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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
139 339263 Oct 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,265.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
7.80
8.9
ef_16-35_28_1_

Specifications:
To meet the growing demand of digital SLR owners, this ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a broader view, fast aperture, and closer focusing down to 11 in. (.28m). The first EF wide-angle zoom to combine three aspherical elements and Canonís UD glass, the lens remains compact while providing superior image quality across its range. Constructed to pro standards, itís also highly resistant to dust and moisture.


 


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wcastleman
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Registered: Nov 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 318
Review Date: Jun 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: 1) Wider field than 17-40L; 2) f/2.8 for extreme low light situations; 3) Similar size, weight and build to the excellent 17-40L.
Cons:
1) Not quite as sharp in corners/edges as the 17-40L, 2) More lateral chromatic aberration than the 17-40L

I was very happy with performance of the EF 17-40mm f/4L. However, there were too many times when I couldn't quite get the field of view I needed, so I bought the 16-35mm f/2.8L.
The performance price for the wider field and f/2.8 is slightly less sharpness in corner and edges of field and more lateral chromatic aberration. Oh, yes, the 16-35 costs twice as much as the 17-40. The trade off was acceptable to me. Not everyone will agree.

Details posted in review here:

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/16-35/index.htm



Jun 18, 2006
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swormley
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Registered: Feb 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent Quality Fast Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
Cons:
N/A

Wide-angle lenses are the hardest to use effectively and one can't
expect lenses like EF 16-35mm F2.8 L USM and EF 24-70mm F2.8 L USM
to perform with the same edge to edge sharpness as quality telephoto
lenses at maximum aperture. Wide-angle lenses have greater chromatic
aberration and distortion. Having acknowledged that, Canon has done
a remarkable job in the design of their fast wide angle zoom lenses.

Darwin Wiggett's article, "How to Use Wide Angle Lenses Effectively"
at http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles0403/dw0403-1.html is
instructive in technique and perceptions.

Hard to imagine now, but I was really disappointed when bought my
first wide-angle lens, Canon's FD 24mm F2.8 many years ago. I grew
to love and use that 24mm lens effectively. Having switched to full
frame dSLR, I chose to go with the EF 16-35mm F2.8 L USM and
EF 24-70mm F2.8 L USM. These are excellent lenses and were good
choices for me.



Jun 11, 2006
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Ashley Chaplin
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Registered: Jul 27, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jun 10, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: It's difficult to say anything positive about my copy except the construction was very solid and focussing very smooth
Cons:
Shocking CA. Very poor sharpness even at f16.

I got this lens over the 17-40 because I took a gamble that the poor reviews were possibly wrong or that the quality was variable. Hearing that QC had greatly improved I thought I'd be likely to end up with a good copy and so took the plunge.

Well I got a bad one - a very bad one. I'd be fascinated to know if the ones that people rate so highly are significantly better than the one I had or if the reviewers (no offence) are in denial.

Nobody with a full frame camera (like my 1DS2) can justify wasting thier money on this lens for a worthless extra stop. I replaced my 16-35 with the 17-40 and the difference in sharpness blew me away and I walked away with enough spare change to buy a macro lens as well.

My 16-35 was terribly soft at all focal lengths but esp at 16mm. Centre sharpness just never got sharp enough even when at f16 - which wasn't much sharper than at f2.8. CA was truly horrible. So bad at the edges that it was incorrectable in P'shop and so lack of sharpness coupled with the CA effectively rendered high quality landscape shots out of the question. My Dad put it on his 350D and thought his nasty kit lens was better.

I own a 24-70, a 70-200 and now a 17-40. I compared the 16-35 with the low end of my 24-70 and the 24-70 was sharper. Now I compare the 17-40 with my 24-70 and in the matching focal lengths it is sharper than the 24-70. I used to have a non L series 20-35 which I'm sure was better than the 16-35!

If you get a great copy and you love it then good for you but I'd advise all full framers to go for the 17-40 and save yourself some money. I haven't found a single application with the 17-40 where I've missed the extra stop. It simply isn't an issue. If you have a crop sensor, I'd look at the 17-55 f2.8 - it's got to be a better option and its less money.


