Those looking to add a Canon wide-angle zoom to their full-frame kits will likely be considering between the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lenses. At first glance, choosing between them may not seem easy.
The first thing to keep in mind when purchasing a wide-angle zoom lens is, "What is my intended use for this lens?" If the answer involves capturing action – like dancing at a wedding reception – then your decision is an easy one.
The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens' one-stop aperture advantage will allow you to use a shutter speed that's twice as fast as the other lenses at identical ISOs. Another way to look at it is that using an f/4 aperture to stop action would require doubling the ISO to achieve the same shutter speed obtained using an f/2.8 aperture. Considering that many wedding receptions are held in low light venues, using an f/2.8 aperture is the only way to freeze action and keep high ISO noise at bay without compromising the image quality with detail-robbing noise removal.
There are three drawbacks to the 16-35mm f/2.8L II, though – price, lack of image stabilization and an 82mm front filter thread. Of course, that last "drawback" may not be an issue if you have other lenses requiring 82mm filters (allowing for the ease of filter sharing), but the 77mm filter size is certainly more common and more likely already part of one's kit.
If shooting architecture, real estate, landscapes, cityscapes (or anything else with a "scapes" on the end), the other two wide-angle zoom options can be easily employed while minimizing the investment required to create such imagery.
If you don't require an f/2.8 maximum aperture and price is not a primary factor, get the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens. Benefits of the 16-35 f/4L IS include a slightly wider focal length, 77mm filter threads, image stabilization and enhanced fluorine lens coatings for top notch image quality. The 16-35 f/4L IS will allow you to use shutter speeds 4-stops slower to capture sharp images of static subjects while hand-holding the camera, thereby making tripod use less of a necessity (great for backpacking adventures).
So why would you choose the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM over the other two options? The primary reason is price. However, rebate can affect the price comparison significantly. With the current instant rebates in place, the 17-40mm f/4L is only $250.00 less expensive than its 16-35 f/4L IS counterpart. Many will appreciate the 16-35 f/4L IS's benefits for the difference in price.
But again, if money is really tight, the 17-40mm f/4L is still an excellent option. One can easily give up image stabilization if using a tripod, and if shooting at f/8, you won't likely notice a sharpness difference between the two lenses at their widest focal lengths (though the 17-40L does exhibit more CA). Another benefit of the 17-40L is a slightly longer focal range, sacrificing 1mm on the wide end but gaining 5mm on the long end.
If size/weight is the ultimate deciding factor, the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is the smallest and lightest with the 16-35mm lenses being very similar to one another in those regards. However, the EF 17-40 f/4L's lens hood is so big that it will take up significantly more space when affixed to the lens (reversed) compared to the EF 16-35 f/4L with its hood.
If image quality wide open is the ultimate deciding factor, the oldest lens of the bunch – the EF 17-40 f/4L USM – easily falls short of the other options. Take a look at the corner results of the 17-40 f/4L vs. 16-35 f/4L IS tested on the EOS 5Ds R at f/4 with the lenses set to their widest focal lengths. Of course a wide zoom lens isn't always used at its widest focal length and the IQ difference lessens at longer focal lengths, but... I feel that a wide-angle zooms are primarily purchased for their widest focal length capability, thereby making the widest focal length comparison most significant.
When comparing the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM to the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, differences in sharpness become much more nuanced when the lenses are compared at their widest common aperture of f/4 at 16mm. The 16-35 f/4L IS is definitely better in the corners, but not by a huge degree. When both lenses are compared wide open, the IQ chasm is greater as the f/2.8's stopped-down advantage disappears (the same is true for the 35mm results as well).
Of course, there are other factors that can impact image quality besides sharpness including distortion, flare and vignetting. Use the site's Comparison Tools to fully compare these lenses.
Just posted: Tamrac Anvil Super 25 Review.
This camera backpack is definitely worth considering for your long lens carry, transport and storage needs.
Reikan has released FoCal 2.2, an update to its automated focus tuning software for Canon and Nikon dSLRs.
