"Canon 16 - 35 F4L IS lens - Check out below for the pros and cons of this great lens"
I have a passion for landscape and seascape photography, therefore an ultra-wide angle lens was on my wish list of lenses from day one. My first camera was a Canon 450d although I soon upgraded to the Canon 7D, so in order to get an ultra-wide angle lens the only choice I had was the Canon 10 -20 (giving an effective 16 – 35).
When I bought my canon 6D I wanted to use the full frame image quality for landscapes and seascapes. Since the Canon 10 – 20 lens wouldn’t work with the 6D I had to invest in the Canon 16 – 35 lens, of which there were two to choose from and these comprised the f2.8L and the f4L IS.
The decision between the two wasn’t an easy one to make however after a lot of research, going to the local camera shop to take see each lens and take test shots and a lot of faffing about I finally chose the Canon 16-35 f4L IS, and I know for a fact I made the right choice.
The Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS is a cracking lens, and now I have owned and used it for several months I thought I would share what I consider to the pros and cons of this excellent “must have” lens.
Pros of the Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens
1) It’s an L series lens. The Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens is an L series lens which means it is made using the best quality materials and superior optics. This lens is tough, durable and weather sealed making it robust enough for outdoor use and whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at it. Given I use this for landscapes and seascapes (both of which are outdoors and both of which have elements that can attack a lens) this is very important.
2) The image quality is superb. The image quality of this lens is awesome and second to none, including the flagship (and considerably more expensive) 16-35 f2.8L lens. Before I pulled the trigger on the f4L IS version I took test shots with both the f4 and the f2.8 with my 6D and took the results home to have a look at on the computer. After a bit of pixel peeping the f4 came out on top, but only just.
3) It is small and light. The Canon 16-35 f4L IS is a small, light and transportable lens, which is essential when you have to hike a long way with your gear. Whilst the 16-35 f2.8L lens is a large and heavy beast the f4L version isn’t, even though it has image stabilization technology which obviously adds a bit of weight.
4) The f4 maximum aperture is more than enough for landscapes. Okay the 16-35 f2.8L may have a maximum wider aperture but if you are using a wide angle lens for landscape or seascape photography when are you ever going to shoot at f2.8? I am guessing…… never. I can’t remember the last time I shot any wider than f8 taking a landscape photo, and the only reason for using an aperture that wide was because I didn’t have a tripod with me and I desperately wanted the shot so had to go handheld. If you want a landscape/seascape lens don’t let the f4 aperture put you off, because it’s plenty wide enough (read too wide)
5) It has image stabilization. Wherever possible I use a tripod for my landscape and seascape photography, and camera shake is not a problem. That said, there are times when I don’t have my tripod in the car (but have my 16 – 35 lens – it goes everywhere with me) or times when I simply can’t be bothered to get the tripod out and set it up. You know those times where you’ve had a good session, you’re walking back to the car and see a shot you quite fancy having a half-hearted attempt at because you just want to get home and start working on your other photos. It is in these circumstances when the image stabilization comes in to its own, and gives you a fighting chance of getting sharp shots handheld without a tripod.
6) It is affordable. Compared to the flagship Canon 16 – 35 f2.8L the f4L IS version is a lot cheaper, making it a lot of bang for the buck. Enough said.
Cons of the Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens
1) If you only want the Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens for landscape or seascape photography I can honestly say that I can’t think of any cons at all. The Canon 16-35 f4L IS is expensive compared to other wide angle lenses from third party manufacturers but it’s not loads more expensive. Other than this, I really am struggling with any others.
2) Many photographers use the canon 16-35 lens for birthday party photography and corporate events, and if you want a 16-35 lens for this there is a big con with the Canon 16-35 f4L IS, and this is the f4 maximum aperture. Whilst it is sufficient for group photos (i.e. you need a narrower aperture to make sure that everyone in the shot is sharp) it is often too wide for shots of individuals (where the 2.8 aperture would result in a more pleasing shot). The other issue is that parties and events are typically held indoors, where wider apertures are more beneficial. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the Canon 16-35 f4L IS for birthday parties and corporate events (as I use mine for this) it just means you have to be creative with flash light, push the ISO or just work around the problem, none of which are a huge issue.
Overall the Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens is an excellent lens and if you are in to your landscape and seascape photography this is a “must have lens” for you. If you want a 16-35 lens predominantly for birthday party photography or for weddings and corporate events and the like, and only dabble in landscapes occasionally the f2.8L is the better option – just be prepared to pay a lot more for it.
If I have managed to convince you a Canon 16 - 35 f4L IS lens is the lens for you I would suggest trying Amazon, where there are always loads of bargains and deals to be had. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself and check out the Amazon search box below.
If you found the above useful/informative below are some other posts detailing the pros and cons (from my personal experience) of other Canon lenses that may be of interest to you. Please do feel free to take a look.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 8 – 15 FISHEYE LENS” Since this lens can capture diagonal fisheye photos and full circular fisheye photos it is effectively two fish eye lenses in one, and without a doubt the best fisheye lens on the market for Canon cameras. It really is a cool lens.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 70 – 200 F4L IS LENS” This is not Canon’s top end flag ship 70 – 200 zoom lens however it is the best value for money and gives the biggest bang for the buck. If you want a 70 – 200 zoom lens and can live without the f2.8 aperture this is the lens for you. A truly excellent lens.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 100 – 400L IS LENS” This is an affordable and versatile super zoom lens, and if you want a long reach this lens is right up your street. You may have to spend a few pounds to get one of these but is the best value for money super zoom lens around. Get one of these and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 100 F2.8L IS MACRO LENS” This is Canon’s flagship macro lens and when you see it, feel it and use it you will soon see why. If macro and close up are your thing you need this lens. If products and still life subjects are your thing this is your lens. This is the sharpest lens I own and when I use it I have to watch my fingers.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 28 – 300L IS F3.5 – 5.6 LENS” Many photographers give this lens a hard time and I struggle to see why. Okay, it is expensive but you get an L series lens that is bullet proof, has image stabiliszation, has excellent build quality and has the ability to capture a huge range of different shots. This is the perfect walkabout and travel lens, and one I carry around on my 6d all the time.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 35MM F2 IS LENS” If you want an affordable 35mm prime lens that is as good as a Canon L series lens (but doesn’t carry the red ring) this is the lens for you. The image quality is great, the build quality is good and the image stabilization technology is superb. All in all this is a cracking lens and one every photographer should have in their collection.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 24 – 70 F2.8L LENS” This is, without a doubt, one of the best portrait lenses of all time. This lens has been my workhorse for many years now and I wouldn’t be without it. I love this lens, and I am sure you would too.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.