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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
123 351363 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: 108°10'-63°

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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jirok12944
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Registered: Nov 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: performance, build
Cons:
price

I've upgraded 17-40L to 16-35L mk2 four months ago, waiting for a miracle. But no miracle this time... Smile It is decent lens with almost flawless optical performance!!! Unfortunately it's not noticeable step-up compare to 17-40L, taking triple price in consideration and only one step difference, my upgrade did not make sense and/or had good justification.

If money not an issue, I'd say this is the best wide angle zoom!!! But I'd spend this money on a prime if I new Smile


Nov 14, 2007
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Phast1
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Registered: Jul 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2082
Review Date: Nov 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, relatively small.
Cons:
big expensive filter

Well worth the dollars. I've owned 2 16-35 MkI's and was never happy with either of them. The 17-40 trumped it but I couldn't be stuck with an f/4 lens so used the ef-s option at that time.

Took a chance with the new MkII version of this lens and am very glad I did. To me it's a completely different lens. It's everything I wanted from the MkI but never got. It is sharp and very contrasty (sic?). It seems to peak at 16mm, second place goes to 35mm and a close 3rd at 24mm. I feel like I got 2 wicked primes for the price of a zoom... bonus.

This lens is glued to my 5D 90% of the time. Highly recommended.


Nov 13, 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: $2,200.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros:
Cons:

improved in some areas over the original, however at f2.8, the original is sharper..very dissapointed.

Nov 1, 2007
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Jerren
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Registered: Oct 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1096
Review Date: Oct 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,449.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast WA zoom. Its what I've been missing for a very long time. It completes my zoom holy trinity with the (24-70 and 70-200 2.8L IS)
Cons:
82mm Gripe Geeze, thats huge and filters are very expensive.

Well I finally did it. I've moved from my lovechild 17-40 f4L to my beloved 16-35 2.8L II. And it was everything that I expected. I don't know how to explain it but something about the 16-35 2.8L just feels right in my hands. In my 17-40 review I mentioned how the 17-40 was only used about 10% of the time for my work and increasing. Well this lens, is actually one of my work horses for my wedding work as well as everyday stuff. I would have to say this lens is attatched to one of my bodies about 66% of the day. Its used alot for the prep shots, limo shots, detail shots, creative formal shots, and dancing at the ceremony shots.

Of course the 82mm filter size is a piss off but I live with it. Thats my only complaint.

Its nice and sharp. Although the zoom range is short to most, its very functional for my taste.

I think the 17-40 would be fine for most photographers, but I need the extra stop of speed for my work as I love to shoot using natural light. Landscape guys looking for a WA L zoom, get the 17-40 f4L and save about $800.


Oct 24, 2007
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blue_streak
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Registered: Jan 25, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Review Date: Oct 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Colors, Build
Cons:
Noticed minor flare, but does not worry me too much.

After some deliberation and testing, I have grown attached to this lens, and it did not take too long for that matter. I was hesitant about spending over twice the cost of the 17-40, but in the end I opted for this nice piece of glass. I am impressed with the wide view it has (even on a 40D) and I am really looking forward to using it on a full frame body. I have noticed that when I have the center focus point active (only) wide landscape shots turn out magnificently sharp. Once you get used to manipulating this precision instrument into doing what you want it too, it does not let you down. The 2.8 aperture is quite fun and, even though it is a wide angle, can create beautiful background blur and really emphasize what you want to stand out most in the frame. Don’t make the mistake of looking through the view finder and walking towards the object you want to shoot as you might end up walking right into it! It is amazing how close you can get to an object and have it’s entirety in the view finder! The colors are great and the overall feel is what I was looking for. I know I have to buy an 82mm filter, but that’s ok too.



Oct 21, 2007
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Huib Nederhof
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Registered: Oct 17, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good performance
Cons:
none

Much better than the 'old' 16-35mm. But be careful! I have to test 4 samples before I had a good one. The other were worse the Mark1.

Oct 17, 2007
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Evan Baines
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Registered: Jan 15, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 5527
Review Date: Oct 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb image quality, sharp to the corners, well built
Cons:
Minor barrel distortion, 82mm filter

I never thought I'd enjoy a zoom this much.

The center sharpness is perhaps a hint off the best L primes (135L), but its still quite crisp, even wide open. Stopped down, the center sharpness holds steady but the edges come up to a really nice, even resolution across the full-frame.

Superb wide angle for a full frame cam.


Oct 16, 2007
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Stono
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Registered: Dec 4, 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, superb contrast, color saturation, and resolution. Sharp!
Cons:
None really

I am very satisfied, have sold a lot of landscape photos taken by this lens. Not as sharp as the old Canon 28-70mm (but then hardly any zooms are), but 16mm is indeed nice to have. Will indeed recommend this lens. L-quality zoom.

Oct 3, 2007
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Arro
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Registered: Mar 3, 2005
Location: Mexico
Posts: 41
Review Date: Sep 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, at 2.8 and 16mm!, very nice star halo in the lights. clear pictures
Cons:
little soft at the edges at 35 mm. but very sharp at the center

The lens is not perfect. But after 300 pictures of a quinceañera. I'am very happy with the results.

Sep 17, 2007
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Alan Goldstein
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Registered: Aug 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: Sep 7, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Concerns...
Cons:

I am a long time user of the original 16-35 on a 1Ds and 5D for architectural interiors. After reading the reviews here and other places I thought I'd upgrade to the series II (Now that DxO supports it.)

I tested the series II in a store in comparison with my series one version and was disappointed. My main interest was to see if it performed better at 16mm at f8 (a typical aperture for me.) I didn't see much differnece but liked the original better. At f2.8, I the original was sharper at the center.

