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Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
24 34919 Feb 12, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $1,164.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.83
9.25
9.9
Screen_Shot_2014-07-21_at_8_05_15_PM_copy

Specifications:
Focal Length: 16-35mm
APS Equivalent: 26-56mm
Max Aperture: f/4
Min Aperture: f/22
Diaphragm Blades: 9 (circular)
Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups, including 3 aspherical and 2 UD elements, fluorine coating
Diagonal Angle of View
(Based on image circle): 108.2 to 63 degrees
Focus Details: Inner focusing; full-time manual focus and USM
Front Element Rotation: No
Zoom System: Rotary
Closest Focus: 0.28m / 0.92 ft.
Magnification Ratio: 0.23x / 1:4.3 (at 35mm)
Filter Size 77mm
Dimensions
(Length x Diameter): 112.8mm x 82.6mm / 4.44 in. x 3.25 in.
Weight: 615g / 1.36 lb
Notes: Image Stabilization (up to four stop correction); Dust and moisture resistant; Includes lens hood, soft pouch.


 


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Paul Tessier
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Registered: Dec 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 402
Review Date: Feb 12, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good image quality, Low chromatic aberration, effective image stabilization, nice build.
Cons:
Just some minor personal nit picks.

I found the wide open image quality to be quite good with some improvement stopped down a bit. This lens' strong point is it carries that image quality deep into the corners of full frame bodies even at the 16mm. Chromatic aberration is very well controlled. The auto focus is fast and accurate. The IS works surprisingly well though I think the up to four stops claim is a little over the top. It's more like two or maybe three on the tight end for me. Overall this lens is a very solid performer.

Feb 12, 2016
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billsamuels
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Registered: Mar 10, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 672
Review Date: Jan 26, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Exceptional Image Quality, Excellent Sharpness throughout the photo, 77mm filter
Cons:
None

Around the time that I was going to purchase this lens, I was also looking to purchase a Carl Zeiss lens because I had always heard about how sharp a Zeiss was. However, everyone told me that this lens was equally as sharp as a Zeiss. I didn't listen and I bought a Zeiss 25mm F/2 prior to buying this lens. A month later, I bought this lens and after comparing them both, this lens is actually a bit sharper than the Zeiss - it's that good! The Zeiss has better color control than this lens does, but then again, it's also a prime lens.

What can I say, this is a fantastic lens! My first big trip I took was to Antelope Canyon and I shot some of my best photos ever with this lens! Not only were they sharp, but the colors and details were outstanding. I also have an EF 17-40mm F/4L which was always my favorite lens, and despite all of the negative comments out there, I still like it, but it's fallen to number two behind this lens, but only because when you compare any lens to this 16-35mm, they fall short.

One more comment I have to make, which is to get the full vibrancy of this lens, use a full-frame camera like a 6D or 5D (I have both). I also have a Rebel SL1 and the photos I've taken with this lens on it just don't display quite the same as my 6D does.

Have Fun!


Jan 26, 2016
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Robin Smith
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Registered: Dec 19, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 340
Review Date: Jan 13, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great performance, good price and nice size and weight
Cons:
Inevitable distortion compared to good primes

This is an excellent lens with apparent sharpness that is absolutely up with a good prime lens equivalent. Good at f4 and even better at f8. Performance at 16mm is particularly good. 35mm performance is on paper poorer, but I have not noticed any deficit in practice. Part of the reason is that this lens has very high contrast which helps in the perception of sharpness. The size and weight is also very good for its range and the IS makes it even more useful. I rarely have to think whether I should use this or the 24-70II or the 24/2.8 IS I use them interchangeably. In fact, the flatness of field of this one may be better than the 24-70 from 28-35mm. The only negative is that, being a zoom lens with the inherent difficulty of design of these kinds of lenses, is that it does have higher distortion than the prime equivalent. One can notice it on critical subjects. It is not a big deal and most of the time it can be fairly easily corrected. I guess I am not used to seeing it at 35mm. I recommend this lens without reservation. No need to muck about with Zeiss or other primes if you are after great performance. The only reason to get these would be for faster than f4 or if the distortion annoys you, but remember: many prime's distortion levels may be not much better.