Jun 10, 2006
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Mike1
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Registered: Feb 27, 2005
Location: Argentina
Posts: 493
Review Date: Jun 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great lens, sharp copy, great colors and contrast. Widest zoom for 1.3 crop and full frame camera. Built like a tank. Weather sealing. Lighter than 24-70 f2.8 L.
Cons:
Ridiculously large lens hood. Expensive.

I have used this lens for 7 months now and I love this lens. It stays on my 1D MKII N all the time. So far, it has survived rain, mud, snow, heat and humidity. Had to send it back in for a faulty USM motor. Focusing is very fast. This lens is great on a 1 series body. I got rid of my 17-40 f4 L and 24-70 f2.8 L due to the overlap at this focal length. Ocsasionally Goes on my 20D when the 70-200 f2.8 L IS isn't used. Great walkaround lens. Expensive but well worth it.

Jun 6, 2006
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footnoteblog
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Registered: Apr 28, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Review Date: May 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fantastic sharpness and color. Watch for those Dell deals.
Cons:
None, really. Price, perhaps.

This is one superb lens. That extra stop (and subsequent third-stop increments) sure comes in handy. I loved the 17-40 on my EOS 30D, but I absolutely love the 16-35. I'm excited to use it on a full frame body, when the occasion arises, but for now, it's fabulous.



May 31, 2006
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RCicala
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2956
Review Date: May 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wonderful from 22mm - 35 mm. Very smooth, sharp images even at f2.8 in this range. Great lens, as good as my 24L prime at that range.
Cons:
Below 22mm f 2.8 is quite soft, needs to be stopped down to 3.2 to sharpen up.

I bought this lens for use on a FF which made my 17-40 seem soft in the corners. Very happy with the difference above 22mm, the 16-35 is clearly better. At the wide end the 17-40 is just as good.

May 30, 2006
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Remford
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Registered: Aug 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1392
Review Date: May 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,379.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: L-Series Quality Build, Fast f/2.8 Aperture, Very Useful Zoom Range, Sharp Throughout Frame.
Cons:
Price/Value for Money

As the widest entry in Canon's fast L-Series zoom lineup, the 16-35 f/2.8 L is the wide angle zoom to own for the EF mount.

It is sharp throughout the frame and is no more subject to flare, CA, or light fall-off than others in its class, as these phenomenon are more a product of the focal length than lens.

Its f/2.8 maximum aperture makes handheld indoor and available light shooting possible at relatively low ISO sensitivities and affords a reasonable degree of creative DOF control.

It's distortion at the extremes of its range are unremarkable (a good thing), and the L-Series build quality makes it a pleasure to hold on a 1-Series or non-1-Series body with grip.

The only notable potential drawback is its price which is relatively high. However, given its combination of performance and image quality makes it clearly the best in its range and the lens of choice for those who find the 17-40 f/4 L's slower maximum aperture to be a limiting factor.


May 29, 2006
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mfoto
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Registered: Sep 18, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2346
Review Date: May 26, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: A gem of a lens. It just feels rock solid and does what you would expect
Cons:
Nah...

Just a quick update to an earlier review.

After having used this lens now for about six months it is now clear that this was a good choice for me coming from a Sigma 15-30 and 17-40L. I've now had a chance to use the lens from bright scenics to a dark theatre. Especially focusing is much better than the 17-40L. The lens is sharp wide open. This is a keeper.

20D / 16-35 2.8L shots can be seen here:

http://mfoto.smugmug.com/gallery/1488332

Morten
www.mfoto.ca



May 26, 2006
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john Paul
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Registered: Jul 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 150
Review Date: May 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Coverage range, build, 77mm filter thread, sharpness, fast focus, manual focus over ride, smoothness of the zoom & manual focus rings, much improved over the 17-35mm f2.8 L which I upgraded from, and for a zoom lens that covers all these lens ranges from 16mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm & 35mm, it performs better than all of those in Canon's non L primes. Also, the closer minimum focus distance is wonderful too!
Cons:
Flare is a little more noticable than in my 17-35mm f2.8 L which it replaced.. CA is noticable, but not nearly as bad as what I had to work with before.. A simple adjustment in Photoshop RAW conversion will take that away in no time.. The lens hood is much bigger.. oh well.. no biggy..


