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

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122 349460 Jun 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,502.46
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: 108į10'-63į

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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PaulieDC
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Registered: Oct 27, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality for a UWA zoom is crazy good.
Cons:
The edges of course, to be expected.

OK, short and sweet: I previously owned a 5D and 17-40mm, and for my first FF it was a delight when taking 20-second exposures on a tripod outdoors, although low-light indoor images were not so grand. Then I got the 5D2 and the 17-40m all of a sudden became the weak point. The 5D2's sensor out-resolved the 17-40mm noticably, I was fairly disappointed with the results.

I sold the 17-40mm and got the 16-35mm, and WOW... my whole world opened right up again. The 2.8 already gets you a brighter viewfinder, but the image quality in the 16-35mm is the juicy, rich satisfying tone that I get from my 24-70mm. And indoor low-light images are WONDERFUL. OK, 16mm image have cruddy edges, all Canon wide zooms tend to suffer here. But to be honest, once I correct perspective in Photoshop I have to crop a bit off each edge afterwards ANYWAY, so I end up with superb results. Just like trimming the fat off yor steak, no big deal. With 16mm, believe me, there will be image available to trim.

The 16-35mm is superb image quality, right up there with my 100mm macro, 70-200mm/2.8 and 24-70mm. Couldn't be happier.


Jan 5, 2010
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Doug Vann
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Registered: Dec 18, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 50
Review Date: Nov 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, build quality, super wide shots
Cons:
have not seen any

Got this lens about a week ago and used it this past weekend with my 5D mkII at a wedding shoot. Wow - love the results. Especially the printed versions of the digital files. The combination of the 5D mkII and the 16-35 L just gives amazing results. So sharp and the 16 mm setting lets you get creative given the right location. 25-35 mm setting gives closer to a normal type of shot. My clients will be so pleased with the results. Only thing I would say is just keep in mind how wide this lens will go on a full frame camera. When set to 16mm you will know it is wide angle when you see people at the edges of shots. However this is the characteristic of a lens this wide. Just use the setting to get creative and keep the people toward the center of shots unless you purposely want them to have that wide angle view. Lens is expensive for sure but you get what you pay for. Feels real good on the 5D mkII..... I highly recommend this lens.

Nov 17, 2009
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SAUMBI
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Registered: Nov 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Nov 12, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

"Ten feet in front if you in the picture is more like 20 feet to the edge of the frame, simple physics says it will be out of focus!"

When I made this statement in my previous review, I was referring to a flat plane, in 3D the outer edge could be much greater, (miles?) My point was at wider 2.8, 4.0, the wider apertures at 10 feet focus distance, expect softness or blur at 2' or 20'. I believe the depth of field would be shallower than that?

At any count, it is an excellent zoom lens and better than has ever been available for EOS FF body's!!


Nov 12, 2009
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SAUMBI
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Registered: Nov 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Nov 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,389.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Use eye protection, this lens is that sharp! excellent color and contrast, very well corrected, no visible distortion unless you use it incorrectly!!
Cons:
For what it is NONE!

I got this lens three days ago, after selling a very good copy of the 17-40mm L, I hated to sell that lens before I tried this one because of all the negative reviews here and elsewhere. But the only way I could afford it was to sell my 17-40 to help fund this purchase. If I would have known how false most of these reviews are I would have done this months ago! the lens I sold did a very good job of capturing great images for the last 4 years, but it is not as sharp or as versatile as this lens, I think anyone who has had any experience with any ultra wide angle, and been satisfied with it, would have to say this IS A BETTER LENS.

I believe most bad reviews on this lens, now that I have used it, has to be because people do not know how to use a wide angle lens of this extreme, or they don't realize there own shortcomings as a photographer. Yes it does vignette at 16-20mm wide open, I have never seen any lens that wide that didn't on a full frame body, but it is not anything that can't be removed in PS and not as bad as most UWA's. Most shots taken wide open with it will not even be noticed, as stated in the previous review, at 2.8 in low light or to blur a background it is probably going to enhance the photo, or go unnoticed. And as far as sharpness goes, this is quite possibly a sharper lens than my 24-70 F2.8L, a very sharp lens in it's own right.

