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Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 I vs II vs III buying advice

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    Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 I vs II vs III buying advice

    Hello, all. I need to get myself a wide angle zoom lens for my Canon 1DX II, and have been looking at the 16-25mm f/2.8 lenses. They just announced version III of the lens, but it's expensive at $2199:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._2_8l_iii.html

    There's also version II, which is significantly cheaper at $1449:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...f_2_8L_II.html

    And finally there's the original version I which goes on Ebay for around $850:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/162200877114...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    I'm sure the quality of version III is best, but how bad is version I compared to version II? And would version I work with the Dual-Pixel Auto Focus of the 1DX II? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Jaime VallÚs
    AJV Media
    Video, Photography & Graphic Design: www.ajvmedia.com

    #2
    Version 1 is a pos
    v 2 less of a pos
    v 3 should be what it should be.

    Buy cheap, buy twice.

    Comment


      #3
      The 16x35 lenses have always polarized users. I have never used my gen ll 2.8 for video, but have used it extensively for photos. I think some folks who gripe about the edge sharpness of this lens when close to the subject don't realize that depth of field at below f4 is pretty shallow. When the subject is in focus, the edges of the frame are out of focus, so users think the edges are soft when it actually a dof issue. I have also heard there have been more than normal variance in qc.

      Although not as sharp as an L series prime, it is a very useful lense and one I couldn't live without doing corporate work.

      Comment


        #4
        There is really no reason for considering Mark 1 or Mark 2, nowadays. Here is why:

        1) If you think Mark 1 is cheap and is good enough, I'd rather go for Canon's 17-40 f4.0, because its brand-new price is lower than even a used Mark I's eBay price (as you quoted above). Both are L lenses.

        2) If you think Mark II is better and is good enough, I'd rather go for Canon's 16-35 f4.0 IS, because it's optically superior at comparable apertures and additionally has IS too. The price difference is mainly because of f4 vs f2.8. Both are L lenses.

        3) A f2.8 zoom, as opposed to a f4.0 zoom, is better typically only when you shoot indoors or in dim light. It's favored by photojournalists, while landscape photographers typically don't miss it at all.


        I'd rather forget about Mark I or II. If you absolutely can't forego f2.8, I'd rather pay the premium price for Mark III (supposedly the best, but you'll have to wait to see third-party reviews). Otherwise, either 16-35 f4.0 IS (cheaper and, as widely confirmed, optically the best among Canon's similar zoom lenses, save for the newly announced Mark III), or 17-40 f4.0 (is optically excellent, and could save you up to US$1450).
        * * *
        Canon 5D III & 7D, 8-15L, 16-35L II, 24L II, 35L, 40STM, 50L, 85L II,
        24-105L, 70-200 f2.8L IS, 100 macro, 100-400L
        Rode NTG-3 / NT4 / NT2000 / VideoMic Pro, AT 4053b,
        Sennheiser G3 kit | MixPre-D | Tascam DR-680/70D, Sony M10
        Sennheiser HD 25-I II | Glidecam HD 2000 | Panasonic TM700K | GoPro Hero2

        Comment


          #5
          All good thoughts. I really wish I had the cash for version III, but $2200 is a bit much for me right now. I've looked into the 16-35 f/4, but I shoot a lot of dim interiors in both video and photos, so the f/2.8 is important. I'll probably spring for version II. Thanks everyone!
          Jaime VallÚs
          AJV Media
          Video, Photography & Graphic Design: www.ajvmedia.com

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Jaime Valles View Post
            I really wish I had the cash for version III… I'll probably spring for version II.
            I think the 16-35 2.8 II is only lens I've ever been disappointed with (related to price/performance).

