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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
140 338329 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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mrbister
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Registered: Dec 6, 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 3
Review Date: Dec 7, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Fast AF, good WA even on 1.6x dSLR, dynamic colors.
Cons:
Poor optical performance, really soft, almost all pictures taken at f/2.8 need USM, compared to a the 100USD kit lens (18-55) and the diff. is barely noticeable. Expected ALOT more from a L-lens costing 13 times more than a 'simple' EF-S kit lens *imo*...

I'd expected greater optical performance from a "L-lens". I've shot a few hundred pictures with a 20D, and almost nothing with it impress me. Going to have a chat with Canon regarding a lens calibration - and hope that's the issue with it. Maybe Canon's quality check department is a one man's army.....

Dec 7, 2004
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lazy
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Registered: Aug 5, 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 23
Review Date: Dec 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, USM, fast and sharp, good colour
Cons:
some chromatic abberration

I finally got my 16-35 and I am very satisfied with it. I did have the 17-40 at one time, but was not overwhelmed and sold it. This one is a lot better. Crisper images, and not the underexposed and smeary look I got with the 17-40. Better light in the viewfinder is another good thing. It's expensive, but I will use it a lot, so I think it's worth it.

Dec 3, 2004
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Linda
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Registered: Mar 15, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 446
Review Date: Nov 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: good zoom range coverage; fast optics
Cons:
not the sharpest zoom Canon's produced but not bad, especially stopped down a stop or two. cost.

I bought this lens used and it does well - especially on bodies with a smaller sensor where the edges are cropped. If you need a fast wide angle zoom, this is a good one, but if you don't need to shoot at f/2.8 consider the 17-40 f/4. For me, this was the right choice, but it's not necessarily true for everyone.

Nov 30, 2004
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Tom_W
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Registered: Jan 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5413
Review Date: Nov 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well built, very sharp, even into the corners (1.3X sensor), fast focus, good contrast and color.
Cons:
Barrel distortion at wider focal lengths

I am very pleased with the image quality from this lens. I don't know if I got a good copy or if Canon had improved manufacturing, but mine is pretty sharp at f/2.8 over the entire field, using my 1D-2. At f/4, its sharper than my also-excellent 17-40L. In fact, at f/2.8, it rivals my Sigma 20/1.8.

The ultrasonic focus system is a breeze to use. The build quality and smoothness of operation are top-notch.

The lense's only weakness is some moderate barrel distortion at very wide angles. It would be objectionable to me if I were shooting a great deal of architecture with this lens, but for my purposes, the distortion is irrelevent. By 24 mm, it is very slight.


Nov 18, 2004
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lex7
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Registered: Dec 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 34
Review Date: Nov 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a tank - able to withstand almost any use. Sharp throughout it's range, though better above f/8
Cons:
Slight flaring at corners at widest apertures

I won't replicate all of the remarks about the optical quality - in my tests and field work it has been superb. What hasn't been said is that this lens, like most Canon lenses, is built to take an amazing amount of abuse. Recently I was quickly climing up a 45 degree angle rock face in order to catch some last rays before sunset. I didn't have time to go back for my pack, so I put lens securely in my pocket (or so I thought). Of course just as I got to the top of the 50 foot slab, I felt the lens slip out and turned to watch it bounce (and bounce and bounce) all the down the rock face and into a dry creek bed 15 feet below the edge. I figured the lens was toast, but when I climbed down and found it I was amazed that other that a small scatch there was nothing wrong with it. The glass was intact, auto- and manual focus worked fine, and all apertures functioned as before. I've continued to take photos with it since then, and the images are just as sharp as before. This is one tought piece of optics.

Nov 16, 2004
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John Daniel
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1337
Review Date: Oct 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, fast focus, image quality, colors, wiiide, built quality (you feel it)
Cons:
Have to buy a slim polarizer for it.

This lens is fast in low light conditions, fast autofocus. Great precision and quality of image. Very wide on my EOS 3. Indoor or outdoor it is a great lens. Great quality of built.