I use this type of lens mostly in landscape be it daylight or nightscape, I hardly ever shoot a wider aperture than 5.6 and usually F8.0 to F16, and assure you it performs perfect edge to edge at those settings, I have used it inside at F2.8 and am very happy with it's performance with available light. Not to mention anything above 20mm I have not noticed vignetting wide open.

I will address the filter, how anyone can say I bought a lens knowing it uses an 82mm filter and say it is a weakness is ridiculous to me. Most understand that if it were built to use a convenient screw on filter system and they want it to perform, it needs it. Yes its more money, you pay for performance. That is the same reason you pay more for this lens than the MKI copy, It does more you pay more, and maybe if they had given the first model this treatment it would have performed a little more like the MKII? But the main thing I want to agree with the previous post by saying the slim filter is not needed nore desired. I have used this with the standard Hoya Super HMC UV filter, and with no filter at all and there is no diference in the amount of vignetting or anything else that I see, only when I added the circular polarizer to the UV filter did it afect it. The polarizer by itself was great and caused no interferance in image at any focal length.

The last comment I want to make is how sharp it is at 35mm. I don't care what F stop you use it is sharp, anyway for the field of view it is supposed to have. You see I think most people who are not happy with this lens, forget that at 35mm let alone 16mm, if you are shooting any distance at all, very very little of what is in the frame is included in the DOF that is supposed to be perfectly focused! That may very well be why they say the lens is soft. Ten feet in front if you in the picture is more like 20 feet to the edge of the frame, simple physics says it will be out of focus!

The bottom line is if you want a better lens you are only going to get it by paying more than double for some exotic that will not work fully auto on a canon body anyway. If you want the best lens in a 16-35mm zoom range with an F2.8 speed for low light shooting, and as well corrected optically as anything in its class, with excellent color and great contrast, with the fastest and quietest most accurate focus, fully automatic lens for a Canon full frame body. you have one choice! PERIOD! the 16-35mm F2.8L MKII


Nov 8, 2009
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matanuska
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Registered: Feb 16, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 549
Review Date: Sep 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide, fast, super sharp center, good contrast and color, corners and edges well controlled.
Cons:
A bit pricey, but not out of line with its performance.

Iíve been reading some of the more critical reviews here; from my perspective half are probably due to the occasional bad copy, but the other half are likely due to the owner expecting way too much from a UWA zoom. Most complaints center on lack of corner sharpness and/or light fall off/vignetting at the wide end and wide apertures. Iíve owned and extensively tested 3 high end UWA Zooms to date now; the Canon 16-35 f2.8 L II and 17-40 f4 L and the Nikon 14-24 2.8 ED (the supposed gold standard for all UWA Zooms), and can tell you that the Nikon is the only one that can reasonably (not perfectly) hold the corners at the extreme wide ends of FL and aperture. Not surprisingly however the Nikon is yet another $400-$500 more expensive than the 16-35II (even more when you factor in the adapter to shoot on a Canon). In real world shooting at f/8 to f/16 however, I can confidently state that you are not going to see any meaningful difference between the 3 lenses without resorting to some serious pixel peeping gymnastics, and even then Iíll gladly take bets that most couldnít tell unlabeled photos apart. So confident in fact that I finally traded in my revered Nikon for an excellent copy of the 16-35II.

