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Thread: 16-35mm f/4L IS vs. TS-E 17mm f/4L

  1. #11
    I would so love to have the 17 TS-E, it's a fantastic lens even without the mechanics behind it. Between it and the 24, I have a hard time deciding, especially since I'm not sure they would replace my regular architectural lens. (!?)

    Since I shoot interiors all the time, you'd think it would be the perfect lens, but it's really not. I'm extremely time limited when shooting virtual tours, so by the time I'd have myself set up for one shot, I'd be halfway through the house with my 17-40. I can't say this about the 16-35/4L IS just yet as there's no Adobe Lens Profile for it!

    Anyway, I've found I've gotten so good at shooting with the UWA I barely need to correct it for verticals - I even amaze myself sometimes. I hand hold 90% of my shots, and 90% of those are as wide as I can possibly get. Your typical realtor wants it to look like you can roller skate in the bathroom. I also have the Rokinon 14/2.8, but haven't started using it yet although I should. It's just sort of an interruption to my workflow if I plop in a different lens.

    These pics were using the 17-40. Although I have no problem (mostly) keeping my verticals straight, eliminating the last little bit of distortion can be important (less on the verticals than horizontal), so I'm chomping at the bit for the Lens Profile!

    The shots below were on a tripod - one of the few times I do this, but I was doing different exposures so we could see the bay - and the place was gigantic so I wanted consistent height in the virtual tour.






    In this really cool Eichler shot you can see my reflection (oops!) as I squat and hand-hold. There was no HDR or anything else here, I never do that for tours.

    This was using the Rokinon - I was testing the available 5D profile, which I modified to work in RAW instead of just JPEG. You can see the impressive verticals all the way up to the very top, where it starts to lose it. I don't have this problem with the 17-40. Can't speak for the 16-35/4 just yet! I think with something this wide that's not too bad. So yes, I shoot as wide as I can all the time, where you say you don't. Hmmmm.

    So, see how I didn't answer your question at all?

    Why would I want to talk you out of the TS-E? Are you nuts? If you can afford it, I see no reason not to have it. However, I would certainly never be without something like the 16-35/4L IS. You can whip your camera right out of the bag and start shooting, with no thought as to initial setup or anything else. The TS-E is a different sort of animal entirely. The 16-35 is like a tasty sandwich at your favorite beach-side grill. The TS-E is like a 4 course meal at an expensive restaurant with an astounding panoramic view. You might have the sandwich more often and enjoy it every time, where the 4 course meal won't happen as often but is something to be savored and remembered. You plan for it and dress accordingly.

    Let us know how it works out for you.

  2. #12
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    Not that it's anything the same, but I just got back from my Alaska cruise. I left my 16-35/2.8II home and took a rented Zeiss 15/2.8 instead. Although I haven't had time to review my work yet, carrying four lenses for three bodies meant manual-focusing the Z15 was a challenge. I doubt you'd let a TS17 hang from your shoulder etc., but the focus ring on the Z15 was constantly bumped out of place so I had to recheck every time. Honestly, I suspect any shortcomings of the 16-35/2.8 were miniscule compared to the effort in handling the Z15. That's my $0.02.
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  3. #13
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    I'm late to this thread, but as I am reassessing my UWA needs as well, I thought I'd chip in.

    For my own style of shooting, I find it difficult to combine a zoom for landscape with also using the 24TS. I love the latter, and once I have it on the camera and start composing and focusing in Live View, I tend to stick with that pace of working. I have thought about adding the 17TS, but usually do panos to cover a wider angle w the 24. However, this limits some elements that can be in the scene (moving waves, clouds) but works fine for architecture in general. By using shift for the pan, the stitching is easily seamless. Until the new 24-70II came out, the 24TS was my 'go-to' for IQ as well at 24mm - whether I needed the movements or not. Now that I have the 24-70II, my non-TS requiring landscape at 24mm is covered with the zoom. Should I add the 16-35 IS 4 so I have a 16-70mm landscape set-up w great IQ across all focal lengths? Maybe I should have a zoom landscape set-up (weather sealed, hand-held possible etc) and a TS set-up? As I stated, I find it hard to mix the two approaches (as does my wife who will not tolerate hiking with me if I am trying to use the TS). The filter issue w the 17TS is another consideration - nice to see the solution spelled out here.

    I have used the 16-35II for low light photos to stop motion blur of people, but I'm not thrilled w the IQ wide open. For landscape, it is fine at f8 - though the new 16-35 f4 IS may be better at all apertures.

    I'm leaning toward a TS landscape package 24 + 17 (maybe when the 17 TS II comes out? if it comes out?) and the 16-35 f4 IS + 24-70II 2.8. This is admittedly shaped around my working habits as well as the image capture concerns.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    Yes, I know this is like asking if one prefers apples or scallops.

    I think this is the most accurate statement made in the thread.

    No, I wouldn't try and talk you out of the TS-E 17mm over the new 16-35. My 16-35 f/2.8L II has been on the shelf in a box for two years now. I need to sell it.
    For general shooting I never find myself wanting anything wider than 24mm. Anything wider I would consider a specialty. The TS-E 17mm fits the bill for a specialty lens.

    Apples over scallops.
    17mm over the 16-35mm.

  5. #15
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I've had the Rokinon 14 mm f/2.8 for 5-6 months now and one thing I have noticed is that if I want wider than 24 mm, I really want it wide. I've only cropped the image taken with the 14 mm a couple of times. I am still very tempted by the 16-35 IS for the optics/contrast/color that I've been reading about, the IS, weather sealing, and the ability to take filters (ok, and that fancy red ring). I would also say the 16-35 IS would have been the perfect lens for Antelope Canyon, IMO.

    But I am not yet convinced I need a zoom in the UWA range. Granted, writing the above paragraph I almost convinced myself to get the 16-35 IS even if I never move it off 16 mm.

  6. #16
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    I have the 16-35 f/4 IS and it is a great lens. Unfortunately, I can't compare to 17 Tilt shift, but I love the sharpness, focus speed, and contrast of it.

  7. #17
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    Take a look at LensRentals.com's blog. Roger and crew have compared the lenses on the test benches, and have disassembled a 16-35/4IS (they were told to wait until there was sufficient stock, so they decided that as long as it didn't need to go out via FedEx for two hours, they had sufficient stock...). Interestingly, his comment in comparing the 16-35/4IS to the TS17 was basically "well, the 17's strengths are tilting and shifting", otherwise the new UWA wins. He also felt the 16-35/4IS will hold up better over the long run than anything else.

    Now I'm thinking of trading in my 16-35/2.8 for a 16-35/4IS...
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

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