Canon EFS 17-55 causing vignetting on the C300
I picked up the Canon EFs 17-55 f/2.8 IS recently because I wanted a wide zoom that would compliment my 24-105 IS and 70-200 IS lenses. I’ve been shooting with the 17-55 for around a week now and started noticing light falloff on the left and right edges of my shots when shooting at 17mm as well as darkened corners from 17-28mm. When the image stabiliser is active on the lens the vignetting becomes a lot more noticeable as the stabiliser function causes the vignetting to move around in the shot.
The super35 sensor on the C300 is slightly wider than the APS-C sensors on crop frame Canon DSLR’s. This results in the edges of the sensor capturing a bit more of the light coverage than say a 7D or T3i. I had initially put the vignetting issue down to the EFS lens not being able to cover the sensor sufficiently.
Today I was using the lens again and noticed the issue wasn’t there. After a small amount of head scratching I realised I wasn’t using the sun hood this time, it seems pretty obvious now I think about it but I’m used to using the Canon lens hoods all on my lenses without problem.
The Canon EW-83J has to be purchased separately from the 17-55 but it is designed specifically for that lens. Canon have righty designed the lens hood to provide optimum flare protection without impeding on the image of their APS-C cameras, but there doesn’t seem to be enough tolerance to also allow it to be used with the C300’s Super35 sensor.
The images below show the same shot with the sun hood fitted and removed. The first image was captured during a slow pan which resulted in the image stabiliser revealing the dark edge more on the right side than the left. With IS off the effect is less obvious but still visible on each side equally.
With the lens hood removed the worst of the light fall off is now gone. There is still some minor vignetting in the corners at the wide end of the lens with a natural light fall off towards the edges of the frame.
The C300’s peripheral illumination correction feature helps to remove some of the light fall off.
I’m still seeing some vignetting from this lens so I decided to try out Canon’s other wide zooms, specifically the 16-35 f/ 2.8 L and 17-40 f / 4 L.
I really like the image from the 16-35, I’m not sure why it’s less exposed than the others, the metadata confirms a setting of f/3.5.
The image from the 17-40 is nice too but I prefer the bokeh from the 16-35.
Finally the 17-55, note the vignette appearing top right, this was with the hood removed.
Going by the images above the 16-35 is the clear winner in terms of image quality, at least in my opinion anyway. There’s just something about the bokeh that makes the faster glass stand out to me.
It’s not until you watch the video below though that the full picture becomes apparent when thinking about a lens for handheld use, even with the vignette the 17-55 still stands out simply because of it’s Image Stabiliser feature. The others could be corrected with warp stabiliser or another post stabiliser but that would be a major hassle if it had to be done to all of the footage from an event.
For handheld work I think I’ll stick with the EFs 17-55, at least until Canon make a wide zoom L series lens with IS.