Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II

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hotdog321
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Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
5 months ago

O.K., I just did a simple side-by-side test of the corners of my:

16-35 f/4 (focal length: 16mm, 24mm & 35mm)

16-35 f/2.8 version 1 (focal length: 16mm, 24mm & 35mm)

24-70 f/2.8L II (focal length: 24mm & 35mm)

I shot manual, raw, on a tripod, f/4 1/80th sec. IS turned off. No filter. Cropped in CS6, saved as jpegs. No sharpening or corrections.

(To the nitpickers out there--if you don't like the way I did the test, buy your own darn lenses!)

Overall scene:

16-35 f/2.8 and 16-35 f/4 at 16mm:

16-35 f/2.8 vs. 16-35 /4 vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II at 24mm:

16-35 f/2.8 vs. 16-35 f/4 vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II at 35mm:

Impressions: the new Canon 16-35 f/4 lens is head and shoulders better than my old 16-35 f/2.8 version 1. The centers of all three lenses are similar at f/4, but the corners of the new 16-35 f/4 are just phenomenal! Sharpness, resolution, color fringing, resistance to flare make the old 16-35 look sick and are frankly better than my fabulously expensive 24-70 f/2.8L II, which is kinda depressing.

The IS on the new 16-35 f/4 is incredible. I'm a photojournalist and I'll miss the f/2.8 speed, but this new lens is so darn good that I'm going to slap that bad boy on one of my 5D III bodies and leave it there.

The new 16-35 f/4 does not have a gel filter holder on the rear like the old 16-35 f/2.8 version 1, but it won't be missed. The new lens hood is less clunky, and the 77mm filter size is welcome since I won't have to buy another expensive CP.

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fritzli
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

great news. thanks for taking the time for testing and posting here. i ordered one and cant wait.

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nicholaskong
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

Thanks for the test. Looking forward to sell of my f/2.8 for this.

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to fritzli, 5 months ago

fritzli wrote:

great news. thanks for taking the time for testing and posting here. i ordered one and cant wait.

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Yeah, it's a pain to do tests like these, but they were a real eye-opener. The 16-35mm focal lengths are key for photojournalism, architecture, landscapes, street photography, even office portraits when used properly. Canon deserves some kudos for producing a truly sharp wide angle zoom at an affordable price.

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to nicholaskong, 5 months ago

nicholaskong wrote:

Thanks for the test. Looking forward to sell of my f/2.8 for this.

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My photography site : http://nicholaskong.com

I'm keeping my old f/2.8 as backup in case this f/4 ever needs to go into the shop, but I do this stuff for a living.

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Just another Canon shooter
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

This is basically a bokeh test, and the 16-35/2.8 wins.

Let me guess - you focused in the center which is very deep into the scene, and expect the corners, lying on a focal plane much much closer to you to be in focus?

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to Just another Canon shooter, 5 months ago

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

This is basically a bokeh test, and the 16-35/2.8 wins.

Let me guess - you focused in the center which is very deep into the scene, and expect the corners, lying on a focal plane much much closer to you to be in focus?

See note at the beginning:

(To the nitpickers out there--if you don't like the way I did the test, buy your own darn lenses!)

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kevindar
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

the original 16-35 arguably had the worst corners at 16mm, of the ultrawide L lenses canon makes. it also had the worst flare and microcontrast. it had excellent central sharpness, and was a very popular wedding/pj lens.  even at f11, the new f4 lens will be a fair bit better in the corners at 16.

compared to 16-35II, it appears the new lens has great improvement in the corners bellow f5.6 to f8.  It also has a more even performance throughout the image, as 16-35II has a bit more of peaks and valley's, but certainly not quite as much of a difference as you see here.

the 16-35 f4 IS, 24-70 F4 IS, and 70-200 f4IS make an amazing landscape setup.

