Vignetting test with new EF 16-35 F/4L IS and Lee Filter Holder

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
Landscape folks,

I just ran a quick vignetting test with a new 16-35 F/4L IS with Lee Filter setup attached just now.

Method:

  • Used a FF rig, a 5D3 in my case.
  • Shot at F/9 perhaps 18" away from a large white wall. Confirmed focus once at beginning of series and then switched to MF for all shots so the lens wouldn't hunt on the bare white wall.
  • Used a Lee 77 wide angle adaptor ring directly on the lens' filter threads
  • Attached a 2-slot Foundation Kit holder with the 105mm CPL ring screwed on the front.
  • Ran a series with nothing in the Holder, and then ran it again with the 105 CPL attached.
  • Walked the FL from 16-24 in small manual increments (the gap in the ring is relatively small in between 16 - 20 and 20 - 24, so it was not an exact science.)
  • Cable release, tripod, LV, etc.
  • The CPL was a 105mm B+W Kaesemann filter (BWKCPMC105 at B&H)
  • The camera did not have peripheral illumination enabled, but I don't think it would have mattered as (a) there is no lens profile recognized by my 5D3 and (b) the type of vignetting this issue creates is a black and white hard obstruction.
  • Pulled Focal Length value from the EXIF from a Mac OS Command-I (info) pull. No idea if there is a more exact way to get the value.

Results with the CPL ring on a two-slot Lee holder but NO CPL in place:

16mm - 24mm: Clean. No vignetting.

Results with the CPL ring on a two-slot Lee holder and the CPL was in place:

16mm: Vignettes considerably. Expected.
17mm: Vignettes.
18mm: Vignettes slightly. Cloning/editing this out is only a small chore at this point.
19mm: Vignettes the smallest possible amount. A trivial fix in PS or whatever you use.
20mm - 24mm: Clean. No vignetting.

Pleasantly surprised. I thought I'd need to painstakingly disassemble my Holder down to a 'two options' variety (one slot with CPL, two slots with no CPL ring, etc.) to use this holder at all with the 16-35. But as my holder stands, I can shoot with 2 slots (no CPL) at 16mm and all three starting at 20mm. I love it.

That the only wildcards here that might differ on your FF rig with this lens are (definitely) the thickness of your CPL's front ring and (possibly) the version of your Lee Holder. Lee is known to have snuck in weird versions over the years that are ever-so-slightly different.

Hope this is helpful to you!

- A
 

JustMeOregon

EOS 90D
Sep 10, 2013
165
14
Thanks for the great info! Saved me the trouble when I get my f/4 next week! All-in-all the f/4 looks to be a tad more forgiving (when coupled with a Lee filter holder) as compared to the f/2.8.
 

Otter

EOS M50
Jun 6, 2014
25
0
Thanks so much for the info! I have a 2 slot holder as well as a circular polarizer and was looking into getting this lens. Is it better then the 2.8 in terms of vingnetting?
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
Otter said:
Thanks so much for the info! I have a 2 slot holder as well as a circular polarizer and was looking into getting this lens. Is it better then the 2.8 in terms of vingnetting?

I don't have the 2.8, so I couldn't say.

My test was principally to address how much plastic/ring/leading edge physical crap Canon put in front of the front element at 16mm that would push the entire Lee holder too far 'out' from the 16mm FOV. The answer is: not much, and I'm grateful for that.

- A
 

Otter

EOS M50
Jun 6, 2014
25
0
ahsanford said:
Otter said:
Thanks so much for the info! I have a 2 slot holder as well as a circular polarizer and was looking into getting this lens. Is it better then the 2.8 in terms of vingnetting?

I don't have the 2.8, so I couldn't say.

My test was principally to address how much plastic/ring/leading edge physical crap Canon put in front of the front element at 16mm that would push the entire Lee holder too far 'out' from the 16mm FOV. The answer is: not much, and I'm grateful for that.

- A

Great to know, thanks again. Vingnetting has always been a pain for me. I currently have the 16-35mm I(I will pick the F/4L when I can sell my 2.8 I) and with the Lee holder and 2 slots it definitely vignettes at 16mm pretty badly, so canon must of improved something somewhere, seeing you get 2 slots and no vignetting at 16mm. This is pretty exciting to me! I have ordered the wide version of the B+W 105mm polarizer, so it will be interesting to see where what that vingettes at as well.
 

