid as they would not check out social media in the year 2016 for feedback - especially when it's probably the world's best and fastest source for Canon product leaks.

Both ways would prove my points of a) the expectation that they are aware of what is said here, or b) that they are lame and ignorant and don't know what's really going on among many users.
 

Ryananthony

EOS RP
Nov 7, 2015
498
2
I would think that less then 1% of canon users post on this forum (sure, I'm making numbers up) Either way, in my opinion, the posters on this forum are probably seen as a pretty niche market compared to the over all sales. I only know a few canon photographers, but not one of them has visited a canon forum.
 
<-- start Taboola -->