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Resolution & Contrast - Head-2-Head Lens Review: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM vs. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
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posted on Mar 5, 2010 at 10:59AM

Head-2-Head Lens Review: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM vs. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Resolution & Contrast

By Ted Dillard
 

H2H ROUND-1: Resolution & Contrast

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To examine the relative sharpness and contrast of these two optics, we photographed an industry standard resolution chart with both Ultra Wide Zoom EF lenses using a single Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR. We tested both lenses at a range of apertures and focal lengths. The results, once again, show impressive output from the slower (and much less costly) 17-40mm Canon lens.

 

Measured in Line Widths per Picture Height (LW/PH), we’re seeing better raw resolution numbers from the 17-40mm USM lens at its widest aperture (f/4 on the Canon 17-40, f/2.8 on the Canon 16-35 II). At maximum aperture, the 17-40mm at f/4 yields slightly more edge definition and better contrast than the 16-35 at f/2.8.

 
  

Canon EF 16-35mm II @ f/2.8
Canon EF 17-40mm @ f/4.0

 
 

At two stops down - near optimal aperture - the lenses look almost identical, though the edge in sharpness shifts to the 16-35mm lens.

 

Canon EF 16-35mm II @ f/4.5
Canon EF 17-40mm @ f/6.3

 

 


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