My test of 17-40 - 16-35

Started Mar 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Flat view
matreshka Regular Member • Posts: 138
My test of 17-40 - 16-35

Hi, guys

A couple of months ago I was considering to do an up-grade of my 17-40 for 16-35 II. My 17-40 had served me well on a crop camera since 2005 - I even managed to sell a Vilnus night scene from this lens to Subaru to use it as a background for their product advertisement on A3 in some magazines. I was really impressed with the contrast and sharpness from 17-40. Nevertheless, it was some sort of a disappointment with image borders from 17-40 used on 5dII.

I read a number of reviews, comps and feedbacks and on this lens while several of them were controversy. I decided to buy 16-35 II and do my own resolution tests and comparison. I hope that the below will facilitate the decision making process 17-40 vs 16-35 II. My test does pretend to be throughout or comprehensive, please take it as it is.

Input: 5dII, ISO 100, tripod, 2 seconds delay, brick wall (ha-ha), around 6-7m distance to the wall = infinity on the lens scale, wide (17 vs 16) and tele (35 vs 35), cloudy, AWB, Av, centre point AF, ACR defaults

Test conclusion:

A crop from the centre

- To my surprise 16-35 II behaved marginally softer (can you notice this?) than 17-40 and the difference becomes more evident when the lens stopped down

- It is contrary to my expectations and what I get during the first test in the forest where 16-35 II performed slightly better than 17-40.

- I can explain it only the fact that my 17-40 is microadjusted (+5) while I did not do it with 16-35 II and therefore the wide shots from 16-35 are just misfocused

A crop from the right side
- 16-35 II and 17-40 seemed to be close to each other even at 2.8 vs 4

A crop from the upper right corner

- Similar to the crop from the center – 17-40 marginally bits 16-35 here – again misfocused?

NB: 1 mm difference between 16 mm and 17 mm on practice is a lot – and one may crop away a lot softness from 16-35 while still getting a wide angle shot at 17 mm which would be sharper on the borders as compared to 17 from 17-40

Tele at 35 (17-40 has a mark of 35 mm as opposed to 17 mm which is not shown on 16-35)

- 16-35 II considerably bits 17-40 in any part of image and at any aperture – even 2.8 vs 4

- This is fully consonant to my expectations and what I saw on and

What I will do:

- Both and suggest that 16-35 II is sharper than 17-40, I tend to believe them
- I will do microadjustment for 16-35 II – hopefully it improves sharpness.

- However I will not re-perform the test – IMHO I have already spend too much time on it

- I will sell 17-40 as I need a faster lens as now I do a lot of in-door shooting. Moreover, I think it is a right time to dispose of 17-40 as it looks like that Canon is going to up-grade it with 2.8-4 version.

I will let you know if sharpness gets better after microadjustment

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow