Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

Started Jul 17, 2014 | Discussions
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Paul Liukas
Paul Liukas Regular Member • Posts: 358
Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

Hi friends,

I have Nikon 16-35 f4 VR and 18-35G, want to love 16-35 for VR and build quality, as I like to shoot without tripod when traveling. Use it on d800.

If I focus to second half of frame or infinity even f8-f10 corners are unusably even resized to 2000px. Is there 1) lens issue and I need to send for calibration 2) some secrets with focus points on UWA?

When focus on half of frame, or 1/3 first half of frame, corners are acceptable.

The same focus points with 24-70 or 18-35 has good corners, acceptable. Comparing with 16-35 they are perfect.
Any ideas about this lens? Thanks for help.

focused on middle house

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I still don't believe that my new 70-200 f4 beats Zeiss 100 f2 and Nikon 85 f1.8. But this is true!
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turbsy
turbsy Contributing Member • Posts: 850
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

I had the same issue with the copy I tested. I didn't find that the lens warranted it's price. The corners were really not good and it's just too big for an f4 lens in my opinion.

I have seen great things from this lens though so I guess it's down to sample variation.

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simonkit1 Regular Member • Posts: 135
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

Try another copy or get it checked... I think it's a great lens, have some excellent shots from it

Simon

MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 4,179
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

I was actually doing some garden shots with this yesterday pretty similar to your example in terms of focusing distance although at 16mm and F/8 rather than 18mm.

There is definitely some corner softness at 100% but less so than your example and further into the corners.

sd40 Senior Member • Posts: 1,545
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

I have been looking for corner softness with my copy and do not generally find it. Supposedly the acid test is at 16mm, where some owners say it's soft. Here's one at 16mm and f/8.

My first copy of this lens was defective so I agree with those who suggest that there may be some sample variation.

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thelenspainter Senior Member • Posts: 1,847
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?
3

Paul Liukas wrote:

Hi friends,

I have Nikon 16-35 f4 VR and 18-35G, want to love 16-35 for VR and build quality, as I like to shoot without tripod when traveling. Use it on d800.

If I focus to second half of frame or infinity even f8-f10 corners are unusably even resized to 2000px. Is there 1) lens issue and I need to send for calibration 2) some secrets with focus points on UWA?

Focusing far away is the wrong strategy for a UWA lens unless everything in the scene is at infinity.

When focus on half of frame, or 1/3 first half of frame, corners are acceptable.

This is the correct strategy.

The 16-35 has strong field curvature at the corners, at the wide end of the zoom range. The field curves sharply away from the camera. This means if you want the corners sharp when nearby objects are visible there, you need to use hyperfocal distance to focus as close as possible while keeping distant objects sharp.

Further, I would question the application of the term 'usable' to the extreme corners of the image area. It is very rare that a composition works best with important elements positioned so far in the corners. So in reality, a bit of corner softness matters very little. As described above you can minimize it using correct focusing technique.

Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,220
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

I have the same lens and found my copy has horrible edge too when compare to my 14-24G and Samyang14, but I think that has more to do with the field curvature than anything else, so now when I use this lens I pay special attention to the edge and make sure I adjust my focusing a bit to make sure the edge appears to be sharper, I am shooting my landscape picture on tripod and using LV manual focus 99% of the time, so that's a easy to do, I found I got much better edge performance this way.

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 11,921
Re: Why focus on infinity?
5

Why focus on infinity when there is close detail as in your picture?

At infinity focus your lens instruction book says depth of field is from 7 feet to infinity at f4, 10 feet to infinity at 20 mm,  14 feet to infinity at 24 mm, 19 feet to infinity at 28 mm and 29 feet to infinity at 35 mm.

This assumes viewing a 10 inch wide print at 12-15 inches. If viewing at 100% on a monitor you may get no more than 35 mm dof at 20 mm

You should get more usable results focussing closer than infinity.

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Leonard Shepherd
Producing good quality photographs, or being good at sport or art, involves a little more than buying appropriate equipment. Practice, some learning and perhaps natural talent often play a bigger role than the equipment in your hands.

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JOrmsby Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

As one who owns the 18-35G and has tested it against the 16-35 VR, I'd say soft corners are not that unusual on the 16-35. I know some are very happy with it, but I have to admit as a Nikon shooter, I'm really jealous of Canon's new 16-35 f/4, which has gotten great reviews, especially for the corners. As a mostly wide-angle shooter, I really think Nikon missed an opportunity with their 16-35. It's pretty mediocre for the price. The newer 18-35G is better but still not on the level of Canon's new wide angle.

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thelenspainter Senior Member • Posts: 1,847
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

Yes, the new Canon lens looks very impressive, almost enough to make a wide-angle lover consider buying a Canon body...

Paul Liukas
Paul Liukas OP Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?
2

Thanks everyone for posts and advices.

I tried several images to take with different focus points and found that when focusing to 1st third of the frame in most cases corners are pretty usable and after processing they are good.

