A coming of age and the EF 16-35mm f2.8 L ....

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by donaldamacmillan, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Hi folks
    Hoping for some more helpful advice and opinion .... By the end of March next year, if i'm spared and well, i will be of a certain significant age ..... 40 years! (Eeek! Hard to believe!)
    A few times in recent weeks i've been asked about what i'd like for my big 4-0, and so i have reluctantly been giving this some thought .... I have already got myself several lenses, covering a good range of focal lengthes, for my wonderful 40D:
    EF-S 10-22mm f3.5/4.5
    Sigma 30mm f1.4
    EF 50mm f1.8 (mk II)
    EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro
    EF 70-200mm f4 L (non-IS)
    There are probably many, many options available to me to consider as being appropriate for my 'special' birthday, but i cannot help myself but to focus (no pun intended) of perhaps a new lens! I am seriously considering requesting, maybe, an EF 16-35mm f2.8 L .... I love my 10-22mm, very sharp and good colour, no complaints from me about that one. But i've been doing a wee bit of low-light landscape photography recently and so am beginning to fancy a wee bit extra aperture, and of course L quality glass!
    What might others think of the low-light/night-time capabilities of the 16-35mm f2.8L? Are there any other wide-angle fast aperture options that others have some experience with?
    The only other new lens option that i am perhaps considering, at this very minute, is maybe the 100mm f2.8 L Macro, just to give me that bit more macro ability and - again - the beauty of L quality imagery.
    Maybe i'll get treated to a landscape photography course of some kind, i've always been keen to get that experience and i would love that opportunity to learn from a Pro without a doubt (i'm based in the north-east of Scotland for inspiration) .... But if i do go for a new lens (IF i'm allowed by the powers that be in my life!) then i would hope to add something special to my more than already decent collection ....
    Any thoughts and opinions much appreciated .....
    Best wishes
    Donaldo
     
  2. From someone a, uh, bit older than 40... hang in there - it isn't that big of a deal!
    Regarding lenses: The 16-35 is a fine lens. It is especially well suited to making low light hand held photographs on full frame Canon cameras, and doubly so when used in conjunction with certain other lenses that make good choices for that kind of photography.
    However, given that you shoot the 10-22, I'll have to assume that you shoot a cropped sensor camera. I would urge you to consider a different lens to cover what the 16-35 does and more in your case. That would be the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. Put aside the notion that all lenses must have a letter "L" and a red ring and consider for a moment that it:
    • provides equal or arguably slightly optical performance.
    • also goes to f/2.8.
    • has a focal length range that is considerably larger.
    • has image stabilization, which is no liability on the tripod and often useful when not.
    The difference between 16mm and 17mm at the wide end is trivial, and it overlaps with your ultra wide lens anyway. You don't have another zoom covering the range between 22mm and (eventually) 70mm. The EFS lens addresses both of these issues.
    Dan
     
  3. Wouldn't it be nice Dan if the 16-35 had IS? I'm jealous of the crop bodies just because of the 17-55. From looking at a mates I am very impressed.
     
  4. I agree with G. Dan that 40 isn't that big a deal to anybody past that stage. Just want to add that with the APS-C 40D you will be much better off with a lens suited for that sensor. The Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 lenses, the non-VC being lighter than the newer VC (vibration control) version, but both of them with excellent image quality are less expensive options than the outstanding Canon 17-55mm 2.8. I use the Canon version with no complaints except maybe size. There is also the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 OS (optical stabilization) version. There are very good rebates on both the Tamron and the Sigma lenses right now that make them even more attractive. The 16-35mm 2.8 lens is a fine lens but it is big and big and heavy for the range it gives. The extra 15 to 20mm on the long end for the APS-C lenses in that range is very nice to have. Good luck!
     
  5. There first thing that came to my mind was a mid range zoom as well, such as the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, or the 16-35mm f/2.8L that you mentioned. But since you have a couple primes that sprinkle that range, you may also consider a longer telephoto lens if nature or wildlife is something you like to shoot. The EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, 300mm f/4L IS, or 400mm f/5.6L would be a fun lens to have to bring those wild animals a little closer.
     