Oct 31, 2004
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Unregistered
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Location: Canada
Review Date: Jul 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: At f22, it is as sharp as any 35mm wide angle I have ever used for landscapes, (I have had many single focal length wide lenses). Good results for photojournalistic purposes wide open.
Cons:
All retrofocus wide lenses have at least some room for improvement. At least this one is stunning when stopped all the way down to f22

A pro lens that no longer leaves me unhappy. Had the 17-35f2.8L and it was disappointing for landscapes, (OK for photojournalism). Tested it against my 20f2.8, and 24f3.5LTS. Sold the 20mm and gave serious thought to selling the TS lens.

Jul 2, 2004
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coolest
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Registered: May 26, 2003
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Precise & fast focusing. Sharp image.
Cons:
Expensive...

At least I am very satisfied with this baby~

Jun 10, 2004
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Jaymanpics
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Registered: Apr 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 13
Review Date: Jun 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Ultra wide angle at f2.8,balances wellon all my equipment
Cons:
None

Bought this lens to replace a Sigma 15-30 even though I lost 1mm at the wide end this is more than compensated by it being an f2.8.
I do not know why anyone has problems with this lens as I find it to give me excellent results all of the time and honestly would feel as if I were missing a limb if I went to job without it.


Jun 8, 2004
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christoô
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Registered: Apr 20, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1676
Review Date: May 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Nice build, superior AF performance, sharpness incredible for a WA zoom.
Cons:
None really that aren't a part of zooms and extreme WA lenses

I've had this lens for about a year now, and it has been a consistent performer. I bought the 16-35/2.8L a few months after I got my 10D with the 1.6x, and found my lens arsenal severely needed more WA flexibility than the rectilinear 14mm and Canon 24/1.4 I had. I was immediately floored by the performance from such a WA lens, and a zoom no less. I'd tried out a 17-40, and found it OK, but clearly inferior in image sharpness and color.

This lens amazes me. I've not run across an extreme WA zoom like this ever before, and wonder if I ever will again. Now, I mostly shoot this on a 1.6x, and now 1.3x dSLR, and, gee, yes, there is some CA and soft corners with FF film wide open at 16mm, but any idiot would expect that.

Clearly, from some of the reviews above, like many of the Canon EOS products, there are QC issues, and you can get a lemon: if you buy the lens and don't find it spectactular, don't give up: exchange with your dealer or pursue a tune-up through Canon.

Many of the reviews above were clearly written by people who haven't done much with extreme WA, and expect an extreme WA zoom to be as sharp as a WA prime, or an equivalent class zoom of a much longer focal range. That simply is missing the point: this lens is a superior performer for the range it covers. Most of the real issues of the extreme WA are not noticeable on a 1.6x crop dSLR, and the extreme WA is necessary to give you the focal range of an easier-to-design lesser WA. That's the trade-off you get for the 200mm suddenly having the FOV of a 320.

If, like me, you had shot FF for many years and then suddenly got into a Canon EOS dSLR with a 1.6x crop factor and found all your zooms too long, buy this sucker now.


May 25, 2004
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dshaff
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 162
Review Date: May 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well built, great range, reasonably sharp up to near the corners
Cons:
Sharpness seems to vary from example to example based on reviews.

I have been very happy with this lense on the 1ds. I should add that I do not shoot wide open. Yes, there is some barrel distortion at the wide end, that doesn't bother me. I find the lense to be acceptably sharp right up to within 20 or 30 pixels from the corners: the actual corners are quite soft. There is occasional CA near the corners as well, not enough to bother me. The lense is solid, well built and covers a zoom range that I enjoy.

May 8, 2004
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GJCampbell
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Registered: Jul 21, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb range with film (Canon 1V). As sharp as my (now returned) 17-40L - I have to admit to really liking the wide end of this lens...and can't really help any one deciding between the 16-35 and the 17-40...sorry..!
Cons:
Astonishingly expensive!

