Canon RF 16mm 2.8 Review + Test Footage
It actually surprised me, because i didnt really expect canon to bring out something like this, at least not now. As you know, from the title, this is the 16 2.8 stm for the rf mount its an affordable, compact and lightweight ultra wide angle lens, and it comes in at around 300 us dollars previously. If you wanted an affordable ultra wide angle lens, you would have to adapt it from the ef mount, which is something that i actually did. So i do own the tamron 17 to 35 2.8 to f4, and i use that with the ef to rf adapter. The reason that i was so excited about this lens is that it pretty much makes it possible now to capture ultra wide angle, photos and video with a lens that can actually fit in your pocket. It seems like it would be the perfect lens to put on a lightweight gimbal setup to capture really nice wide angle, video shots. I know a lot of people have been interested in this one as a vlogging lens as well, so it totally makes sense its lightweight its small, its super wide angle, its got that stm motor in it so paired up with something like the rp. This could make a really compact lightweight vlogging setup that you can pretty much take anywhere with you. One notable feature of the 16 millimeter is that it has a ridiculously close minimum focusing distance, and that makes it kind of an interesting lens.
Now i was actually able to focus the lens just centimeters away from the front element. So when i found that out, i was really excited to try it out, go out and take some macro photos with an ultra wide lens. I know what youre thinking this lens has scored a lot of points on paper, but what is the image quality actually like, and this is where it gets really interesting, because i think that this aspect of the lens, the image quality itself, will either make or break This lens, depending on who you are, and what you shoot immediately upon grabbing this little guy out of the box. I realize that its almost exactly the same, in fact, if you put it side by side with the 50 millimeter 1.8, i dont think i could really tell the difference, especially if you scratched off that little focal length marker there. They are super similar. So you can see there exactly the same barrel size almost the same height theyve both got the same barrel design so that same single switch to switch between focus and control ring and then that same single ring yeah. Obviously its used for the control ring or the focus ring you can have it set up. However, you like and yeah they are the same weight for all intents and purposes, and i think that makes these two lenses a really good combo for a gimbal setup. So you could go from shooting 50 millimeters on a gimbal switch up the lens and you wouldnt even have to you know, rebalance the gimbal or anything like that.
You could pretty much just continue, shooting which i think is really interesting and they both have the exact same filter size, which means these two lenses could share filters, and so obviously that means they have the exact same lens cap. One thing that i did notice as a difference between these two lenses is that the focus ring on the 16 is a lot smoother to turn. It feels a lot more dampened, im, not sure if that is to do with a higher build quality or not. Also, the 16 millimeter does not have a weather sealing gasket on the mount, probably not the kind of lens i would want to take into compromising weather conditions um so yeah, Music, uh, Music, so Music, oh Applause, Music. So where do i even start with this lens and the image quality? I think first of all, this lens really confused me. I loaded the raw files into lightroom. My first impression was these files. Dont look anything like what they looked like on the screen of my r6, and that is because, when youre shooting with this lens and when youre looking at the images, the camera is applying some very, very serious lens corrections. And when you take the raw file into lightroom, because adobe doesnt have a camera profile to correct the files, they look wildly different. The distortion is out of control. The corners are almost completely dark because of the vignetting and when you do brighten those corners up, they are extremely soft.
So what i did i went back to the camera because i didnt shoot raw and jpeg. I actually processed all of the raws to jpeg within the camera and that applied all of those relevant lens corrections for the 16 mil 2.8. So, as you can see, switching between the raw and the process jpeg, you can see the amount of corrections that are going on with this lens, so right away. This actually causes quite a big problem with this lens, because the camera profile just isnt there and the camera profile for the 50 1.8 stm is still not in the latest version of lightroom, despite this lens being, i think, more than a year old now so potentially, If you buy this lens, you might have to deal with having very very compromised raw files for more than a year from now. If you know going off the 50 millimeter profile, still not being in lightroom now, how long is it going to take for this one to come into lightroom as well, when i was checking out the jpegs, they actually look really good theres, very minimal distortion uh. Its very very sharp in the center and the corners arent super dark theyve been brightened up um thanks to those corrections, and when i tried this lens out as a macro lens, taking photos of objects really really close to the lens in the raw file. The corners are actually black and theres no way to recover any detail from the corners.
Now, when you preview the raw beside the jpeg, you can actually see that the camera is cropping in quite substantially to solve the problem of those extremely dark corners. Now the vignetting does improve as you stop down, so i did a test shooting this brick wall, so you could see the distortion and you could see the fall off of sharpness into the corners. So i started at 2.8 and went to f4, then 5.6, f8 and finally, f11. Now, as i said, you are seeing an already corrected image while youre shooting. So when you get the raw photo into your photo editor of choice and you dont have those profile corrections. Youre going to have to crop in and youre going to have to solve for that extreme distortion and then youre also going to have to correct for the vignetting. So it is a lot of work to get the images from this lens looking decent if youre using the raw file. Hopefully, adobe does an update for the lens corrections sometime soon, but until then weve got to deal with this problem ourselves. Sharpness in the center from 2.8 is really really good. It isnt till you move into the corners that you get to see that very tragic image. Quality because of the soft corners and the really great image quality in the center, i can actually see this lens being a really great option for an aps c camera now. Canon dont actually make an rf aps c camera yet, but i think that they might in the future, and when that comes around, i guess this would be a really nice, 24 millimeter equivalent.
If you hold your arm out long enough, it could be a decent vlogging lens, given that it has that stm motor in it, and i think it will be a great lens on aps c, because youre only using that center crop of the image and youre cutting Out all that garbage on the corners focusing speed and accuracy really great. With this lens, i actually have no complaints there. It focused really really fast its just like the 51 8, the 35 1.8 and 85 f2 all of those lenses. They focus really fast really accurately, and this lens is no exception to that. So is it any good as a video lens shooting video on my r6, it actually looked really good. The slight cropping in 4k recording seemed to get rid of any of those corner issues, and i think there definitely is some lens corrections going on inside the camera when youre shooting video Music. The image looks pretty good with these test shots on the gimbal. But what about the 16 as a vlogging lens? All right, so you guys are now seeing vlog footage from 16 2.8, and one of the major things that i wanted to check out with this lens is, if it has that same wobble problem that a lot of canon lenses have with the in body image stabilization. So this is just with the in body: stabilization turned on and im gon na turn on the digital stabilization. Now so you can see what that looks like now.
This is with the digital stabilization added in lets, see what that looks like all right and now. This is without any stabilization on at all, so if youre, not a fan of those like warpy looking corners in the footage, you could potentially stabilize this footage in post and maybe itll look better Music, all right and now this is without any stabilization on at all. So if youre not a fan of those like warpy looking corners in the footage, you could potentially stabilize this footage in post and maybe itll look better. Also, the focusing is silent on the 16 millimeter thanks to that stm lens youre, not really getting much audio feedback when the lens is focusing backwards and forwards. So, honestly, i am pretty disappointed by this lens, but i guess for the size and weight the price of this thing. You cant really hate it for having some optical imperfections. There is a lot of work to do in terms of correcting this lens. If you dont have a profile for it, so that is a big downside. In my opinion, i wish that it was just a little bit easier to correct in post and that the corners were a little bit sharper. So, for that reason i will be sticking with my tamron 17 to 35 for now. I think at some time in the future, if you do own an aps, c rf camera this lens might be a really really great option for you, but i dont really see this as a professional full frame lens at this moment in time, ive made raw files Available for anyone whos a member of the channel.
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