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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
123 351359 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,498.80
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: 108ฐ10'-63ฐ

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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Conrad Tan
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Registered: Dec 8, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 28400
Review Date: May 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,529.30 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp especially after f5.6 through f11 (on my copy).
Cons:
So so on bokeh... very expensive for the average photographer (but worth it)

I took some shots at f2.8 right out of the box, and it was a little soft. Then I tried more shots at f5.6 and f11, and WOW... razor sharp. I put it on my 30D and then on a tripod and tried some landscape shots. Very good with the 1.6 crop, but I'm sure it is much better on a full frame. Highly recommend if you can afford one.

May 1, 2008
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puyan Kachani
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Registered: Nov 24, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The best wide angle zoom lens I have ever tried.Sharp, beautiful colors
Cons:
price

This lens is simply so razor sharp at every focal length and every F/stop . It is very sharp wide open at f/2.8 from edge to edge at every focal length which is practically unheard of.Build quality is excellent and its focussing speed is amazing.
While expensive, it is a bargain at this price for what you get.


Apr 22, 2008
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mattrosc
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Registered: Feb 7, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Prime lens resolution (see negative though). Lovely colour rendition
Cons:
Performance wide open is average

I approached this lens purchase with some trepidation. I had a 17-40 and was disappointed. I use the lens on a 1Ds mkII. I do a lot of wide angle work and I have a Zuiko 21mm f2 (superb performance into the edges, but very bad CA) and a Zeiss 25mm with canon adapter (superb lens). I wanted a very wide lens (18mm), but could not find anything with the performance and that did not require major surgery to allow its use on the Canon. I read of the new Nikon 14-24, and considered buying it and an adapter (see 16-9.net). However there is no obvious way to fit filters and flare is a problem. On the basis of the reviews on this site I bought the lens. I have not regretted it. It is better than the Zuiko and the equal of the Zeiss, though there is some distortion in the very corners at f11, but not an unacceptable amount. I never thought I would stop using my Zeiss, however that is exactly what I am doing. Performance is excellent at 16, 18, 21 and 24mm. There is one caviat however. If you want to shoot at f2.8 or f4, particularly at the very wide end, then corner distortion is a problem. If as I do you use a tripod and f11 (this is the best aperture at all focal lengths) and you want to carry less glass as I did, then this might very well be the lens for you. Colour rendition is excellent, very like the Zeiss with a cooler rendition and skies that actually look softly polarised.

Apr 21, 2008
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chalford
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Registered: Mar 1, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide, sharp, clear, fast
Cons:
Price (but worth it)

I really wish this lens cost a little less. The price prevented me from buying it for a long time. Finally I got brave and bought it last fall so that I could shoot game 3 of the semi-final between the Sox and Indians. I was extremely happy with the lens. If you want to go wide... get this lens! You won't regret it. I've been told that for the most part 3rd party lenses can be as good as anything you buy from Canon unless you are looking at L glass.

When buying this lens I also considered the 10-22mm EF-S, but opted against it because I was suspicious that I would upgrade my XTi to a full-frame camera.

A month before I bought, I saw the older version of the 16-35mm f/2.8 L for sale for under $1,000. I was really tempted to buy it, but didn't. My understanding is that on a full-frame camera you want to get the version II because of the 82mm diameter. Apparently it helps eliminate vignetting... I can't say for sure.

While I was shooting on an XTi at the time it never really got as wide as I would have wanted. However that it an issue with the XTi and not the lens itself. I have upgraded to a 5D and am amazed at how well this lens performs.

I posted some of Fenway Park shots on my blog if anyone is interested in seeing some samples: http://web.mac.com/halfordchris/



One of the great things about a wide angle lens like this is that you can shoot with low shutter speeds. You really just have to keep it faster than 1/16th of a second (at the wide-end) which gives you a lot of freedom.

I love this lens. I highly recommend it.


