LensTip.com

Lens review

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/4L IS USM

22 July 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

8. Vignetting

On the smaller sensor of the Canon 50D you can notice the vignetting only at the maximum focal length – the thumbnails below show it very well.

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/4L IS USM - Vignetting


At the combination of 16 mm focal length and f/4.0 aperture the brightness loss in the frame corners amount to 14% (-0.42 EV). What’s interesting the correlation between that aberration and the aperture value is weak: by f/5.6 and higher the vignetting keeps a level of 13% (-0.40 EV). A very similar situation can be seen at 24 mm. In that case by f/4.0 the vignetting is 16% (-0.51 EV) and by f/5.6 and higher it reaches 11% (-0.34 EV).


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As we wrote earlier, most problems you encounter at 35 mm where, at the maximum relative aperture, you have to take into account 24% of the light fall-off (-0.78 EV) in the corners. The problem disappears, though, by f/5.6 and f/8.0 with the vignetting getting to 11% (−0.33 EV) and 9% (−0.28 EV) respectively.

Now let’s check the situation on a much more demanding full frame sensor.

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/4L IS USM - Vignetting


A difficult combination of an ultra-wide angle and the maximum relative aperture proved to be quite a challenge; in that case you have to consider a brightness loss amounting to as much as 53% (-2.17 EV). The situation improves by f/5.6 but still the vignetting is quite visible there, amounting to 36% (-1.31 EV). A moderate level of that aberration can be observed only by f/8 and f/11 where the vignetting is respectively 27% (−0.90 EV) and 25% (−0.85 EV).

Definitely less problems can be seen in the middle of the focal range. At the maximum relative aperture the vignetting reaches 34% (-1.22 EV), by f/5.6 its value decreases to 26% (-0.88 EV) and by f/8.0 it is 22% (-0.71 EV). Further stopping down doesn’t have any measurable influence on this aberration.

At the maximum focal length the vignetting increases again. By f/4.0 you have to deal with 41% (-1.52 EV) of brightness loss and by f/5.6 it drops to 25% (-0.84 EV). By f/8.0 and f/11 we got respectively 20% (−0.64 EV) and 16% (−0.52 EV).

In this category the Canon is worse than the Nikkor 16–35 mm f/4.0 VR whose maximum vignetting level was 41%. The Tokina AT-X PRO FX SD 17–35 mm f/4 (IF) fared better than the Canon as well but in its case the constructors’ task was a bit easier due to a slightly narrower angle of view.

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/4L IS USM - Vignetting

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/4L IS USM - Vignetting

Canon EF 16-35 mm f/4L IS USM - Vignetting