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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
140 338355 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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Andi Dietrich
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Registered: Nov 12, 2005
Location: Bahamas
Posts: 3801
Review Date: Nov 23, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

Pros: build quality.
Cons:
poor picture quality, soft corners, quality from 16-24 not acceptabel for his very expensive L lens

Seems not been made for digital cameras. Performance on FF Camera is slightly better than on a crop camera.

I would prefer a good 18-28 lens (offering good image quality stoped down at no more then 5,6), over this junk lens. Quality 16-24 is very poor, even above you need to stop down at f11 to get corner sharpness.

Get the anything lens!


Nov 23, 2005
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mauriceramirez
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Registered: Jul 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2912
Review Date: Nov 22, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: close focusing, rear lens filter holder, rubber gasket
Cons:
Typical Canon zoom lack of contrast, semi-sharpness, and vignetting.... but more of it since it's a 16mm. Weatherproof "as long as you have a filter on"??? C'mon. There should be no compromises here.

As for the posters who call it a "Luxury" or a "lexus of lenses," the practicality of the focal length makes it no luxury--it's THE WORKHORSE lens and it should be unquestionably the best that the manufacturer can create, period.

I find it relatively soft, uncontrasty, plasticky feeling, and unsnappy to AF. $1600 should OOZE quality--I shouldn't have to look for it. Canon attempted enough times for it so this should be a legendary optic, sharp as a prime, just as contrasty, and built like a frikkin' tank. It's not impossible--Nikon builds this lens every day.

-m


Nov 22, 2005
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hubsand
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Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2076
Review Date: Nov 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Really well made . . .
Cons:
. . . for such an expensive failure

Oh, it's really well put together: beautifully weatherproofed, and reassuringly L-series chunky in the hand; it's such a shame that such an expensive lens so spectacularly fails to justify its exorbitant cost. It fails to achieve critical sharpness at any aperture; it fails to control CA; and Canon seems to have failed in its quality control to limit sample variation. To see how a lens of this type is done properly, see the Leica 21-35mm or Nikon 17-35mm AFS, or even the Sigma 15-30mm.

Test results of the latter lenses here: http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests

Impossible to recommend for professional use on the 1Ds II or 5D.


Nov 7, 2005
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Review Date: Oct 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Just found this little tid-bit on a thread over at p.net. He loved the 5D, but as for the 16-35 L....yikes!
Cons:
"What bugs me the most is the incredibly poor quality of the pricey Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L lens. Huge areas of the corners are full of aberration. Looks like a lens baby. And I have test 6 of them--they are all the same. Should be an embarrassment to Canon. It can vignette all it wants if it is at least sharp when I fix the vignetting!"

I don't know who to believe anymore, but I'm sure hearing from a variety of sources that the quality control on Canon wide zooms is an assorted grab-bag of hit & miss.
5D sounds good enough for any diehard Nikonner to drool over, but Canon's L zooms sound far too shakey to be throwing $1000-1500 at to me.


Oct 10, 2005
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davajon
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Registered: Feb 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Sep 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,319.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great build and good balance
Cons:
Expensive!

I just received my lens a couple of days ago and immediately tested it. My usual lens testing goes like this: I shoot across my street at a house slightly to the right which has two columns of bricks. I tested the lens at 16mm, 24mm, and 35mm making one exposure from f2.8 thru f22 at each focal length. I then shoot indoors at a Dr. Tyding's lens chart (you've got to be ancient to remember this chart) at the same focal lengths and fstops I used in the outdoor shots. I then download the files into my computer and then take a small segment of the bricks to use for comparisons. Be aware that I'm taking only a very small segment of each file to blow up. These are my conclusions: The lens is not perfect. At 16mm @ f2.8 the sharpness and resolution are poor! Very soft. At f4 and f5.6 sharpness becomes good. At f5.6, f8, and f11 sharpness is excellent! At f16 and f22 there is a very small loss of sharpness but still good. At 24mm f2.8 and f4 the sharpness is good. At f5.6, f8, f11, f16, f22 the sharpness is excellent! At 35mm, f2.8 is very good and from f4 through f22 sharpness is excellent. Some have claimed their 16-35 is sharp throughout. I wonder about their testing. I think the general consensus is that any lens wide open is not at sharp as it is closed down a few stops. That has been axiomatic in my experience over many years. One caveat is that my particular lens may not be up to par with others but I'm not too concernedl. Real life photography is what I love and not lens testing. This lens satisfies me even if it isn't razor sharp at all focal lengths and fstops.

Sep 29, 2005
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JimGriggs
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Registered: Sep 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp lens. Very well made and fast focusing
Cons:
Heavier than I thought it would be

I waited for the 16-35L after reading the reviews on the 17-35L. A friend has the 17-35L and in comparing images I think the 17-35 is a little soft at 17mm while the 16-35 is sharp throughout.

Sep 10, 2005
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rsg_1
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Registered: Aug 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1083
Review Date: Sep 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, quiet, very sharp through full range at f2.8 and reasonable weight/size. An absolute joy to use.
Cons:
Cost.