Some observations - the series II did not focus accurately (focused closer than it should have.) So I shot a series of images at slightly different distances to get pairs with matching focus. I also noticed that at f8, the star pattern from light fixtures was more prominent with the new series II.

Here's a link to illustrate -

http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/16stars.jpg

I've posted some hi res high quality jpeg test shots to my web site if anyone wants to examine them. I am concerned that the series II lens I tested was a poor sample but I don't know. I plan to contact Canon for their opinion and then see if I can find a "better" sample to test.

Here are the links so you can download and compare the large files. (9+ megs each) I tried to be consistent enough to get meaningful results but these are not scientific tests. I left the EXIF data intact. (The old lens f8 sample shows a green spot on a camera case in the middle top of the shot. This was flare form a light above that didn't occur when the lens was moved a tiny amount.)

F8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

F2.8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_2.8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

Thse were all converted with DPP to minimize softare influence on the files and have no sharpening added. I also converted with DXO to see how the lens optimization works on the two lenses.

Opinions are welcomed.


Sep 7, 2007
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Alan Goldstein
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Registered: Aug 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: Sep 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Concerns...
Cons:

I am a long time user of the original 16-35 on a 1Ds and 5D for architectural interiors. After reading the reviews hear and other places I thought I'd upgrade to the series II (Now that DxO supports it.)

I tested the series II in a store in comparison with my series one version and was disappointed. My main interest was to see if it performed better at 16mm at f8 (a typical aperture for me.) I didn't see much differnece but liked the original better. At f2.8, I the original was sharper at the center.

Some observations - the series II did not focus accurately (focused closer than it should have.) So I shot a series of images at slightly different distances to get pairs with matching focus. I also noticed that at f8, the star pattern from light fixtures was more prominent with the new series II.

Here's a link to illustrate -

http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/16stars.jpg

I've posted some hi res high quality jpeg test shots to my web site if anyone wants to examine them. I am concerned that the series II lens I tested was a poor sample but I don't know. I plan to contact Canon for their opinion and then see if I can find a "better" sample to test.

Here are the links so you can download and compare the large files. (9+ megs each) I tried to be consistent enough to get meaningful results but these are not scientific tests. I left the EXIF data intact. (The old lens f8 sample shows a green spot on a camera case in the middle top of the shot. This was flare form a light above that didn't occur when the lens was moved a tiny amount.)

F8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

F2.8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_2.8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

Thse were all converted with DPP to minimize softare influence on the files and have no sharpening added. I also converted with DXO to see how the lens optimization works on the two lenses.

Opinions are welcomed.


Sep 7, 2007
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Mark Holloway
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Registered: Jul 28, 2005
Location: Thailand
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quality of build, Quality of images, f/2.8
Cons:
Big

I have just taken this lens on holiday to Italy.

The quality of the images of cathedrals & museums is GREAT.

Pin sharp to the edges, no vignetting, great contrast & saturation.

Expensive ... but worth it


Sep 3, 2007
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Memphis
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Registered: Mar 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 769
Review Date: Aug 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, great colors, cost (next to a zeiss 21mm) Contrast is very nice.. I like
Cons:
I have none at this time

I got a chance to use this lens on my 5D and compare it to my (what I thought was a very sharp) 17-40L. I was shocked that this lens is sharper than my 17-40L in the corners throughout the focal range. It's not as sharp as my old Zeiss 21 but it was sharp enough to allow me to part with it and buy the 16-35L II and have some money left in my pocket for the new EOS 1Ds mkIII ( not much but some )

If you shoot full frame or the 1D 1.3 crop this lens is for you.

If you're on the 1.6 crop bodies I'd go with the 17-55 2.8 IS.


Aug 31, 2007
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jamato8
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Registered: Dec 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2190
Review Date: Aug 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,520.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, superb contrast, color saturation, resolution and good feel.
Cons:
None at this time, well filter cost but like the lens that is a one time purchase, I hope.

Having used the 17-35L for a number of years I always desired just a little more sharpness, contrast and saturation. Something I mention in the positives of the 16-35II. In many applications for my work as a visual anthropologist and natural history photographer the 17-35 was fine for the job and from what I have seen mine appeared to be a sharp copy. I had also seen some of the great wide angle shots by the Nikon lens of this range and I realized more of this quality would be welcome.
Well the 16-35II has come through in spades and I am very happy to have one in my bag now.


Aug 27, 2007
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scooterapd
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Registered: Jun 21, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Aug 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Wide angle, lightweight, fast aperature.
Cons:
Not nearly as sharp as 17-55 EF-S for same $$. I witnessed flat colors, limited contrast on my 30D.

My 17-55mm f/2.8, which is my wedding workhorse, was sent to Canon due to an IS malfunction, so I rented this lens as a stand-in, using it on my 30-D. My 5-D is dedicated to my 70-200mm IS f/2.8L and I shoot with both the 30D and 5D during weddings. I was VERY disappointed in the 16-35mm. Compared to my 17-55 which is in the same price range, this lens is soft and grainy, even at f/5.6 and 35mm. I would only recommend this lens for full-frame cameras. If you're shooting with a 30D or 20D, GET THE 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens without thinking about it. In a recent "side-by-side comparison", my associate photographer shot a wedding with the 16-35mm on his 5D and my 17-55mm shots on my 30D look sharper and have more color saturation and contrast than his. Obviously, the L build quality is useful and if you are shooting full-frame, you don't have a choice, so those are some considerations as well. Overall, I'd consider the image quality of this lens on-par with my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8.

Aug 18, 2007
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Fred.
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Registered: May 18, 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,191.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb image quality,Edge-to-edge sharpness,good performance across the zoom range, very well build.
Cons:
Price

This lens is amazing, the best wide-angle zoomlens I ever used.
perfect on a 5D or 1D.
I really like this lens.


Aug 9, 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 351363 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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