After shooting with the 17-35mm f2.8 L lens for the last nearly 10 years, I finally upgraded it to the 16-35mm f2.8 L lens, and right away after shooting an event, I noticed better in focus looking shots than what I had before.. The colours are more vibrant, the overall sharpness is improved, and not just in the middle either.. It feels great on my cameras,.. and is smooth to manual focus & zoom.. The hood stays on snuggly,.. The close focus feature is wonderful,..and makes for more interesting perspectives than before.. I believe it auto foces a tad faster too..

I'm a happy Canon L lens buyer, again.. :-)

JP


May 24, 2006
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TimOLondon
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Registered: May 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: On a FF (5D) it is hugely wide - you get views the eye does not see. As a Wide Angle zoom it is brilliant. As a f/2.8 it just sucks in light, making all kinds of photos possible (.. agreed.. it's not a f/1.4 prime). Very usable. I think the sweet spot is around 24mm f/4.5. Well built. Feels solid and reliable.
Cons:
My 1st L lens. While all the pro's are true I did expect more pure image sharpness and image quality. However after a couple of months, and having stopped taking 'test' pictures, and started taking 'real' pictures I just like those images.... Its quite expensive

See the pro's and con's. I do like the f/2.8 range from 16 to 35 mm. I was (& and am still) a bit disappointed by the absolute sharpness of the images. The first copy I had I sent back to Canon for re-calibration - no improvment. My dealer then swopped it for a 2nd copy. Not really that much better. My main probem is I expected an "EXPENSIVE" and "L" lens to outperform my very old 28-135 IS USM consumer lens at equivalent settings e.g. at f4.5 and f/13 at 28 and 35 mm (all other parameters being equal). It just does not do that. However - forgetting what it is (L) and what it costs, and remembering the laws of physics for this lens set-up, and, and, and, and just taking the pictures it lets you take - I like it. I am looking forward to Canon's next attempt at this zoom ability......

May 22, 2006
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johnastovall
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Registered: Apr 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1332
Review Date: May 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,408.13 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great color and wonderfully smooth zoom, it really shines on my 5D. I wanted something for it faster than the 17-40 I had gotten for my 20D and to fill in below the 24-70 for events. This does it wonderfull
Cons:
Some CA in the corners with some subjects at 16mm but a quick adjustment in ACR solves that.q45

Got this lens to fill in below my 24-70 and for the extra stop as I found the 17-40 just too slow in many cases. I've not been disapointed with it. It full a slot in my kit that I needed. What little CA I've seen in the corners at 16 is easily fixed. A great companion lense to the 24-70.



May 22, 2006
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jfk03
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Registered: Mar 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 463
Review Date: May 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent sharpness, color, build, versatility
Cons:
None

I have used this lens for better part of a year on 1.6 crop cameras (30D, 300D). At 35 mm it is functional equivalent of a normal lens. Good for landscape photography, architectural shots, events. At its widest angle you do have to watch your horizons, however. I have this lens on my camera about 50% of the time.

May 21, 2006
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a9413
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Registered: Jul 10, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide and sharp, you will not regret adding this one to your lens collection.
Cons:

Bought the lens last thurdays and on friday i drove to Skagit valley to get some Tulip shots. Images were spectacular. I do not regret getting this lens at all.

May 2, 2006
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Ernnez
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Registered: Jun 17, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, color/contrast is rich
Cons:
None

I took the plunge with no regrets. The Canon 10-22 on the my 20D is good, this one is superb. Low light commercial interiors got me to this choice. I had looked at the 14mm f/2.8 but it's not flexible as this one is to replace the 10-22. Price is in range with quality you get.

Apr 29, 2006
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joe mama
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Registered: Oct 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4618
Review Date: Apr 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent FL on FF, fast AF w/ USM, IF
Cons:
The hood pisses me off, but what can you do? : )

It was quite a debate for me to go FF. The two biggest factors holding me back were the 10-22 and 60 / 2.8 macro -- two of the finest pieces of glass out there, and, methinks, two of the biggest reasons for many not to go FF.

