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

  1. #1
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    16-35mm f/4L IS vs. TS-E 17mm f/4L

    Yes, I know this is like asking if one prefers apples or scallops.

    As I stated in the UWA lens thread, looking over my library less than 15% of my 16-35/2.8 shots are wider than f/4, and many of those are of static subjects where 3-4 stops of IS would be of more benefit than the extra stop of light. Accordingly, I just sold my 16-35mm f/2.8L II, and I had planned on ordering the 16-35mm f/4L IS to replace it. But I got to thinking... Most of my shots with the 16-35/2.8 are of buildings or landscapes and are from a tripod; only a few shots have people in them, and those were generally opportunistic photos where the 16-35 was already on the camera, but 24mm would have been wide enough.

    Granted, the TS-E 17mm is significantly more expensive, but ignoring that, I find myself thinking the TS-E 17mm would be a better choice for me. Anyone want to talk me out of it?

  2. #2
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    For the situations where you've been using the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II - I think the TS-E 17mm f/4 L would be the better choice. I've been seriously considering picking it up for my own personal kit (but other purchases keep getting in the way).

    Go with the TS-E lens. :-)

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    Not that I have used any of these lenses, but I'll try
    TS-E is heavier
    Using filters is more difficult (and slower to set up?)
    16-35 is better for walk around and opportunistic shots while the lens is already on the camera (even if that is only 15% of your shots - that's still some shots)
    You already have a TS-E - would the 17mm open up that many more opportunities?
    Arnt

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Another tough one. I am in a bit of the same situation as I start to think about my next lens the 16-35 f/4 IS is definitely being considered.

    If your primary purpose is architecture, the TS-E makes sense.

    However, I have to wonder if the benefit of having 4 stop IS and potentially not needing a tripod (as often) may be a significant factor when packing and hiking around with a couple young kids.

    As I think about my kit, I am entertaining the idea of my core being the 16-35 IS, 24-70 II, and 70-200 II. If I wanted to travel "light" with two lenses I could take the 16-35 IS and 70-200 II. Both with IS and both 77 mm threads.

    Just a thought. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the pros and cons of each.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 08-07-2014 at 12:28 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    16-35mm f/4L IS vs. TS-E 17mm f/4L

    Quote Originally Posted by ahab1372 View Post
    Using filters is more difficult (and slower to set up?)
    Great point, and the filter issue was a big negative in the past since there was really no way to put one on the TS-E 17, and I frequently use a 10-stop ND on my TS-E 24 as a 'people eraser'. But now there's the Wonderpana system, which mounts directly to the bayonet for the TS-E 17's lens cap. At $500 for the mount and 145mm 10-stop ND, it's not cheap...but it's at least possible, and seems not too difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahab1372 View Post
    16-35 is better for walk around and opportunistic shots while the lens is already on the camera (even if that is only 15% of your shots - that's still some shots)
    To clarify, 15% of my shots with the 16-35/2.8 were at apertures wider than f/4. Actually only a small percent of my overall shooting (maybe ~2%) has been with the 16-35/2.8. Definitely a niche lens for me, but sometimes you really need a UWA.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahab1372 View Post
    You already have a TS-E - would the 17mm open up that many more opportunities?
    Perhaps. The 24mm lens is wonderful, but I find it's often not wide enough for urban architecture, where there's often no room to back up.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Based on what you have said, it sounds like the TS-E 17mm is the right choice. Just one question you probably know the answer to: Is the TS-E weather sealed? With the sliding surfaces it would seem difficult to seal. If it is not fully sealed, then that would cause me to rethink that decision (what is the likelihood that a non-sealed lens is going to damage my camera of an expensive lens?). If it sealed, then easier choice.

    I would love to have the TS-E, but there is one thing that would push me more toward the 24 mm before the 17mm (I know that is not your problem)... and that is the filter issue. I understand your fix for the ND filter, but with landscapes - living without and adjustable GND would make the choice tough. Is there a solution for that?

    Pat
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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  7. #7
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Well... I guess it is weather sealed. According to Canon UK under the product description for the 17mm:

    Robust build quality

    Canon L-series lenses are built to withstand regular use in the most testing environments. Weather and dust seals provide added protection. A lens hood and pouch are also included.
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Another tough one. I am in a bit of the same situation as I start to think about my next lens the 16-35 f/4 IS is definitely being considered.
    It's an excellent lens by all accounts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    If your primary purpose is architecture, the TS-E makes sense.

    However, I have to wonder if the benefit of having 4 stop IS and potentially not needing a tripod (as often) may be a significant factor when packing and hiking around with a couple young kids.
    The majority of my UWA shots are architecture, a few landscapes, and only a very few with people.

    But I can see the potential of the 16-35/4 IS for travel shots 'on the go', particularly in Europe, for example.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    As I think about my kit, I am entertaining the idea of my core being the 16-35 IS, 24-70 II, and 70-200 II. If I wanted to travel "light" with two lenses I could take the 16-35 II and 70-200 II. Both with IS and both 77 mm threads.
    Currently I have two 'travel kits'. For trips with family, I usually take just the 24-70 II and 70-300L (in a Lowepro Toploader Pro with a lens case). With the kids, I find that a 'general purpose' zoom is essential. My 'photo outing' kit was those two lenses plus the TS-E 24L II and 16-35/2.8L II, which all fit nicely in a Lowepro Flipside 300, with the RRS TQC-14 + BH-30 LR strapped to the outside.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Just a thought. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the pros and cons of each.
    The pros of the TS-E 17 are the movements...else, it's similar in IQ, more expensive and more cumbersome to use. For me, that's probably enough, I think...

  9. #9
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Pat, the TS-E 17 and 24 L lenses are not weather sealed, despite what Canon UK might say on their website.

  10. #10
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    Pat, the TS-E 17 and 24 L lenses are not weather sealed, despite what Canon UK might say on their website.
    I thought I had read that it was not weather sealed, but was not sure. So I grabbed the first official Canon site from the search results thinking that would be authoritative enough. I guess not. I was a little skeptical when it was worded with the impression that all "L" lenses are weather sealed... which I know to be untrue.

    If you are not in the rain or snow much, then probably not a problem for you. It would be an issue for me if I did not have an alternate sealed lens in the same range. Rotary seals work pretty well, but seals for linear motion tend not to work well such that debris and water can be dragged through them easier. So I would think TS-E's would be particularly pour at keeping water out with 100% certainty. But if you do not get it wet, then it is not an issue.

    Sorry for the misinformation.

    Pat
    Last edited by conropl; 07-24-2014 at 10:57 PM.
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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