Spooky

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 13, 2012
69
0
Scotland
Just to add, I bought a 105 - 77 step up ring and have successfully used this directly on the lens with the Lee polariser with no vignetting at 16mm. Just need to be careful to avoid banding of a blue sky...
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
Spooky said:
Just to add, I bought a 105 - 77 step up ring and have successfully used this directly on the lens with the Lee polariser with no vignetting at 16mm. Just need to be careful to avoid banding of a blue sky...

Agree. If I am using a CPL for a wide angle shot, I'm only using it for reflections and water, not for darkening a blue sky. I hate that field of view related CPL darkening.

- A
 

dppaskewitz

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jul 19, 2011
186
9
73
This is very helpful. I'm still using the 17-40 but hope to migrate to the 16-35 f/4 shortly. I've been in the process of trying to figure out the Lee holder/CPL/UWA conundrum. Next step: order the 105 ring and the B&W CPL. Thanks.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
dppaskewitz said:
This is very helpful. I'm still using the 17-40 but hope to migrate to the 16-35 f/4 shortly. I've been in the process of trying to figure out the Lee holder/CPL/UWA conundrum. Next step: order the 105 ring and the B&W CPL. Thanks.
Before you pull the trigger on the 105 CPL, you should consider the wonderpana system:
http://www.wonderpana.com/

I haven't used it, but it's basically a Lee-style system with much larger filters so that the vignetting problem is a non-issue for UWA focal lengths. If you want to stack stuff and have a CPL at 16mm, this is the system you should look into.

That said, I love my Lee setup. It's well built and has industry standard sizing so I am not married to first party 4x6 filters or CPLs. And it's flexible and powerful. I can double my ND grads on harsh sunlight, stack an ND grad with a 10 stop ND, and now with a front ring the CPL is an independent consideration if I need to manage the sky (only for longer FL) or reflections (at any FL). The only time I need to juggle/think is between 16-20mm, and that's fine by me.

- A
 

dppaskewitz

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jul 19, 2011
186
9
73
Before you pull the trigger on the 105 CPL, you should consider the wonderpana system:
http://www.wonderpana.com/

I haven't used it, but it's basically a Lee-style system with much larger filters so that the vignetting problem is a non-issue for UWA focal lengths. If you want to stack stuff and have a CPL at 16mm, this is the system you should look into.

That said, I love my Lee setup. It's well built and has industry standard sizing so I am not married to first party 4x6 filters or CPLs. And it's flexible and powerful. I can double my ND grads on harsh sunlight, stack an ND grad with a 10 stop ND, and now with a front ring the CPL is an independent consideration if I need to manage the sky (only for longer FL) or reflections (at any FL). The only time I need to juggle/think is between 16-20mm, and that's fine by me.

- A
[/quote]

Thanks for the advise, but I have been using the Lee system (so far, the Big Stopper and a set of hard ND grads that I have also been using as straight NDs - planning to add real NDs and some soft grads soon). I have been enjoying the system. But, I have been limping along, putting my 77mm CPL between the lens and the Lee. It's nearly impossible to rotate the CPL then set the grads (at least without getting finger prints all over). Hence taking the next step and adding the 105 CPL ring and CPL. Like you, I will need to deal with the 16/17 to around 20mm.
 

Eagle Eye

Recovering Full-Framer
CR Pro
Jul 5, 2011
193
62
Virginia
My test setup:
5d Mark II, tripod mounted, 18" away, EF 16-35mm f/4L IS, shooting at f/8, B+W 77mm XS-Pro 007 front filter, Lee wide-angle adaptor, Lee holder with two slots, 105mm ring, and a B+W Extra Wide KSM Circular Polarizer.

My results were the same; it vignettes ever so slightly at 19mm and is completely clear by 20mm. Removing just the 77mm XS-Pro 007, I have the same ever-so-slight vignetting at 17mm and it's clear at 18mm.

If you want the maximum usable range on your 16-35mm with the CPL attached, get the Extra Wide CPL from B+W and remove the protective front filer: vignette-free from 18-35mm. If you insist on keeping the protective front filter on, just understand that you're limiting yourself to 20-35mm.

As has been mentioned, you can always carry a second Lee holder with only one slot. I've got no vignetting at 16mm with B+W 007, wide angle adaptor, Lee holder with one slot, 105mm ring, and the B+W EW CPL. You'll just have to decide between long exposure and balanced lighting.
 

dppaskewitz

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jul 19, 2011
186
9
73
Eagle Eye said:
My test setup:
5d Mark II, tripod mounted, 18" away, EF 16-35mm f/4L IS, shooting at f/8, B+W 77mm XS-Pro 007 front filter, Lee wide-angle adaptor, Lee holder with two slots, 105mm ring, and a B+W Extra Wide KSM Circular Polarizer.