FoCal 2.2 adds support for Canon 80D and 1DX Mark II cameras as well as new features to allow more direct comparison of camera and lens performance with other FoCal users.
Directly compare “Peak” quality values. FoCal users have been uploading their results for over 4 years and FoCal 2.2 makes it easier to compare this data. For example during a Focus Calibration the peak sharpness figure can be directly compared against that same figure from other users. There will always be some variation of lens sharpness between different copies but this feature provides a clear indication if something is really amiss.
Other enhancements include faster image processing with a speed up of more than 40 times! This reduces the overall time for a complete calibration as a significant part of the process now takes very little time.
FoCal 2.2 builds upon last months 2.1 release for the Nikon D5/D500 cameras and means FoCal is fully up to date with the very latest Canon and Nikon dSLRs.
You can purchase FoCal 2.2 from Reikan's website.
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed the patent for an EF 28-560mm f/2.8-5.6L USM optical formula. Considering the specs of the lens, "IS" would likely be included (though not precisely specified).
While some of these tips may seem a little obvious, they're all worth considering if interested in investing in a gimbal stabilizer system. Note that the video author's tip for using a quick release doesn't mention that a completely enclosed QR system – like the Manfrotto RC2 – would be best to ensure quick setup/breakdown without the need for rebalancing. With an Arca-style QR system, it's difficult to get the plate identically positioned when mounting. And when it comes to stabilizers, "close" won't usually cut it. [Sean]
Plane rides are often a means to an end, but this one was so much more. Flying in a float plane over the Shelikof Strait and along the remote southeast coast of Katmai National Park was ... breathtaking. And those breathtaking sights were very photo-worthy, but not without complications.
Airplane windows are not designed with photography in mind and there is some non-optical glass between the camera and the subject. Reflections, uneven contrast reduction and color toning (mostly in the sky in this frame) were among the complications. After an initial attempt at cleaning up the image, I revisited it a number of times over the nearly 1 year that has passed since this flight. The incredible scene was worth the extra effort that went into post processing, but ... I'm still not sure I have this right.
What do you think?
From the Canon USA YouTube Channel:
Having an idea is one thing. Having the tools to make it happen is amazing. Watch YouTuber, ScottDW, unlock his creativity on the set of ‘High School Dance Battle –Gym Class Disaster!’ with the help of his Canon EOS 80D video creator kit.
Through August 19, you can enter to win an LG 34" 21:9 UltraWide Thunderbolt Curved LED Monitor at B&H. Simply click the "Enter Now" button beside "Win a Free 21:9 Monitor of Your Own," fill out the information and submit your entry.
If looking for a new monitor, you may want to consider the non-curved LG 34" UltraWide LED which is currently only $348.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $598.00.
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
You’ve planned your family vacation for weeks, months or even longer. You’ve put in a lot of work deciding where you’re staying, what you’re going to eat, and what you’ll do for entertainment. Now you want to make sure you capture the special moments you’ve worked so hard to create.Read the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
A family vacation is one of those special events throughout the year that you’ll want to remember. It’s a good idea to plan ahead, so you’re prepared to photograph the moments you want to cherish. Here are a few things to think about from packing to unpacking.
Get creative lighting ideas and prep for a great next shoot
You might be a lighting master, just starting out, or maybe somewhere in between. Either way, our latest guide, The Photographer’s Lighting Handbook, in partnership with Profoto, will have you conjuring up ways to improve your next shoot.
Inside, we’ve got tips on both the creative and the business side of lighting. So, you’ll learn:
Also hear from photographers Tommy Shih, Brian Smith, Lindsay Adler and Vanessa Joy on lighting the perfect portrait, environmental lighting, and more.
Up your lighting game; download the free guide today!
The 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II is a core piece of kit for Nikon users.
UPDATE: Information Regarding "End of Life" (EOL) of X2 and Prior Generation Products
We have started work on a new desktop software utility designed to enable impacted cards to continue operating beyond the previously announced EOL date of September 15, 2016. The new software is called the "Eye-Fi X2 Utility" (X2U) and will be provided free of charge as a download.