Jan 13, 2016
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Mr Pix
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Registered: Jul 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 25
Review Date: Dec 1, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, price, Image Stabilization, contrast, edge to edge sharpness, no chromatic aberrations
Cons:
F4 but not really a negative

I have always admired the absolute image perfection of the 300 f2.8 L IS. This lens has all of the sharpness, contrast, edge to edge consistency of that lens. An absolute pleasure to photograph with this lens. Don't worry about the f4.0 aperture who shoots with a lens like this at f4 anyway... but you can. I was using the 16-35 f2.8 for years and just tolerated the innate imperfections of that lens and used it for those times when I absolutely needed the ultra wide end. Now I actually look for images to photograph at 16mm, because I can. I am a pro for about 40 years now and get really excited to get a piece of equipment that really flat out works. I've seen it all and used most of it so believe me when I say that if you are looking for a lens in this range you CAN NOT DO BETTER! As for the IS on this lens I have heard who needs it on a 16mm lens anyway. It does open up possibilities however. IS is not needed but it does enhance.

Dec 1, 2015
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AlexDROP
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Registered: Apr 3, 2011
Location: Russia
Posts: 219
Review Date: Jun 19, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredible sharpness across a frame on every focal length and aperture. Low price that seems to be the lowest in connection with sharpness it delivers among all L lenses I've ever used. A weather sealed body with a gasket, a comparatively small and convenient lens hood (takes not so much space in my bag like 17-40 lens hood), popular and affordable 77mm filter thread, image stabilization thatís quite handy, image quite compact for an ultra-wide zoom.
Cons:
Canít make coffee & toasts.

https://yadi.sk/d/JRe0ArOkhL6nr
Here are some raw (*.CR2) test shots with 16-35/4 L IS lens on my 6D at apertures 4.0 and 8.0. These shots are more telltale than words. Simply download files (find and press a downward arrow) and open locally with smth like DPP or ACR.

I must only add that having experience of using 5 L lenses and 2 ZE lenses I was shocked by sharpness of this gem from Canon when I took first shots. Natural color reproduction, high contrast, uniform sharpness across a frame with only slight degradation in outermost corners, not a trace of softness of any visible CA, low and easy correctable distortion and vignetting.

Beware of minor field curvature esp. on the long end. For max acuity nail focus on a side-located object through LV.
Speaking emotionally I think Iím lucky with the lens or Canon finally made an almost perfect and affordable ultra-wide zoom or both.

P.S. check on my flickr page for shots taken with this lens (still pending).

An important notice (for pixel peepers)!
Iíve been shooting with the lens for a week and thatís what I found.
1. IS may and does degrade IQ making sharpness across a frame non-uniform. I believe IS in a ultra-wide lens acts like a tilt-shift unit making unfavorable and uncontrolled shift movements at the moment of capturing a shot. OTOH IS on mode is fine for videographers. With disabled IS the lens still captures sharp images as usual.
2. The lens has got a mild field curvature on focal length between 24 and 35 mm maximizing at 35mm. Hyper focal focusing is not effectively applicable with this lens. Corner objects are sharper if they closer to the camera. Increasing aperture makes close objects more sharper than ones on distance. So keep this in mind and use LV focusing or focus bracketing techniques. It must be mentioned that it is common for wide and even normal lenses.

N.B. I wonít decrease the lens rating because I think that these aspects are not negative yet rather its peculiarities. Simply keep them in mind and produce great pictures with this great lens.


