I just sold my EF 17-40mm f/4L which has been my main lens for years, and replaced it with the EF 16-35mm f/4L. Both are excellent lenses, but the “16” costs another $250 to $400 more (depending on where you buy). It has image stabilization, which the “17” does not, it’s slightly wider, but it’s missing 5mm on the telephoto end of the zoom range.
When you’re looking at RAW files on a Retina screen 4k iMac, it’s obvious that the 16-35mm is sharper and shows more fine detail than the 17-40mm. I don’t think you can tell in website photos. The 16 also seems to have a very neutral color balance, while the 17 is slightly on the cool side. At least my copy had a cooler tint than my other lenses. It wasn’t noticeable until I compared photos from the same scene shot with different lenses.
This shot was taken at the telephoto end of the lens. It doesn’t have as much reach as the 17-40mm, so if I need to narrow the composition down and can’t move closer, I’ll need to break out the EF 50mm f/1.4, or the big gun, my EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L.
So far I am very pleased with the new lens. It looks slightly longer, feels slightly lighter, with more plastic and less metal in the construction. It obviously takes stunning shots! I can’t wait to try it out on more locations.