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Help me decide 16-35 f2.8, 16-35 f4, 12-24 f4

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Hello folks, I am new around here, maybe you can help me decide, I just switch from Nikon to Sony, I am a landscape photographer, and i dont know which lens to buy. Since these 3 lenses are very good.

I dont know if buy 16-35 f2.8 GM vs 16-35 f4 Zeiss vs 12-24 f4 GM


Please let me know why you choose the lens. Any good or bad experience????


Thank you for your help! :) 

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`    

   

There are equally persuasive arguments for each of the three. 

  

I'm the patient type. I just wait ... and buy whichever one pops 

up as a refurb, open box, or similar bargain !   

  

My method also avoids "woulda shoulda coulda" regret. I buy 

whichever one pops up. I can't second guess my choice cuz I 

delegated my choice to "fate". Even if the deals pop up 1-2-3,  

three days in row, for a different lens each day ... I bought the

one that "volunteered" first, and that is that :-) 

   

Or toss a coin ... well, THREE coins ! And it's really a good as 

all the advice you can get online when all the advice is equally 

good for all three lenses. 

   

Worst case scenario: You win a lottery and buy all three. Now 

you never know which lens to bring with you :-( ... Just do it.  

    

I happen to know, 100%, which one is for me. No wondering 

about it. But what I know is of no use to other users so it's not

worth mentioning. What I've recommended above is far more

useful to other users. 

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I would give the 16-35/4 a miss because it's lower quality than the other two. The 12-24 is cheaper than the GM and the initial reviews look promising. For landscape you'll make better use of the extra millimeters at the wide end.

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I owned the 16-35 F4 in absence of any other good zoom at the time, and sold it because there was an overlap with my 24-70 GM. I then got recently the 12-24.

 

I had a good experience with the Zeiss 16-35 and if you have a limited budget, it would be probably the best choice for landscape. In addition, this zoom is quite small and light.

I did not try the 16-35 GM but I guess it is better in terms of sharpness and hopefully at 35 where the Zeiss is not very good.

 

I have tested the 12-24 since a month in different situations and it performs well. However it is a real wide angle zoom with the distortion you may expect and the corners at all apertures are quite soft. I would say it is a nice to have but somewhat a specialized zoom, not the one I would have bought first. 

 

So, if you have enough money to spend,  if you are not afraid with the weight and size, and according to the existing reviews, the 16-35 GM could be the good choice 

 

A last comment : you come from the Nikon world (I came from the Canon one some years ago) and are probably used to a bulkier bodies. It is clear that, with the actual technology,  most of the very good lenses will allways be rather heavy, so do not hesitate to add a grip to your camera : it will be much better balanced (among other advantages)

This is what I did and I am very happy with that.

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............  most of the very good lenses will allways be rather heavy,

so do not hesitate to add a grip to your camera : it will be much

better balanced (among other advantages) This is what I did and I

am very happy with that.

     

I still have a Canon outfit, altho I mainly use Sonys. Before 

adding a grip and heavy lenses to a Sony, as replacement 

for the Canon outfit, I'd just keep the Canon and convert it 

to a heavy bulky "mirrorless" outfit by adding a really good

hood-loupe to the rear LCD panel. Costs thousands to go 

from Canons to Sonys, but only about a hundred to add a 

hood-loupe. End result, either way, is a big bulky live view 

outfit ... but the Canon also doubles as an SLR if you ever 

have need of one :-)    

   

OTOH, the Sony will also double as a semi-compact if you 

just remove the grip and attach a compact lens. Either way 

it's your "Gas Money" so let's keep the economy rolling ! 

    

PS  

FWIW I have a 19-35 f/4 for the Canons and I've never for 

a moment wished to speed it up to f/2.8 and crank it out to 

16 [nor 12 ! ! !] mm. It's bulky enuf as it is. I've never been 

tempted to adapt it to the Sonys. Tho my favorite shooting 

condition is darkness, I find lens speed useful for midrange 

FLs but pointless for ultrawides [same for longish FLs]. My 

silliest lenses are a 20 f/1.8 and 105 f/1.8 ... I always wind 

up grabbing the 20 f/4 or the 105 f/2.5 altho acoarst YMMV. 

And I don't mean to dump on your interest in 16 ultrawide. 

