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Fun with Canon 16-35 F4 IS


I just picked up the Canon 16-35 F4 IS today, and am quite happy with it so far. It is roughly the same size as the 16-35 F2.8 but a bit larger diameter. I do mostly architecture and some group shots with the 17-40 or 16-35 F2.8, and this seems to be a better replacement for both.

Sharpness (my copy):
The new 16-35 sharpness is even across the whole frame indoors at F4, and at infinity the last 1/8 of the frame (Left & Right) are a slightly soft wide open till about F8. At F11 sharpness is about the same as F4. F16 is noticeably softer than F4. F22 is poor. F5.6 and F8 are best.

The corners are darker at F4, lighten up quite a bit at F5.6 and are even at F8.

F4 very good side to side indoors, F5.6 and F8 are great, F11 - stop here for good quality. IS is very good. Infinity seems softer wide open on sides at F4.

I hand held 16mm and got sharp photos at ¼ second. (Sharp enough to see stitching clearly on a pillow on a chair)

My copy of the 16-35 F2.8 is sharper in the center but way worse at the edges; they never get as good at any aperture as the new F4 at F4! My copy of the 17-40 is slightly sharper at F11 (where I do a lot of architecture) but for hand holding and wider F stops, the new F4 IS seems better for me, and is way more even across the frame.

Here are some sample shots. The crop is 100% of the tree indoors at the edge and my other lenses can’t do it this sharp at any aperture.


New member
captures in very dark conditions hand held on the nex 5r

ISO 1600 1/4 second exposure handheld

image stabilizer on this lens is very good indeed.


Hi all,

Here are some architecture assignments I have used the 16-35 F4 IS on recently, and am very happy with the results. All shots are tripod, live view shooting with a cable release, most around F10. Although after the key shots I do a lot of walking around and use F4 or F5.6 and get great architecture flexibility using the IS, to do either detail or tiny spaces where the tripod wouldn't fit.

Tomorrow my Canon 5DS R arrives so I am looking forward to using this lens with the new camera.



New member
Great images guys! I've been a longtime Canon shooter and have owned all of the xx-35/2.8L zooms. Currently not very happy with the 16-35/2.8 II for technical applications and am thinking of getting the f/4 IS to replace it.

How do you guys feel this lens is in respect to distortion at the wider end? Does it need much correction, and I guess in Lightroom it's a one-click profile correction. But I may use it on Sony instead along with the HCam Master TSII (tilt shift) adapter, where such corrections will not work for images using shift.


New member
rscheffler, I do not notice any major distortions at the wide end using the 16-35 f4L IS USM, and that is using it on a Sony camera. That being said there seems to be a very minor CA that occurs in harsh lighting instances.


New member
Previously I owned 16-35 f2.8 L II. I sold it for this newish Canon 16-35 F4 IS L. Great image quality, even in the corners and the IS does a good job!