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LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests
  
 
Messier77
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Jacknut16 wrote:
This is exactly what I'm going through, I think 16-35 can be useful
For super cells to wide tornado shots. But for being under a super cell, the 12-24 is going to dominate. Then combine with the 24-70 when you start getting tornadic stuff going on.
Even better? The 10mm voigtlander. I got published on Natgeo shooting with that thing under a super cell. It's stolen the show during chasing on more than one occasion.



One thing that I'm worried about with the 12-24mm for stormchasing is the bad flare. I tested it out in some tough flare situations and was not pleased. As you know, we usually shoot facing west or northwest and the sun is often just outside the frame. I've had flare issues take out many good shots in the past, especially when I was shooting Nikon with the Nikkor 14-24mm.

Also, having f/2.8 has saved many a shot while stormchasing when light conditions were poor but I didn't have time to set up a tripod, so handheld and a higher shutter speed was required.

I chased with the Batis 18 and the 24-70GM this year. The Batis was an excellent performer but just wasn't wide enough to capture certain storms. Literally no flare issues whatsoever, and there were some tough shots. The 24-70GM, although heavy and unwieldy, was fantastic and will be in my bag next year for chasing. A Batis 14mm or 15mm would be perfect.

Extremely difficult decisions ahead.



Aug 13, 2017 at 02:24 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Thanks again, Roger! I hope someone will post some comparison photos of the new Sony vs the Canon III, since you say they are technically a draw but will have different look.

Still, I'm happy enough with my Canon 16-35/4 IS at a bargain price, coupled with the Sony 12-24G.



Aug 13, 2017 at 03:10 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


I'm impressed by the 16-35GM. My copy is not well centered at all focal lengths but this is a zoom...

It goes against LR's variation report though, being perfect at 28-35mm (100% centered) with resolution rivaling my primes from wide open. It's also substantially better than the 16-35/4 ZA at 35mm (which needs f/8 for good performance). At 16 and 24mm, it's very slightly decentered.

I agree with @photomadnz ...the 16-35GM is substantially better than the f/4 version towards the corners at all focal lengths but specially the end of the range. It's much crispier with very little astigmatism.

Flare resistance is better than the 12-24/4 when the sun in near or in the frame and it also does better than the Laowa 15/2 in this regard.

It seems to have excellent coma performance from wide-open! It does better than the Laowa 15/2 @ f/2.8 but I want to test with real starts when I have a chance (clear skies)....

Here are them side-by-side with street lights towards the very corner of the frame.


Laowa 15/2 @f/2.8 (LEFT) | 16-35GM @f/2.8 (RIGHT)

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/32/1507032.jpg



Aug 13, 2017 at 03:38 PM
Gary Clennan
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Fred Miranda wrote:
I'm impressed by the 16-35GM. My copy is not well centered at all focal lengths but this is a zoom...

It goes against LR's variation report, being perfect at 35mm (100% centered) with resolution rivaling my primes from wide open. It's optimum at 35mm f/4. It's also substantially better than the 16-35/4 ZA at 35mm (which needs f/8 for good performance)

I agree with @photomadnz@ ...the 16-35/2.8GM is substantially better than the 16-35/4ZA version towards the corners at all focal lengths but specially towards the end of the range. It's much crispier with very little astigmatism. For all focal lengths, the
...Show more

Thanks! I have a brand new 16-35mm GM next to me but no body to use it on.... . Had a bit of an accident with my A7RII and hopefully it can be fixed.... For now I will try to find a used A7RII somewhere. Will you keep the 12-24mm as well?



Aug 13, 2017 at 03:44 PM
kevindar
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


All the MTF are wide open right? though useful, it would be nice if he can do f8 also. reality is, under than nightscapes, corner sharpness matters primarily at smaller apertures.



Aug 13, 2017 at 04:00 PM
davewolfs
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


12-15mm seems like a niche FL. I'd be concerned with flare filters etc. seems like optically these lenses are similar.


Aug 13, 2017 at 04:44 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Field curvature seems moderate getting stronger as we zoom in. (same as the 16-35/4 ZA). It's inwards field curvature. (have to focus corners at longer distance)
It's really only an issue wide-open. F/4 seems to mask it very well.
Usually the very corners need to be focused when we first see the in-camera "infinity mark" symbol. The center needs to be focused closer than that.

At 16mm is pretty much flat field with perhaps a resolution dip at mid-field. (Sharp center and edges)
From 20-28mm there is progressive growing inwards field curvature and it's very visible wide-open. I don't see problems at 35mm.

So, for the zoom's middle range 20-28mm, it's advisable to focus at mid-field because of FC. (instead of center)

This seems to be a great copy but I will test and confirm the above with another copy.



Aug 13, 2017 at 05:00 PM
GabrielPhoto
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Fred Miranda wrote:
Field curvature seems moderate getting stronger as we zoom in. (same as the 16-35/4 ZA). It's inwards field curvature. (have to focus corners at longer distance)
Usually the very corners need to be focused when we first see the in-camera "infinity mark" symbol. The center needs to be focused closer than that.

