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Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L vs Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L

When Canon announced the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens I thought it would replace the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens in their lineup. Well it has been quite some time and the 17-40mm is still strong in the lineup. So how do the two lenses compare? Read on to see my Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L vs Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L comparison.

Spoiler alert: The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is simply amazing and comes highly recommended.

Primary Differences

In the side by side image you can see the size difference in the two lenses. The 17-40mm lens is 0.63 inches shorter and weighs about 0.3 lbs less than the 16-35mm lens. The 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens has 16 elements in 12 groups while the 17-40mm lens only has 12 elements in 9 groups.

The 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is FULLY weather sealed while the 17-40mm requires a front filter to help complete the sealing. Both lenses shift the front element within the lens body when zooming but the lens itself stays the same overall length.

Both lenses feature a circular aperture blade design for smoother out of focus areas. The 16-35mm has 9 aperture blades while the 17-40mm only has 7. This will affect the out of focus highlights with the 16-35mm appearing smoother and more circular. Both lenses have the same close focusing distance but the 17-40mm achieves a slightly higher 0.24x (vs 0.23x) magnification – thanks to the slightly longer 40mm focal length.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L vs Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L User Review Comparison

The overall user reviews for the two lenses are pretty close. The 16-35mm has an overall rating of 4.87 out of 5 stars. The 17-40mm lens rates 4.65 out of 5 stars. However, the 16-35mm lens has a staggering 91% of reviewers giving it 5 stars! The 17-40mm lens, for comparison, has 73% of reviewers giving it 5 stars. When you combine the 4 and 5 star totals, the 2 lenses are closer with the 16-35mm lens getting nearly 98% and the 17-40mm lens getting about 95%.

Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM vs Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM

When Canon introduced their new Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lens it was inevitable that it would be compared to the original Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM lens that has been around for years. The original 28mm f/1.8 lens was generally pretty well regarded but a common wish list item was for image stabilization. With the new 28mm f/2.8 lens users got their wish, but they lose some light with the slower f/2.8 vs f/1.8 aperture. In this article we take a look at the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM vs Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lenses and how they compare side-by-side.

The lenses are pretty close in size with the newer f/2.8 lens coming in slightly smaller and lighter than the f/1.8 version. However, that is to be expected since the f/1.8 needs more glass to let in 2/3-stop more light. However, some of the size and weight savings are offset by the addition of the image stabilizer in the newer f/2.8 lens.

Neither lens includes a lens shade as is typical from Canon non “L” series lenses. Both lenses do feature distance scales with hyperfocal distance although the original f/1.8 has markings for f/22, f/16, f/11 and f/8 while the newer f/2.8 lens only shows markings for f/22 and f/11. Both lenses have the infrared focus indicator as well.

As far as overall build quality, both lenses feel very similar in hand. The newer f/2.8 focus ring felt a tad smoother, but both lenses focuses smoothly and accurately.

The 28mm focal length is well suited for landscapes, indoor architecture, weddings, concerts (up close) and other events. Thanks to the small and lightweight size of these lenses, they make for a great travel/backpacking option when you want to go light. Throw int he 40mm pancake and the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM II lens and you have a 3 lens kit that gives you excellent coverage without breaking your back or the bank.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM vs Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lenses – the images have been scaled (as best as possible) to match their size relative to each other:

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II vs Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VC

With the new Canon 70-300mm lens we need to revisit the comparison with the Tamron 70-300mm. Prior to the new lens I would typically recommend the Tamron over the Canon due to the much faster autofocus speed of the Tamron. However Canon has raised the bar and this Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II vs Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VC review will compare these two lenses.

First of all the new Canon features a much faster “Nano USM” focusing system. This new focus motor is very fast and extremely quiet. It is optimized for video focus to minimize the noise while recording. This is a HUGE improvement over the old Micro USM focusing motor of the original Canon 70-300mm IS lens. The Tamron is pretty close to the same speed and noise level but the Canon is slightly faster and quieter.

The Canon 70-300mm lens also features a new LCD distance scale that shows the focusing distance. If the lens is attached to an APS-C body such as the Rebel series of cameras it will then convert the focal length to account for the “crop factor”. In other words if you set the lens to 300mm on a full frame camera the lens will display “300mm”. However, if the lens is mounted on an APS-C body the lens will report “480mm” instead when zoomed all the way in. I don’t find this all that usefull since most people will zoom the lens while looking through the viewfinder. Additionally there is an option to display the effectiveness of the image stabilization on the LCD screen. Again this is not very useful since when using the lens you can’t see this display (and even if you could what would you do about it?) finally the lens also allows you to view your depth of field scale and set hyperfocal distance. This is the feature I find most intriguing, however on a 70-300mm lens it is not very useful since depth of field is pretty shallow anyway. but I would love to see this technology applied to an ultrawide zoom lens.

As far as image stabilization goes I feel like both lenses are pretty equal. The Canon seems smoother, while the Tamron seems to have an initial jump before it settles in. But overall effectiveness is very similar.

The Tamron still holds a couple of advantages. For one the Tamron includes a lens hood. Canon only includes lens hoods on their professional “L” series lenses and offers them as an option on their consumer lenses. Second, the Tamron includes a 6-year warranty vs the Canon 1 year warranty. And finally, the Tamron is less expensive by $50 plus the lens hood for the Canon if you decide to purchase one.

One thing many people might point out is the minimum focus distance of the Tamron is significantly closer than the Canon, however the Max magnification remains the same at 0.25x (or 1:4) so this is not really helpful.

Nikon 200-500mm vs Tamron 150-600mm G2

The Nikon 200-500mm lens and the Tamron 150-600mm lens are two of the most popular super telephoto lenses available for Nikon DSLR cameras and frequently compared to each other. As with most comparisons each lens has advantages over the other, but now with the new G2 version of the lens selling for the same retail price as the Nikon 200-500mm lens the comparison is even more interesting. Read more Nikon 200-500mm vs Tamron 150-600mm G2

Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4 VR vs Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5

This is surely going to be one of my more controversial lens comparisons. Nikon makes several very good ultra wide angle zoom lenses, but the Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4 VR and the Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lenses are quite close to each other. So which should you choose? Read on for my analysis of these two excellent lenses.

Nikon 70-300mm VR vs Tamron 70-300mm VC

When Nikon introduced the new 70-300mm lens that featured VR (Vibration Reduction), photographers were thrilled. The 70-300mm lens is one of the most popular lenses available, and adding image stabilization makes a good lens even better. A few years later Tamron introduced their new image stabilized 70-300mm lens and the burning question everyone was asking was which is better? Read more Nikon 70-300mm VR vs Tamron 70-300mm VC