Apr 20, 2008
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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 309
Review Date: Mar 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness at 2.8, control of CA, good distortion control at 16mm
Cons:
quality comes at a cost $$$

I have had the 17-35 2.8L, 17-40 4L, 16-35 2.8L and now the 16-35 2.8L II.
My favorite two lenses have been the 17-40L and this latest release. I find the build quality to be second to none. It is weather sealed and weighs the same as the original version.
Its control of lens flare and CA are absolutely excellent. I am very pleased. The lens is very sharp at 2.8 , even up to the corners and between 5.6-11 it rocks. Its resolving power looks to be better than the 17-40 and its smaller brother 16-35L.
Well done Canon.
pk


Mar 27, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Mar 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,579.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, clarity, contrast, and colors are excellent!
Cons:
None really, except that it's a bit expensive.

Even though the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 L II USM is and expensive lens, I would highly recommend it. The AF is extremely quiet and very fast; it gives a high image quality!

Pros: Sharpness, clarity, contrast, and colors are excellent!

Cons: None really, except that it's a bit expensive.

Here are some sample shots taken with a Canon 30D

Lex


Mar 25, 2008
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Mark Muntean
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Registered: Jan 2, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Jan 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp, good contrast, no CA - great IQ over most of its range
Cons:
slightly soft (very slightly) focus at 35mm, different filter diameter

I just purchased this lens along with a 1DsMkIII body, and went out to do some tests. I wanted to compare this to other lenses I have at similar focal lengths. I wanted to determine which is the "go to" lens at certain focal lengths. If I have a shot to take at say 24mm or 35mm - which lens to choose? I tested all at f/11 - the limit where diffraction blurring begins to appear on the 1DsMkIII - and hence a useful setting for large DOF landscape work. I did not compare at wide open apertures since I rarely shoot wide open with wide angle lenses.

At a focal length setting of 24mm the new the 16-35mm outperformed the 24-75mm, 24-105mm, and the 24mm TSE (unfortunately I did not have a 24mm prime to test). The 16-35mm image was the sharpest, had no observable CA (unlike the others), and no observable vignette, and had excellent contrast and saturation. It was a hands down winner. I did not have a 24mm L prime to compare, but it is hard to imagine it being discernibly better. Still, this is a hypothesis to test.

At 35mm was still quite good, but it did show the slightest softness compared to the 24-70mm and the 24-105mm at that focal length. This is logical, since the 16-35mm is at the limit of its design range while the other lenses are into the middle of their range. Still, I was a little surprised to see the difference. It is enough to cause me to switch lenses if I need to shoot close to 35mm for a critical shot.

Across the range of the lens I was impressed by the consistent lack of vignette and distortion as compared to my other L zooms.

I would use this over any of my other lens options in the range from 16mm to around 30mm. Above this the 24-70mm or the 24-105mm begin to dominate in sharpness. Once again, I don't have the 24mm or 35mm primes to compare to.

Although I did not have the 24mm L prime to compare to, I did use the 24mm TSE, which for me is a real mixed bag. The movements are clearly useful for certain situations, but the quality of the optics is just not as good as other Canon lenses IMO (lots of CA), so I think I would tend to use the 16-35mm and go to software tools for solving the problems where the movements are otherwise. If Canon made a version of the 24mm TSE with better optics, and much less vignetting over the width of shift, this would be an option. That lens does not exist however, and probably never will - just not enough market.

In summary, the 16-35mm is an incredible lens, and will be the lens to go to whenever I am in the under 30mm range of focal lengths. At 30-35mm I would be willing to use this, unless the 24-70mm (or perhaps a 35mm prime) were available and the shot was important enough to take the time to swap.

This is probably as close to perfect as a commercially viable wide angle zoom will get however. Highly recommended.


