Photography Gear Reviews

New Lens Vs Old Lens

We compare the Canon 16-35mm F/4 IS against the older Canon 17-40mm F/4 in a landscape photography setting to see if the upgrade is worth the money.

Get a FREE trial with Squarespace and 10% off your first order - http://bit.ly/PrintsFirstMan

After a recent video some said I should get the Canon 16-35mm to replace my 17-40mm. So I have. But I’ve been talking recently how the gear doesn’t make the photographer so I’m not totally convinced this purchase was required. So I thought I would put it to the test, possibly prove myself wrong, and help you when it comes to making your next lens purchase decision.

Sharpness

There are certain things important to me in a lens when shooting landscape photography. Sharpness is important up to a certain extant. Once an acceptable level of sharpness is reached then I am happy. Most photographs are viewed at a reasonable distance and a normal viewer is not looking at minute details or pixel peeping an image. The overall story is much more important.

Lens Distortion

When working with super wide angles like 16-20mm, distortion can become a real problem and is extremely distracting and prevalent in cheaper lenses. The Canon 17-40mm handles distortion reasonably well so I was interested to see if Canon 16-35mm F/4 IS would be better.

Chromatic Aberration

The coloured soft edges in high contrast areas of an image look extremely unpleasant and can make an image look cheap. Also known as chromatic aberration, one major benefit of a high quality lens is the ability to control it. These days, it can be controlled in post-processing but it results can be hit and miss depending on the image. The Canon 17-40mm can be susceptible to chromatic Aberration, can the 16-35mm improve matters.

When conducting a camera lens review I am also looking at build quality and extras such as IS. Image stabilisation is not important to me for stills. For video, it is much more important so it is still something I look for.

In the video I pit the two lenses against each other at Ribblehead viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales. The Limestone pavement provides some big foreground interest for a shot, something I really wanted to include in the lens review.

Tamron 24-70 mm F2.8 VC USD Review

In this video review we take at look at the Tamron 24-70 mm F2.8 VC USD.

If you are looking at the Tamron 24-70 lens you are probably in the market for a 24-70mm lens. The 24-70mm zoom range is probably suited to more situations than any other range and forms part of the holy trinity of zoom lens with the 70-200mm and a lens on the wider end like the 16-35 Canon or the 14-24 Nikon. Living in the bag of most pro photographers this focal range is perfect for weddings, portraits, street photography, some landscapes and much more. The question is whether this offering of a Tamron 24-70 mm is enough to pull you away from the Canon or Nikon equivalents.

Living on a full frame camera this lens will offer the versatile range described above. On a cropped sensor camera however things get a big longer. The 35mm equivalent is 38-112 which is still useful but some of the wide areas are lost meaning, for example, the wedding group shot or some landscapes will be more difficult.

This lens has a f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range making it good for low light and matches that offered from Canon and Nikon. The USD (Ultra Silent Drive) means silent focusing and it does this well and without delay. The rubber ring around the lens mount ensures this is weather sealed and it has performed well in this area during the time I have used it. 

The quality of this lens is very high and it takes professional grade images. Even in comparison to the most recent Nikon and Canon lenses this still holds up as a great shooter. There is some loss of sharpeners to the edges of the frame on a full frame camera and there are a couple of issues with flare at the long end. These are minor issues though and will not be noticed in everyday shooting.

This lens is optically not as good as the Canon and Nikon and if that is the most important thing to you then you should opt for one of them. However let me provide two good reasons why you should buy this Tamron 24-70.

Firstly, value. This lens is currently half the price of the Canon and Nikon equivalent at £679 in the UK and slightly closer to them at $1200 in the US. For glass that is almost as good, this is amazing value. The Tamron 24-70 has a secret weapon up its sleeve though - image stabilisation. No other 24-70 f/2.8 has image stabilisation leaving the Tamron 24-70 out on its own in terms of versatility. Although not totally necessary for still shots the image stabilisation makes this lens a must have for photographers shooting video. The stabilisation makes shooting video handheld a real joy and combined with some stabilisation in post (warp stabiliser) this lens can produce video that looks like is was shot with a very expensive rig.

With all this in mind the lens deserves some serious attention and if you are already looking at this lens then it is likely the price tag has already attracted you. Given the excellent images this creates and the ability to shoot high quality video with just one lens, this will certainly be sitting on many cameras where previously a Canon and Nikon lens would have ruled.