At 16mm is pretty much flat field with perhaps a resolution dip at mid-field. (Sharp center and edges)
From 20-28mm there is progressive growing inwards field curvature and it's very visible wide-open. It gets masked starting at f/4 and smaller. I don't see problems at 35mm.

So, for the zoom's middle
...Show more

Any input on 16-35mm @16mm vs the 12-24mm? Just curious mostly as I fell in love with the 12mm range so the 16-35 is not in my future.



Aug 13, 2017 at 05:10 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


GabrielPhoto wrote:
Any input on 16-35mm @16mm vs the 12-24mm? Just curious mostly as I fell in love with the 12mm range so the 16-35 is not in my future.


16mm was the first focal length I tested. They are almost identical wide open (16-35GM @f/2.8 and 12-24G @f/4). That means the GM zoom is about a stop better than the 12-24G and it's an amazing performance for the GM.
Both at f/4, the GM does better in comparison. I will post crops when I can. I would like to get a second copy before posting any crops though.
Coma performance seems very similar as well. Both zooms are really great from wide-open.

Just like the 12-24/4G, the 16-35GM is already outstanding one stop down (f/4) at all focal lengths including 35mm. The 12-24G is best at f/5.6.



Aug 13, 2017 at 05:22 PM
Jacknut16
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


I too Chased with the Batis 18mm and the 24-70GM, and again, agreed yes, the 18mm just wasn't quite wide enough for the most of the closer stuff. On the other hand I think that 16mm isn't quite either. in 2016 I shot with the 10-18 (which is a 15mm basically) and it wasn't quite wide enough at times, although I got great shots at Leoti with it. If I had a 10m-12mm at the time the shots would have been even more epic.

I think the versatility of the 12-24 is going to help frame supercell shots and that is why I'm sticking with it even though its only F/4. At times 16-18 is wide enough, at times its 12-15, and with each mm of zoom ability you get that added sharpness of not having to crop, or worse, miss the shot altogether.

I got amazing shots with the 10mm at F/5.6 handheld near sunset, but its also a lens where you set to infinity and forget it.

I'm telling ya, get a 10mm and try it. Your jaw will drop at the shots you get underneath the mothership.

And agreed again on the F/2.8. The GM was autofocusing and nailing shots I couldn't get with the 24-240 3.5-6.3 Zoom.

It's great talking to another storm chaser on here, would love to hear more of your thoughts and experiences with sony lenses you have shot with out in the field.





Messier77 wrote:
One thing that I'm worried about with the 12-24mm for stormchasing is the bad flare. I tested it out in some tough flare situations and was not pleased. As you know, we usually shoot facing west or northwest and the sun is often just outside the frame. I've had flare issues take out many good shots in the past, especially when I was shooting Nikon with the Nikkor 14-24mm.

Also, having f/2.8 has saved many a shot while stormchasing when light conditions were poor but I didn't have time to set up a tripod, so handheld and a higher shutter speed
...Show more









Aug 13, 2017 at 05:59 PM
 

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Everythingis1
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


The mid-field is most important to me with wide and super wide angle lenses; that and bokeh quality at the long end for F2.8 zooms. Looks like the GM strikes a very really great balance of what is important in a 16-35mm F2.8 lens.


Aug 13, 2017 at 07:19 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


GabrielPhoto wrote:
Any input on 16-35mm @16mm vs the 12-24mm? Just curious mostly as I fell in love with the 12mm range so the 16-35 is not in my future.


I just tested again and it does not help making a decision: 16-35GM or 12-24G...

AT 16mm f/5.6 they are very similar (I would say aside from color differences, resolution is very close, center, mid and edges)
AT 24mm f/5.6 same as above...

So, if you mostly shoot landscapes at 16-24, both zooms will give you about same resolution at f/5.6 and smaller. One has 12mm and the other 35mm as options. You need to decide which FL is more important to you. (12 or 35)

I compared the 16-35GM to my FE 35/2.8 (pristine copy) and they are very similar starting at f/4. The prime is slightly better at the very edges even at f/5.6 though. (so the prime is an option for landscapes)

You could go 12-24/4 + 35/2.8 OR CV 12 + 16-35/2.8GM...OR...
the "divorce option": 12-24/4G + 16-35/2.8GM.

From initial tests, the 16-35GM has better flare resistance and can shoot stars at f/2.8 with low coma. That could push many photographers toward the GM...



Aug 13, 2017 at 10:30 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Forgot to mention that the FE 16-35/2.8 GM has more issues with field curvature (especially from 20-28mm). So focusing it is a bit more tricky. The best way is to aim for the mid-field area when focusing at infinity.

The 12-24/4G on the other hand is pretty much flat-field and parfocal throughout the range which is quite amazing for such ultra wide. That's one of the reason I really like it.

There is no free lunch.

Outside landscape photography, I find the 16-35/2.8GM a much more versatile lens and it can be used for environment portraits and many other applications. Out of focus rendering is smooth throughout the range from wide open. It has a great look for portraits.