The main thing we all use 16-35 I think is VR. I cannot take photos in the morning or early evening at f8-f11 @ 1/5 sec. when walking around without tripod. Photo with softer corners or noting at all

It seems that lenses can be usably with extreme accuracy on focus point. If we had a new Canon 16-35 IS

Here are some shots with focus to 1/3rd taken 2 days ago. I think pretty usable. Thinking to leave this lens in my bag and sell 18-35. VR + build quality the main reasons.

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I still don't believe that my new 70-200 f4 beats Zeiss 100 f2 and Nikon 85 f1.8. But this is true!
http://500px.com/pauliukas
http://photo.foodphotography.lt

 Paul Liukas's gear list:Paul Liukas's gear list
Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R
Paul Liukas
Paul Liukas OP Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

JOrmsby wrote:

As one who owns the 18-35G and has tested it against the 16-35 VR, I'd say soft corners are not that unusual on the 16-35. I know some are very happy with it, but I have to admit as a Nikon shooter, I'm really jealous of Canon's new 16-35 f/4, which has gotten great reviews, especially for the corners. As a mostly wide-angle shooter, I really think Nikon missed an opportunity with their 16-35. It's pretty mediocre for the price. The newer 18-35G is better but still not on the level of Canon's new wide angle.

this is true and some bad ideas are coming to head 6d + 16-35 and 24-70 But hope Nikon will release some new version of wide lenses with VR.

-- hide signature --

I still don't believe that my new 70-200 f4 beats Zeiss 100 f2 and Nikon 85 f1.8. But this is true!
http://500px.com/pauliukas
http://photo.foodphotography.lt

 Paul Liukas's gear list:Paul Liukas's gear list
Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R
Paul Liukas
Paul Liukas OP Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

MoreorLess wrote:

I was actually doing some garden shots with this yesterday pretty similar to your example in terms of focusing distance although at 16mm and F/8 rather than 18mm.

There is definitely some corner softness at 100% but less so than your example and further into the corners.

thanks for post. where was your focus point?

-- hide signature --

I still don't believe that my new 70-200 f4 beats Zeiss 100 f2 and Nikon 85 f1.8. But this is true!
http://500px.com/pauliukas
http://photo.foodphotography.lt

 Paul Liukas's gear list:Paul Liukas's gear list
Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R
Paul Liukas
Paul Liukas OP Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

thelenspainter wrote:

Paul Liukas wrote:

Hi friends,

I have Nikon 16-35 f4 VR and 18-35G, want to love 16-35 for VR and build quality, as I like to shoot without tripod when traveling. Use it on d800.

If I focus to second half of frame or infinity even f8-f10 corners are unusably even resized to 2000px. Is there 1) lens issue and I need to send for calibration 2) some secrets with focus points on UWA?

Focusing far away is the wrong strategy for a UWA lens unless everything in the scene is at infinity.

When focus on half of frame, or 1/3 first half of frame, corners are acceptable.

This is the correct strategy.

The 16-35 has strong field curvature at the corners, at the wide end of the zoom range. The field curves sharply away from the camera. This means if you want the corners sharp when nearby objects are visible there, you need to use hyperfocal distance to focus as close as possible while keeping distant objects sharp.

Further, I would question the application of the term 'usable' to the extreme corners of the image area. It is very rare that a composition works best with important elements positioned so far in the corners. So in reality, a bit of corner softness matters very little. As described above you can minimize it using correct focusing technique.

thank you for advices. I agree with you, just some times, when you have near to far composition, these corners can ruin a photo completely. Actually for such images one should you PCE I think.

-- hide signature --

I still don't believe that my new 70-200 f4 beats Zeiss 100 f2 and Nikon 85 f1.8. But this is true!
http://500px.com/pauliukas
http://photo.foodphotography.lt

 Paul Liukas's gear list:Paul Liukas's gear list
Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R
Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,220
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?

JOrmsby wrote:

As one who owns the 18-35G and has tested it against the 16-35 VR, I'd say soft corners are not that unusual on the 16-35. I know some are very happy with it, but I have to admit as a Nikon shooter, I'm really jealous of Canon's new 16-35 f/4, which has gotten great reviews, especially for the corners. As a mostly wide-angle shooter, I really think Nikon missed an opportunity with their 16-35. It's pretty mediocre for the price. The newer 18-35G is better but still not on the level of Canon's new wide angle.

Hey, you better be careful making such statement in the Nikon forum, "we' Nikon owned the WA territory, LOL, yeah as current owner of 14-24G and 16-35G I also wish Nikon upgrade the 16-35 sooner rather than later, it's one of my most frequently used Focal range lens, so a upgrade is welcome and I am willing to pay for the premium price.

GlobalGuyUSA Senior Member • Posts: 1,965
Re: Are your 16-35 VR corners unusable?
1

Paul Liukas wrote:

Thanks everyone for posts and advices.

I tried several images to take with different focus points and found that when focusing to 1st third of the frame in most cases corners are pretty usable and after processing they are good.

Very nice updates!  Thanks for posting pics to show how a different technique can dramatically affect the outcome of the image.  I guess these "tips" are what we call the "art" of photography.

The images you shared are more than acceptable, they are very good.  I'm not sure whose going to complain about it for most work, even meant for artistic presentation.

Someone can say, "that's pretty sharp!"

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Sincerely,
GlobalGuy

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