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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
124 352941 Nov 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,498.80
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
7.99
9.1
16-35II

Specifications:
The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM is a high performance, water-resistant, and ultra wide-angle Canon L-series lens. It has been specifically designed for improved edge-to-edge image quality that will meet the strict requirements of professional and high-end amateur photographers. It features 3 high-precision aspherical lens elements, each of a different type: ground, replica and GMo for even better image quality than the original EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM. The circular aperture produces a beautiful and natural background blur when shooting at wider apertures. Other features include internal focusing, a ring type USM (Ultra Sonic Monitor), and new AF algorithms for fast and quiet autofocusing.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 16-35mm f/2.8

Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 10810'-63

Focus Adjustment: AF with full-time manual

Closest Focusing Distance: 0.92 ft./0.28m

Filter Size: 82mm, P=0.75mm/1 filter

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.5 in. x 4.4 in./ 88.5mm x 111.6mm


 


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Chrono1081
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Registered: Aug 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1932
Review Date: Feb 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp! Very very sharp! No vignette.
Cons:
None.

After owning the 16-35 Mark I I can easily say this is leaps and bounds better. Not sure how others are getting vignette but on the 5D and 5d Mark II and 1Ds Mark III there is no vignette, the pics are sharp edge to edge, Im really really satisfied. I was really hesitent after reading others reviews to order this but Im glad I did.

Feb 1, 2009
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jdben622
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Registered: Apr 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4020
Review Date: Jan 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,175.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Range, sharpness, build.
Cons:
Vignetting.

I was eager to see how my new 16-35MKII compared against the Zuiko 7-14 (14-28mm effective). In terms of vignetting the Zuiko is superb, none at any focal length or aperture. The Canon fell off at 16mm at 2.8, 4.0, and 8.0. Zuiko won hands down.

The perspective of the Zuiko lens is more interesting. At 8mm (16mm effective), it was notably wider than the 16mm Canon...go figure. At 7mm, it was considerably wider, as would be expected. I would be interested to see how it compared with the new 14mm from Canon. So from a creative standpoint, the Zuiko definitely gets the nod. Distortion from the two was both very good.

Sharpness...OMG!! The Canon absolutely massacred the Zuiko. The Canon 100% crop at f2.8 was vastly superior to the Zuiko native at f4.0. It was literally like comparing an L-prime to kit zoom. I was very surprised. I was never floored by the sharpness of the Zuiko, but I am amazed at the sharpness of the Canon.

I was actually considering keeping an Olympus body to use with the 7-14mm because I really like that lens. However, I was not excited at all about having two systems. I used a 16-35MKI some time back and didn't care for it. Outside of the extra width, most of the deficiencies of the Canon can be corrected in Photoshop. However, the detail and sharpness of the Canon lens is vastly superior. Granted, the Zuiko was mounted on a 10MP E-3 and the Canon on a 1DsMKII, but that's the best Olympus has right now. Also, I do get very sharp shots with the E-3 and the 35-135/2 zoom.

I don't have a 17-40/4 to compare with the 16-35/2.8, but the sharpness of the 16-35mm at 16mm and 2.8, 4.0, and 8.0 puts it in the absolute winner category for me.


Jan 25, 2009
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filipmakowski
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Registered: Dec 13, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp even to edges, solid build
Cons:
Tad expensive

This lens was an upgrade from the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. Although the 10-22mm is great value for money with good image quality, this L lens beats it hands down. Edges are much sharper, very good (either I have a good model or else any soft edges don't show up on a 20D). Fast autofocus and solid build, I rate this better than my 24-70mm f/2.8L.

For samples, see my photos from Switzerland on my website, the majority taken by the 16-35mm f/2.8L II, the rest with the 24-70mm f/2.8L.

www.filipmakowski.com


Dec 15, 2008
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Breitling65
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Registered: May 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5240
Review Date: Oct 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, weathersealed, F2.8, excellent L colors and contrast, sharp in compare to 17-40L, not heavy.
Cons:
82mm is lot, also bit long. Price!!!

I tried several wide zooms and end up on this lens for now. Excellent replacement for 17-40L, superwide with FF body. One of the best Canon zoom lenses, however as any zooms slightly behind of primes in any aspects. I would suggest this lens to anyone with FF body, lens producing excellent wide effects on 16mm.

