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Thread: RF 16 f/2.8 and RF 100-400

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    RF 16 f/2.8 and RF 100-400

    These are both consumer level lenses. I had heard quotes that the RF 16 mm "would end up in every photographers bag." At 165 g and $299, you can see the appeal. But, as I pointed out in the thread of what's missing in the RF lineup, looking at the MTF chart left me underwhelmed.

    But, Bryan just posted his initial take on IQ, and it has me thinking about this lens again. What is surprising is that it is actually comparatively good at f/2.8-f/4. What is disappointing is that it never really improves by f/8. Quick examples, but compared to the RF 15-35 f/2.8 at f/2.8, the EF 16-35 f/4 (my current UWA) at f/4. But then looking at f/8.

    Really good for $299 and 165 g. Perhaps good enough to be a lightweight alterative to the zooms which weigh in at 540 g to 840 g. I get the market, it is a near perfect vlogging lens. I do not vlog, use this focal length for landscapes, but I've never been disappointed with the IQ out of my EF 16-35 f/4 at f/4....

    I am adding the RF 100-400 as a placeholder for now. I am seeing some people pick it up as well as a lightweight alternative and so far, seem to be liking it. I'll be curious how it tests.

  2. #2
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    The thing that strikes me about the comparisons you linked is the strong CA with the 16/2.8. But that’s pretty easily corrected, and after all it is a $300 lens. Overall a good value, IMO.

    I would like it if Canon brings a true pancake lens to RF, like the EF 40/2.8. It was great to literally put that in my pocket when walking with the 70-200.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Agreed. I'll wait to see some images taken with it to confirm the IQ seems to be "good enough", but a little CA addressed in post, it might become my RF UWA travel lens.

    For the a 40 f/2.8 pancake equivalent, I assume you've checked out the RF 50 f/1.8? It is quietly a very nice little lens. Loses a little contrast in the corners, and has CA. But, compared to the 40 f/2.8, it is 160 g vs 130 g, 1.6" long vs 0.9", and you get f/1.8 and it actually is not all that bad at f/1.8. Arguably, it is Canon's second best 50, with the RF 50 f/1.2 leading the pack, in the ballpark or better than any of Canon's EF 50s.

  4. #4
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Yes, I've considered the RF 50/1.8. More of a fall/winter pocket lens than a spring/summer pocket lens...

    I'm actually reconsidering the RF 14-35/4L IS. I had initially dismissed it because of the heavy (pre-correction) geometric distortion, an issue with the 16/2.8 as well and for both lenses Canon forces distortion correction in-camera and in DPP. But the corrected IQ is really good, and the lens is quite small, especially by comparison once the adapter is put behind the EF 16-35/4L IS. Although I often travel with the 11-24/4, for some trips I know it's unlikely I'll have a need to go quite that wide and the 14-35 is not a big/heavy addition addition.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Yep. The two RF UWA lenses have caught my attention. The IQ certainly seems to be there, but I am more interested in the combination of in lens and in body stabilization. Even if do not get the advertised 8 stops, being able to hand hold 1-2 second shots would mean that I can leave a tripod home more often.

    As an example, this is a <10% of the frame crop from an image I took out in Banff (Vermillion lakes). Hand held, 0.5 sec with the 24-70 II (ISO 2000, hence some noise when you crop that much), but I am routinely seeing 4 stops from IBIS alone with this lens that does not have in lens IS and does not have the additional communication RF mount allows.

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    IBIS is legit.

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