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Thread: 16-35L II and distortion

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    16-35L II and distortion

    Hi,

    Wedding photographer been shooting with 17-40L (3 copies due to thefts) for 7 years now from the 10D through to the 1Ds, 5D and 1Ds mkIII. Georgous lens, sharp and very good for distortion. I just got the 16-35L II. I needed a faster lens at that FL. I've only shot one wedding and a couple of commerical jobs but the distortion is horrendous compared to the 17-40L. I haven't got any side by side as I sold the 17-40L but after years of using it I've never seen anything like this. I have to be really careful using this lens to be honest as when a subject is anywhere near the corners and close-ish up to the camera they are stretched very nastily, far worse than my 17-40L's ever did and it's not even at 16mm, anywhere from 16-30mm shows this..

    Is it just me?

    p.s. it's still a very sharp lens, just the distortion that's bothering me.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 16-35L II and distortion

    Are you comparing exactly equal focal lengths on the same camera - full frame or cropped sensor? If you are, then you should see no difference other than very minor differences in the amount of barrel or pincushion distortion between the two lenses. But it sounds like you're talking about normal wide angle stretch at the edges of the frame. In theory, you might see a slightly increased amount of that stretch comparing 17mm to 16mm, but it's not going to be a huge difference. Make sure you're comparing apples to Apples and re-evaluate.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: 16-35L II and distortion

    I am of course comparing like for like, I realise that 16mm is a lot lot worse than 17mm on either lens. On another forum someone suggested that the 17-40L has a lot more barrel distortion which is kinder on people photography. Add to that the Adobe (LR&ACR) automatically removing what barrel distortion there is by stretching the edges and people start looking pretty nasty. Come to the conclusion that I want to switch off the Adobe corrections and keep well away from that extra mm at the wide end which just does nasty things..
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Member Zlatko Batistich's Avatar
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    Re: 16-35L II and distortion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Come to the conclusion that I want to switch off the Adobe corrections and keep well away from that extra mm at the wide end which just does nasty things..
    I agree Adobe Lightroom's lens corrections are good for architecture, but not good for photos of people. Best to turn lens corrections off for people photos as they will make people near the edges look more stretched. Some barrel distortion is actually good for photos of people. And just keep people away from the edges of the frame when shooting at 24mm or wider. It is a great lens, but not always a great people lens.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: 16-35L II and distortion

    Or find the money for a 17-40L and that glorious 24L
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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