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to kevindar, 5 months ago

kevindar wrote:

the original 16-35 arguably had the worst corners at 16mm, of the ultrawide L lenses canon makes. it also had the worst flare and microcontrast. it had excellent central sharpness, and was a very popular wedding/pj lens. even at f11, the new f4 lens will be a fair bit better in the corners at 16.

compared to 16-35II, it appears the new lens has great improvement in the corners bellow f5.6 to f8. It also has a more even performance throughout the image, as 16-35II has a bit more of peaks and valley's, but certainly not quite as much of a difference as you see here.

the 16-35 f4 IS, 24-70 F4 IS, and 70-200 f4IS make an amazing landscape setup.

Agree completely! Canon has really covered the key focal lengths with these three superb zooms. I wish I had had a 16-35 f/2.8 version II to compare it to, but as it is, I feel absolutely no regret to relegating my old version 1 to backup status.

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technic
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

hotdog321 wrote:

Impressions: the new Canon 16-35 f/4 lens is head and shoulders better than my old 16-35 f/2.8 version 1. The centers of all three lenses are similar at f/4, but the corners of the new 16-35 f/4 are just phenomenal! Sharpness, resolution, color fringing, resistance to flare make the old 16-35 look sick and are frankly better than my fabulously expensive 24-70 f/2.8L II, which is kinda depressing.

thanks for reporting! Yes, the new 4/16-35 is so much better than the old f/2.8 version (or the 4/17-40). But compared to the 2.8/24-70 I'm not so sure, seems to me that the 24-70 has sharper details except maybe in the extreme corners. But my impression might be skewed because the focus plane for the two lenses is slightly different, and there is a difference in contrast or exposure (flare resistance, vignetting?).

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to technic, 5 months ago

technic wrote:

hotdog321 wrote:

Impressions: the new Canon 16-35 f/4 lens is head and shoulders better than my old 16-35 f/2.8 version 1. The centers of all three lenses are similar at f/4, but the corners of the new 16-35 f/4 are just phenomenal! Sharpness, resolution, color fringing, resistance to flare make the old 16-35 look sick and are frankly better than my fabulously expensive 24-70 f/2.8L II, which is kinda depressing.

thanks for reporting! Yes, the new 4/16-35 is so much better than the old f/2.8 version (or the 4/17-40). But compared to the 2.8/24-70 I'm not so sure, seems to me that the 24-70 has sharper details except maybe in the extreme corners. But my impression might be skewed because the focus plane for the two lenses is slightly different, and there is a difference in contrast or exposure (flare resistance, vignetting?).

Yeah, I was surprised at that, too. Perhaps if I do a microadjustment with my 5D III I'll get a slightly different result with the 24-70 f/2.8L II. Frankly, I was shocked and maybe a bit depressed that the relatively inexpensive 16-35L f/4 IS appeared as good or even a little better in the corners. I mean, WOW! This is a seriously impressive bargain, 'cause I love the heck out of my 24-70.

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kevindar
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

I have the 16-35Ii, and I will tell you for landscape, the f4IS is a no brainer.  that much said, the version II in my opinion, does quite well at f11 throught its zoom range, though side by side, in the corners I am sure the f4 will still be sharper.  I do use my lens a fair bit at 2.8 for indoor low light video, as well as people shots, so I think I will stick with it for now.  I do wish It was as good optically at f4, it is not.

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Rick Knepper
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

hotdog321 wrote:

Sharpness, resolution, color fringing, resistance to flare make the old 16-35 look sick and are frankly better than my fabulously expensive 24-70 f/2.8L II, which is kinda depressing.

Are you speaking in general or about the posted comparisons?

In the 24mm series, you are comparing one lens' middle FL with the other's extreme wide end. I see a slight advantage to the 16-35/4 IS (if I have the order correct) but at the same time recognize the feat performed by the 24-70 II. In the 35mm series, I see the 24-70 II as the winner.

I have seen no 16-35/4 IS images posted here or anywhere else that should cause anyone to become depressed.

Being expensive is a matter of opportunity. I believe we've seen the 24-70 II sell for a s little as $1699. All someone has to do is wait for the next real sale, not the rebate sale.