My results were the same; it vignettes ever so slightly at 19mm and is completely clear by 20mm. Removing just the 77mm XS-Pro 007, I have the same ever-so-slight vignetting at 17mm and it's clear at 18mm.

If you want the maximum usable range on your 16-35mm with the CPL attached, get the Extra Wide CPL from B+W and remove the protective front filer: vignette-free from 18-35mm. If you insist on keeping the protective front filter on, just understand that you're limiting yourself to 20-35mm.

As has been mentioned, you can always carry a second Lee holder with only one slot. I've got no vignetting at 16mm with B+W 007, wide angle adaptor, Lee holder with one slot, 105mm ring, and the B+W EW CPL. You'll just have to decide between long exposure and balanced lighting.

Very informative. Thank you. I think you just cost me something north of $500 (B+W 105 Extra Wide CPL, 105 mm ring and extra Lee holder (for one slot only). I have been on the fence, but this seems to be the way to go. Oh, and that's not counting the difference between what I get for my 17-40 and what the 16-35 F4 costs me.
 

NancyP

EOS R
Dec 17, 2013
1,297
14
Thanks for posting this information. I have been considering buying this lens, and wondered how it would behave with the Lee system.
 

dppaskewitz

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jul 19, 2011
186
9
73
Halfrack said:
Instead of adapting for and purchasing a 105mm CPL, just get a 4x4 CPL from Lee or other mfgs...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/216637-REG/LEE_Filters_PLC_G_4x4_Circular_Polarizer_Glass.html

This solution requires two Lee foundation kits that rotate independently (so you can align your grad and CPL independently of one another). If I recall correctly other posts on this topic, you end up with a vignetting issue when you get down to UWAs. If I'm wrong, I would be happy to know that.
 

emko

EOS 90D
Sep 15, 2012
195
0
sorry for stupid question but if i put a 10stop nd filter and a CPL i cant see anything what do you do to find out how much to turn the CPL for example to remove reflections in water?
 

Otter

EOS M50
Jun 6, 2014
25
0
emko said:
sorry for stupid question but if i put a 10stop nd filter and a CPL i cant see anything what do you do to find out how much to turn the CPL for example to remove reflections in water?

You need to do is rotate your CPL until you achieve the desired result, then put your 10 stop ND filter in. A 10 stop ND filter is always last to go in after you have set up your composition and adjusted any needed filters as you can't see anything after it is in front of your lens.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
1,642
Otter said:
emko said:
sorry for stupid question but if i put a 10stop nd filter and a CPL i cant see anything what do you do to find out how much to turn the CPL for example to remove reflections in water?

You need to do is rotate your CPL until you achieve the desired result, then put your 10 stop ND filter in. A 10 stop ND filter is always last to go in after you have set up your composition and adjusted any needed filters as you can't see anything after it is in front of your lens.

That's correct. My approach (noting I've only used mine about 5 times) is below, and any comments/feedback would be welcomed:

1) I scout the shot handheld and then set up. Tripod, cable release, Lee ring & holder, etc.

2) Switch to M, Av, Tv mode -- whatever you prefer. ISO 100*. Always shoot RAW with the Big Stopper -- many have a color shift that you need to back out in post, and RAW gives you a greater ability to do that. For a host of reasons, I switch to manual focus before doing anything. (Forgetting to do this later can burn you when the Big Stopper is in place.) I never remember to do this, but this is where I should cover the optical viewfinder for the odd risk of light leak.

3) In LiveView, I frame up everything the way I want it. Everything but the Big Stopper should be in place (CPL, ND Grad perhaps, etc.) and rotated / located the way I want it. I won't get into composition as I'm a rookie on that front, but on the technical side of things, I usually opt to manually focus at 10x zoom 1/3 of the way into the frame as many landscapers recommend.

4) If LiveView is showing me what I want to see in the shot (minus the long exposure the Big Stopper will give me), I write down or remember my aperture and ISO settings.

5) I put my Big Stopper in. My new shutter speed will be whatever I had before times 2^10 = 1024. (Note this is a rough number and that your specific Big Stopper may vary a bit -- you'll learn this as you shoot with it.) You can do the math yourself, read the card that came with your Big Stopper, or just get an ND filter app for your phone.

6) I usually just switch to Bulb mode, but you technically don't have to if the computed time is under 30 seconds -- you can use M mode then. I input the ISO and aperture from LiveView, and I take the shot with a cable release (in the locked position) and a timer on my phone. I haven't invested in an cable release with a built-in timer, but that is an option as well.

