16-24mm L 2.8 Discussion

Small Flower Magnified

Small Flower Macro


Beach Costa Rica


Theonly worry I had when purchasing the 10D was the small sensorsize.  Since the sensor is smaller than 35mm images areeffectively cropped on the sensor increasing the focal length of eachlens.  The focal length factor for the 10D sensor is 1.6X. This is great at the telephoto end of the spectrum, where a 280mm lensis now a 448mm lens on the 10D, but at the other end of things you losethe wide angle capabilities.  A 16mm lens is now a 25.6mmlens.  This is barely wide angle.

After I decided to purchasethe Canon 10D I began doing research intolenses.  First I had to decide what focal lengths I wanted tocover, and next what lens quality I wanted to pay for.  After,reading many web sites it became clear that most pro's recommendedCanon L glass.  This is Canon's top of the line lenses and theycost significantly more than their other lenses.  Any Canon lensthat has an L in the name is considered top quality.  You can goto Canon's web site and read the difference in the type of glass usedif you like.  For myself, it doesn't matter what Canon says aboutthe glass quality because I don't understand it anyway.  Whatmattered to me is what users saw in their pictures.

From all the research I did (andnow from my own experience) what youget with a top quality lens is much higher sharpness throughout theentire field of view, especially when the lens is wide open;  lessdistortion (pincushionfor wide angle lenses and barreldistortion for telephotolenses); better contrast; less flare,faster and more accurate auto focus; and better build quality.

If you are interested in taking any wide angle shots at all I highly recommend getting this lens.  If you get a 24mm or higher lens you are actually starting out at 38.4mm.  You will not really be able to take any nice landscapes, and the restriction of not going any wider than this will be quite frustrating.  It would be nice if we could all afford the Canon 1Ds Mark II, which is a full frame 35mm sensor, and does not have this cropping factor, but that camera costs about $8000.

I use this lens mainly for landscapes and ultra magnified macros. It works greatwith the EF12 Extension tube for enhanced macro use.  This lens isgreat for vacations.  Everyone always wants a wide shot of thebeach, meadow, city street, or tall building.  Without a wideangle in your arsenal you will be very frustrated that so much is cutout of your image.  I have been extremely happywith the quality of images produced while using this lens. 
Asyou can see from the imagesabove, this lens producesamazingly sharp, detail rich photos with great tone and contrast, as doall of the L class lenses that I own.

The beach scene was taken at 16mm (26mm
corrected by 1.6x for the 10D's sensor size)f 8, and 100 ISO. It is a nice shot showing the tracked beach in Costa Rica.  Youcan see how thereis very little distortion at this focal length.  Some moreinexpensive wide angles will be exhibiting significant distortion at26mm.

Idon't have the information on the flower images above, but it is agreat example of how much magnification you can get when combining thislens with the EF12 Extension Tube for macro work.  I was probablyless than an inch from this flower when I took the shot on the leftwith this lens combination.   The flower on the left and theflower in the center image above are of the same type.  The imageon the left was taken with the 16-24mm lens with the EF12 ExtensionTube attached.  The image in the center was take with the 24-70mmlens with the EF12 Extension Tube attached.  The actual flower isonly about 1/2 an inch in diameter.  As you can see I playedaround in Photoshop with this image an added a bunch of noise foraffect, but it is possible to take nice clear images as well.  Itis really fun to use this combination to magnify things and createinteresting images.

I must add that all of my imageshave gone through Photoshop.  Icrop, sharpen, employ noise reduction techniques, adjust contrast,saturation, and sometimes tone on most of my photos.  Out of thecamera the images don't look as good, but in my opinion this is thegreat benefit of the digital world.  I believe that you shouldtake all of your favorite images and mess with them in Photoshop. But remember, in photography your photos will only be as good as yourweakest piece of equipment.  If I was shooting with a lessercamera and with inexpensive lenses I would not have been able toachieve the quality of photos shown above, even with the help ofPhotoshop.

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Photos by Rob Bukar