I have an old 17 f/3.5 that serves occasional need and I'm

not likely to ever part with it. It's just that when you discuss 

combining a zoom function, ultra wide angle, and a zoom 

function, with or without the grip, the idea of switching to a 

more compact camera body doesn't make huge sense :-( 

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I have the 16-35 2.8 and 12-24 4.0. IMO the 12-24 is almost too wide and is strictly for architecture and interior photos. Humans looks so distorted whenever I take pictures at the wide end with the 12-24. For your purposes it may suite you better though. I'm a hybrid shooter and love the 16-35 2.8 for video. Also love that I can switch to APSC mode and essentially have a 16-52.5 lens. Even more with CIZ.

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I have the 1635F4 Seiss and the Zeiss coatings do their magic - great contrast, better then older primes. Perfect for landscape. 

But when I would buy new I would opt for the 1635GM - cause for video you could need the extra light (I also have 35/2.8 and 28/2), really sharp in the corners and not much bigger. But if budget is tight the F4 Z is a very fine lens. 

And I'm fine with 16mm. Shooting very wide is something you/I :-) have to learn and after 10 exciting shots gets somehow less exciting. The 1635 is a great allround lens and together with the 55/1.8 makes a great hiking/indoor package. Sometimes I add the 90mm Macro for total nature photo cracyness :-) 

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I recomemend you the 1635 f4 if you need it just for the landscape (cheaper, lighter & smaller). But if you need the 16-35 mm for the city, street-photography, walkaround, architecture and people, consider the 16/35 f2.8 for better bokeh (11 Blades instead of 7 & 2.8 Aperture), more light in the night and sharper in 35mm for people.

 

I switched to Sony because I wanted the best Quality in the smallest body so I still use my Zeiss Batis 25 f2 (on A7RII) for the Landscape (at f8 best for the nature, sharp, Light & small), but sometimes I need more wide and that is why I consider to by a 1635 zoom lens, And since I love the street-photography (also in the night) I will buy the 1635 f2.8 in the near future.

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Hello folks, I am new around here, maybe you can help me decide, I just switch from Nikon to Sony, I am a landscape photographer, and i dont know which lens to buy. Since these 3 lenses are very good.

I dont know if buy 16-35 f2.8 GM vs 16-35 f4 Zeiss vs 12-24 f4 GM

 

 

Please let me know why you choose the lens. Any good or bad experience????

 

 

Thank you for your help! :) 

 

I own the 16-35 F4 and I am considering either the 16-35 F2.8 GM or a Samyang 14 f2.8 Auto Focus.   The F4 is a nice lens, but compared to my 24-70 f2.8 GM, it is not as sharp, and I often use the extra stop in low light.   

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I own the 16-35 F4 and I am considering either the 16-35 F2.8 GM or a Samyang 14 f2.8 Auto Focus.   The F4 is a nice lens, but compared to my 24-70 f2.8 GM, it is not as sharp, and I often use the extra stop in low light.   

Also, remember the 12-24 is not a GM.    It's a G.   Probably a good lens if you need ultra wide, but I'm thinking 16 is wide enough for me.

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Being an engineer myself*, I prefer basing my decisions on proven facts, rather than on more or less biased opinions of people I don't know, however justified they may be. (See my tag line.)

I'm not going to "nag" you with links to the test database any longer. (I'm not affiliated with its provider either).

 

I'm just wondering why most people apparently prefer believing strangers' opinions over evaluating neutral, unbiased, reproducible facts and basing their decision on the former.

 

I'm also aware that my attitude in a way defeats the purpose of a user forum, which feeds off of user's opinions. Or at least links to genuine information. Like I'm trying to provide.

 

Anyway, all the best decisions you all.  8-)

 

 

P.S.: that said, unfortunately the 12-24 is not currently available from the test database which I've linked before.

 

P.P.S.: * I think, it's about time to properly introduce myself.

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Science and engineering is a big part of photography as a whole. But it is a small part of GOOD photography.

 

Some photographers are obcessed with the technical aspects. Some of them are really good photographers too. But in my experience, most of the really good photographers get a camera that is good enough and then they focus totally on making photographs.

 

That is what is most valuable to me when discussing photography, other people's experience in making photographs. Many people find that their photos don't get better when they buy really expensive equipment. That is certainly the case for me.

 

What matters is how you use the equipment and the strengths, limitations and character that is inherent in the equipment. There are only two ways to learn this, either buy buying and trying a lot of equipment for a long time. Or by talking to people who use the equipment and by looking at their photos.

 

I have found that I still prefer the look of film. But I don't have the time to shoot everything with film. So I have bought digital cameras and lenses which produce an old school look and feel to the images. It's usually older gear from when engineers still had one foot in film photography.