            And seeing what others are writing, I don't think the lack of resolution and distortion in the corners was just my copy—it's the lens design/manufacturing itself.
            @andreemarkefors

            Comment


              #7
              For an ultra wide angle lens, I'd go with a prime instead of a zoom
              http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=0

              Comment


                #8
                This is getting a little interesting. I've been using my 16-35 f2.8 II for nearly ten years. When wide open at f2.8-3.2, its edge softness and off-center distortion can easily ruin an otherwise perfect shot. Special attention must be paid: ALWAYS. Years ago, Canon's only alternative full-frame L zoom lens was 17-40 f4.0. And the difference between 16 and 17 is significant. At that time, if I wanted a widest possible zoom (other than fisheye), I had to go for 16-35. Also, at that time, no camera could shoot clean images at ISO above 1600, so f2.8 had a distinct advantage over a f4.0 lens in low light situations.

                However, nowadays, those reasons why someone like I went for 16-35 f2.8 II were all gone: (1) Canon now has two optically superior alternative L lenses, and (2) cameras like 1DX II can shoot usable images at truly high ISO such as 25600 or even higher, thereby making f2.8 lens's low-light advantage simply irrelevant. Also, given the ISO range nowadays, when shooting in low light, if f4 can't make a shot, then most likely f2.8 won't make it either: typically you'll either add light or go for a prime.

                The $1450 16-35 II is optically inferior compared to the $1000 16-35 f4 IS. Period. And 16-35 f4 IS is very likely (we'll see after October this year) either optically similar to or slightly less perfect than 16-35 Mark III.

                Knowingly adding an expensive, optically inferior, outdated lens to a $6000 flagship camera, such as 1DX II, will surely make anyone regret in the long term.
                * * *
                Canon 5D III & 7D, 8-15L, 16-35L II, 24L II, 35L, 40STM, 50L, 85L II,
                24-105L, 70-200 f2.8L IS, 100 macro, 100-400L
                Rode NTG-3 / NT4 / NT2000 / VideoMic Pro, AT 4053b,
                Sennheiser G3 kit | MixPre-D | Tascam DR-680/70D, Sony M10
                Sennheiser HD 25-I II | Glidecam HD 2000 | Panasonic TM700K | GoPro Hero2

                Comment


                  #9
                  The 16-35 f4 IS does look better than the 16-35 f2.8 II
                  http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=0

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This is exactly the kind of dialogue I was hoping to get. Once the reviews for version III come out, I'll take a long, hard look to see if I can scrape together the cash. I'm also taking another good look at the f/4 version as well.

                    Fantastic feedback. Thanks all!
                    Jaime VallÚs
                    AJV Media
                    Video, Photography & Graphic Design: www.ajvmedia.com

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hey Jaime, I'm not the biggest fan of the 16-35 f2.8 II. It's good but nothing special, the III might be great, never tried it. Since you are considering f4 lenses, I'll give you 5 other great options:

                      Tokina 11-16 2.8 (This is the one I messaged you about). Very affordable, sharp center, only usable at 16mm on full frame.
                      Tokina 16-28 2.8 - Very nice lens around $600
                      Canon 17mm f4 Tilt and shift - This lens is so choice (especially when not tilt/shifting. Biggest issue is the front element is very precarious.
                      Canon 11-24 F4 - Very nice lens, widest rectalinear lens on the market, very pricey
                      Sigma 12-24 f4 - This is Sigma's Answer to Canon 11-24. It's not out yet, not cheap but it's going to be $1,300 cheaper than Canon and I imagine it will hold up if not exceed Canon's counterpart

                      As you can see, the market is full of really nice options for any budget.
                      Cameras: 2x - Sony FS7, 2x - Sony A6500, Canon 5D IV, DJI Mavic Pro, Canon 5D II, Canon 60D, Canon G16, Canon Rebel XT, GoPro Hero 7, Gopro Hero 6 (RIP), 6x - GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition, Canon XL2, iPhone 4, iPhone 6, Ricoh KR-10, Fed-2, Fujica Half Frame, Canon ZR-100, Sony DCR-TRV 310.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Tamron 15-30 VC
                        poor man choice?

                        Comment

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