  6. Wouldn't it be nice Dan if the 16-35 had IS? I'm jealous of the crop bodies just because of the 17-55. From looking at a mates I am very impressed.
    I think the fact that it doesn't is a bit more evidence of its suitability mostly for full frame use. I'm not saying that it doesn't perform well on crop, but I am saying that if you regard it as an ultra wide lens for full frame that the need for IS seems less.
    When you think of a lens that covers 17-55mm as a lens for a cropped sensor body - which, obviously, the EFS lens is - then the need for IS on a lens that goes from wide to short tele makes a ton of sense.
    Some people make the assumption that EFS lenses are not serious lenses, perhaps based on the fact that the (quite decent) 18-55mm kit lens is so inexpensive. But there are some really excellent EFS lenses including the macro, the zoom we are discussing here, and the 10-22. Photographically these are all top-notch lenses that have been designed specifically with use on cropped sensor cameras in mind.
    As a full frame shooter, it doesn't escape my notice that there is no single lens that duplicates the functionality of the EFS 17-55 f/2.8 IS for my cameras. This would be something like a 27mm-90mm f/2.8 zoom with IS. For FF we have a 24-70mm f/2.8 non-IS lens and a 24-105mm f/4 IS lens - both fine lenses, but not quite the same thing.
    Dan
     
  7. The suggestion of a EF 16-35mm is inappropriate for this event.
    What is needed is a 17-40mm, clearly. It's also an L of a lens.
     
  8. JDM, pretty funny. I guess that is why I suggested, from my perspective, a EFS 17-55... though I have to admit that is is a couple mm short at the tele end... ;--)
    Of course, this leads to lots of other interesting thoughts. I'm not yet ready for the 24-70, though I guess I'd be happy to be able to justify the purchase of another 24-105 at some distant point in time. ;-)
    Dan
     
  9. Lowlight, and night-time, landscape photography really calls for a good tripod rather than wider apertures and IS. For the most part wideangle landscapes are taken at apertures of at least f5.6 to f16 to provide great depth of field. Of course this means shutter speeds of 1/125 to several seconds, if not longer.
    Though the 16-35/2.8 L lens is awesome for full frame it is definitely overkill for a crop body expecially at it's price. A more appropriate value would be a 17-40/4 L or used 17-35/2.8 L (the predecessor of the 16-35/2.8 L and usually about the same price as the 17-40/4 L).
    However, all these lenses overlap quite a bit with your 10-22 which you are happy with. A 24-70/2.8 L seems to fit perfectly between the 10-22 and 70-200. In this range you could also consider a used 28-70/2.8 L or 28-80/2.8-4 L (the predessors to the 24-70/2.8 L).
    I recommend used lenses as they are a great way to expand your set of lenses even quicker.
    Most people over estimate what IS actually provides in their photography and consequently Canon charges a ridiculous premium on most of it's lenses that have it. So it is often the case that IS takes the place of resolution, contrast, and colour rendition.
     
  10. I'm with John Crowe on this one. Low light landscape work really calls for a sturdy tripod for long exposures. It also precludes the need for IS. The 16-35L is therefore not a great choice here. Also, much as I have and love my 17-40L, I recently tried out a 17-55 on my crop and was truly impressed! IMHO it is just a red ring short of an 'L'. As an important aside, don't get too hung up on L designated lenses. There are some fine non-L's and 3rd party lenses such as Tamron's 17-50.
    <p>For your purposes, I would strongly urge you to consider Tamron's 17-50 or Canon's 17-55. I am curious though as to why you need a lens in that range for landscapes. What do you feel the 10-22 lacks?
     
  11. Having used the 17-40 f/4 L for a few years on a cropped sensor body for a lot of landscape photography and a bit of night photography, and using the same lens for similar types of photography with full-frame cameras for about four years, I cannot really recommend the 17-40 over the EFS 17-55mm f2.8 IS. It isn't that I don't like the 17-40. In fact, I like it a lot for ultra wide tripod based smaller aperture landscape and similar photography on full frame. And it isn't that it is a bad lens on crop - just that the EFS lens is as good or better in just about every way save possibly two - I've listed these below.
    The 17-40 has excellent performance in the center of the frame at any aperture, within the range of what you would expect. (In other words, you aren't likely to shoot it at f/its smallest aperture, especially on crop...) Its corner performance is fine once you stop down but not so outstanding wide open. At first you might think that this argues more for it on crop than on full frame, but there are several reasons why I did not really find this to be the case. I'll save you the full story, but the main issue is related to the need to stop it down to get best across-the-frame performance. With crop you can end up stuck between the "rock" of needing to stop down for better corners and the "hard place" of the earlier onset of diffraction blur as you stop down on a cropped sensor body.
    If there wasn't another choice (or if your primary use is on full frame with only occasional shared use on crop) then the 17-40 might well be the best choice for some purposes. However, as I described earlier the EFS 17-55 is as good or better in a number of ways. The only downsides to the lens are:
    1. the cost is higher.
    2. while its build quality is just fine, the L lens is more solid.
    In the end, while #1 might be a deal breaker for some, I don't regard #2 as being an important decision point here at all.
    Dan
     
  12. By the way by the end of March next year I will be 50! So stop your wimpering! Ha ha. I can't believe how fast the last ten years went.
     