I read every review I could find online about the 16-35 and the 17-40 lenses - I even bought a 17-40 at one point...and although I thought it performed marvellously, I still ended up with a 16-35 at the end of the day. My main reason for keeping the 16-35 was my (slightly questionable??) reason that I still used 35mm regularly...I had heard lots of negative comments about the 17-40 with film (I still like using film for scanning and printing A3 prints...) However, I bought the 16-35 and I've had lots of lovely slides since..nice and sharp and well focussed...sorry if that upsets the "17-40 is better" brigade, but I think there's room for both lenses in the market place...! My feeling would be that if you don't need f2.8 then the 17-40 would suit you very well, but if the extra stop of light is necessary, then the 16-35 is your on ly option..sounds simple...but believe me, it's not! Good luck! I'm happy with my 16-35!!

Mar 6, 2004
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Brendan Getchel
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Registered: Jun 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1990
Review Date: Sep 10, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Wide enough to bring "wide angle" back to those dSLRs hobbled by the extreme 1.6x FOV sensor crop. Exceptionally well built and weather sealed. Exhudes engineering quality. Fast, silent, accurate AF. Sharpens up somewhat at 35mm.
Cons:
Optically poor, especially for the high price. Easily bested by its much cheaper sybling -- the 17-40/4L. Plenty of barrel distortion at the wide end, even on a cropped dSLR. Sharper at 35mm, but what's the point?!

High marks for robust build quality, features, and AF precision and speed. That's where the positives end however, as the 16-35/2.8L is just a very poor optical performer. I bought one at my local dealer, returned it after three days and exchanged it for a new one, and then returned the second one for a 17-40/4L and a refund of the difference. Needless to say, the 17-40 optically trounces the 16-35 -- period.

I will say that if you are less demanding, or absolutely require the additional stop, then this is the ONLY way the 16-35 should be considered. I have seen many photos posted from people trying to demonstrate how "sharp" the 16 is, only to realize that their definition of "sharp" is dubious indeed.

Save yourself a sizeable chunk of money and get the 17-35 instead. Comparing identical images, it's painfully obvious how poor the 16 is by comparison, and it costs $500 more!


Sep 10, 2003
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Matahari
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Registered: Dec 8, 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 36
Review Date: Sep 10, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,360.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros: Well build. Good zoomrange.
Cons:
Optical quality.

I have now tried 3 different copies of this lens, and i have returned all 3 of them. The images are so soft, that they are not usable for my purposes. I have done the testing with a D60 and a 10D. I suspect that the results in the corners will be even worse on a fullframe-camera.

Sep 10, 2003
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molson
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Registered: Oct 29, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 10767
Review Date: Aug 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Brilliant optical performance, close focusing, lack of vignetting, resistance to flare
Cons:
None

This lens is better in every respect than the EF 17-35mm f2.8L lens it replaces. Even on full-frame 35mm film, this lens performs brilliantly. It is remarkably sharp corner-to-cormer, with no chromatic aberration, little or no vignetting at any aperture, and flare is well controlled. There is noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end, but this disapears around the 20-24mm focal length.

Aside from the distortion, this lens performs better than most of Canon's wide-angle prime lenses (especially the awful EF 20mm f2.8). Somewhat expensive, but worth every penny if you like the wide perspective.

Finally, Canon users have a lens that (almost) matches Nikon's 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S.


Aug 2, 2003
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danks
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Registered: Apr 5, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 289
Review Date: Jul 28, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Convenient!!
Cons:
Well . . . read on.

First off, I have never been a fan of zooms and feel they offer a trade off . . . convenience over quality.

This one is no exception to what my experience has taught me over the years.

I do not have any ultra wide primes to test it against but I did test it against the EF35mm f1.4L. I'd say the 1.4 was about as sharp AT f1.4 as this zoom was at f2.8! Stop the prime to f 2.8 and it was clearly, to my eye, sharper than the zoom, and significantly so . . . ON A BODY with a 1.6 CROP!! I can not say what the corners on a full frame would look like.

Stop 'em down to f 8 and they look much the same of course.

Still, a marvelously convenient lens. I will keep, and use it despite the obvious compromise it represents. It is likely as good as wide angle zooms are likely to be for quite some time. When you look at a cross section through these lenses, any of the ultra wides, it is a wonder they work as well as they do. The curvature of many of the elements is extreme! Designing these lenses must be tough!


Jul 28, 2003
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
140 338329 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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