Jan 30, 2008
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shehab
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Registered: Jan 28, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast focus, sharp at all apertures, good edge sharpness and no CA
Cons:
kind of pricey

I never tried the Mk I of this lens, so I cant really say how much of an improvement this new version is.. but everything about this lens is great so far. I just switched over from a Sigma 15-30, which for the price is very good, but this lens absolutely blows it out of the water in every respect (not to mention i can now use all my filters)
I haven't experienced any of the CA in the corners that a few others have seen, and mine has been quite sharp in the corners even at 2.8. By f/5.6 its the sharpest super-wide ive seen. Not much vignetting either. I was surprised by the macro possibilities, especially with a 12mm extension tube behind it.
If you can afford it and can put it to good use, i cant recommend it enough.


Jan 28, 2008
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Alex2008
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Registered: Jan 24, 2008
Location: Belarus
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Low Profile Filters...5
Quick word of advice: if you buy the suggested B&W haze filter ($125, gulp), be aware that you have to use the tupperware-like lens cap supplied with the filter; there aren't threads for the Canon lens cap. This is a feature, not a bug. And you should buy the filter: you really don't want a $1400 lens to get a scratch on the front element, do you?

Other than that: just echoing what others have already said. Fantastic lens from 16-24, perfectly OK from 24-35. This lens is one of the three zooms us full-frame shooters should always have in the bag: 16-35 f2.8 II, either the 24-70 or 24-105 IS, and a 70-200 or 70-300. 1.6X crop camera users are better served by the 10-22 EF-S.


------------------------------
Drywall Lifts


Jan 27, 2008
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Andre Goli
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Registered: Feb 20, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1819
Review Date: Jan 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lighter than the other zoom, well built, Really sharp at 2.8, and greater when close down, almost no distorsion at 16mm
Cons:
At 2.8 by very low lite, might be noiser than a prime like the 85L

I owned a Canon 10-22mm with a crop sensor, loved it but I have to sell it when I exchange my 20D for a 5D. When I first got the 16-35 II from a fellow guy from Fred Miranda, its size surprised me at first... Very light in comparizon with the others L that I have... When I tried it, I was absolutely thrilled by the IQ it produced when compared with pix taken with the 10-22mm.. Sharp at any length and aperture... The other thing I have noticed is the quasi absence of distorsion at 16mm with the 5D compared with the 10-22mm at 10 mm... At 10mm with the 10-22mm, I got funny faces because of this distorsion. I tried it with my 16-35mm II on my 5D at 16mm, and bye bye funny faces... (that's the only thing I regret about the 10-22mm). This one give you solid pictures.. Even the angle of a wall at 10mm on my 20D looked round. On the 5D, at 16mm, the angle are almost straight.... This one sit now with dignity among my small collection of L lenses I am proud of... 28-70mm 2.8L, 85mm 1.2L and the 70-200mm 2.8L.
May be I got a good copy, but I suspect that most of the people who are bitching that lens were not that lucky.
My next purchase.... mmmm .... may be the 34L or the 135L
Look they are pretty hot as well...


Jan 24, 2008
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Finn Magne
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Registered: Mar 14, 2004
Location: Norway
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Canons sharpest ultra wideangle zoom lens. Good sharpness on f16 and f11, distorsion and cromatic aberration well corrected.
Cons:
Very poor resolution and lots of vignetting on f2,8. Poor sharpness in the corners down to f5,6.