This is the ideal lens for someone who shoots indoors using available or limited lighting. It is also excellent for landscapes and architecture, and with the extra f-stops, it gives lots of room for creativity. There is nothing else in its zoom range that is as sharp and has the bokeh of this lens. I shoot pics of small children playing and running around and this lens captures the moment better than anything else. I'd like use a 50mm f1.4 prime, but it is the equivalent of 80mm on a Canon EOS 20D, so I had to settle for the next best lens and this is the one. This lens will probably stay on my 20D most of the time. As far as Canon Luxus lenses go, the 16-35/f.28L is on par with the best.

The only down side is that this lens is costly. I tried to look for a used one, but had no luck and it seems that once people get one, they keep it. My advice is to save up and get one because it is definitely worth every penny.


Sep 8, 2005
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alfarmer
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Registered: Aug 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2050
Review Date: Sep 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very nice size & weight. Great color and amazing sharpness on my 20D.
Cons:
Price, price price. It was very difficult to justify over the 17-40L.

Without a doubt one of the sharpest lenses I've had (and I've gone through about every one Canon makes). I was surprised based one the previous reviews here and elsewhere, but maybe the newer production runs are better quality. Either way, this thing blows away my 24-70L and 17-40L. The only lens I have that consistently performs better is the 135L f/2.

The downside is price. I really couldn't justify paying 3X the price of a 17-40L, but I decided to sell off several other lenses to do it. I'm glad I did, as everything in my "normal" bag is now f/2.8 or faster. But for 90% of people out there, the 17-40L will serve just fine at f/4. For those who do pony up the $$$ for this lens, however, you'll be happy.


Sep 8, 2005
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Dean Treml
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Registered: Aug 9, 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 333
Review Date: Sep 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp throughout aperture range, fast af, manageable size.
Cons:
um....

Have been using this lens for three months and it destroys the 17-35mm I had previously. Very sharp even at 2.8 and edge to edge is very good too, no drop off anywhere. Solid build and has already handled a decent knock with no side effects. Very quite also, so much so that you can put it on the camera and take a few shots before you realise that you've bumped the af/mf switch to mf and the focus is miles out, must tape that switch....
A quality lens.


Sep 6, 2005
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Scott Sewell
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Registered: Dec 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 8568
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build, yet lightweight; great colors and contrast; pretty darn sharp even at f2.8
Cons:
none

I've wanted one of these lens for about the last year and I'm glad I finally picked one up. I wasnt' able to keep a 24-70 and the 16-35 and so far I'm glad I went with the 16-35.

This lens may very well be the most enjoyable lens I've used. The zoom range is great for many fun and cool (and useful) applications.

I always thought the price was a little steep, but I can now say that if you're thinking about this lens, save your pennies to buy one. It is definitely worth it.


Sep 5, 2005
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mauriceramirez
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Registered: Jul 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2912
Review Date: Sep 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Very close focusing, great for shooting small objects.
Cons:
Not as sharp as the Nikon equivalent, not by a long shot.

It's pretty light for what it is. I believe this makes for the perfect travel lens.

It's much more enjoyable to use than my 17-40L, images have smoother bokeh (obviously) and better contrast. One more stop and mm are both worth the extra $$.

But compared to my shots from the 17-35 edif afs it's not sharp, and vignetting is present. The difference is apparent on a 4x6 print.

This is not really a fair comparison though, since I was limited after all to a 1.5 fov on my Nikons, but prospective N-to-C switchers should be aware that they may be disappointed if they love this focal length.

When Nikon goes full-frame then the inferiority of Canon's glass will be proven right here.


Sep 5, 2005
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tinglilin
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Registered: Oct 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 843
Review Date: Aug 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful color and great contrast. Very wide and f/2.8.
Cons:
None.



Aug 31, 2005
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Denizen
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 470
Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid, well built. Very useful focal range.
Cons:
2.8 is very soft.

I really love shooting with available light so felt that I'd need the 2.8 capability.
The shots that I've taken from 4 through 11 are very nice but at 2.8 it just falls apart.


Aug 20, 2005
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cmitwac
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Registered: Jul 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 43
Review Date: Aug 4, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Well built Fast, silent focus
Cons:
Very poor pictures at f/2.8 but better from 4 on Softness at 35 Strange lens hood Way too expensive Heavy Limited zoom range

I bought this lens to replace the EF-S 17-85IS f/4-5.6 on my 20D.

My expectation was better focusing (yes), sharper images (sometimes) and better low light performance (no way).

I think the weight, limited zoom range, and range of image quality (from poor at 2.8 or soft at 35 to decent in other circumstances) just didn't sit well with what I paid for it so I returned it.

At 20 times the cost of a 50mm1.8MkII lens which gives me great pictures except at 1.8 I expected more.


Aug 4, 2005
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rolfy
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Registered: Jul 10, 2005
Location: Portugal
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: built like a tank, very sharp, nice colors
Cons:
expensive

I am very glad and I can see it is much sharper than my 17-85

Jul 10, 2005
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Lars Johnsson
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Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Location: Thailand
Posts: 33649
Review Date: Jun 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Build quality, colour & contrast, f/2,8
Cons:
soft wide open

Good build quality. And very good colours & contrast. But it's soft wide open. For low ligt shooting a little bit soft but very good to landscape shooting.

Jun 24, 2005
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
140 338355 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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