Aug 13, 2017 at 10:46 PM
GabrielPhoto
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Fred Miranda wrote:
I just tested again and it does not help making a decision: 16-35GM or 12-24G...

AT 16mm f/5.6 they are very similar (I would say aside from color differences, resolution is very close, center, mid and edges)
AT 24mm f/5.6 same as above...

So, if you mostly shoot landscapes at 16-24, both zooms will give you about same resolution at f/5.6 and smaller. One has 12mm and the other 35mm as options. You need to decide which FL is more important to you. (12 or 35)

I compared the 16-35GM to my FE 35/2.8 (pristine copy) and they are very similar starting at
...Show more

Another option I considered since the 12-24mm won me over thanks to how dramatic things can look at 12mm, is to keep it and keep my great but more affordable 2.8 alternative, the Tamron 15-30mm.
That way I could use the 12-24mm for architectural, landscapes, etc and use the 2.8 if I wanted wider shots during events where I want the extra speed and isolation of the 2.8 zoom.
As I am not doing events that much (and for what I do, the 35mm 1.4 L ii will be fine), I have decided to sell the Tamron but I am STILL debating if I should take it off the selling forum since its the 3rd copy I tried until I found a keeper



Aug 14, 2017 at 02:59 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


It's not surprising we are loving the 16-35GM rendering...

At 35mm f/2.8, background rendering is slightly smoother when compared to the same scene shot with the Zeiss 35/1.4 ZA @f/2.8.
Bokeh balls are much cleaner with only traces of onion ring pattern while the Zeiss 35/1.4 has lots of it. The balls are very rounded at f/2.8 for the GM (wide-open) while the Zeiss not so much (2-stops down). At f/2.8, they are very similar in LoCA correction which I consider a great performance for the GM zoom since it's wide-open.

The Zeiss has more contrast and vivid colors while the 16-35/2.8 has that "GM" signature flatter tone and more subdued color palette in comparison (easily matched in post).
I've been testing in my kitchen. and don't what to show these images. I will take better pictures and post some samples later on.

Take my word on this. Its bokeh is amazing for a zoom and it's actually more pleasant than what we get from Sony's best prime at same aperture. Of course the 35/1.4 ZA will blur the background much more at f/2 and f/1.4 but as far as smoothness goes, the GM is a winner.



Aug 14, 2017 at 05:09 AM
mitesh
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


I may be the first person to ever use the "Hide Me" feature on Fred Miranda himself. But what can I do? Seems like every time I read a post of his, I'm off to spend more money at B&H


Aug 14, 2017 at 05:22 AM
Viramati
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Fred Miranda wrote:
It's not surprising we are loving the 16-35GM rendering...

At 35mm f/2.8, background rendering is slightly smoother when compared to the same scene shot with the Zeiss 35/1.4 ZA @f/2.8.
Bokeh balls are much cleaner with only traces of onion ring pattern while the Zeiss 35/1.4 has lots of it. The balls are very rounded at f/2.8 for the GM (wide-open) while the Zeiss not so much (2-stops down). At f/2.8, they are very similar in LoCA correction which I consider a great performance for the GM zoom since it's wide-open.

The Zeiss has more contrast and vivid colors while the
...Show more
An example of the beautiful Bokeh balls and smooth transition that Fred was talking about


Buddha in a bookshop by Viramati, on Flickr

showing transition but not quite wide open but at f3.5


Mushroom by Viramati, on Flickr


Edited on Aug 14, 2017 at 10:07 AM · View previous versions



Aug 14, 2017 at 06:23 AM
Chris_88
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Fred Miranda wrote:
I just tested again and it does not help making a decision: 16-35GM or 12-24G...

AT 16mm f/5.6 they are very similar (I would say aside from color differences, resolution is very close, center, mid and edges)
AT 24mm f/5.6 same as above...

So, if you mostly shoot landscapes at 16-24, both zooms will give you about same resolution at f/5.6 and smaller. One has 12mm and the other 35mm as options. You need to decide which FL is more important to you. (12 or 35)

I compared the 16-35GM to my FE 35/2.8 (pristine copy) and they are very similar starting at
...Show more

Thanks for sharing your (as always) valuable insights, Fred. Do you already have any thoughts on sunstars and vignetting?



Aug 14, 2017 at 09:08 AM
Viramati
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Here is a sunstar shot

Sun and pears by Viramati, on Flickr

Vignetting is there mostly at 16mm and to a degree throughout the range if you look at the uncorrected profile in Lr CC but the lens correction does a pretty good job. I have the vignetting control turned of in my A7rII's but if you turn it on you get no shading right into the extreme corners but I haven't really tested to see if this is effecting IQ



Aug 14, 2017 at 09:19 AM
virtualrain
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · LensRentals 16-35mm f/2.8 GM MTF Tests


Has anyone got both the 16-35 and Batis 25 willing to do a comparison at f/5.6 (which is where I typically shoot my Batis landscapes and architecture)?


Aug 14, 2017 at 09:43 AM
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