Jun 19, 2015
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stopper
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Registered: May 1, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 10, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ across the frame, cheaper than the 2.8 and easy to take hiking
Cons:
Don't like the petal lens hood

In some some situations there is heavy vignetting when using a flash and auto. Easily corrected in Photoshop though.
I love to take this light lens hiking and take pictures of the 200 foot high trees straight up with the blue sky and some cloud in the background, 16mm angle of view is a must.
I have some great pictures of the Cozumel, Mexico sunsets at 16mm. 24mm from the 24-70mm just didn't give enough of the sky, 16mm really enhanced the picture. Don't expect to get a large sun in the picture, it will be a small dot, if you want a large sun use a 300mm.


Jun 10, 2015
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Photoguy1956
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Registered: Jun 10, 2015
Location: Iceland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 10, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, excellent corner sharpness and almost equals the super great Nikon 14-24
Cons:
Price of all Canon lenses. I want everything for nothing and Canon wants huge profits.

I could not be happier with this lens.
Comes very close to the highly rated Nikon 14-24 2.8.
This lens also has AF and IS which the Nikon is only manual focus on the Canon bodies...plus you have to have an adapter that will cause some loss of IQ on a Canon body.
I use it for real estate. Inside the home there is no worries for a small room. The customers are selling their home and not their couch so a 16mm wide lens is great.


Jun 10, 2015
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jcmedeiros
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Registered: Jun 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 801
Review Date: May 8, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $998.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: edge-to-edge sharpness, IQ, IS
Cons:
None

I have owned the 17-40 f/4L and the 16-35 f/2.8L II and this lens completely destroys both of them in overall image quality, especially in the corners. Canon has absolutely nailed it with this lens. Wide open it is excellent and stopped down it becomes incredibly sharp even at 16mm. CA is minuscule and a huge improvement over my previous WA zooms. Anyone who shoots landscape should definitely give this lens a try. With rebates this is a great value lens in the high priced L lineup.

May 8, 2015
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Fred Meebley
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Registered: Dec 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 347
Review Date: Dec 19, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optics, Image Stabilization, Fast accurate autofocus, Solid build, Nice lens cap haha
Cons:
Haven't found any yet.

The optics are great, I love the sharpness and contrast right into the corners if I did my part. The colors are good and fringing is well controlled. The flare is also well controlled and sun stars have great definition and shape. The image stabilization is useful and effective. I also like the vignette, it can help give some images a natural looking pop, but can be eliminated with a mouse click if I don't want it. I keep this lens on my 5d3 90% of the time lately and haven't found any reason to complain yet.

Dec 19, 2014
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11730
Review Date: Dec 1, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, good contrast, well made, weatherproofed
Cons:
Poor quality control (the first lens I tried was very soft). Not quite the world-beater I was expecting but good nonetheless

As the owner and longtime user of the 17-40L I was intrigued by this lens - would it 'blow away' the 17-40L ?

The answer is yes and no.

Stopped down there is very little difference in IQ, the 16-35mm IS wins very slightly in the corners but in the centre the two lenses are more or less identical in performance. You wouldn't tell the difference in a print made at f11 in my opinion.

At the wider apertures and wide open yes the 16-35 is noticeably better, especially in the corners and the image stabilisation is very good indeed, so if this is important to you then this is the lens to buy.

If you will nearly always be stopped down the difference is really not as great as you'd (or I'd) expect.


Dec 1, 2014
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Ekychoi
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Registered: Sep 23, 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 23, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,280.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent color and sharpness. It has the look of the 24-70 II. No regrets in selling my 17-40mm.
Cons:
It is a bit bigger than the old 17-40mm. I need to reorganize my bag to fit in this lens.

Love this new lens. Wish Canon had built this lens before. Just go out and get it. Very good product. Even my wife noticed the difference in the picture quality.

Sep 23, 2014
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Soulphoto2014
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Registered: Sep 3, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Corner-corner sharpness wide open, first UWA with IS.
Cons:
f4 (f2.8 is always handy)

In past I tested all UWA's, so i'll keep it short.

This is the best (and only) corner-corner sharp Canon.
There aren't much alternatives (forget 16-35's and 17-40's with unsharp corners).

