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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
140 337531 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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drisley
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Registered: Jul 12, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1527
Review Date: Jun 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beutiful colour and contrast. Sharp even wide open. Great build, fast and silent AF. Perfect size and weight matched with 20D
Cons:
Price

After reading so many mixed reviews about this lens, I decided to buy one used (but almost new).
I was blown away, right from the first image. This is the sharpest wide/normal angle lens I've ever used.
The colour and contrast are as good as the magnificent 135L, and it's as sharp as you can expect for a wide angle.
I highly recommend this lens.


Jun 4, 2005
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reefkeeper
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Registered: Dec 13, 2004
Location: Philippines
Posts: 27
Review Date: Apr 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: I had great pictures taken with this lens.
Cons:
Difficult to keep the lens hood.



Apr 26, 2005
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trijicon
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Registered: Jun 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1145
Review Date: Apr 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: My copy is SUPER SHARP wide open. Only gets slightly better at small apertures. Great build, color is better than my 24-70L (sharper as well), contrast, and USM is fast as expected.
Cons:
Price?

I am a wedding photographer so I was in need for a wide fast zoom lense. I had the 17-35 f2.8 first but the CA and softness was extremely bad so I sold it and bought the 17-40L. This lense was great for landscapes but had trouble focusing in low light. I finally went of the 16-35L. The 1mm difference is actually pretty big. This lense is wider but most important of all, its fast. The center sharpness is super sharp wide open which is great for my wedding style of shooting. I am using 20D's so the camera totally takes advantage of the f2.8 aperture. Now my low light images are spot on focus whether it be ambient or flash photography.

If you need the extra 1mm and the f2.8 aperture, there is no other option. This lense is also superb on my Elan 7. I still shoot film and this lense gives me the best WA available. Go get it!!!


Apr 14, 2005
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Cibs
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Registered: Feb 8, 2005
Location: Brunei
Posts: 626
Review Date: Mar 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wiiiiiiide! Shaaarrp! f2.8! Relatively light.
Cons:
Hmmm.. yet to find one..

You get what you paid for. I recently sold my 20-35 f2.8L which IMO was already a very good sharp lens with excellent build quality.. unfortunately, this lens lost its ability to switch from manual to auto (due to cracked switch) and since I am a wedding photographer, autofocus is not something I cannot do without. Now, the 16-35 replaces my WA focal length. So far, this lense has matched and exceeded expections. On my 1dmk2, ~20mm-46mm equivalent, perfect for my weddings.. from wide to 'normal' perspective.. and on my 1N.. hehehe.. simply wiiiiiiide...

However, I would not recommend this lense to an enthusiast.. value for money is not there. This lense makes money for me as a professional, hence, justifies its purchase but i simply cannot see myself as an enthusiast purchasing this lens.. just no way to recoup the investment.

my 2 cts.


Mar 22, 2005
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jfulton
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Registered: Oct 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3260
Review Date: Mar 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: f/2.8, L build, lightweight (considering f/2.8)
Cons:
expensive

After owning a very impressive 17-40L f/4, I was very hesitant in selling it and dropping more money for one more stop. After purchasing the 16-35mm f/2.8, I have not looked back. It's amazing what the lens is capable of shooting on a 1DmkII and a 20D, even wide open. Having that extra stop in certain situations (ie: event photography and weddings) is worth every penny. I highly recommend this lens for anyone who is a working pro. If it's landscape and photography for fun, stick to the 17-40L f/4.

Mar 10, 2005
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choiboyogg
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Registered: Jun 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3944
Review Date: Feb 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: build quality
Cons:
soft on my old 10d

i bought this lens 1.5 yrs ago.
i used it mainly for weddings on my 10d.
i never once got decent shots at infinity and especially for group shots.
i just figured that at focal lengths this wide (16mm), sharpness just wasnt attainable.

however, after i sold my 10d and got the 20d, i was amazed at the difference. it was the difference between night and day. it was obvious that both of my 10d's had back focus issues with this lens.

the 20d, i have gotten beautiful images each and every time and i loved it. however just recently, it was traded for the 35L.


Feb 21, 2005
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Rick2
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Registered: Mar 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 24
Review Date: Feb 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,370.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautifully built. Ideal range of focal lengths on a full-frame camera. Excellent image quality (but see the negative below).
Cons:
With a full-frame digital camera (specifically, the Canon 1Ds M2), need to apply correction for chromatic aberration when shooting with large aperatures at short focal lengths.