The X2U will enable cards impacted by the EOL to transfer images to a desktop computer via an Infrastructure or Direct network connection. The utility will be made available in early August on the Mac (OS X) platform. We are also exploring the feasibility of offering the X2U on the Windows platform but are unable to commit to availability at this time. We will provide updates should this situation change.
X2U will be a one-time release provided to enabled continued use of an EOL impacted card for desktop transfer only on a transitional basis. The utility will not have the full capabilities of Eye-Fi Center and/or Eye-Fi View. ALL other Eye-Fi provided software will have to be uninstalled prior to installing the X2U on a supported device. The company will provided X2U documentation and knowledge base but no help desk support, no warranty and restrictive terms of service.
More information about this project will be available in this Community section the week of August 8th.
These same lenses were recently tested on the Canon EOS 5Ds R (in case you missed those announcements).
From the Cinecom.net YouTube Channel:
A camera slider is a wonderful tool to add cinematic movement to your shots. In this video you'll learn 5 creative tricks with your DSLR camera slider.
Exactly 3 years ago we published a tutorial video about different ways you could use a camera slider. We got so many great reactions on it that we had to create another video! This time we share 5 more creative tricks and tips with a camera slider.
See the Original 10 Slider Tricks Video here.
Watch the video above to see how Getty photographers are capturing underwater photos at the Rio Olympics.
Photoshop 2015.5.1 Update (8/8/2016)
8/8/2015 – Today we released Photoshop CC 2015.5 update version 2015.5.1 (Mac and Windows) to address several issues.
Customer reported issues resolved
How to get the updates
Launch Photoshop and choose Help > Updates.
This is a wild baby cottontail rabbit photographed in the studio using a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens. Yes, there are some inconsistencies in that statement. The 100mm macro is not a first choice for a serious photographer photographing wild rabbits and ... why is the wild rabbit in the studio? Let me explain.
First, apparently the dog couldn't help itself and had to show us a baby cottontail rabbit (called a "kit") from a nest it found. Golden retrievers have soft mouths and she gently delivered the rabbit to the front door unharmed. The baby rabbit was so cute that a few photos were a requirement.
To create a natural scene, I took a decorative piece of driftwood and placed it on the shooting table along with a couple of ferns sacrificed from the flower bed just outside. With control over many aspects of the image, the 100mm macro lens was the ideal choice in this case. The 100 L is one of my MFU (Most-Frequently-Used) around-the-house lenses because of its versatility (great image quality, relatively small size with a light weight, image stabilization, 1:1/1x magnification ability, ...). It seems that there is always a subject available for this lens.
A large softbox and studio monolight is always beside my shooting table, ready to light whatever small or medium-sized subject that shows up. From lenses to backpacks to ... baby rabbits. A light source significantly larger than a close subject creates a soft light, lacking hard shadows. In this case, the light was a bit too soft for my taste, making the scene appear somewhat unnatural. Adding a few exposure adjustment layers with creatively painted layer masks (in Photoshop) created a more-natural unevenness (digital flagging) to the lighting. Of course, an octagonal catchlight in the eye is not going to say "sun" to anyone.
The rabbit (mostly) cooperated and after capturing a few photos, the kids asked Sierra (the dog) to find the nest. I thought that request was unrealistic and that the rabbit was orphaned, but ... Sierra took the girls to the middle of a nearby field of thick grass and impressively used its nose to point out the covered nest. The rabbit was reunited with its siblings with ... an unbelievable story to share.
Get a behind the scenes look at Nikon Ambassador Corey Rich’s 24 days on the road, traveling to diverse geographic locations to capture different subjects with the flagship Nikon D5. Watch the full-length film, INSPIRED.
Speaking as a guy who loves capturing outdoor portraits with strobes while underexposing the ambient, I thought this was a fairly neat trick. That said, setting up an 8x8 diffusion frame, hanging the net and then sandbagging the whole thing means that Joel Grimes (and crew) probably spent just as much time (or more) setting up this scrim as I would setting up a strobe, power pack and light modifier. Also, this doesn't look to be a very flexible option as moving the setup would take a lot of time and work.