Oct 15, 2008
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albertino
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Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Esemplare nitidezza e contrasto. Robusto e degno della lettera L
Cons:
Costoso

Il mio esemplare eccezionale.
Leggermente morbido a 2,8 ma da f/5,6 in poi dona la nitidezza e contrasto necessari.
Utilizzato decisamente per il paesaggio a f/8 rende il massimo.


Sep 7, 2008
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lubutterfly
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Registered: Sep 6, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good build quality, Fast AF
Cons:
Price, not as sharp at both ends. 82mm filter ? B+W MRC KSM 82mm CPL Cost alot.

I have had this lens for just over a year now. I use it with my 5D and my 350D. I also own the 17-40 F4L USM.

However I now rarely use the 17-40mm, many people will disagree or ask why. considering the 17-40mm is sharper at both ends. but do you always shoot on F22 or at 16mm ? the sweet spot for this lens is at 22mm F5.6/F8.

Well there are 2 really good reasons you will want to buy this lens if you are considering.

one, low light, if you are always shooting in low light or indoors say, parties or sports events where you are on hand held all the time without a tri/mono pod the 2.8 really makes a big difference from getting the shoot to not.

two, the build quality with a good filter on it you complete the weather sealing. when you have both the 17-40mm and 16-35mm in your hands you will feel the difference.

If money is not a issue this is a great lens to go for.


Sep 6, 2008
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Tudor Seulean
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Registered: Aug 23, 2008
Location: Romania
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 24, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $2,500.00

Pros:
Cons:
Terrible left edge in most test pictures

I bought this lens a few days ago and can say I am terribly disappointed. I tested it against my EOS 400D kit lens, the EF-S 18-55mm, and couldn't help being appalled by the 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM's performance on the left edge of the frame at focal lengths of 16-17mm. At 18mm and above this issue seems to disappear. At the center the 16-36mm lens is the sharper, I must admit, but I bought this lens for architecture mainly and so was really counting on being able to use it at 16-17mm, but no, it looks like I'm not going to be able to do that.
I shot cityscapes, individual buildings, walls, churches and the results were consistent: the 16-35mm lens was consistently SOFTER than the kit lens at the left-hand side edge of the photos at focal lengths of 16-17mm. The pictures were shot in broad daylight, stopped down at f8, using a tripod. I wonder what's the point of having a lens that can do focal lengths below 18mm if the extra edges you get below 18mm are total crap? I based my choice mainly on The-Digital-Picture.Com review which speaks very highly of this lens. Unfortunately, I only saw this (fredmiranda) forum after I bought the lens. I will send it to Canon to have it checked but I am sure they'll just claim there's nothing wrong with it. So now I am stuck with this $2,500 investment in a lens I can't use to shoot my architecture - which was the only reason I bought it.


Aug 24, 2008
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matty lough
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Registered: Aug 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 22, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

Pros: Good build quality
Cons:
Poor performance across a wide range of focal lengths and f-stops. Very expensive for what you do get.

This lens is supposed to take pictures at focal lengths from 16mm to 35mm. If we essentially take this to be 20 individual focal lengths, then only 8 of those are fully fit for purpose. Its an f2.8 lens, but at any focal length only becomes useful for picture taking from f8, and with the limitations of the physics f22 is not much use either. So essentially out of 7 f-stops, only 3 are useful, unless you always ensure you have only sky and other non-detail items in the corners. If you sell a lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8, then I can accept you might want to offer this to enhance a bright viewfinder image, but you would at least expect some image quality to start at f4. What I tend to do for landscapes (on a 1Ds 3) therefore is to shoot wider than I want and crop off the poor outer portions of the image. This is not good for a lens at this price level. I have kept my old Olympus Zuiko 21mm lens, which is sharp right to the very corners, OK its a prime, but its 30 years old! You can get reasonable performance at 21-28mm at f13, but thats about it. I would have much preferred to spend my 1100 on an 18-28mm f4 lens with decent performance across all the focal lengths, where what this lens does is give you a 21-28mm f8 lens. Poor performance again from Canon. I have now got a Zeiss 25mm lens, my 21mm Zuiko and will add a 18mm Zeiss as soon as I can get one. Sorry Canon, but you should get some lessons from Nikon with their 14-24 lens.

Aug 22, 2008
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Sea Dragon Rex
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Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Aug 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful color and contrast with sharp images even wide open. Fast, silent focus. Weather sealing and build quality.
Cons:
82mm filter and price but that is expected

I've had this lens for about six months and have been very happy with it. I also have the 24-70 2.8L and more and more I've been going to this lens because of the extra width and the beautiful image quality.