*I'd imagine that you don't always want 1,024x slowdown and buttery blending. But if you don't have standalone ND filters that are less strong than the Big Stopper, could you cheat and push ISO up to speed up the shot in Step 4, and by extension, take a much shorter final exposure, right? I know jacking up ISO is heresy for a landscape shooter, but it is possible, right?

Feedback appreciated if there is an easier/better way to use the Big Stopper, thanks!

- A
 

dppaskewitz

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jul 19, 2011
186
9
73
ahsanford said:
Otter said:
emko said:
sorry for stupid question but if i put a 10stop nd filter and a CPL i cant see anything what do you do to find out how much to turn the CPL for example to remove reflections in water?

You need to do is rotate your CPL until you achieve the desired result, then put your 10 stop ND filter in. A 10 stop ND filter is always last to go in after you have set up your composition and adjusted any needed filters as you can't see anything after it is in front of your lens.

That's correct. My approach (noting I've only used mine about 5 times) is below, and any comments/feedback would be welcomed:

1) I scout the shot handheld and then set up. Tripod, cable release, Lee ring & holder, etc.

2) Switch to M, Av, Tv mode -- whatever you prefer. ISO 100*. Always shoot RAW with the Big Stopper -- many have a color shift that you need to back out in post, and RAW gives you a greater ability to do that. For a host of reasons, I switch to manual focus before doing anything. (Forgetting to do this later can burn you when the Big Stopper is in place.) I never remember to do this, but this is where I should cover the optical viewfinder for the odd risk of light leak.

3) In LiveView, I frame up everything the way I want it. Everything but the Big Stopper should be in place (CPL, ND Grad perhaps, etc.) and rotated / located the way I want it. I won't get into composition as I'm a rookie on that front, but on the technical side of things, I usually opt to manually focus at 10x zoom 1/3 of the way into the frame as many landscapers recommend.

4) If LiveView is showing me what I want to see in the shot (minus the long exposure the Big Stopper will give me), I write down or remember my aperture and ISO settings.

5) I put my Big Stopper in. My new shutter speed will be whatever I had before times 2^10 = 1024. (Note this is a rough number and that your specific Big Stopper may vary a bit -- you'll learn this as you shoot with it.) You can do the math yourself, read the card that came with your Big Stopper, or just get an ND filter app for your phone.

6) I usually just switch to Bulb mode, but you technically don't have to if the computed time is under 30 seconds -- you can use M mode then. I input the ISO and aperture from LiveView, and I take the shot with a cable release (in the locked position) and a timer on my phone. I haven't invested in an cable release with a built-in timer, but that is an option as well.

*I'd imagine that you don't always want 1,024x slowdown and buttery blending. But if you don't have standalone ND filters that are less strong than the Big Stopper, could you cheat and push ISO up to speed up the shot in Step 4, and by extension, take a much shorter final exposure, right? I know jacking up ISO is heresy for a landscape shooter, but it is possible, right?

Feedback appreciated if there is an easier/better way to use the Big Stopper, thanks!

- A

I am by no means an expert. I have used other NDs more than the Big Stopper, but the principles are pretty much the same. I concur with you and have only a few additional thoughts.

I use M mode almost all the time (except, for example, from a moving train), because that is what I am getting used to (makes much more sense to me than exposure compensation, for example). I suppose Av would also work, but that seems to me to be an extra step, once the aperture is set in M anyway. Concur on RAW (if using LR, I don't see the need to shoot anything else). I use back button focus. Then, if I remember not to push the back button after focusing, however I have focused (that is, using either camera mode or tweaking with the focus ring in Live View), I am set with focus and don't need to switch back and forth to manual focus.

I do use 100 ISO unless I am using other NDs than the Big Stopper, for example 2 stops plus 3 stops, and need another stop slower. Then I use 50 ISO. I haven't thought of or tried your idea of pushing ISO and adjusting exposure time.

I tend to use an app to check depth of field because my eyesight isn't great. I do use live view and 10X magnification when possible (i.e., when there isn't a glare problem I can't overcome).

I don't follow you on the shutter speed being 1024 times whatever the camera said without the Big Stopper (at set ISO and aperture). I find either the Big Stopper card or a phone app. will give the answer.

I'm not sure what you mean by inputting the ISO and aperture. Aren't those already in the camera? Don't you just adjust the shutter speed by the 10 stops (or so, depending on your Big Stopper)?

I've been just counting out the seconds when I need to go to bulb, but the EXIF data generally tells me I got it wrong (I didn't give it as much time as I thought I did), so I like your idea of using the cell phone timer. Or investing in a cable release with timer (so many gadgets, so little money).

DPP