 

Now, you can't really measure if a lens or a camera produces and old school look. But you can see it and other people can tell you about gear that, to their eye, produces such a look.

 

So, if you see other people's opinions as an expression of their experience, they may be quite valuable.

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..........   I'm just wondering why most people apparently prefer believing

strangers' opinions over evaluating neutral, unbiased, reproducible

facts and basing their decision on the former. ......................

 

 

    

Ever heard the phrase "blinded by science" ?  

    

You string together conflicting descriptors and it reveals much 

about how you have come to be wondering about just what it 

is you are wondering about:   

  

" ... neutral, unbiased, reproducible facts ... " 

     

LOL to the above ... even tho it's actually sad :-( 

   

Your above words are problematic. By definition, facts will be

reproducible. Otherwise, they would not qualify as fact :-)  

   

But OTOH ... neutral ?????  ... unbiased ?????   

    

Well, you did say you're an engineering type, so I'm not sure 

you can be reached/saved/enlightened. But I don't personally 

know you as an individual, so I'll just hope for an exception to 

the rule :-) 

   

Keep in mind that "figures lie, and liars figure". Anywho, the 

fact of reproducibility doesn't in the least imply the presence 

or absence of bias, and does not insure neutrality. There is 

just no connection, and I can't see why you made one. The 

problem, Mr. Engineering Type, is that facts don't exist in a 

vacuum [thaz figurative ... not physics] and no single fact, or 

collection of facts, is all encompassing. IOW it's like the blind 

men and the elephant. 

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I recomemend you the 1635 f4 if you need it just for the landscape (cheaper, lighter & smaller). But if you need the 16-35 mm for the city, street-photography, walkaround, architecture and people, consider the 16/35 f2.8 for better bokeh (11 Blades instead of 7 & 2.8 Aperture), more light in the night and sharper in 35mm for people.

 

I switched to Sony because I wanted the best Quality in the smallest body so I still use my Zeiss Batis 25 f2 (on A7RII) for the Landscape (at f8 best for the nature, sharp, Light & small), but sometimes I need more wide and that is why I consider to by a 1635 zoom lens, And since I love the street-photography (also in the night) I will buy the 1635 f2.8 in the near future.

 

Thanks.   I am leaning toward the 16-35 f2.8 for the same reasons.   I have been spoiled by the overall quality of my shots from the 24-70 GM and I think I would be a little disappointed in the 12-24 or the Samyang 14 AF.   Street and travel are a big part of my fun photography.   Yes, I am a pixel peeper, but I have other good habits to counter balance that. ;)

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I have the 16-35 2.8 and 12-24 4.0. IMO the 12-24 is almost too wide and is strictly for architecture and interior photos. Humans looks so distorted whenever I take pictures at the wide end with the 12-24. For your purposes it may suite you better though. I'm a hybrid shooter and love the 16-35 2.8 for video. Also love that I can switch to APSC mode and essentially have a 16-52.5 lens. Even more with CIZ.

 

Thanks for the input.    I was considering the 12-24, but then remembered that I once owned a 12-24 Sigma for my Nikons and I was never pleased with shots of people.   Faces were never very good.   Fun lens, but after about 10 shots, got a little old.    I'm pretty-much sold on the 16-35 GM.   Can't beat quality.

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@Jaf:

 

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply which I feel deserves some comments from my side. I had, for the sake of brevity, reduced my views to an extent which open them up to justified attack. I would like to defend against those.

 

 

 

Science and engineering is a big part of photography as a whole. But it is a small part of GOOD photography. 

Some photographers are obcessed with the technical aspects. Some of them are really good photographers too. But in my experience, most of the really good photographers get a camera that is good enough and then they focus totally on making photographs.

 

Whether that part is small or not is of course open to debate, which I would rather not do in this thread. After all, we (mostly myself) started sort of a meta-debate on the general decision-making process as such, unrelated to the thread openers specific question. I hope he can bear with me though.

 

I completely agree with you, that throwing money at photography (or at a photographer) doesn't guarantee good output. Giving expensive equipment at the hands of a mediocre photographer doesn't miraculously make her/him poroduce better output. Quite to the contrary, I believe: the better equipment will make his personal deficiencies at the art much more obvious, leaving less excuses to hide behind. Some may consider this as daunting, others as a positive challenge. I see myself on the latter side.

 

On the other hand, giving a good photographer better equipment is very likely to make her/him deliver better output. That's what I'm aiming at.  8-) (Although I'm certainly not anywhere near being a good photographer yet.)