But, in the end, I jumped to the 5D since I'm a high ISO shallow DOF shooter, and those needs override all other concerns for me.

So what was the first thing I did when I jumped to the 5D? I sold my beloved 35 / 1.4L to fund a 24-105 / 4L IS. And, while I have nothing bad to say about that lens (except for the vignetting at the wide end), it was not for me. So I quickly sold it and got a 16-35 / 2.8L.

I can't remember how many seconds it took me to realize that this lens was a must have on the 5D, but it wasn't many.

As I mentioned further up, I'm a high ISO shallow DOF shooter. But for WA, you generally don't want shallow DOF, which is why I felt OK getting rid of the 35 / 1.4L, which is equivalent to a 22 / 0.9L on a 20D in terms of FL and DOF), but I do need a fast shutter, and I thought that f / 2.8 and ISO 3200 would be good enough.

In the beginning it was, but I'm now wanting the 35 / 1.4L back, as I'm beginning to see that shallow DOF, even at WA, has its place, and even faster shutter speeds is certainly needed. But, I have no regrets getting the 16-35 / 2.8L, and would not trade back. I just wish I still had the 35 / 1.4L. [sniff]

Perhaps I'm fairly unique in my use for this lens, most using it mainly for deep DOF landscapes or architectual and the like. There is an important difference in these needs. I need strong center sharpness, with edge sharpness not being so important, since the edges are normally out of the DOF for me, anyway. Now, I do landscapes, but rarely, so I can't really comment on the edge sharpness except to say that for the few I've taken, it looks good to me. However, the center sharpness, even wide open, is excellent.

As for distortion, I don't have a clue. WA distorts a lot, duh, but my RAW converter, BreezeBrowser Pro (www.breezesys.com) has PT lens distortion correction built-in as an option, so I don't really know. Plus, like I say, I'm a shallow DOF shooter for the most part, and don't really notice distortion like a landscape shooter would, anyway.

And, lastly, vignetting. All I can say is that it's been a non-issue for me, even wide open. Pics are below, so you decide.

So, in conclusion, because all good essays end with "in conclusion", especially with commas outside the quotation marks, this lens is a "must have" on the 5D, is my most fun lens, and I cannot recommend it enough.

OK, pics, right? Here we go, all on a 5D:


16mm, f / 2.8, ISO 1600:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/56354471

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/56354471/original.jpg


16mm, f / 2.8, ISO 1600:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/57395404

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/57395404/original.jpg


35mm, f / 2.8, ISO 3200:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/58300186

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/58300186/original.jpg


16mm, f / 5.6, ISO 100:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/56494097

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/56494097/original.jpg


20mm, f / 7.1, ISO 100:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/56154347

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/56154347/original.jpg


22mm, f / 8, ISO 100:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/57064721

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/image/57064721/original.jpg


Apr 18, 2006
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lexybeast
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Registered: Feb 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 482
Review Date: Apr 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast lens, great build quality, weather sealed, nice wide angle, sharp
Cons:
None... perhaps a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for

Thus far my favourite lens. Despite a couple recommendations of the 17-40 over this lens because of price, I went with this one, and it was a fantastic decision. I've heard reports of having to trade in a few copies to get a 'sharp' copy, most of which I put very little stock in... it's a wide angle. Wide angles tend to be less sharp than telephoto lenses, especially on corners. This is an asset, not a weakness... it will help bring attention to your subject. If you want sharp corners for landscaping or something, get a tripod and stop it down. Also, do you really think Canon is going to have huge sharpness issues with one of their much-touted L lenses? If bad copies of this lens were as widespread as the rumours make you think, Canon would be out of business! Don't believe the DPReview-esque crowd...

Like I said, this is my favourite lens... I might forsee it being edged out from that position by the 24mmTS when I purchase that, but even then this lens will remain a close second. I've used the 17-40 as well, and preferred this one. The extra stop over the 17-40 has come in very handy. This is a fabulous walk around/photo-journalism lens. If that's what you are looking for and like shooting wide, you can't go wrong with this lens.


Apr 17, 2006
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
139 339263 Oct 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,265.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
7.80
8.9
ef_16-35_28_1_


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