Canon today announced a couple of lenses; an EF 16-35mm f4 IS lens ($1,199), and an EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 ($299). Interestingly, the announcement of the 16-35mm f4 lens seemed to have prompted a rather ho-hum reaction; some saying they'd stick with the EF 16-35mm f2.8, while others suggesting that the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 is a better deal.
As someone who likes wide-angle lenses, owns the EF 16-35mm f/2.8, and has used the Sigma 18-35, I thought I'd weigh in on this new lens too!
Firstly, like Stu Maschwitz, I think I'm going to stick with my f2.8. lens. It's a nice solid lens. The Sigma lens is nice too, but it's not quite as wide, it doesn't work on full frame cameras, and I didn't find that extra 1 1/3 stops a must-have feature when I was using it.
The new Canon f/4 16-35mm lens includes IS, which is useful if you're moving the camera around, but other than that, this lens doesn't really stand out when compared to the other two.
What it comes down to is that, even though these three lenses seem very similar, they are three very different lenses that just crowd into a space and make the buying decision more complicated!
- The Canon f/4 ($1,199) has IS. According to the specs, it's only marginally lighter in weight than the f/2.8 lens, but it does have a 77mm filter thread, while the f/2.8 is a staggering 82mm. If you're shooting mobile, this is probably the lens to get of the three, though the EF 24-105mm f/4 might actually be more useful.
- The Canon f/2.8 ($1,699, there's currently a $200 rebate available) is faster that the f/4, but there's on IS. Do you want f/2.8, or do you want IS? That's really the question.
- The Sigma ($899) is faster, but there's no IS, it doesn't support full-frame cameras, and it's not as wide. It's at least $300 cheaper than the other two, which might be enough for many to make a decision. It's also received a lot of rave reviews; and it has a 72mm filter thread. Interestingly, according to the specs, it's quite a bit heavier than the Canons, though I didn't really notice that when I had it. I would have guessed it was about the same as the Canon f/2.8, but I was only going by feel and the Canon is just a bigger 'feeling' lens due to it's diameter.
To be honest, I don't know which lens I'd buy if I didn't already have the f/2.8 lens. Each lens has it's own strengths and weaknesses. I guess I'm happy with the f/2.8, and the other two don't attract me enough to switch (and I can't justify having two of these.)