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Thread: Canon 16-35II v. old 24-70 for 5DMk2

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Canon 16-35II v. old 24-70 for 5DMk2

    I've decided it's time to finally take the plunge and get a wide angle for my 5D Mark II. I have the money saved and ready to go, but I can't decide which lens to get.

    As of now, I'm between the Canon 16-35 II and the old Canon 24-70. I like both lenses, but there's tradeoffs with each.

    Another lens on my radar is the 17-40. While it's only an f/4, I thought the optics were better than those of the 16-35--but this may not work for me as I have indoor and low-light photography in mind.

    This lens would be primarily for photojournalism work. The 24-70 and 24-105 are the standard lenses for this field, but I can't get the 16-35 off my mind.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I have the 24-70 and the 17-40 for my 5Dii...and they both perform very different roles for me. The f/4 is limiting on the 17-40, particularly as I've transitioned more into people work than planes...but there is a very noticable difference between 24 and 17mm...24 to me is wide, while 17 is super wide.

    Most of the professional photojournalists I know have the 16-35 and the 24-70...both are industry standards. However a handful also say that they like the performance and product from the 17-40 more than the 16-35, and only stay with the 16-35 because of the f/2.8 (have the shot but being mediocre quality is better than having no shot at all).

    You might also want to go with a prime...the 14 f/2.8, 24 f/1.4 and the 35 f/1.4 are all excellent lenses that exceed all three of the lenses discussed above in terms of quality.

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    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply, Jeremy.

    How does the image quality of the 17-40 compare to the 24-70?

    I read a review online that claims that the only difference between the 16 and 17 is that the 16 is 2x the price and has the extra stop. Otherwise, they're the same. After reading this, I think I'm going to cross the 16 off my list
    Last edited by Chris102; 02-02-2013 at 04:47 PM.

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    Reasonably similar, though the 24-70 has an edge for sure. Both show barrel distortion and edge softness/warping, though the latter is predictably more pronounced on the 17-40 below 25, particularly when wide open.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cary's Avatar
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    Having owned the 16-35 II, the 24-70 2.8, and rented the 24-70 2.8 II, I would say the 16-35 II is the sharpest of the bunch, when mounted to a 5DmIII, which will show little imperfections in the best of lenses. Of course, there will be some image degradation in the corners, but you will get that with pretty much any Canon UWA. It's possible that I got a bum copy of the 24-70 II, as the quality range is all over the board, because I would only rate it slightly better than my v1. If money is a factor, the 17-40 is a better VALUE, but like you said, you'll need to make do with f/4. Stay away from the original 16-35, as the II is far better.
    Last edited by Cary; 02-02-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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