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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
140 338458 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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gerrit p
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: give good results on a full frame
Cons:
at 16mm the corners stay behind in sharpness.

I made a choice out of 4 lenses that were available in the shop of my local dealer.
two of them were 16-35 lenses and two of them were 17-40 lenses. After testing I simply made a choice for the best performer, in this case my sample of the 16-35 L (mark 1)
It is my daily workhorse.
Sold my 20mm ef and the 24 TSE.
It works so fine that I dont feel the need for an upgrade (mark 2).
VERY IMPORTANT: it does not like a filter, even a pro filter ads unsharpness in the corners......



Mar 13, 2008
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JackyFong
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Registered: Apr 27, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 30, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: A follow up after repairs... Very versatile to use; close focusing to objects. Now after calibrations, I can use it on FF too
Cons:
Made me wasted another S$150/- for repairs

After some repairs works by Canon and I was still skeptical about this L glass. But during my test shots after repais, it got better and now this L could pave a path towards my FF.

Now I rate it a 7/10...


Jan 30, 2008
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JackyFong
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Registered: Apr 27, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Fast aperture, Fast focusing, Good weight
Cons:
All pictures at all f-stop soft, with or without tripod or flash all SOFT... Since I bought second hand and I use it on cropped bodies; Canon Singapore recommend me to send to their service to re-calibrate this lens. I hope after re-calibration, the lens will be sharp as I do not want a whilte elephant. For now I rate it a 5 only.

My second L turned out to be a nightmare. Having lost my battery power on my laptop when I was testing the lens, I preview thru my 30D LCD and found it reasonably sharp. And I bought it, but turned out worst on the iMac monitor. Comments from my fellow friends were that this old lens are not suitable for cropped bodies and need a re-calibration.

I certainly hope that after the calibration it could change my views on this lens. I thought Canon L lens should be standard for all bodies, regardless film or digital, cropped bodies as well...


Jan 21, 2008
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bocaminus
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Registered: Apr 19, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 515
Review Date: Dec 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp wide open, fast AF, great indoor performance
Cons:
Nothing so far

Overall I would rate this lens 9 out of 10. I got it back in November 2006 and after a year I can say that 16-35L Mark I is an excellent wide angle lens. I shoot with FF bodies and I guess this is pretty much the reason why I went for it. 16mm is quite wide on my 5D and 1Ds. I noticed some barrel distortion at this focal length but then again you have to count on it simply because all wide angle lenses have this "problem". Compared to Sigma 15-30 I had before, vignetting is absolutely marginal. What really surprised me with this glass is sharpness and AF accuracy. This lens really shines anywhere between 20 and 35mm. I took so many shots at 35mm wide open at f/2.8 and the results are nothing less than amazing. Built quality is superb. This is light weight lens compared to my 24-70L and sometimes for me this makes a big difference. Two thumbs up ....

Some samples:

http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=1004815187
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=683530058
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=974196537
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=606745876
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=749326484
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p1028695115/?photo=730939616


Dec 30, 2007
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Dan Doucette
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Registered: Nov 2, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 27
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: 16mm on full frame provides interesting perspective, well built, weather sealed, fast and accurate auto focus, 77mm filters are compatible with other L zooms, useful focal range, great auto focus.
Cons:
Needs to be stopped down significantly to reduce soft corners, purple CA fringing with high contrast edges, distortion at 16mm, expensive.

Many aspects of photography are a balance of compromises, and this lens is no exception.

This lens has great strengths, like its ultra wide field of view, focal length range, fast f/2.8 aperture, solid construction, weather sealing, fast/accurate auto focus, and generally good color/contrast/sharpness.

But with these strengths one must accept and deal with its weaknesses, including soft corners, purple/blue CA along high contrast edges (in corners), and expensive price tag.

In spite of these weaknesses, I depend on this lens and use it a lot; regularly getting great results from it. For landscape work, I usually stop down to f/11 or f/16 for maximum depth of field. Even here, limited edge softness can be seen when used on a 5D full frame sensor. If edge sharpness is critical to a shot I try to be at f/5.6-11 for best results. For shots where edge sharpness is not critical I can open up to f/4 with confidence and f/2.8 in a jam.

Distortion is a bit of a problem especially at the wide end of the zoom range. I notice this most with landscape work but can always fix it with Photoshop.

As I said, this lens has many strengths to offset its weaknesses. It's exceptionally well built and weather resistant. The focal range is incredibly useful for my photography and the f/2.8 aperture is sometimes a shot saver in low-light, hand-held shooting situations. The colors and contrast, while distinctive from my other L zooms, are great, and the sharpness is generally good.

I have no desire to carry extra filters specifically for one lens, so I appreciate the fact that this lens shares a 77mm filter size with the rest of the L zoom line. This is part of the reason why I choose not to upgrade to the newer version of this lens (with its 82mm filter thread).

This lens, plus the 24-70 f/2.8L and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS form the core trinity of my lens collection and are used for 80% of my work. I would be lost without it (them).