The image quality is slightly nicer than that of the 17-40L so you need to decide if the extra stop and the slight improvement in IQ is worth the extra money. For me it was because the extra stop has allowed me to get shots what would have required flash with my 17-40L.

Finally, I based on the reviews of this lens I don't think I would purchase a lens from Europe as it appears that most of the negative and lower reviews are from there.


Aug 20, 2008
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Steven Park
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Registered: May 29, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 567
Review Date: Aug 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,650.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp throughout the range. f 2.8. Solid Build.
Cons:
Soft at extreme end. Vignetting with hood attached.

I have the lens for a month now and it is better than 17-40L that I had before which I sold it 6 months ago. Its sharpness is excellent in center but at extreme end it is soft. I got this because of better image quality improvement on corners from Version 1. Distortion is not bad for a zoom lens.

Main issue with this lens is the vignetting at wide end. Even without filter and hood, it shows even when I stop down several stops. But in real photos it is not that bad.

In all, this is a must have lens for Canon FF users for landscape. It performs better than any other UWA zooms or prime in my opinion. Unless you are into alternative MF primes.


Aug 19, 2008
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candreyo80
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Registered: Jul 12, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 16, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,400.00

Pros: Good Build Quality, Wide Angle on FF, Colors and Contrast
Cons:
Soft & Blurry corners, even stopped down past f/8. Too expensive

I currently own the Canon 10-22 EFs, 17-35 f/2.8 L and the Sigma 10-20 EX and 12-24 EX, in addition to two (yes, two) Canon 16-35 MKII

That's 6 UWA lenses I'm able to directly compare to each other on my 5D and 40D. Unfortunately, the 16-35 MKII does not rank at the top of the list. I've spent an entire day with both my cameras on a tripod shooting everything from boat's to tree's in a field with no less then 600 pictures taken between the different cameras and lenses.

On the 40D:
The Canon 10-22 wins hands down. Its tack sharp in the corners even wide open. The Sigma 12-24 comes in at a close second, being nearly as sharp. The Sigma 10-20 EX comes in third, followed by the 16-35 MKII. The 16-35 MKII's problem is corner softness and blur at every imaginable focal range and f/stop. While the center always remains tack sharp, even wide open. The corners are absolutely rubbish and unacceptable for a lens of this price and caliber. The Canon 17-35 L is at the bottom of the list, managing corners even worse then the 16-35 MKII.

On the 5D:
Not much difference. While I can not test the Canon 10-22 or Sigma 10-20 EX on FF. I can test the other lenses.
The Sigma 12-24 EX wins hands down. Its corner sharpness once stopped down to f/8 is excellent! Its color and contrast are good also. The 16-35 MKII, is atrocious. The center is still sharp, but the corners are so blurry and soft, the lens is unusable. It's as if someone smeared vaseline around the corners of the lens.

This prompted me to send the lens to Canon for calibration. I received the lens back two weeks later, and the results were no different. Again, the lens went back to Canon. And again the lens came back with Canon claiming "The lens is within spec". The corners are so awful, it's a joke that Canon can actually pass this lens off for the price they make you pay. At this point, I was seriously tempted to throw this lens against the wall and claim insurance. But...

Refusing to believe the 16-35 MKII was indeed this bad, I purchased another one. But not before trying 3 different ones at the Camera store. I bought the sharpest of the three and ran in through the tests. This new copy was "remarkably" better, being sharper then the Sigma 12-24 on my 40D, but still not as good as the Canon 10-22 EFs

On my 5D, the new 16-35 MKII copy is as sharp as my Sigma 12-24 EX (it's possible I have a grade A, or Godly copy of the 12-24?). This was the type of performance I was expecting from this lens originally.

I still can not rate this lens high, as my initial copy is Rubbish and Canon claims there is nothing wrong with it. Because the IQ was soo bad, I could not even sell the lens used. I ended up giving it to my GF with a Canon 350D for her Birthday. While she loves the lens (ignorance is Bliss!), I can't help but feel guilty now pawning off such a POS on her Sad

The good copy of this lens I still have, I now plan to sell. As for the cost and my needs, the 16-35 MKII is still overpriced and performs no better then the Canon 10-22 or Sigma 12-24 from what I've seen (aside for being f/2.8, which I don't need).