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to Rick Knepper, 5 months ago

O.K., perhaps I misspoke in my hurry to get the results posted. Jeez. Lets see. I'm surprised that the $1200 16-35 f/4L IS produces very similar corner results to the $2200 24-70 f/2.8L II. Better?

Not denigrating the 24-70 f/2.8L II; one of the sharpest and most flare-resistant lenses Canon has produced in years. Love mine--I was just surprised that the affordable new 16-35 could produce similar results at 24mm and 35mm.

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NottsPhoto
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

I am kinda surprised that the result are considered surprising...  The 16-35mk1 was a POS 8 years ago....  I can't see why it would be comparable to a lens two generations later... I replaced mine with the 17-40 a couple of weeks after getting the 1ds mk2...

what I would be keen to see is how it compares to that lens.. Which is the obvious progenitor...

But thanks for the test!   Is clearly a very good lens... I have been thinking about it for video use..

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to NottsPhoto, 5 months ago

NottsPhoto wrote:

I am kinda surprised that the result are considered surprising... The 16-35mk1 was a POS 8 years ago.... I can't see why it would be comparable to a lens two generations later... I replaced mine with the 17-40 a couple of weeks after getting the 1ds mk2...

what I would be keen to see is how it compares to that lens.. Which is the obvious progenitor...

But thanks for the test! Is clearly a very good lens... I have been thinking about it for video use..

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Under ideal conditions and a slug of PP and sharpening, even the much-maligned 16-35 f/2.8 version 1 could produce decent results. But I quickly learned to stop down to f/4.5 or more whenever I used it. I can't wait to start using the new version!

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Mongrel
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

hotdog321 wrote:

O.K., perhaps I misspoke in my hurry to get the results posted. Jeez. Lets see. I'm surprised that the $1200 16-35 f/4L IS produces very similar corner results to the $2200 24-70 f/2.8L II. Better?

Good 'ole DPreview where even the best attempts to be helpful by real live professional photographers are subject to the sarcasm, criticism, rants and raves of amateurs!

*sigh*

Craig, thanks for the time you took to put this up.  Certainly offers enough proof of Canons improvements in their wide-angle zooms. Nice portfolio as well...

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NottsPhoto
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

I got mine to use with the 1dmk2...   But when I then added the 1ds it immediately gave me a headache!

saved a load of dosh by swapping it for the in theory inferior 17-40....  Which I still have..

the hunt for a great 20mm ish still goes on though... I also added the Leitz 21 which was a great lens... But a pita... Now I use the canon 20 with the lens profiles in the 5dmk3 it's actually quiet good..       I do think that in reality anything wider than 20mm is excessive...  What we could with is  a new 20-35.  Bit more moderation might lead to a very good lens.... Hmm good thread topic.

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hotdog321
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to Mongrel, 5 months ago

Mongrel wrote:

hotdog321 wrote:

O.K., perhaps I misspoke in my hurry to get the results posted. Jeez. Lets see. I'm surprised that the $1200 16-35 f/4L IS produces very similar corner results to the $2200 24-70 f/2.8L II. Better?

Good 'ole DPreview where even the best attempts to be helpful by real live professional photographers are subject to the sarcasm, criticism, rants and raves of amateurs!

*sigh*

Craig, thanks for the time you took to put this up. Certainly offers enough proof of Canons improvements in their wide-angle zooms. Nice portfolio as well...

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Just think, if every key-stroke was a shutter-press we would all be pros by now...

Thanks! I've been posting for awhile--I'm pretty thick-skinned by now. Sure have to watch every word, though.

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DavidCB
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Re: Corner tests for 16-35 f/4 vs. 16-35 f/2.8 (v.1) vs. 24-70 f/2.8L II
In reply to hotdog321, 5 months ago

Ive had the 17-40 for a number of years and picked up the 16-35 f4L IS today. Thought Id do a quick test and was really disappointed. On this sample when the IS is turned on it produces an aberration in the Left central axis. Hopefully collecting second lens tomorrow, presumably this is down to poor quality control. Second review soon.

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