  13. I think you already have a good set of lenses. Don't worry about being 40. Go out there, shoot more and have fun.
     
  14. I cannot comment on the 17-55 F2.8 EF-S as i have never used this lens. I hear that it is optically verity good but the build is not as good as L series lenses. I used to own the 17-40 F4 and do own the 16-35 F2.8 II. Both are great lenses and if you want the option to move to full frame are worth considering. Of the two the 16-35 F2.8 II is not surprisingly the better lens. That said on a crop body you will probably not see and optical difference worth the additional expense. I find that I use the 16-35 F2.8II as a standard lens on my 7D but I bought it for full frame bodies (the 7D was my first and only APS-C body). If you are considering going to full frame or APS-H then the 16-35 II is the best lens but it is very expensive. The other thing to be aware of with the 16-35 F2.8 II is the cost of filters as it's 82mm ring adds a lot of cost.
    Of your other thoughts the 100 F2.8 LIS Macro is an outstanding lens and is worth considering but If you do not shoot a lot of macro you may find the 160mm equivalent focal length a bit long for portraits (again this lens is great on full frame).
     
  15. I cannot comment on the 17-55 F2.8 EF-S as i have never used this lens. I hear that it is optically verity good but the build is not as good as L series lenses. I used to own the 17-40 F4 and do own the 16-35 F2.8 II. Both are great lenses and if you want the option to move to full frame are worth considering. Of the two the 16-35 F2.8 II is not surprisingly the better lens. That said on a crop body you will probably not see and optical difference worth the additional expense. I find that I use the 16-35 F2.8II as a standard lens on my 7D but I bought it for full frame bodies (the 7D was my first and only APS-C body). If you are considering going to full frame or APS-H then the 16-35 II is the best lens but it is very expensive. The other thing to be aware of with the 16-35 F2.8 II is the cost of filters as it's 82mm ring adds a lot of cost.
    Of your other thoughts the 100 F2.8 LIS Macro is an outstanding lens and is worth considering but If you do not shoot a lot of macro you may find the 160mm equivalent focal length a bit long for portraits (again this lens is great on full frame).
     
  16. There is a sweet spot from about f/5.6 to f/8 or f/11 (and I forger the precise range) where the 17-40 does as well as the 16-35, in spite of the enormous difference in price. If one must have an extra wide zoom at 16mm and larger apertures, well, the 16-35 is obviously the better lens, but I doubt that you will be using it hand-held that much. In addition, no lens is at its best wide open, and so the actual benefits of this lens will not necessarily be what you expect.

    Unless you are shooting full-frame, I really don't see much point in either the 17-40 or the 16-35. They are simply not that wide (in terms of effective focal length) on crop sensor cameras.
    One would be paying for what with the 16-35? The red ring of the L lens? I am not disputing that the 16-35 is the better lens at wider apertures, but it has no particular utility on a crop sensor camera at any aperture, as was noted by Dan and others above.
    Yes, I have owned the 16-35, in case you are wondering. A bigger and more expensive lens does not always make good sense. There is yet a range where it is superior--for full-frame cameras.
    --Lannie
     
  17. Regarding Landrum Kelly's post and the comparison between the 16-35 and the 17-40:
    • I agree with the point about neither L lens being the best choice for covering this range on a cropped sensor camera. Many people pick them over the EFS 17-55 f/2.8 IS not because they are better in this range - they are not - but because they simply believe that they "gotta' have the L lens!"
    • The 16-35 is an excellent lens for full frame shooters whose greatest need is for an ultra wide angle lens for hand held low light shooting at the largest apertures - e.g. f/2.8 and f/4. For these people it is worth the much higher price and the need to deal with the odd 82mm filter thread diameter. (Basically, if you intend to put filters on your lens, the odds are you'll need to buy new filters for it.)
    • The 17-40 and the 16-35 are probably fairly equivalent by about f/5.6 and definitely by f/8. Some will argue that the 17-40 may be "better" at f/8 and smaller, but in real world terms "equivalent" might be a better description. If the need is for a lens to shoot small aperture landscape/architecture and similar from the tripod on full frame, the 17-40 is an excellent choice, and the 16-35 provides no advantages
    Dan
     
  18. Wouldn't it be nice Dan if the 16-35 had IS? I'm jealous of the crop bodies just because of the 17-55. From looking at a mates I am very impressed.
    Personally, no. I am happy as can be with the 16-35 vers. I and II the way they are. IS adds weight and cost (and zero IQ).
    No problem with this though: Canon continues to improve the 16-35 without I.S. and also release a version with I.S. (probably an extra $550 and 250 g in weight). Now all camps are happy.
     

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