 

What matters is how you use the equipment and the strengths, limitations and character that is inherent in the equipment. 

 

 

​Thanks again for giving me these three great keywords.

 

This is exactly what I mean when I refer to reliably measured, comparable test results. These define the maximum, theoretically possible "profile" of a given piece of equipment.

 

The dxo website, which I've linked before, has opened itself up to the scrutiny of a peer review, by describing in full detail the applied standards and procedures when testing bodies/sensors and lenses. They claim, which I trust, that all devices are subjected to identical testing procedures. That's what I call "unbiased": The tester has no particular interest in any specific output. He reports what a defined test procedure results in.

 

​At this point I would like to include a quote of a famous German scientist: Max Planck:

 

"An experiment is a question, science poses to Nature.

 And a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer".

 

 

I have found that I still prefer the look of film. But I don't have the time to shoot everything with film. So I have bought digital cameras and lenses which produce an old school look and feel to the images. It's usually older gear from when engineers still had one foot in film photography.

Now, you can't really measure if a lens or a camera produces and old school look. But you can see it and other people can tell you about gear that, to their eye, produces such a look.

 

 

 

I'm quite positive, that we, after a couple of beers or so, would easily come to an agreement as to what constitutes an "old school look". Be it an amount of distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting or any other type "deficiency" (=deviation from physical perfection). As an engineer I believe, those criteria can be measured, and thus reproduced. Being able to reproduce a trait makes you immediately able to predict, how well another piece of equipment will be able to reproduce the desired trait.

 

So, if you see other people's opinions as an expression of their experience, they may be quite valuable

 

No doubt about that. But at this point I refrain from digressing about the decision making process involving many differing and possibly contradicting sub-goals. Maybe we should open up a separate thread on this topic. The question of making optimal decisions does not only appear in this forum. And the procedure to follow is not confined to the realm of photography, either.

 

@Username:

I've come to learn earlier in my life, that discussions with science-deniers are generally a waste of time.

 

That said, I still have this much for you:

 

I find it quite amusing, that you openly scorn science, engineering in general and figures in particular, yet see no problem in using digital cameras, computers and the internet, all of those, believe me, involved a hell of a lot of science, engineering and - believe me - figures.  =8-)

 

Now go figure!

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I use DxO's charts as one part of the decision-making process. The other part is more subjective, the look and feel of the images the equipment produces.

 

When it comes to the old school look, I think there are too many factors that come into play. These factors don't get measured by current testing methods. For instance, there is no software that accurately simulates the look of film from a digitally captured image. Some get close but it's never 100%.

 

To my mind, it's very important that engineers of film and lenses in part relied on science, in part relied on their own subjective opinion of what looked right.

 

In the analogue era, it was possible to produce film and lenses with a correct and neutral rendition of reality. But they didn't want to, it looked boring. Instead they tweaked lenses, coatings and film until it looked good to their eyes. In some cases they had tricks, in other cases it was just trial and error.

 

That's where Sony has gone wrong in recent years. Their lenses and files are too neutral. That's despite the fact that they inherited some of the best engineers from Minolta, who specialised in achieving a certain character in their lenses.

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Now that's interesting:

 

Please consider the following carefully:

 

 

In the analogue era, it was possible to produce film and lenses with a correct and neutral rendition of reality.

 

against this:

 

 

That's where Sony has gone wrong in recent years. Their lenses and files are too neutral.

 

I'm really wondering: is it actually possible to do too much neutrality? Is the very notion of neutrality open to comparatives at all?  ;-)

 

Hint: I believe, the notion of neutrality doesn't carry a superlative, nor a comparative. It's either  neutral  or  not.

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Sure. Neutrality is the relative absence of deviation. There is a threshold below which the brain and the eye does not perceive deviation, even if it is not zero. Above that threshold we see the image as increasingly unnatural. But below that threshold, we only see the image as natural.

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I got the 16-35mm GM and it's excellent. I definitely wouldn't go for the 12-24mm, way too wide for me.

 

Stick with the GM's and you won't go wrong

 

I think you will love it.   There is some pretty strong distortion at 16, as you would expect.   I use a Fisheye-Hemi correction program from Imadia Software and it eliminates most of it. 

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Thanks jstevensphoto, I'll take a look at Fisheye-Hemi 

 

I used to shoot really wide all the time but these days I try not to shoot any wider than around 21mm and if I do shoot wider than that I'll use the 24mm TS and stitch 3 images together which I think gives a better look. It doesn't seem to push your subject away like a super wide lens can do.

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