For me the extra expense of this lens over the 17-40 f/4 is worth it. The extra stop can sometimes get a shot that would otherwise be missed.

-Dan Doucette
www.infotography.com



Dec 17, 2007
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Philipp Oscity
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Registered: Dec 11, 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 11, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,349.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros:
Cons:
sharpness in the corners !!!!; price; focus ring bad accesable.

I bought some days before the 16-35L II USM and im very unlucky with it. This Lens is less sharp than the 17-40 4.0L. See the Link to the picture.

Did someone made the same experience ?

What do you think about this compare ?

Both images made at f4.0 ISO100 16mm/17mm EOS40d.

I olmost send it to the Canon service, bud it came same bad back!!

I think I go buy the 17-40 4.0L wich I olmost resaled.


Here the Link:

http://oscity.os.ohost.de/comparepicture%20copy.jpg


Dec 11, 2007
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Talat AlShaban
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Registered: Dec 30, 2006
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size & Weight, Sharp wide open, Excellent IQ.
Cons:
Price



Dec 7, 2007
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Peter Kotsa
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Registered: Nov 1, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 267
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness at f2.8, weight.
Cons:
price

came from a 17-40 to this lens, similar charachetristics, however this lens just has the edge at compareable aperatures.

Nov 1, 2007
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Brody LeBlanc
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Registered: Oct 4, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1038
Review Date: Oct 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: extremely sharp. very useful zoom range. perfect for a three part lens kit.
Cons:
some flare and CA issues.

this lens is really awesome. if you want three lenses for your camera, get this, the 24-70mm f2.8L, and the 70-200mm f2.8L. They're all perfectly sharp and useful in their own ways. They're especially great if you don't want to have several more prime lenses (and much less money.)

compared to the Mark II verson of this lens, i don't see a huge difference. especially not in sharpness. but don't fool yourself, the newer verson is better. at the same time, the mark I verson (in my opinion) out shoots the 17-35mm, the 17-40mm(some people would say otherwise), and for those EF-S users out there, the 10-22mm. But it all depends. First off, anyone could have any of these lenses and have GREAT results, and someone could use one of these lenses and have terrible images. It all depends on what you're shooting, and how you shoot. If you need a fast L lens that's not killer on your budget, get the 16-35mm. If you have as much money as you want, then get the MkII verson. If you're short on cash, and want a wide angle for something like landscape photography with your 5D then the 17-40mm f4.0 will be perfect. however, i do a lot of photojournal/freelance work, and i simply cannot shoot with f4.0 on a wide angle lens. even with a flash like the 580ex or the 430ex. so instead of going out and saying, "which lens is best?" look at their strong holds, and figure out which feature you like the most. If you're using something like the Rebel XTi, then I highly recomment the 10-22mm F3.5-4.5, but if you plan to use ff any time soon, then don't invest 700 dollars on a lens that will be useless in a couple years. however, if you firmly believe in Canon's EF-S line up, then go crazy. I'd say get the 10-22mm and the 17-55mm F2.8IS. But these aren't L lenses, and they're not the L lens build quality. the 17-55mm is great, but the 16-35mm on a 1.6 cropped body will work just as well if not better. when people come to me and ask, "what lens do you think I should get?" the first thing i say is, "what do you want to use it for?" that's the key. find out exactly what you want from a lens, then find the lens that can do that. don't just try to buy fancy L lenses for the fun of it. you might find that a non-L prime lens might be better for you (and way easier on the wallet)

however, one time a very talented photographer told me that it's not what you're shooting with that matters, but who (or what) you're shooting and why. that's always stuck with me. the material that you shoot is by far the most important thing. you can have all the L lenses on a mkIII you want, but if you're not out there shooting the right things then it doesn't mean a thing. but having a couple nice lenses and a mkIII never hurt anyone. well, your wife might kill you if she finds out how much you're spending. haha.


Oct 16, 2007
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perpera
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Registered: Mar 11, 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, great contrasts, great colors, fast focusing, lightweight
Cons:
needs to be stopped a bit down to be sharp in corners

I'm really happy with this lense. It's a wide angle lens, it's a zoom and not a prime, so don't expect it to be as sharp wide open as a prime.
Upgraded from the elder 17-35 L USM - and this is a tad better.


Oct 5, 2007
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Leginmat
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Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Review Date: Aug 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: f/2.8, bokeh, build, USM, sharpness, weather sealed, colours
Cons:
flare, slight soft corners

Grabbed this lens when it came up at an auction due to a store closing down. Grabbed myself a bargain!

Great to use and fits comfortably in the hands. Slightly soft at corners, but not overly noticeable.

A great short lens for the bag.

A quick sample:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=926276556&size=o


Aug 24, 2007
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Brikwall
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Registered: Jul 2, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 3
Review Date: Aug 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It's a Canon L-series lens...that says it all!
Cons:
None

Price paid is in Canadian dollars.

I've drooled over this lens for some time, wanting it not only for the wide-angle capabilities but also to complete my "Canon holy trinity" of f/2.8 zooms. The price, unfortunately, was out of my range. Recently, though, a Canadian dealer reduced the price almost in half as it cleared its inventory of Mark I's. Naturally, I jumped at it.

