A couple weeks ago, I got my hands on some new glass, which is always fun. I picked up the Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS which is a super-wide angle lens for full frame cameras. I needed something wide to go along with the 6D I bought. And, to be honest, I did more research on the lens than I did the camera body, because I really value good glass, and there are a number of options that provide similar results. I ended up going with the Canon 16-35mm f/4 for a number of reasons. It ended up being a question of value vs. quality. In the range of lenses made by Canon you have the 17-40mm f/4 ($850) and the 16-35mm f/2.8 ($1800). The 16-35mm f/4 is about $1200. Thus, it fits pretty snug between the other two lenses as far as price goes.
When it comes to quality, the 16-35mm f/4 actually handles chromatic aberration better than both of them. It’s sharper in the corners than the 17-40mm. And compared to the f/2.8 version it has image stabilization which makes it a better by for video and maybe even handheld shooting in a pinch. Really the only reason to splurge for the f/2.8 version is you do a lot of star photography. The quality compared to the 17-40mm is definitely worthy of the price boost, too. And, as you’ll see from my video, I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out. There are downloadable sample images below as well as some %100 crops so you can see the sharpness.
16-35mm f/4 IS Chromatic Abberation Handling
This was the big reason I thought the upgrade over the 17-40mm was warranted. Not only does it handle CA extremely well, but even when I shot images here at Crescent Falls, during sunset, a place where you would expect to see a lot of CA, it hardly showed any at all. There certainly wasn’t any that couldn’t be handled with a little bit of correction in Lightroom. Below, these are 100% crops of the cliff edges above Crescent Falls during the harshest light possible. On my Sigma 10-20mm I would have seen a lot of CA both in the trees and the ledge. Here, it’s very minimal. You can download all the sample images and crops here.
16-35mm f/4 IS Sharpness
The sharpness really isn’t an issue at all with this lens. It’s a bit soft in the corners at the wider apertures, but you expect that with a super-wide angle zoom lens. Even at 16mm, once you hit about f/11 it’s quite sharp in the corners, although it probably couldn’t be claimed to be tack sharp right in the corners. Zooming into 35mm, you have no sharpness issues at the corner. Below, are the crop samples of the sharpness at various apertures and focal lengths. You can download all the sample images and crops here.
16-35mm Sample Images
Of course, you also want to see the fully edited images, right? Here are some edited images from the trip to Crescent Falls. I didn’t edit any of these images more than just a touch here or there. There is also no sharpness added to any of these images. Again, you can download all the sample images and crops here.
What’s Next on the Travel Photography Blog
I’ve got a bunch of fun things still to come on the channel including some sample images from the Canon 6D. I might also try to get my hands on the new 7D Mark ii in the next couple weeks to see if I can give you a bit of a review. Of course, there will also be some fun location in the next while as I’m hitting up the Rockies again before heading to the United States.