I use this lens a lot on my EOS 5D camera for landscapes. A very good lens as long as you step down to at least f11 or even better: f16. On 24mm this lens gives better sharpness than the 17-40L, 24-105L and 24-70L zooms (I have owned them all) as long as you step down to at least f11. On f4 the 24-105L is the best choice, on f8 the 24-70L, but both of them have very much barrell distorsion.
Dispite the problems in the f2,8 to f8 area I therefore still own the EF 16-35L mk.II and use it a lot for landscapes (where I most of the time step down to f11 anyway). But I have added the EF 24/1,4L lens (which is Canons sharpest wideangle lens below 35mm) for low light situations, because this is a much sharper lens between f2,8 and f11. On f2 the 24L is sharper than the 16-35L mk.II on f5,6!
I have also also compared the 5D with 16-35L mk.II to the 40D with EF-S 10-22mm. Canon EF-S 10-22/3,5-4,5 gives much better sharpness/contrast I all situations except on f11 and f16 where the 16-35L mk.II wins because of the EOS 5D's higher number of pixels. Wide open the 16-35L mk.II is very soft compared to the 10-22mm.
Nikon have now launched the 14-24mm zoom which gives Canon a real knock out. Can Canon do something about it in the near future?


Jan 19, 2008
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thedruid
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Registered: Dec 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1504
Review Date: Jan 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Better corner sharpness, flare suppression, lower vignetting
Cons:

Finally have has this lens long enough to compare with my 17-40L both used on a 5D. Corners are much, much better none of the softness seen on the 17-40L at f5.6, flare is well suppressed so much improved compared to the latter. I can shoot city scenes at dusk with lots of extraneous light sources without worrying about weird flare spots. Vignetting has not been a problem so far and having f2.8 available is a huge plus.

Is i worth the money? If you use it to earn a crust by all means yes.


Jan 15, 2008
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chipotle
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Registered: Aug 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Jan 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Contrasty, good in low light. Sharp to edges, even at 16mm f2.8 (although beginning to soften a bit in corners)
Cons:
different size filters and lens cap than other L lenses



Jan 4, 2008
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Santoso
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Registered: Apr 23, 2007
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing contrast, color and quick focusing low light arsenal
Cons:
Expensive price and filter

Philip I think it think you miss the point of having big aperture lens. You have to compare it in low light. If you like comparing lens in bright daylight, heck I say even tamron 17-50 satisfied your needs already. A suggestion to compare its vignetting, glare and ghosting as well. You might also have a bad copy in hand. As for me, apart from its price this lens is a must for canon full frame.



Dec 26, 2007
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Fjellfalck
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Registered: Dec 4, 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 373
Review Date: Dec 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,349.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp!, crispy- even wide open !- Sharper than my excellent 17-40 - also in the corners. Weather/dust sealing, very little vignetting, excellent flare handling Very solid. Excellent IQ - better than my 17-40 - And it is good.
Cons:
As all wide angle lenses - they are all (perhaps except the 14mm f/2.8) slightly soft in the corners wide open. Visible especially in upper left corner - but not more than my 17-40 wide open.


After some hours with testing, comparing to my sharp and versatile 17-40 f/4.0
I conclude:

• Sharper than 17-40 wide open at f/2.8 – all focal lengths.
• Slightly sharper also above f.8.0 at all focal lengths
• Very sharp in center even wide open
• Slightly soft in some corners (upper left) wide open at f.2.8. In average better corner sharpness wide open than 17-40 at f 4.0.
• Very little vignetting
• No flare problems
• Same “feel” as the 17-40 – but slightly larger/heavier - very solid
• Weather/dust sealing – and I need it for the Nordic weather
• Slightly more crispy in the colors and better contrast than the 17-40.
• A little bit more WOW factor than the very good 17-40.

The intension of buying the 16-35 f/2.8 II was not to replace my very useful 17-40. I will still use it for landscape shooting and lighter hiking. However I simply need a faster wide lens for some kind of shooting (low light). I also use the 10-22 EFS. The excellent EFS 17-55 was not a good alternative for me. I’m shooting mostly outdoors and the lack of dust/weather sealing was not appealing to me. Either was the flare or vignetting performance of the 17-55 IS. I do not need IS for short focal lengths. And … I guess I will supplement with a FF one day. Happy shooting!

Highly recommended!

Tested with 40D.


Dec 14, 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? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:
Dec 11, 2007
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
123 351359 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,498.80
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
7.99
9.1
16-35II


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