I haven't had much chance to play with this lens but I'm impressed with what I've seen so far. It has typical L-lens build quality and feel. Image quality and sharpness is also what I'd expect from a "red-ring." However, I've so far been using it as a landscape lens in the f/8 to f/11 range, so haven't been able to test its performance at wider apertures.

I was surprised at how small and light this lens was. Most of the size comparisons I've seen have placed it alongside the 24-70 f/2.8L (which I also own). I expected it to be almost as big and just as heavy as my "brick." In fact, the 16-35 is a real featherweight. It feels odd carrying it around when I'm used to having the much heavier 70-200 f/2.8 or the 24-70 f/2.8 dangling from my neck most of the time.

My only real complaint - and this has nothing to do with the lens itself - is that it's not quite wide enough on my Rebel XT. Almost, but not quite. In certain situations I've found myself reaching for my Sigma 10-20 instead. Six millimetres is a huge difference, and one that can easily turn an "awesome" shot into a "breath-taking" one. But landscapes are a secondary concern for me: the primary use for this lens will be interior and group shots where it will easily outperform the Sigma.

Do I regret not waiting until I could afford a Mark II version? Not really. A savings of $900 on a top-of-the-line zoom lens is hard to pass up. The 77mm filter size is another plus - no need for additional and expensive 82mm filters or step-up rings. As for any improvements the Mark II might offer - well, the way I see it is that Canon shooters were content with this lens for quite some time so there's no reason that I won't be content with it either. I don't need the latest and greatest, nor do I feel the urge to keep up with the Joneses. I'm sure this lens will more than meet my requirements. Besides, did I mention the $900 savings?


Aug 1, 2007
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niimo
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Registered: Jul 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jun 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,025.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, weather sealed, wonderful quick and silent USM focusing
Cons:
Awkward length, large 77mm filter size, that's about it.

One fantastic lens! I love wide angles so I used to have the sigma 12-24mm, and I did use that lens often, however, I never used it for serious shooting. The picture quality just does not compare to this lens. After borrowing it from a friend for a few shoots, I knew I would eventually buy one for myself--just didn't know it would be so soon!

On a full frame, the 16mm can be so much fun! Whether shooting landscapes or your friends at dinner, it is very pretty versatile tool. Personally I found this lens to be essential for fashion/editorial shooting. Sure, you can go wider if you are shooting with a EOS Rebel XT, XTi, 20D or 30D (with 1.6x magnification factor) the 16mm will be around 25mm and a Canon 10-22mm or Sigma 10-20mm become candidates being actual 16mm focal lengths when at 10mm. However, because of, and the fact that I still shoot 35mm, this lens is the easy choice.



Jun 30, 2007
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paknip
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Registered: Dec 28, 2005
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb images, sharp, fast, f/2.8 and lightweight.
Cons:
none

Excellent wide angle lens with minor issues but overall, this is the best wide angle lens I ever use.

Jun 21, 2007
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Andrea1975
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Registered: May 26, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, color rendition, bokeh, relatively small and light for a f2.8 wide angle zoom
Cons:
Flare

Before this lens, I used for several years a Nikkor 17-35mm on both film and digital.
The Canon equivalent doesn't seem to get always positive reviews, probably due to sample variations and/or QC issues.
Based on my experience, I think this is the best wide angle zoom for digital photography, a joy to use it on a 5D.
Contrast and color rendition are very natural, sharpness is amazing in the center at all the focal lenghts, even wide open.
There's some softness in the corners and some vignetting in the f2.8 - f3.5 range, but nothing to be worry about in real world shooting. I found CA very controlled even at 16mm. In my opinion, the weak point of this lens is flare. It requires a careful framing when shooting against the sun or with a strong source of light. I sometimes got red reflections of the lens elements inside the picture frame when shooting nightscapes. This can be particular annoying, since it will be more difficult to spot them clearly in the viewfinder while using longer shutter speeds.
Built quality and finishing are all very good, but I still miss the metal feeling of the Nikkor 17-35mm.
Autofocus is very precise, fast and silent. Absolutely top class.
A small note about the newer MarkII version of this lens. I got the chance to try it out and I found it slightly sharper in the corners from 16mm to 20mm. Flare was also much better controlled. Unfortunately, from 24mm to 35mm the older MarkI was way ahead, especially at closer focusing distances. Considering the whole range of focal lenghts (that's the reason we go for a zoom anyway), I still consider the MarkI a better solution.




May 26, 2007
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richardho11
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Registered: Jun 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Fast AF, f/2.8 and Great Build!
Cons:
Soft in the corners when wide open.

This lens is excellent for that ultra-wide, landscape lens on my 5D. Its super sharp in the middle wide-open, but soft on the corners. This is to be expected on a FF at 16mm so its not a problem for me. I have taken super sharp shots with this lens and I am very happy with it! Its one of my favorites!

Apr 12, 2007
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†††



Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
140 338458 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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