I really like this lens, but ...

My camera is the full-frame Canon 1Ds Mark II which seems to "exaggerate" or "call attention" to chromatic aberration with this lens. I was shocked and very disappointed when I looked at my first picture exposed at f/2.8 and 16mm. The fuzziness at the edges was dreadful -- not acceptable. Fortunately, I recognized the presence of chromatic aberration and applied the necessary correction in Adobe Camera Raw. Voila, a very impressive picture (using a normal amount of unsharp masking). When CA is severe, it not only causes color fringing but also fuzziness. This lens is vulnerable to the problem in the extreme.

Note that people with full-frame FILM cameras and "cropped-frame" digital cameras probably will not see anywhere near the same level of problem. But if you have a full-frame digital camera and do not use ACR (or some other method for CA correction), then this lens may be a poor choice. If you are willing to take the few seconds necessary to apply CA correction in ACR, then this is a first-class lens.


Feb 15, 2005
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mediahound
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Registered: Jul 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 394
Review Date: Feb 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great performance, sharper than 17-40, fast lens.
Cons:
Price

I started with the 17-40 f4 but after trying a friends 16-35 f2.8 I was blow away. So I sold it and bought the 16-35 f2.8.

Not only can I handhold with the 16-35 in situations where I would absolutely require a tripod with the 17-40, but the sharpness and also the bokeh with the 16-35 is so wonderful in comparison.

The 16-35 has remained practically glued onto my 20d since I got it. It's the perfect photojournalism/walkaround lens, especially if you don't want to have to constantly break out your flash unit when you go indoors.

Only negative is the price, but you do get what you pay for. While the 17-40 is certainly cheaper, I feel that it is actually pricey in that it's just a consumer type lens that only goes to f4. In this respect, the 16-35 f2.8 is worth every penny. It's a better performer, and is a professional lens. I don't feel the 17-40 is worth the money but I do feel the 16-35 is worth the money.


Feb 4, 2005
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jamesf99
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Registered: Oct 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7238
Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,270.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great color and contrast. Size and weight are fine, and the build quality is fabulous.
Cons:
Price. Ouch!!

This is my favorite lens. The price is high but the superior quality makes this worth it. If you can afford this lens, it should be your choice over the 17-40. The extra stop is noticeable in low light situations and while you can always stop this down to f/4.0, you canít open the 17-40 up.

Color and clarity are superb for a wide angle and Iím very happy with it. Donít compare the lens to a prime or a 70-200, but do compare it to any other wide angle and you should be pleased.


Feb 2, 2005
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cladnin
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Registered: Sep 8, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 150
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, F2.8, great handling
Cons:
None

Excellent lens, great build quality and all around goodness. Some might say the price is a downside, but you get what you pay for, definately.

Jan 20, 2005
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John Black
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Registered: Jul 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3682
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,269.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great handling, lightweight and good balance.
Cons:
Price...

I've used this lens on the 20D and now the 1DmkII. On the 20D I needed it because of the #$%^ 1.6x crop factor. Then the 1DmkII came along and I thought I would sell it. Was I wrong! It's my favorite lens!!!

Image quality is excellent - great contrast, nice saturated colors and sharp. I had a 24-70L and was almost ok with its sharpness at F2.8, then 16-35L showed what it could do at F2.8 --- WOW!

Lots of discussion about the edges & sharpness. Yes, the edge are soft - but is that the lens extremely wide angle view and depth of field. Hard to say. Center sharpness is amazing, corners can be soft but they're are still very good.

What I love most about this lens is its handling. The weight and balance are perfect - excellent for walk around. AF is very, very fast. Build quality, fit and finish, mechanical feel is excellent.

Out of the 10 lenses bought & sold during 2004 (and many of them L and Sigma EX lenses) - this is the first and only keeper of the bunch. You don't see to many of these on the buy/sell board, but 17-40L's are there constantly. Does that tell you something??? Smile

Retail price stinks, but I bought at B&H during their Photo Expo Event sale $1269 less the $150 rebate (Canon triple rebate), so $1119 net. I can't complain at that price point, but the local store wanted $1449 plus tax!!!! I'd never pay that much.

Someday I hope to use this lens on a 1DsmkII Smile


Jan 19, 2005
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Zane Yau
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Registered: May 30, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 3142
Review Date: Jan 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: large constant aperture; 16 is little wider than its major competitor, 17-40. bokeh at 35mm, f2.8. Built quality. Light enough to carry around.
Cons:
A bit softer than my friend's 17-40??