If your budget is limited I recommended only 2 lenses which are equally sharp : Tokina 17 f3.5 AT-X Pro (best option, only Ebay) & Tokina 16-28 f2.8 AT-X Pro.


Sep 3, 2014
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davidmarsh
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Registered: Oct 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 140
Review Date: Aug 29, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Clarity, sharpness, low light capabilities, colour
Cons:
None

Amazing lens, I sold both my Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8 L lens for two Canon EF 16-35mm F4 IS L lenses and have never looked back. I provide a commercial HDR Photographic service to my clients and you need a lens that has very little distortion as any imperfections are then multiplied by say 5 times when you are using 5 images for HDR.
The link below is from a set of images we did for a new Audi garage in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK. Use the 'full screen' mode by clicking on the 2 headed arrow to the bottom left of the gallery...

http://wallgo.wallgodev.co.uk/articles/17/2014-08-14/the-new-audi-centre-in-hdr/


Aug 29, 2014
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Jim Heine
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Registered: Apr 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 315
Review Date: Aug 27, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp enough across the frame at all focal lengths, minimal flare (even if you try), minimal CA, fairly light weight, bokeh is decent, a total pleasure to hold and use in every way, focuses FAST
Cons:
in an ideal world it would be sharper, has distortion/vignetting at 16mm, IS doesn't work 4 stops when you get the shutter speeds low (I can't shoot much slower than 1/8 second consistently with IS at any focal length).

This is by far Canon's best wide angle zoom lens. They nailed this one. It's the first zoom that's sharp (enough) across the frame at all focal lengths, even wide open.

I use this lens a lot for dancing shots at wedding receptions. The focus speed beats out any lens I've every tried, including my previous low light champion, the 24L II.

I really can't find much fault. It's nearly perfect if you only need f4.


Aug 27, 2014
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John Daniel
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1364
Review Date: Aug 7, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness center to corner, image quality, color, Stabilization, great for landscape shooting trip.
Cons:
None so far

I have had the 17-40mm, the 16-35mm, 16-35mm f/2.8 II and then this one. When I saw the MTF charts, I made a leap of faith and sold my 16-35mm f/2.8 II. AND i do not regret it.

The new 16-35mm f/4L IS is sharper in the corner and even when used on the 36 mpixels A7R, it produces sharp images. It has IS which is great when, for example, you are on a trip to Europe, in an old town with narrow streets requiring a very wide lens and you do not want to use a tripod, or in other places where you are not allowed to use a tripod like some churches or museums.

I would say this one is as sharp in the center (or almost as sharp at some focales) as the 16-35mm f/2.8L II. But in the corners, it's the new king.

Matched to the new 24-70mm f/4L IS and the 70-200mm f/4L IS, you've got a new light Trilogy for the landscape travellers.


Aug 7, 2014
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MurrayMac
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Registered: Jul 31, 2014
Location: Canada
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Review Date: Jul 31, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very well built; extremely sharp; great weight; good focal range; very useful image stabilization; 77mm filter size
Cons:
none

I just came off a two week trip to northern Europe and this lens performed better than anticipated. Even though I brought my 24-105, the new 16-35 f/4L IS never came off my 6D. I traded in my 17-40 and will never regret the extra cost.

- flare was extremely well controlled
- the IS was very beneficial in 'low light' indoor situations
- CA is well controlled
- the lens is sharp in all focal lengths, from corner to corner [35mm was suggested as it weakest point, but I fail to see it]
- there is a noticeable improvement in distortion, over the 17-40 model


Feel free to view my "real world" shots at my Flickr site. All photos with this lens are clearly marked below the photo.....

https://www.flickr.com/photos/the-spirit-within/

I highly suspect this will be my walk around lens from this point forward.


Jul 31, 2014
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
24 34919 Feb 12, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $1,164.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.83
9.25
9.9
Screen_Shot_2014-07-21_at_8_05_15_PM_copy


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