Yes, this lens exhibits some corner softness and light fall off at the wide end and/or at f2.8, however this starts to clear up even as low as f/4 and is gone by f/8. By comparison, if you really want an eye opener, look at the light fall off on the 17-40 wide open (f/4) Ė the outer two thirds of the image is dark with only a small central spot unaffected. Contrast this to the 16-35 wide open at f/2.8 where only the extreme edges and corners are dark. Same with corner softness, it does exist at f/2.8 but clears up nicely by f/8. In all cases, if you shoot this lens at the same settings as the 17-40, it outperforms its smaller cousin in all aspects (and the 17-40 an excellent lens in its own right). The 16-35 is more than just a 17-40 that goes to f/2.8, it is a significant improvement at all apertures and focal lengths.

I did some extensive testing with filters and found, contrary to claims in other reviews, no detectible difference in vignetting between a slim or regular UV filter at the 16mm wide end. Maybe there is a slight difference that some purists can see, but for the life of me I canít tell the difference, so I use a regular thickness filter simply for the convenience of being able to use the normal dust cap. The 82mm filter size is also often cited as a point of criticism. Yes, 82mm filters are larger and more expensive, but thatís the cost for a lens with these specifications. At least this lens will accept filters, try that with the Nikon. Finally, Iíve also heard criticism that this lens starts to go soft above 24mm, but I havenít seen any evidence of this either. Maybe those are also bad copy issues again? But mine is perfectly sharp (stunningly sharp in the center) throughout the entire range.

In short, if you absolutely must have a UWA Zoom that has razor sharp corners at f/2.8, youíre going to need to go to other extreme measures such as the Nikon 14-24 or maybe a Zeiss, but then youíve got all of the manual focus/exposure issues to deal with. In most real world applications at f/8 to f/16, this lens easily holds itís own against the Nikon and even outperforms the 17-40. In my experience, if I am shooting at f/2.8, Iím likely trying to blur the background, so why would I care if the corners are soft anyway. And if shooting in low light I donít notice some light fall off corners either. In any case, itís easily corrected in DPP.

No lens is perfect and free from little quirks that require tweaking in post. This one however does come as close to perfection as possible for a UWA zoom at its given specs and price point.



Sep 30, 2009
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primeshot
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Registered: Jan 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Edge to edge sharpness, great build, fast focus....
Cons:
Price...

I own over 5 L lenses and this is right near the top. It never lets me down. The glass is just about perfect and competes with my other L Prime Lenses. This is Canon's BEST wide angle zoom to date.

Sep 16, 2009
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cdryall
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Registered: Mar 19, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great sharpness from pretty much wide open through to mid apetures, build, great colour - just a great option on a full frame
Cons:
Only really cost - but gives primes a run for the money in range...

Great lens - have only had for a short time but improvement over 17-40 on full frame clear to see - really a great option - highly recommended....

Sep 11, 2009
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Rey_G
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Registered: Mar 31, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast, wide (on FF), Excellent IQ, build quality
Cons:
82mm filter size

A bit pricey but you get what you pay for. As a former owner of a 17-40, I recently upgraded to the 16-35 when I upgraded from a crop body to the full-frame 5D mark II. The extra stop alone is worth the extra added cost. Nice low light performance, using this lens more indoors than I would have the 17-40. Nice edge to edge sharpness. A definite worthwhile upgrade and worth the price of admission.

Jul 31, 2009
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spasmoid
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Registered: Jun 20, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, responsive autofocus, quiet, great build quality, tough
Cons:
you get what you pay for

This is my first professional grade lens (not including the 50mm F/1.8). I had it since the MkII first came out. I used this site to help make my decision. I figured that while I still had an APS-C at the time, I would upgrade to a full-frame camera to take advantage of it. In the mean time, it has endlessly produced superb results for me in my landscape and modeling photography. Being able to use it in low light has proved invaluable as well - maintaining low ISOs while shooting clothing catalogues in overcast conditions in the forest.
I never realised just how much a pleasure this lens was to use until I played around with other non-L lenses.
I have a wedding photographer friend who has the 17-40 for his 5D and he always borrows my 16-35 when we shoot together.
If you are having trouble deciding whether or not to spend the extra money to get this lens, I would advise you to go ahead if you can afford it. It has given me years of reliable service despite the abuse I have thrown at it (landscape photography with lots of ocean spray and bad weather).
I didin't realise how important it was to have a tough/durable lens when I first started. I am constantly amazed at what this lens puts up with, and I still keep dishing up the punishment. Remember to always keep a filter snugly mounted on it, and it will serve you for a long time with beautiful, crisp, vibrant, bright photos.