I am generally satisfied with this lens. I bought it at a real good price in Hong Kong, and I have been using it as my major lens on my 20D for landscape, candid, party, travel and street scenes. The f2.8 is really excellent. I think it is sharp wide open. See this example of f2.8 @35mm (check out the bokeh):

http://www.pbase.com/zaneyau/image/38398275

Ok, there's a f4 version at half the price. That was the dilemma I had before I bought this lens. I said to myself that I don't need the f2.8 because I will use a wide angle lens for landscape and I dont need f2.8. As I said, I bought it because I could not resist the good price in HK. I did not regret having bought this lens as it has been very useful for low light subject: street scene (handheld even at night), available light candid and party shots. I also like the bokeh of this lens.

I used this lens on my EOS 3 for quite a few rolls of films. I love the ultra wide angle on the film EOS. I switch the lens to the film body when I need more wide angles.

The negatives:

* I had my friend's 17-40 f4L for a while when I was selling this lens on his behalf. I did 2 or 3 little tests and I found that the f4 is a bit sharper than my f2.8. I am not good at this kind of tests so let's hope I was wrong (Although I have done these tests and got disappointed, I am continued to be amazed by the 2.8's bokeh and pic quality)

* My friend sold his 17-40L and replaced it with the 10-22 and 24-70L. I must admit that if anyone's going to get the wider 10-22, the 24-70L is a better option (but I think I will keep this lens for the 1DS Mk 7 or 8)




Jan 10, 2005
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sjms
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Registered: Mar 20, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 18846
Review Date: Dec 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: nice and wide when i need it
Cons:
haven't really found too much yet to bother me.

it seems the mixed reviews of this lens are somewhat overdone, at least to me. i'm shooting with it as my primary lens often on a 1D2 and as my secondary on a 1Ds2. i just like it. its WIDE when i need it. i defer to christos comments on the subject of the way people review. at full frame i still find it to give a satisfying view and image at all focal lengths within its design limits.

Dec 31, 2004
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canfraggle
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Registered: Oct 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 60
Review Date: Dec 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp Excellent Build Close focussing Very little purple fringing f2.8 USM
Cons:
Expensive Long Heavy

I am completely blown away by this lens. I did a wide-angle lens roundup of all the 16/17-35/40mm lenses available, and this one was so far ahead of all the others it was really quite ridiculous. Check it out here:
http://www.whichlens.com/index.php?blog=5&title=canon_17_40mm_f_4l_usm_vs_sigma_17_35mm&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
It is pretty pricey but I am definitely going to sell my 24 and 28mm 2.8 primes as well as anything else I have in this range. They simple pale in comparison. Reading the other reviews in this thread, you get the impression that there is quite a lot of variation from lens to lens. I'm definitely very pleased with mine and the crops on the website linked above show just how good it is. The lack of fringing (one of my pet peeves) and the excellent performance at f2.8 really make it an essential lens if you can afford it.


Dec 20, 2004
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Digitalpowersh
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Registered: Dec 19, 2004
Location: Austria
Posts: 9
Review Date: Dec 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very wide, f/2,8, sharp, L-glass,
Cons:
$$$

I'm really happy with it. You know it's a wide angle lens, it's a zoom and not a prime, so don't expect it to be wide open @16mmm as sharp as the 70-200mm f/2,8 L IS USM in the corners. As long as you know this, you will not regret the purchase. Don't get stucked in that kind of discussions like "16-35mm f/2,8 vs 17-40mm f/4". You need f/2,8, you have the money so don't hesitate. It's a great piece of Canon's finest L-glass!



Dec 19, 2004
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neliw
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Registered: May 28, 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 151
Review Date: Dec 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: f/2.8, sharp, fast (USM), well built, weather protected
Cons:
Expensive

Just got this lens and I'm very happy with it. A big investment, but clearly worth it. The ability to "create" with this lens is amazing. The wide-angle makes it possible to catch moments, landscapes and people in one picture and create a rather interesting story. Plus the f/2.8 might save the day when you need it, also one of the reasons I did not consider the 17-40 f/4 lens.

I find my copy sharp and overall it seems to be very well built (also fast AF) and the weather protection just adds to the plus.



Dec 15, 2004
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
140 337531 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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