Jul 16, 2008
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dprees
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Registered: Sep 10, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 56
Review Date: Jun 27, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: Good build quality, my copy had reasonable IQ at 16mm to 24mm.
Cons:
Poor IQ at 28mm, and terrible IQ at 35mm (significantly worse than old 18-55mm kit lens at ALL apertures).

Finally decided to pop for one of these, and ordered one from a reputable HK dealer. Lens arrived, and initial impressions from handling the lens were good.

However, first images did not impress, and so I set up comparative tests with other lenses covering equivalent focal lengths, using LiveView on a 450D, with tripod, MLU and remote release to eliminate variables as far as possible.

Results were very interesting. Centre performance was not stunning, but OK. The corner performance (even on a 1.6 crop camera) was however far from acceptable, even stopped down, at focal lengths of 28mm or greater. At 35mm, the IQ in the corners with the lens wide open were nothing short of abysmal -- the quality was so poor, it was visible on the rear screen. Comparative tests with an EFS 18-55mm (the first version) at f5.6 and f11 showed that the kit lens trounced the L.

On the positive side, at 20mm, the L was better than my 20mm f2.8 USM, so it was not all bad.

All in all, I wasn't impressed, and attempts to find out if the lens could be adjusted in the UK by Canon or its service centres failed, so I decided to return the lens for a refund.

If I buy this lens again, I'm going to perform tests on a copy in the shop before putting my money down. I may try out the new Zeiss 18mm f3.5 when I can, as an alternative.

There certainly are bad copies of this lens around, and though I own many (17) EF lenses, many of them L, I'm going to be more cautious about buying Canon glass in the future. At this price point, rubbish lenses like this should not be in the supply chain.



Jun 27, 2008
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Conrad Tan
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Registered: Dec 8, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 28401
Review Date: Jun 3, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,549.00

Pros: So so on a 30D.... but now on my 5D... HOLY COW!
Cons:
Vignetting..

The soft images I experienced with this baby on my old 30D completely went away when I put it on my 5D. Now... I have vignetting, which I can easily fix in PP. It is so wide on a FF. I never knew landscapes could be this fun!

Jun 3, 2008
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muerte
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: Austria
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide Angle on FF, Super color, very fast focusing, weight..
Cons:
Price maybe, but for me it worth, so it's not really a negative.

Great lens, fast and silent focus, the color worth it's L name. very sharp, but you have to know where you are focusing when under f5.6 while wide open.

May 13, 2008
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Bert 1969
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 13, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Good contrast, great build.
Cons:
Very poor performance from f/2.8 to f/5.6 especially in the corners.

I bought this lens because I was not happy with the 24-70 f/2.8 lens I had, sold that one and bought a prime 50mm f/1.4.

But now I was missing a wide angle lens so I bought this 16-35mm II f/2.8 after reading serveral reviews.

My main photography is concert, events and people so I need the f/2.8 or f/4.0.

I'm very disappointed about the performance of this lens
at f/2.8 at any distance it is soft in the center and very soft in the corners.

At f/4.0 is starts performing a little bit better but far from good at 24mm, 16mm and 35mm are still bad.

At f/5.6 it is still bad at 16mm, almost good at 24mm and at 35mm a little better then at 16mm.

For people who are making landscape picture from f/5.6 or smaller this might be a good lens but I didn't buy a f/2.8 lens that starts performing at f/8.0

For this price you might expect a better product.

recently i had to make a picture of a band in the dressingroom and they lined up for the picture, I took it at 18mm f/3.2.
Next to my a young guy was asking if I could take a picture with his cam of the band and him.
He had a Nikon D50 with a 18-70mm f/3.5-f/5.6, looking a the display of both cams I could see that the picture I took with his cam was much sharper than it was with my cam.

So I was standing there with my 16-35mm lens which costs more than twice the D50+18-70 lens together and I was not able to make a better picture.

Very sad, this is the second time I'm very disappointed in a Canon L zoomlens, the other one was the 24-70 which was not useable at f/2.8 and still very soft at f4.0.

It is not my camera because my 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8 very, very sharp at f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/4.0 IS is deadly
sharp right at f/4.0

Maybe I will take a look at the 14mm and the 24mm, it looks like Canon is not able to produce f/2.8 zoom lenses which perform good at f/2.8.



May 13, 2008
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george malamis
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Registered: Aug 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 781
Review Date: May 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:



May 12, 2008
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
124 352941 Nov 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,498.80
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
7.99
9.1
16-35II


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