Jun 20, 2009
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Drew_Persson
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Registered: Oct 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1214
Review Date: Mar 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superman-solid build, nice optics, weathersealing is a plus.
Cons:
Price.

After some disappointment with the much less expensive Tamron 17-35mm zoom (soft & distorted edges, not as contrasty as I'd like, some CA), I bit the bullet and stepped up to Canon's latest 16-35 offering.

Is it perfect? No, but a heck of a lot better than the Tamron, and though certainly less bang-for-the-buck. I feel the image quality is worth the almost $1,000 premium, and looking back at the shots captured with the Tammy I wish I would have spent the extra money sooner.


Mar 25, 2009
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joezasada
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Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 3062
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Razor sharp. Superb build quality. Good range. Excellent image quality.
Cons:
Expensive.

First off, if you are using a FF (5D, 1Ds) or APS-H (1D) body this is the wide zoom of choice. If you are using an APS-C (1.6x crop) body this one isn't really going to be wide enough and you would be better off with the EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5.

That said, for FF or APS-H it's an excellent choice. You'de be hard pressed finding a better canon-mount zoom in that range...

The primes (14L, 24L, 35L) are each better at the focal length... but the zoom is *almost* as good.

I'de say this one is a better performer than either the EF 24-70mm F/2.8L or the EF 24-105mm F/4L IS - albeit for a different intended range.

You won't be disappointed with a good copy of this lens.

It's one of my most used, 'go-to' lenses.


Mar 19, 2009
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x0SiN0x
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Registered: Jan 10, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 81
Review Date: Mar 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, compliments 5D perfectly for landscapes, sharp.
Cons:
little pricey, but in the end well worth it.

first wide angle lens, very happy with it. Compliments my new 5d perfectly.

Mar 2, 2009
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mzemljic
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Registered: Jan 25, 2009
Location: Croatia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp Wide Angle lens, fast lens-f/2.8, very useable for weddings, interiors, architecture, fun for close ups...
Cons:
none

This is so far my best wide angle lens... I have owned 17-40 f4 L but 16-35 f2,8 L II is another space. by the way, It so much better even from original 16-35.
It's sharp wide open and it very well built. Zoom ring is very smooth. Personally I could Zoom the ring in/out the whole day Smile
UV filter 82 is a "MUST" because of full sealed feature!

I strongly RECOMMEND it, specially in a Kit with 135 f2 L or 70-200 f2,8 L IS

Personal view:

Since I already have 15 fish & 24-70f/2,8 L from "wide crew" I didn't realize how much I missed 16-35 all these time.
So now I am very pleased I bought it because It closed the hole space in "wide angle crew" Smile

The 16-35 II already paid it self after one job so I anxiously wait new 24 f/1,4 II to join "low light crew" consisting of 50f/1,4 & 85 f1,2 L II

CS3 scaled example:

http://flickr.com/photos/mattassano/3268101470/



Mar 2, 2009
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supersoyary
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Registered: Feb 13, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Feb 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build, solid feel, sharp and fast, quiet focusing, fairly light
Cons:
None so far

On my 40D, it's great, especially in low light situations. I'm a student photojournalist and the wide angle is amazing for covering tight spots or crowds. The contrast and color capture quality fits its L designation. I would highly recommend this in your general lens kits. This and the 70-200 2.8 IS gives me the best and most useful focal range as a photojournalist.

Feb 13, 2009
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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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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
122 349460 Jun 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,502.46
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
7.99
9.1
16-35II


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