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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-18-2019

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

@ebiggs1:  Yes, I have all FF cameras, and yes I have really tight shooting conditions.  On a crowded dance floor it isn't unusual for me to be packed between dancers that are literally only a few feet apart, or in small little hotel rooms or cramped bathrooms with a bride (and/or maybe a whole gang of bridesmaids).  24mm doesn't remotely cut it in those conditions.

 

And I didn't say I was experiencing distortion issues.  The two issues are (1) narrower field of view, and (2) darker images.  I'm glad Canon fixed the softenss that a lot of people see in the 16-35 ii.  But I'm iritated at the trade-offs.

VIP
Posts: 11,216
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

 The wider angle lenses, 16-35mm, often have significant issues with field curvature and/or distortion.  This can be seen as a reduction in IQ.  Some are simply not great for large groups or being very close to your subject.  More true at “fast” apertures.  When you try to shoot a group photo at 24mm or less and you have people's faces at the edge of the frame, you're going to be distort them which may be the softness you see. Just laying out all possibilities for you.

 

If the problem is field curvature and/or distortion, it can't be fixed by a repair shop. Aslo, it is not uncommon for some lenses to not honor the FL printed on their outsides. 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-18-2019

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

Yes I'm well aware of the distortion of that lens.  I know the 16-35ii intimately, I've been shooting countless weddings with it as a pro for over 10 years.  But again, I didn't say that was the issue.  The softness of the 16-35 ii, which many people experience with that lens, isn't necessarily at the edges where it gets really distorted, it's in spots half-way or maybe two-thirds-way out from the center, at any subject distance (even when you're not close), and as far as I know is a very well known issue with that lens.  If you read any review article about the iii they undoubtedly talk about the sharpness issues of the ii.

 

Thanks for your feedback but I'm really looking for people with substantial experience with both the 16-35 ii and iii, who can help me verify in a real hands-on sense what changed with these two issues.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎09-13-2014

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

[ Edited ]

I can only speak for myself, I own the 16-35 f2.8L III, I cannot say I have experienced distortion, I only purchased the V III after enough research that it is in fact better regarding sharpness, which in my opinion it is.

I will offer a suggestion that may be of some help, on 500px when you click on an individual’s photograph and look at the Camera / Lens utilized you can click on the lens and see only photographs taken with that lens on the site, so perhaps you should look at what several others have regarding the photograph speaking for itself.

 

You can just paste these one at a time in the search bar, and it will show only the photographs taken with each lens, when you click on any particular photo, allow a few seconds for decompression as the site compresses stored images, takes less than 5 seconds for large size photos to come into focus, before I judge any lens, I want to see what others have experienced by what they have captured, and in this way you will.

 

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM


Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

 

IMHO you have a bad lens if in fact you are seeing distortion in any other place except the extreme edges, which in my experience are removed when applying a lens correction in post processing.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,984
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii


@Mitsubishiman wrote:

I can only speak for myself, I own the 16-35 f2.8L III, I cannot say I have experienced distortion, I only purchased the V III after enough research that it is in fact better regarding sharpness, which in my opinion it is.

I will offer a suggestion that may be of some help, on 500px when you click on an individual’s photograph and look at the Camera / Lens utilized you can click on the lens and see only photographs taken with that lens on the site, so perhaps you should look at what several others have regarding the photograph speaking for itself.

 

You can just paste these one at a time in the search bar, and it will show only the photographs taken with each lens, when you click on any particular photo, allow a few seconds for decompression as the site compresses stored images, takes less than 5 seconds for large size photos to come into focus, before I judge any lens, I want to see what others have experienced by what they have captured, and in this way you will.

 

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM


Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

 

IMHO you have a bad lens if in fact you are seeing distortion in any other place except the extreme edges, which in my experience are removed when applying a lens correction in post processing.


Compression results in loss of information, and decompression doesn't bring it back. So while I might trust that site to provide a reasonably accurate illustration of a lens's distortion (or lack thereof), I'm not sure I'd trust it to accurately depict the lens's sharpness. 

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
VIP
Posts: 11,216
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

The fact is the 16-35mm L II is the weak link in the Canon big 3 of the, f2.8L lens line up. The f4 version is just as sharp or sharper and cheaper. Also, the f2.8L II is pretty good if you don't use it at 22mm or below but who buys a lens not to use all it FL? Sorry Canon just not a fan of the 16-35mm f2.8L II.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,984
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii


@ebiggs1 wrote:

The fact is the 16-35mm L II is the weak link in the Canon big 3 of the, f2.8L lens line up. The f4 version is just as sharp or sharper and cheaper. Also, the f2.8L II is pretty good if you don't use it at 22mm or below but who buys a lens not to use all it FL? Sorry Canon just not a fan of the 16-35mm f2.8L II.


I don't have that lens. (I have the f/4 version instead.) But I could swear that when the f/2.8L II first came out, everybody in this forum absolutely raved about it. Are we getting pickier in our old age? Or was the original f/2.8L just that much worse?

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
VIP
Posts: 11,216
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

"... I could swear that when the f/2.8L II first came out, everybody in this forum absolutely raved about it."

 

I am guiltily. Smiley Embarassed When I first got it I was crazy about it.  Then I started living with it. And, it is still great for stuff other than people. For landscapes and such it is fine.  For brick walls it is not the first choice. And that is why it doesn't do people well.  Work around don't shoot to the frame edges.  But why have a 16mm lens if you have to stay above 20mm?

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens for Canon is better, at worst as good, and costs less than half as much. I am not a Tokina fan but it is what it is.  I have the Tok for both Canon and Nikon.  It's better than the Nikon 14-24mm AFS f/2.8 G ED, too, at a third of the price! At this time that is the only Tokina I recommend and that advice plus a five dollar bill will get you a Starbucks.

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-18-2019

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

For the things I do, the ii shoots people GREAT!  Again, I use it mostly for wedding reception dance floors (very close quarters and dark), and I get outstanding shots with it.  I also use it occasionally for large-group shots (huge wedding parties, or even just bride & groom big vista/scenery shots), and super small rooms like a bridal party cramed into a tiny hotel room.  Yes, some of the wedding party in a big group shot aren't perfectly in focus in a couple of the spots.  But the lens is small, light, bright, and a complete savior in those above-mentioned situations.

 

People here have gotten a little off-topic with regards to distortion.  Again, my issue and reason for this post is that my new iii is slightly darker and has a slightly smaller field of view as my old ii (with test shots under the EXACT same conditions, focal length, focus length, etc.).  And I'm still wondering if other people have noticed their iii is darker and/or smaller FOV than their ii.  (And/or maybe I have a iii that's 'off' a little bit?) 

 

And then aside from wondering if I have a sub-par iii, I'm ultimately left with the decision if it's worth the extra sharpness of the iii for the down-sides (darker, smaller FOV, larger & heavier lens than the ii).

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,342
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Question/issue between the 16–35mm f2.8L ii vs iii

I think you are right about it being darker than the II. Dpreview measures the T-Stop value:

"The lens' F-number is a theoretical value, and the actual light transmission value, known as the T-stop, is always fractionally lower due to light losses within the lens. Lenses with more elements, like a complex zoom, tend to be slightly more effected. The measured T-stop for this lens is F3.1 which means the lens is letting through a bit less light than the F2.8 rating suggests."

 

They don't have a comparable value for the II version for a direct comparison.

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