That said, a diffusion panel and net would be a more reliable solution as there aren't any electronic components to fail and battery power is not required. And compared to a high-power monolight solution, the scrim is probably a less expensive option. [Sean]
From the F.J. Westcott YouTube Channel:
Have you ever had trouble shooting in full sun? World renowned commercial portrait photographer Joel Grimes discusses how to cut bright sunlight and backgrounds in this portrait tutorial.
From the Profoto US YouTube Channel:
Lin & Jirsa Photography shares their secrets to achieving unique and creative wedding imagery in this behind-the-scenes video series. Learn how they use Profoto Off-Camera Flash to control light to match their creative vision and overcome wedding day challenges.
I recently mountain biked to a nearby wildflower field and spent a very enjoyable end of day with the Samyang 135mm f/2 ED UMC Lens (and a large black bear that also showed up). The Samyang 135 is not a macro lens (it's not a good bear lens either), but this lens is great at creating a strong background blur and that is precisely what I wanted this evening.
The sun had set, giving me even, low contrast lighting, and the wind had practically stopped, allowing sharp images to be made without clamping the flower stems in place. I worked along the edge of the field (to avoid damaging the flowers), looking for compositions that could work. This white-trimmed brilliant red poppy caught my attention and I found an angle and background combination that I liked.
When photographing people and wildlife with shallow depth of field, the eye(s) are nearly always the right focus point. When there are no eyes, more difficult decisions sometimes need to be made. In this case, I set the lens to its minimum focus distance and moved in so that the front edge of the upper set of petals was in sharp focus. I later second-guessed my decision and focused on the top edge of the closer flower petal, but ... in the end, I liked the first choice best. The very shallow depth of field covers more of the flower and the stem (also known as a leading line) is more prominent in this version.
The Samyang 135mm f/2 ED UMC Lens performed excellently for me this evening. This lens holds lots of creativity-unleashing potential (and it is a very good value).
Explore Your Wideness
Samyang 20mm f/1.8 ED AS UMC is a wide angle manual focus lenses for DSLR cameras with full frame sensor size. The flow of light is devised based on the uniqueness of the distance from glass to sensor in mirrorless cameras to create optimal performance.
The bright f/1.8 aperture secures a fast shutter speed even under the restricted lighting conditions to offer best quality images. It will brighten up your everyday snapshots. Also it creates an outstanding out-of-focus look by highlighting the main object effectively. In between ultra-wide 16mm and wide-standard 24mm, 20mm lens is a perfect fit to explore wide angles not only for shooting indoor images such as concerts and interior photos but also street snaps. The 0.2m of minimum focusing adds versatility to the lens.
Based on Samyang Optics’ exceptional optical technology, Ultra Multi Coating and two aspherical lenses and three extra-low dispersion have been included among 13 glasses in 12 groups to minimise aberration and unnecessary light dispersion, delivering high resolution from the centre to the corners of the image.
Samyang 20mm f/1.8 is compatible with 10 camera mounts: Canon EOS, Nikon AE, Pentax K, Sony E, Canon M, Fujifilm X, Samsung NX, Sony E, FT, MFT.
Sigma has firmware updates available for the following lenses:
All three firmware updates resolve an underexposure issue when the lens is used with a Nikon D500. The 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports firmware update is only required if using a TC-1401 or TC-2001 teleconverter with the lens.
If you do not own a USB Dock, you can send your lens to a Sigma Service Center and have its firmware updated free of charge. However, considering the cost of shipping a lens insured and the universal nature of the dock, simply buying the USB Dock seems to be the most practical way to update your lens' firmware.
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube channel:
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
Watch as Rudy Winston, Technical Advisor for Canon USA, explains the 1D X Mark II's feature set in this nearly 16 minute video.
Want even more information? Check out our full review of this awesome camera.